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Altcoin Season!

Take Advantage Of Altcoin Price Trends Of 2021

The evidence is abundant that 2021 is the year that will bring a jaw-dropping Altcoin Season. Just as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency to rise in price, and the Altcoins eventually follow.

Bitcoin Leads, The Altcoins Follow

There’s no questioning that Bitcoin is the definitive OG of the cryptoshere, as is most likely best highlighted by the point that the flagship digital asset has been in a position to pique the interest of many prominent legacy financial institutions – like Microstrategy, BlackRock, Grayscale – during the last year or thereabouts.

Not just that, in recent months, a selection of banks and venture capital funds as JP Morgan, Raiffeisen, Pantera Capital have projected BTC to scale past beyond the $100k mark with great ease (not to mention our own Bitcoin prediction exceeding $379,000 in 2021), indirectly indicating their growing confidence in this yet incipient asset class.

Even with all the sell offs and volatility which was witnessed during the last week, data available on the web definitely shows that the number of addresses with 1,000 or over Bitcoin (referred to as “whales” in the crypto world) has continued to increase. As is ALWAYS so with professional institutional money, the “buy-the-dip” strategy is employed with full force.

It’s called “talking your book” om Wall Street jargon.

While big institutional players plant news stories and give interviews that create fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) – thus driving the price down as nervous traders sell – at the same time they are accumulating for themselves at lower prices.

Like it or not, that’s standard operating procedure for traditional markets, and especially crypto.

Bottom line: whales continue to buy Bitcoin.

And where Bitcoin leads, the altcoins will follow.

Forecasting Altcoin Market Activity for the Coming Year

We’ve been pounding the table that 2021 is going to be another moonshot type of year due to the 4-year cycle. 2013 was the year of the first 4-year cycle top. 2017 was the second instance of a tremendous crypto bull run into the second top of the 4-year cycle.

2021 will be the year of the third top of the 4-year cycle.

In order to gain a better understanding of how the 4 year cycle top will play out, we’ll go back and examine the previous iteration of the cycle.

Looking At The Altcoin Season Of 2017

It’s been said that “History doesn’t repeat, but it sure does rhyme.” If you go back and look at historical prices of Bitcoin from previous years, it’s very obvious that Bitcoin isn’t following the 4-year cycle precisely 100% on a daily basis, but the correlation is over 90%.

In other words, Bitcoin price action rhymes with previous Bitcoin price action.

Let’s look closely at Bitcoin’s price action in 2017 as well as the leader of the altcoins, Ethereum.

Bitcoin Price Action In 2017

Bitcoin was priced at $1,003 on January 1, 2017.

It took 138 days for Bitcoin to double in price. (May 18)

It took 216 days for Bitcoin to triple in price. (August 4)

It took 226 days for Bitcoin to quadruple in price. (August 14)

It took 284 days for Bitcoin to quintuple in price. (October 11)

Ultimately, Bitcoin went up more than 19-fold into the 4-year cycle high on December 17, 2017.

Ethereum Price Action In 2017

Ethereum was priced at $8.20 on January 1, 2017.

It took 60 days for Ethereum to double in price. (March 1)

It took 72 days for Ethereum to triple in price. (March 13)

It took 74 days for Ethereum to quadruple in price. (March 15)

It took 75 days for Ethereum to quintuple in price. (March 16)

By the first day of summer, June 21, Ethereum had increased in price by a factor of 41 times over.

Ultimately, Ethereum went up more than 170-fold into the 4-year cycle high on January 10, 2018.

Altcoin Season Lessons

Looking at the above prices of both Bitcoin and Ethereum, we can gain insights into how the altcoin season of 2021 will unfold.

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Once altcoin season starts to gain momentum, prices of meritable altcoins will rise faster than Bitcoin.
  2. March is likely to be a very good month for the leading altcoins.
  3. By the summer of 2021, a handful of the best altcoins should be as much as 40 times higher in price compared to where they started the year.
  4. The top altcoins could go up in price more than 150 times their value at the start of the year.
  5. Bitcoin will reach its 4-year cycle peak 3 to 4 weeks before the altcoins do, and will start its new bear market.
  6. The entire altcoin market will follow Bitcoin into its next bear market.

Specific Price Targets

There’s no question in our minds that 2021 is going to be a very, very exciting year for cryptocurrency investors.

You should, however, remember that prices don’t move in a straight line higher. Bitcoin Experienced several LARGE drops in 2017, even though the the overall trend was wildly bullish.

The same is likely to be the case this year.

If you’d like to see some of our specific 2021 price predictions for specific coins, simply head on over to this page.

Altcoin Season Basics

An altcoin season is also a term used for a season in which an altcoin is outperforming the price of the original: Bitcoin. There are three stages to an altcoin season. The first stage is when there is a profiting trend on an altcoin that is very new, or a trend that is new to a particular altcoin. The second stage is when the profiting trend dies down, and there is no longer any substantial profit potential from the altcoin in question.

In the third phase, after the profiting trend has died down, the altcoin season starts to see a new influx of traders who are looking to make a long position in the market. By this stage, the profitability potential in trading on any altcoin is significantly reduced. During the second phase, the price movement of all-time high prices of bitcoin continues on its upward trek.

One of the factors that makes the altcoin season so interesting to follow is the fact that there is considerable amount of volatility in the market. The large increase in volatility is what allows an investor to profit from the trading of ether and another high valued alternative currency. Volatility is usually considered a good thing for experienced traders because it increases the opportunities to profit from price movement – both UP and DOWN.

For investors and holders, however, the volatility can be nerve wracking.

lastly, it’s important to remember that the altcoin season doesn’t last forever. In fact, most (statistically it’s over 90%!) investors lose money during the bearish period. However, if you find several profitable altcoins during this time, it can be literally, life-changing.

Come the end of 2021, just remember one fact: trees don’t grow to the sky.

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Cryptocurrency News Ethereum News Ripple News

Stellar Lumens Price Prediction

Two weeks ago we released our Bitcoin price prediction for 2021. Two days ago we released our Ethereum price prediction for 2021. Today we’d like to present our Stellar Lumens price prediction for this year.

Several Popular XLM Predictions

As is our tradition, before we present our forecast for the price of a cryptocurrency, we always like to share a few predictions from others within the crypto industry.

PrimeXBT shares these Stellar Lumens predictions:

Crypto Rating – XLM $0.69
Crypto Rating, an esteemed authority and providing realistic price predictions on various cryptocurrency assets, has given XLM a price forecast of just $0.46 within a year, and in the next five years expects Stellar to reach a price target of $0.69. Given past performance, these estimates are modest.

The Economy Forecast Agency – XLM $0.64
The Economy Forecast Agency uses a long-term forecasting valuation model to predict prices of various assets, including cryptocurrencies, projects Stellar Lumens growth to reach just $0.64, matching the sentiment of many of the other experts and analysts listed.

CoinSwitch – XLM $1.00
CoinSwitch, another price prediction authority, points to an estimate of $1 per XLM token, with price action being driven by partnerships with IBM and various governments.

Trading Beasts – XLM $0.10
Trading Beasts provides yet another extremely modest expectation in the short-term, with XLM reaching $0.10 per token.

CryptoGround – XLM $0.74
Cryptoground.com expects the altcoin cryptocurrency to reach a price of $0.74, which is the strongest out of all price predictions for XLM by industry experts.

Investor Place repeated 4 of the above XLM predictions, and added the following XLM forecast:

Coinliker – XLM $3.33
Coinliker takes a much more bullish stance on the cryptocurrency with an estimate of $3.33 in five years’ time .

Elevenews provided five more XLM predictions worth reporting:

Long Forecast Stellar Prediction – $0.30
Long Forecast gave an entirely conservative prediction, as their stellar price prediction forecasts that XLM might reach $0.30, which make sit look like it won’t grow much as compared to the current price.

Wallet Investor XLM Price Prediction – XLM $1.05
Wallet Investor updates prices and predictions every three minutes using the latest technical analysis. They have very conservatively made a 5-Year forecast of $1.005.

Mega Crypto Price – XLM $5.10
The price forecast at Mega Crypto Price has been very optimistic for all the cryptocurrencies and its the same for XLM price forecast, too, predicting that Stellar could be worth $5.10 by the end of 2020. The team says that this can be achieved as long as there are no major security flaws and the overall sector performs well.

Monetize Info – XLM $3.00
Monetize believes that Stellar’s major partnerships will be the major reason behind an upcoming price surge, which might result in XLM’s price reaching $2-$3 by 2020. Beyond IBM, Stellar’s partners include Stripe, Deloitte, etc.

For example, Stripe gave Stellar a 3-million-dollar capital injection a few years back which Stellar immediately returned in XLM.

The Economy Forecast Agency – XLM $0.64
This website features a long-range forecasting model to make market forecasts for corporate clients. The website has its own price prediction for 2020, which says XLM will see a high of $0.64 in 2020, which is by far the most conservative and pessimistic of XLM’s price predictions.

There are other popular websites that share predictions for the price of Stellar Lumens, however, the forecasts are rather outdated and have already proven inaccurate. For instance, cryptonewsz.com predicts:

The predicted high for 2021 might be around $0.089 and on the downside, the low might be around $0.065.

As of press time, January 20, 2021, and at last check the current price of XLM is just a tad under $0.29. Stellar Lumens has already tripled the yearly high predicted by cryptonewsz.com.

A Summary of Stellar Lumens Predictions

The above Stellar Lumens price predictions for 2021 range from a low of $0.10 to the highest XLM forecast price of $5.10.

Our Analysis suggests that all of the above 11 XLM predictions are too low.

It is our conviction that 2021 is the year in which the next 4 year cycle top is due. The first 4 year cycle top arrive in 2013, and the second 4 year cycle top arrived in 2017.

XLM To Surge For 4 Year Cycle High In 2021

Bitcoin is the only coin that we have data for both 4 year cycle tops. To calculate our Ethereum price prediction for 2021 we only had data from one 4 year cycle top. We reported that, “Ethereum went up by a factor between 89x and 173x during 2017 for the last 4 year cycle top.”

We use previous price performance as a guide to possible future price performance. Of course, it’s no guarantee, only a guide.

So what was Stellar Lumens’ price performance in 2017?

Stellar Lumens In The Previous 4 Year Cycle High

On January 1, 2017, XLM was priced at one-fourth of a cent, $0.0025. It ended the year at 36 cents, $0.36. However, it did reach an all time high 4 days later at over 93 cents.

Depending on whether you’re looking at the highest price reached on January 4, or whether you’re looking at the end of the year price 4 days prior, XLM went up in price between 144x and 372x.

We do not expect XLM to increase by the same amount. Bitcoin’s 2nd four year cycle saw gains much less than its first, and we expect Stellar Lumens to do the same.

All factors considered, including the macro financial climate, the new crypto-friendly administration in the U.S., and the 4 year cycle, we are expecting XLM to go up in price by a factor between 29x and 74x.

Stellar Lumens started this year at a price just shy of $0.13. Thus, are target high price for XLM at year end is between $3.77 and $10.01.

Stellar Lumens at $10.01 in 2021

We believe the conditions favor a very strong crypto bull run in 2021, and thus we are going to base our Stellar Lumens price prediction on the high side of the range and forecast an end of the year price target for XLM to be $10.01.

What Is Stellar?

Stellar is an open source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat money transfers which allows cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies. The Stellar protocol is supported by a Delaware nonprofit corporation, the Stellar Development Foundation, though this organization does not enjoy 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS.

Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money or tokens using the Stellar Consensus Protocol. The platform’s source code is hosted on GitHub.

Servers run a software implementation of the protocol, and use the Internet to connect to and communicate with other Stellar servers. Each server stores a ledger of all the accounts in the network. 3 nodes are operated by the Stellar Development Foundation, in conjunction with 21 other organizations, providing for a total of 66 validator nodes. Transactions among accounts occur not through mining but rather through a consensus process among accounts in quorum slice. The current network fee is 100 stroops, equivalent to 0.00001 XLM or 1/10,000th of a cent.

History of Stellar

In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim. Before the official launch, McCaleb formed a website called “Secret Bitcoin Project” seeking alpha testers. The nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation was created in collaboration with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and the project officially launched that July. Stellar received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe. Stellar was released as a decentralized payment network and protocol with a native currency, stellar. At its launch, the network had 100 billion stellars. 25 percent of those would be given to other non-profits working toward financial inclusion. Stripe received 2 percent or 2 billion of the initial stellars in return for its seed investment. The cryptocurrency, originally known as stellar, was later called Lumens or XLM. In August 2014, Mercado Bitcoin, the first Brazilian bitcoin exchange, announced it would be using the Stellar network. By January 2015, Stellar had approximately 3 million registered user accounts on its platform and its market cap was almost $15 million.

The Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm in April 2015 which went live in November 2015. The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.

Lightyear.io, a for-profit entity of Stellar, launched in May 2017 as the commercial arm of the company. In September 2017, Stellar announced a benefits program, part of its Stellar Partnership Grant Program, which would award partners up to $2 million worth of Lumens for project development. In September 2018, Lightyear Corporation acquired Chain, Inc and the combined company was named Interstellar.

Real-world Applications of Stellar

In 2015, it was announced that Stellar was releasing an integration into Vumi, the open-sourced messaging platform of the Praekelt Foundation. Vumi uses cellphone talk time as currency using the Stellar protocol. Stellar partnered with cloud-based banking software company Oradian in April 2015 to integrate Stellar into Oradian’s banking platform to add microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria.

Deloitte announced its integration with Stellar in 2016 to build a cross-border payments application, Deloitte Digital Bank. In December 2016, it was announced that Stellar’s payment network had expanded to include Coins.ph, a mobile payments startup in the Philippines, ICICI Bank in India, African mobile payments firm Flutterwave, and French remittances company Tempo Money Transfer.

In October 2017, Stellar partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region. The cross-border payment system developed by IBM includes partnerships with banks in the area.

In December 2017, TechCrunch announced Stellar’s partnership with SureRemit, a Nigerian-based non-cash remittances platform.

On January 6, 2021, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine announced cooperation and partnership with Stellar in development of Ukraine digital infrastructure after which Stellar value increased by 40%.

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Bitcoin News Cryptocurrency News Ethereum News

Terra (LUNA) Token Launched On Voyager Digital

Voyager Digital Ltd., a publicly-traded, licensed crypto-asset broker that provides investors with a turnkey solution to trade crypto assets, today announced the listing of the Terra (LUNA) Token on the Voyager platform, expanding Voyager’s industry-leading offering to 57 digital assets.

“By adding the LUNA Token to the Voyager platform, our U.S. customers will now have one of the first direct fiat-to-crypto on-ramps available on mobile devices,” said Steve Ehrlich, Co-founder and CEO of Voyager. “Our commission-free agency broker platform is quickly becoming the most trusted and transparent vehicle for investors to buy, trade and hold digital assets. We will continue to enhance our customer-centric platform with additional offerings including debit and credit cards, margin and the listing of other digital assets.”

Terra LUNA is a next-generation smart contract platform and programmable money for the internet. Terra’s platform supports stablecoins that offer instant settlements, low fees and seamless cross-border exchange, and are loved by millions of users and merchants.

“Both Terra and Voyager are making crypto and blockchain more accessible for mainstream adoption,” added Terra Co-Founder and CEO, Do Kwon. “Terra’s focus on merchant and payment adoption will be pushing the future forward on blockchain-powered digital payments. We’re excited to be partnered with Voyager, availing the power of LUNA to the masses.”

About Terra
Terra‘s stablecoin ecosystem aims to make money easier to spend and more attractive to hold for users. Terra is the first (and today the largest by market cap) algorithmic stablecoin protocol in existence, supported by the Terra blockchain’s native asset, LUNA. Terra creates stablecoins pegged to the world’s major fiat currencies (USD, EUR, CNY, JPY, GBP, KRW, and the IMF SDR) that deploy decentralized monetary supply controls to retain value, generate stable interest, and keep transaction costs low. Terra now has the third highest number of transactions of all blockchains (after BTC and Ethereum) and is generating 13M USD in fees annually. TerraKRW today powers Chai, one of the largest e-commerce wallets in Korea, which hosts over 2 million users and generates $1.2 billion in annualized transaction volume. Investors in Terraform Labs (TFL), the group behind Terra, include Arrington XRP Capital, PolyChain Capital, Binance Labs, Huobi Capital, FBG Capital, and TransLink Capital.

About Voyager Digital Ltd.
Voyager Digital Ltd. is a crypto-asset broker that provides retail and institutional investors with a turnkey solution to trade crypto assets. Voyager offers customers best execution and safe custody on a wide choice of popular crypto-assets. Voyager was founded by established Wall Street and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who teamed to bring a better, more transparent, and cost-efficient alternative for trading crypto-assets to the marketplace.

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Cryptocurrency News Ethereum News

Ethereum Price Prediction

Earlier today we reported on the “unprecedented demand” for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. As we reported, this very strong demand is the driving force behind pushing the price of cryptocurrencies to all time highs and beyond.

Bitcoin has already more than doubled its previous all time high price of just under $20,000 back in 2017. On the other hand, Ethereum has only recently approached its all time high price from early 2018.

Our prediction for the price of Bitcoin this year is well into the 6 digit range. However, what is our prediction for the price of Ethereum this year?

Here are three Ethereum price predictions made by financial professionals, followed by our own prognostication.

Raoul Pal Ethereum Prediction For 2021 and Beyond

Raoul Pal is well known in financial circles. He is CEO & Co-Founder, Real Vision Group & Global Macro Investor. Raoul Pal leads Real Vision to provide unparalleled access to the very best insights and analysis from the brightest financial minds. He prides himself on being a Business Cycle Economist, Investment Strategist, and Economic Historian.

In a very recent video he states:

But it suggests that Ethereum could go to $20,000 on this cycle. Over time, I believe, and if you look at it, the adoption actually of market cap versus number of wallet addresses of Ethereum is ahead of, significantly ahead of where Bitcoin was.

And you see the distribution of returns – Again, I put some of that on twitter. I’ve written this whole piece. I will do a piece of Real Vision crypto in the next couple of weeks. It shows potentially that Ethereum is getting adopted faster and will potentially have a larger market cap than Bitcoin over time.

Again, I’m not putting a “flippening” happening immediately, blah, blah, bl;ah, I’m talking about platform versus asset. And the platform is often more valuable than an asset.

When Raoul states that Ethereum “could go to $20,000 on this cycle”, he is talking about this year, as in 2021. “This cycle” refers to the next 4 year cycle top, due around Christmas of 2021, or a few weeks later.

Longer term, meaning possibly a decade or so, Rauol believes that the price of Ethereum could be higher than the price of Bitcoin. You can see his full Ethereum prediction in this video:

Tyler Winklevoss 2021 Ethereum Prediction

Tyler Winklevoss recently gave an interview in which he predicted that Bitcoin would eventually be worth at least $500,000. In the same interview he also made some forecasts for Ethereum. he stated:

“So, you know, Ether’s got to upgrade. It’s moving to ETH 2.0. There’s some scalability things it’s got to work through. But, like, I’m an optimist and the smartest folks in the room are working on it. So if Ether’a the global computer in the future, what’s that worth? It’s gotta be a ton, and it’s gotta be worth as much as digital gold I would think, maybe more.”

Previously in the interview he stated that digital gold would be equivalent to a $9 trillion market cap. At the time of the interview a couple of weeks ago, the market cap of Ethereum was $84.56 billion. If the total market cap of Ethereum grows to $9 trillion, that would mean that each Ethereum token would be worth about $78,000 a piece, assuming that the growth of the number of new Ethereum tokens created each day continues at the same pace.

Tyler’s full interview can be viewed in this video:

Blocktown Capital’s James Todaro ETH Prediction For 2021

James Todaro, managing partner at Blocktown Capital, thinks that ETH has the potential to reach a $1 trillion market cap on the basis of the growing DeFi industry. According to his estimate, the value of Ethereum could surge to $9,000.

Our Own Ethereum Prediction For 2021

When looking at the fundamentals, we can clearly see that blockchain is a disruptive technology that will invade all of finance and the economy just as software has done in the past 50 years. Fundamentally speaking, crypto is the future.

That’s the basis for our forecast of the continued growth of the industry.

Fundamentals vs. Technicals

When it comes to price forecasting, we always want our technical price analysis to dovetail with our fundamental analysis. Our technical analysis looks at past price behavior, and our fundamental analysis sheds light on whether or not we feel it likely that previous price trends will continue or not.

In the case of Ethereum, like the 3 analysts above, we do feel confident that the positive price trends will continue.

The 4 Year Cycle In Crypto Prices

There is clearly a 4 year cycle in the cryptocurrency market. The next 4 year cycle peak is due around December of 2021.

Bitcoin has gone through 2 complete cycles, but Ethereum has not. With less of a track record, it makes it more difficult to predict where the price of Ethereum will be at the end of 2021.

Looking back at the previous year which was a 4 year cycle top, 2017, Bitcoin started the year on January 1, at $998.33. It ended the year on December 31, 2018 at $14,156.40, after climbing over $19,400 in mid December of that year. Depending on whether you’re looking at the highest price reached in mid December or whether you’re looking at the end of the year price, Bitcoin went up by a factor of between 14x and 19x during the last 4 year cycle top.

While this performance is still exceptional, it is quite a bit less than the gains from the previous 4 year cycle top that happened 4 years prior, in 2013.

Bitcoin started that year on January 1, at $13.30. It ended the year on December 31, at $805.90, after climbing over $1,237 in early December of that year. Again, depending on whether you’re looking at the highest price reached in early December or whether you’re looking at the end of the year price, Bitcoin went up by a factor of between 60x and 93x during the last 4 year cycle top.

The point of looking at Bitcoin’s first two cycles is to see that the first cycle saw larger percentage gain than the second.

Ethereum’s One Cycle Iteration

Ethereum wasn’t created/released until July 30, 2015, so there is no price data from 2013 – it didn’t exist back then.

So Ethereum’s price performance in 2017 was only it’s first 4 year cycle top.

We therefore anticipate that – just like had occurred with Bitcoin – the gains of the second 4 year cycle peak would be less than those of the first 4 year cycle top.

So, how did Ethereum fare in 2017, and what can we extrapolate for 2021?

Ethereum’s Past Price Performance

Ethereum started 2017 on January 1, at $8.20. It ended the year on December 31, 2017 at $736.77, after climbing to $800 in mid December of that year. The Altcoins had a cycle peak that was a couple weeks after Bitcoin reached its ultimate peak. After closing out 2017 at $736.77, Ethereum reached its 4 year cycle peak 2 weeks later on January 13 at $1,423.20. Depending on whether you’re looking at the highest price reached in mid January or whether you’re looking at the end of the year price, Ethereum went up by a factor of between 89x and 173x during 2017 for the last 4 year cycle top.

To recap, Bitcoin went up by 60x and 93x during its first iteration of the 4 year cycle peak, and 14x and 19x during its second iteration.

Ethereum has only seen one 4 year cycle peak during its existence, going up between 89x and 173x.

Price History As A Guide

If Ethereum follows Bitcoin’s lead and the rate of increase slows by the same amount that Bitcoin’s did from the first iteration to the second, that would mean that this year Ethereum will “only” go up between 18x and 34x.

With Ethereum starting the year at $729.12, that equates to a predicted price high between $13,124 and $24,790.

That’s our Ethereum prediction.

As the saying goes, “past performance does not guarantee future results.”

Like all future predictions, at this point in time we don’t know if the forecast is accurate or not, but as of press time, we have a high degree of confidence in our forecast price range being reached.

Time will tell.

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Bitcoin News Cryptocurrency News Ethereum News Litecoin News Ripple News

It’s Not Just Institutional Thirst, Retail Demand For Crypto Reaches ‘Unprecedented’ Levels

There’s just not enough Bitcoin to meet demand.

That’s not just some hopium-based fantasy by the leader of a fringe crypto cult.

No, it’s simple fact from tallying just a couple places where Bitcoin can be bought.

We’ve reported that institutional money is moving into cryptocurrency assets, and that institutional demand is higher than it has ever been.

Retail demand is also currently at “unprecedented levels.”

Unprecedented levels

Israeli trading and investing platform Etoro warned customers in Europe on Friday of possible limitations on crypto purchasing over the weekend. In an email, the exchange said: “The unprecedented demand for crypto, coupled with limited liquidity, presents challenges to our ability to support buy orders over the weekend. In light of this, it may be necessary for us to place limitations on crypto buy orders.”

eToro’s statement acknowledging unprecedented demand is just one of many that point to the fact that there isn’t enough Bitcoin available at today’s prices to meet demand.

Pantera Capital’s recent monthly letter to investors states that:

In last month’s investor letter we discussed that after 30 months of operation, Square’s Cash App is estimated to be buying around 40% of all newly-issued bitcoin.

PayPal just launched their new service that enables customers to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal accounts. It’s already having a huge impact.

The bitcoin community is proud to have grown to 100 million users over twelve years. PayPal has 300 million active users. As we’ve argued — and will argue more fully in our December investor letter — this rally is much more sustainable than 2017. One of the main differences is the ease of investing in bitcoin now — via PayPal, Cash App, Robinhood, etc.

Previously the friction to buy bitcoin was pretty onerous: take a selfie with your passport, wait days to a week to get activated, daily limits.

Three hundred million people just got instant access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

BOOM! The results are already apparent.

PayPal’s crypto infrastructure provider is Paxos. Prior to PayPal’s integration of crypto, itBit, the Paxos-run exchange, was doing a fairly constant amount of trading volume — the white line in the chart below.

When PayPal went live, volume started exploding. The increase in itBit volume implies that within four weeks of going live, PayPal is already buying almost 70% of the new supply of bitcoins.

PayPal and Cash App are already buying more than 100% of all newly-issued bitcoins.

Only 900 New Bitcoins Created Each Day

Bitcoin supply is growing daily. Literally, it’s growing by 6.25 newly created Bitcoins with each new block mined. By design, one Bitcoin block is mined every 10 minutes, resulting in an average of 144 new blocks every day. 144 x 6.25 equals 900 new Bitcoins created each day.

Genuine Bitcoin Investor Demand

As we reported above, just Paypal and Cash App are responsible for buying more than 900 Bitcoin per day.

Let’s look at another rather obscure place to buy Bitcoin: LocalBitcoins.com. This is a site outside of the massive mainstream crypto exchanges. It is sort of a peer-to-peer classified ad site that matches buyers with sellers on an individual level.

Compared to the big exchanges, such as Coinbase, this site is tiny. For instance, Binance alone had a Bitcoin trading volume in the past 24 hours of $2.77 billion at press time.

Contrast that to the average daily trading of Bitcoin at localbitcoins.com which is a mere $6 million. The difference in size is staggering. The point being, trading volume at localbitcoins.com is a tiny, extremely tiny, amount of Bitcoin being bought each day.

Now, be aware that most of the trading volume on Binance and other big exchanges is just that: trading, not investing. A trader can buy and sell multiple times per day with each of those trades adding into the cumulative total trading volume.

On localbitcoins.com it is definitely not “traders” doing the trading, it is mom and pop type of people buying Bitcoin to hold as an investment.

So let’s look at the numbers. $6 million worth of Bitcoin are being bought right now every day on localbitcoins.com.

How many Bitcoin is that?

$6,000,000/$37,000 each equals 162 Bitcoin.

Remember, there’s only 900 being created. And this tiniest little peer-to-peer exchange is responsible for its users buying up almost 1/5 of all newly created Bitcoin each and every day. This is purely Bitcoin volume, and does not include other cryptos such as XRP and Litecoin.

Paypal and Cash App are already buying more Bitcoin than are being created each day. This tiny little site is facilitating the buying of nearly 20% of all new Bitcoin being create. What about the customers of Binance? What about demand from the customers of Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Huobi, Bitfinex, and hundreds of other exchanges are are many times lager than localbitcoins? Where will all the Bitcoin come from for those buyers to be able to purchase?

Only Existing Holders Can Supply Bitcoin To Match Soaring Demand

One thing is certain, there is no way to increase the supply of new Bitcoin being created each day and available on the market. With demand absolutely overwhelming new supply, that only leaves existing holders willing to sell in order to satiate buyer demand.

Which means only one thing: prices will continue to be bid higher.

There’s good reason for the crypto fear and greed index to be pegged on greed.

How high is high? Here’s our Bitcoin forecast for this year and beyond.

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Blockchain News Cryptocurrency News Ethereum News

Creator Of First ICO Developing Blockchain DeFi Platform For UBI

Universal Basic Income (UBI) Planned In 30 U.S. Cities

UBI is increasingly being recommended as a possible strategy to help mitigate the economic consequences of an extended coronavirus pandemic.

Almost all the UBI programs currently being piloted propose direct, unconditional cash payments to citizens, a lot like how many welfare payments are actually distributed today.

Based on data from Welfare and Health Studies at the Cato Institute only 30% of funds allocated to government welfare programs end up in the hands of the people who benefit from it. For private charities, an average of 82% of funds reach those that want it, while fund-raising and administrative expenses account for the remaining 18%. If numbers that are very much the same are actually assumed for UBI programs, 70% of funds will go towards a UBI program’s administrative expenses rather compared to its intended recipients.

The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is able to transform how UBI is actually implemented, making it cost effective, most importantly, and, secure, transparent. The primary benefit to using blockchain technology will be the elimination of bureaucracy, resulting in 100% of funds reaching UBI recipients.

Karma Finance, founded by Antoine Sorel Neron, the designer of the first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in cryptocurrency, is actually developing a new Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platform that is going to allow users to choose either to get a weekly UBI payment or perhaps to participate in the community reward pool. Owners participating in the reward pool is going to be strongly incentivized to provide the funding required for the UBI program itself.

Decentralized finance and UBI are actually a natural fit, particularly as we are working to build economic resilience in cities across the country,” said Neron, who grew up on Chicago’s South Side. “Decentralized finance is actually meant to produce a far more inclusive and open financial system for everyone. We might not have the ability to make it happen for the world’s billion plus poor just yet, but at least we are able to build a practical solution to help regular folks who’ve been affected by COVID, even as government budgets start to be more strained. This’s exactly where the public is able to step in to help.”

Karma Finance is going to be the first DeFi application built for UBI.

About Karma Finance

Karma Finance launched on August thirty one, 2020, with the goal of providing a privately funded Universal Basic Income solution via blockchain and smart contracts. A community based project aimed at empowering users impacted by COVID and other economically devastating events, it uses a unique decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol which allows Karma’ angels’ to stake Ethereum cryptocurrency for the benefit of other users that receive direct UBI payments from the product.

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Gemini Unveils Plans For Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

Gemini, a crypto exchange and custodian, today announced that it will launch the Gemini Credit Card, a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. This effort has been accelerated by the acquisition of Blockrize, a fintech startup that has been building a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. In preparation for launch later this year, Gemini has opened the Gemini Credit Card waitlist — providing Gemini customers, and those already on the Blockrize waitlist, with early access.

By combining Gemini’s simple, reliable, and safe platform with Blockrize’s rewards program, card holders will be able to seamlessly earn up to 3 percent back in bitcoin, or other cryptos, on every purchase they make with the Gemini Credit Card.

“The Gemini Credit Card will make it easier for any consumer to invest in bitcoin and other cryptos without changing their existing behavior, ” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini. “Rather than deciding how and when to buy crypto, customers can do so when making their everyday purchases. We’re excited to welcome the Blockrize team to Gemini and work together to continue to mainstream crypto.”

Those who join the waitlist, and the more than 10,000 people already on the Blockrize waitlist, will get early access. The Gemini Credit Card will work like a traditional credit card. It will be available to U.S. residents in every state and will be widely accepted wherever major cards are accepted. Rewards will be automatically deposited into a cardholder’s Gemini account.

For Gemini users or others interested in signing up to the waitlist, please visit: https://gemini.com/credit-card/waitlist. To sign up for a Gemini account visit: https://exchange.gemini.com/register.

This is Gemini’s second acquisition, following its acquisition of Nifty Gateway in November of 2019. Gemini continues to look for companies that align with its values and mission to empower the individual through crypto.

About Gemini

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to buy, sell, and store more than 30 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and Zcash. Gemini is a New York trust company that is subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards set forth by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York Banking Law. Gemini was founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to empower the individual through crypto.

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The Rapid Growth Of Decentralized Finance

Decentralized Finance is a concept that has emerged in the last two years. The idea behind decentralized finance is to make use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), and its off-chain components such as Internet-based ledgers to function as an online payment system. With such a system, the collection of participants is enabled to transact without being restricted by the speed of the network connection or the storage space of electronic data. In fact, such a system can be configured to operate efficiently even with minimal technological setups. Also, it enables users to control their own funds by allowing them to control their privacy, security, as well as the transfer of funds.

An emerging wave of DeFi protocols took previously glitchy and hard-to-navigate decentralized apps and exchanges, such as EtherDelta, and transformed them into high-volume, high-yield unicorns that provided crypto investors with consistently high returns on a regular basis. In terms of total value locked (the value of the assets committed to the protocol), transaction volume and market capitalization, many DeFi platforms and their associated tokens now rival the top centralized exchanges.

Figuring out the point at which decentralized finance began almost always ends up in a rhetorical debate. Some argue that Bitcoin’s (BTC) invention a decade ago marked the start of it, as the major cryptocurrency was the first peer-to-peer digital money and represents the conceptual core underpinning DeFi. Others say — and would be technically correct in doing so — that DeFi started back in December 2017, when Ethereum-based protocol MakerDAO was launched, followed by Compound Finance and Uniswap, released in September and November 2018, respectively. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that DeFi’s true ascent started in 2020.

In decentralized finance, tokens serve as a form of currency. There are several ways in which tokens may be implemented in such systems. First, users may issue tokens which represent ownership of a certain amount of the digital currency i.e. tokens may be issued as e-assets.

Another way of implementing decentralized finance is through Proof of Stake (POS) protocol. Through this protocol, one can build a decentralized financial system by risking one’s own money in the exchange market in return for rewards in the form of dividends. One of the advantages of using this form of lending is that it gives access to a wider range of lenders; however, the downside of this is that there is a high risk associated with such a system since it makes it more difficult for smaller businesses to obtain traditional funding sources. Also, it requires that the borrower has a long history of paying dividends to ensure sustainability of the financial system. In order to build a sustainable financial system that will work for a long time, it is important to find a system that uses Proof of Stake as a base.

Because the distribution chain is unidirectional and allows all parties to participate in the execution of the programs contained within the platform, it is not possible for one individual, such as a broker, to tamper or interfere with this process. Therefore, DEFI and Cryptocurrency are two sides of the same coin: a robust, highly regulated, and completely trustless system that offers all participants tremendous protection. DeFi is a very important aspect of any smart contract based ICO, and all companies are rushing to capture their slice of this rapidly growing industry.

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Flare Networks Announces Smart Contracts For Litecoin

Ripple’s late 2020 rise was due partly to a massive airdrop of Flare (FLR) tokens. Now, the smart contract solution is actually adding support for Litecoin (LTC). An FLR airdrop to Litecoin users is actually in the works.

XRP wallets included in the December snapshot will receive a Flare tokens (worth a great amount of money, potentially).

In a Jan. 8, 2020 tweet, Flare says that they will “reduce” the number of Flare tokens for the project’s founders by five billion. This extra will be distributed to “Litecoin participants.” The Tweet promises clarification in the coming week.

A Flare for airdrops Tokens on the Flare network, known as Spark, will be used for governance and as collateral following the expected token drop in Q2, 2021. The business plans to bring smart contracts to Ripple’s XRP. Previously, Ripple was seen as a vehicle for funds transfer, and Flare claims that Spark tokens will add value.

With this tweet, the company is actually announcing what was somewhat unexpected: that the network will support other cryptocurrencies besides XRP, namely Litecoin.

Flare received a large amount of hype and press before the December snapshot for the airdrop to XRP holders.

For what it is worth, the company is naming their FLR tokens XFLR tokens (for XRP) on their site. There can probably be LFLR tokens for Litecoin. But it may not stop there. Flare could add support for other cryptos.

The rationale for choosing to integrate with Litecoin, over some other similarly sized digital assets, may have come right down to the fact that after XRP, LTC was the next biggest asset currently with no smart contract capabilities.

The Litecoin Foundation has stated it is “very excited to see the capability of smart contracts and interoperability coming for Litecoin through Flare.”

This also opens up the possibility of more such integrations that would bring the DeFi ecosystem to all non-ETH coins in the near future.

Flare has said it may support other networks in the future, but this was given little attention. Support for, say, the Bitcoin network could have implications that are huge and give ETH a run for its money.

Smart contracts and Ethereum competition? The short version of the purpose of Flare is actually to facilitate smart contracts on protocols that don’t have them built in. Flare is backed by XRP, and the airdrop to most XRP-hodling wallets cast Flare into the spotlight.

The very last several weeks have seen insane interest in Ethereum, and as the time tested and secure smart-contract chain, that is no surprise. The #2 crypto may have new investors interested in case they feel like they “missed the boat” with Bitcoin.

But the tech backing Ethereum’s value is the smart contracts. Though there are actually lots of other similar protocols that are potential rivals (DOT, EOS), ADA, Ethereum still reigns supreme.

Nevertheless, if other networks (like XRP or LTC) could support smart contracts, that would widen their appeal. In case these protocols could be interoperable via the Flare network, that would be a coup for Spark tokens (Flare hasn’t suggested they’ve plans for this).

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World’s Oldest Operating Crypto Exchange Forecasts Trends For 2021

At the beginning of 2021, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has seen an all-time high of over $40,000 on 8 January 2021, which is not surprising, since institutional investors as well as high-net-worth individuals consider BTC as a hedge against extraordinary fiscal stimulus programs. Here is an AMA summary from Chief Research Officer, Dan at BTCC.

ETH Price Prediction in 2021

The world’s largest financial derivatives exchange, CME Group, announces its ETH derivative product will go live on February 2021, following the launch of Bitcoin derivative product. It means Ethereum will be considered as a financial product, and will be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). We expect that the launch of ETH derivative product next year will bring more institutional funds into the market, thus the price of ETH is very likely to see a massive rise.

Growing Number of Institutional Players Entering the Crypto Market

The year of 2020 also has seen numerous examples of institutional investors turning their attention to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. For example, one of the largest insurance firms, MassMutual, has purchased $100 million of Bitcoin on December 2020.

We expected to see the crypto market to rise from the end of 2020 to 2021. The difference between the bull run this year to the one in 2017 is that previous bull was driven by individual investors and some whales. However, the bull run this year is mainly driven by institutional investors pushing the price up.

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies to Look Out for in 2021

The major theme of crypto market next year will be around DeFi, Polkadot, and ETH 2.0, therefore we will expect ETH remain unchanged at the top 2. While XRP, BCH, LTC and EOS are not what the market needs for next year, we expect to see these coins fall out of their current ranking.

Here is a prediction of crypto ranking in 2021 by Dan: BTC, ETH, USDT, LTC, XRP, BNB, LINK, UNI, DOT, BCH.

BTCC currently offer 9 major cryptocurrency trading pairs including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS (EOS), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Dash (DASH), and Cardano (ADA). Users can trade Bitcoin with leverage.

About BTCC

Founded in 2011, BTCC is the world’s longest-running crypto exchange and currently headquartered in the UK. With nearly 10 years of operating history, BTCC is known for its safe and stable, top-end market depth, and as well as faster transaction speed. 

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Cryptocurrency Market Cap Blows Through $1 Trillion

A wave of recent institutional buying has propelled the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies to exceed the $1 Trillion level for the first time ever.

The price of bitcoin hit another all-time high Wednesday. Bitcoin (BTC) was trading around $36,868 as of 7 p.m. ET, Gaining 6.5% over the previous 24 hours, and easily surpassing Jan. 2’s previous record high of $34,366.

According to the latest data, the $1 trillion cryptocurrency economy has gained significant value in the last 24 hours. The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is topping the list with a market cap exceeding $680 billion.

Best Performing Cryptocurrency Assets

Ethereum is the best performing asset among major cryptocurrencies, the total market cap of Ethereum jumped nearly 60% in the last 7 days to reach a market cap of $137 billion. As of writing, the price of Ethereum is hovering around $1,211, within striking distance of its all time high.

The world’s top cryptocurrencies have gained the limelight in recent days due to a significant increase in market value, but other crypto-assets like Cardano and Stellar have actually performed better than Bitcoin and Ethereum in the last few weeks in terms of percentage gain. Stellar (XLM) has gained more than 60% in the last 24 hours, and 159% in the last 7 days as the total market cap of the cryptocurrency reached $7.4 billion. Further, XLM posted strong gains after an announcement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to work with Stellar Development Foundation to introduce virtual assets in the country.

Furthermore, Litecoin, Polkadot, Chainlink and Bitcoin Cash posted strong gains in the last few days as all the mentioned cryptocurrency assets gained more than 30% in the last 7 days. Institutional adoption is pushing the cryptocurrency economy beyond the $1 trillion market cap much quicker than most observers had anticipated.

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More Signs That Institutional Money Is Flowing Into Cryptocurrency

Bitwise Asset Management, a leading provider of crypto index funds, became the most recent example of the influx of institutional money into cryptocurrency by announcing today that it recently surpassed $500 million in assets under management (AUM), up $400 million from its previous report of $100 million in AUM on October 28, 2020.

The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (OTCQX: BITW), which seeks to track an index of the 10 largest cryptoassets—including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin—has seen the strongest demand, recently crossing over $400M in AUM.

The Bitwise Bitcoin Fund and Bitwise Ethereum Fund—which provide low-cost, professionally managed exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively—have seen increased demand as well.

“The speed at which professional investors are moving into crypto right now is remarkable,” said Hunter Horsley, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Bitwise. “While adoption of crypto as an asset class and conviction around its role in portfolios rapidly expands, we continue to urge all investors to consider the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies in general and the Bitwise Funds in particular.”

Bitwise saw record inflows into its funds during Q4 2020, surpassing the total cumulative inflows of 2018 and 2019 combined. The increased demand came primarily from Bitwise’s core audience, investment professionals, including financial advisors, hedge funds, corporate balance sheets, and other institutional investors.

Bitwise specializes in educating and supporting professional investors, with a senior team and staff from firms like BlackRock, Fidelity, Eaton Vance, Wealthfront, Facebook, J.P. Morgan, and iCapital. The Bitwise Funds offer ongoing private placements to accredited investors via www.bitwiseinvestments.com.

About Bitwise Asset Management

Bitwise Asset Management is a leading provider of index and beta crypto funds. Based in San Francisco, Bitwise’s team combines expertise in technology with decades of experience in traditional asset management and indexing—coming from firms including Facebook, Google, Wealthfront, BlackRock, Fidelity, Deutsche Bank, IndexIQ, and ETF.com.

Bitwise is backed by leading institutional investors and asset management executives, and is a frequent commentator on crypto in the press. It has been profiled in Institutional Investor, CNBC, Barron’s, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other leading publications. The firm is a trusted partner to financial advisors, RIAs, multifamily offices, hedge funds, and other professional investors as they navigate the crypto space

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Bittrex Announces Delisting 3 Privacy Coins

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced impending delistings of three privacy cryptocurrencies as of Jan. 15.

As privacy coins, the three fit into a category that is increasingly under threat from government regulators worldwide.

A not-so-Happy New Year for privacy enthusiasts?

On Jan. 1, the Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange posted a notice on their website that effective Jan. 15, Monero, Dash, and ZCash would be removed from their trading platform. These three are privacy tokens, which anonymize transactions.

The notice states:

You must perform any trades with these tokens no later than Friday, January 15, 2021, 23:00 UTC.

After the markets are removed, Bittrex generally seeks to provide users up to 30 days to withdraw any delisted tokens, but in certain instances the withdrawal period may be shortened. Users should withdraw any tokens before the posted withdrawal deadline.

Privacy tokens, as the name suggests, are relatively difficult for investigators to track. Their use is rising, and some tokens have been in regulators’ sights for a while.

Back in November, Bittrex announced the delisting of 23 tokens for a variety of performance or regulatory issues. The exchange also singled out Grin at that time as a possible target for future delisting. Readers should note that Bittrex also pointed to MEME and VRC for possible delisting.

Bounty program

 In Sep. 2020,  the Internal Revenue Service of the US government offered  up to $625,000 to the team(s) that could crack Monero’s or the Lightning Network’s encryption. The announcement carried a sense of urgency, considering that tight time frames were included in the rules. In particular, Monero seems to be a thorn in the regulators’ side. The request for proposals specified that a Lightning Network on Bitcoin monitoring tool already existed. However, tools for Lightning on Litecoin and on Ethereum were needed. 

Europe is seriously determined to thwart privacy.

In October, EUROPOL, the EU’s united policing body, released the Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) for 2020. Privacy coins ranked among the top threats. Mixing services and anonymization are evolving, the report noted. Moreover, crypto-enabled crime adapts quickly to the changing landscape.

Communications encryption 

Governments focused their attention on more than privacy coins in 2020. They turned to encrypted communication as well, and saw a threat. The European Union emphasized this in early November. The EU Council of Ministers issued a proposal regarding a resolution forbidding end-to-end encryption of communications. This proposal affected What’s App and Signal in particular. 

While the proposal was non-binding, it shows where the EU is heading in terms of privacy. The rest of the world is following close behind.

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As The World Rings In A New Year, Crypto Investors More Bullish Than Ever

 Bitcoin IRA, the world’s first, largest, and most secure digital asset IRA technology platform that allows clients to purchase cryptocurrencies and other digital assets for their retirement accounts, today released results of their recent survey asking individuals for their market sentiment and investing choices on crypto heading into 2021.

Bitcoin IRA’s survey revealed many cryptocurrency retirement insights.

Overall, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, investors appear to have a more heightened awareness about inflation and its negative impact on US dollars as more investors indicated it as an investment reason from previous surveys. Also, crypto prices have risen sharply in 2020, with Bitcoin far surpassing all-time highs, and the majority of respondents believe they’ll continue much higher into 2021.

Key takeaways from the survey:

  • Bitcoin’s price projection: 40% of responders believe Bitcoin‘s price will be at least $50,000 at the end of 2021. Bitcoin’s price passed all-time highs in 2020 and investor sentiment remains high likely due to large Bitcoin investments by major companies such as PayPal and MicroStrategy among many others.
  • Reasons to invest: There’s a significant rise in inflation concerns by respondents as 28% of them stated their primary reason for buying crypto was due to inflation concerns. This is nearly twice as many that stated that reason in the company’s previous annual survey in 2019 (17% selected “inflation” then). Other reasons for buying crypto included that they believed prices would go up (65%) and that they simply wanted to diversify (29%).
  • Amount invested: A quarter of respondents stated they have invested 50% or more of their total cash or savings into crypto.
  • Altcoins: Chainlink remains the #1 most requested alternative coin, “altcoin,” for investing (excluding Ethereum) with 22% of respondents selecting it. Other top requested coins included Stellar Lumens (XLM), Polkadot (DOT), and Cardano (ADA).
  • Top features: Earning interest remains very desirable for crypto holders as 26% of all respondents requested it. An additional 15% of users wanted to earn rewards through “staking,” which is another method of earning a return on crypto holdings.

Methodology

The 2021 consumer survey was sent on December 28, 2020, to a randomized group of individuals comprised of the company’s clients, account holders, and customer prospects since 2016. 284 respondents completed the survey. Individuals did not receive compensation or likewise for their participation in the survey.

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Japanese Tech Giant Gets U.S. Approval For JPY Stablecoin

GMO Internet Inc., the Tokyo-based Internet conglomerate, has won approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to establish a limited purpose trust company, GMO-Z.com Trust Company, Inc. (“GMO Trust”) and issue the world’s first regulated JPY-pegged stablecoin (Ticker: GYEN).

To win approval for the trust, the company had to meet stringent requirements for its cybersecurity programs, as well as meet federal standards for anti-money laundering and economic sanctions. The approval allows the company to launch both JPY-pegged stablecoin (Ticker: GYEN) and USD-pegged stablecoin (Ticker: ZUSD). Both GYEN and ZUSD can be purchased and redeemed directly from GMO Trust. In addition, GMO Trust has partnered strategically with digital asset exchanges that operate globally to enhance the accessibility and liquidity of the tokens.

There are currently other regulated stablecoins, but none are pegged to JPY. Therefore, GMO Trust will take the lead in launching the first regulated JPY-pegged stablecoin along with the US dollar-pegged stablecoin in the U.S., and to be available globally, in January, 2021. These digital assets can be leveraged by institutional firms and retail users for trading, institutional hedging, arbitrage, settlements, and payments. For more information on GMO Trust, please visit https://stablecoin.z.com/

The stablecoins will:

  • Be 100% fiat-backed and always redeemable 1:1.
  • Be available on exchanges globally among the most liquid digital assets.
  • Be powered by Ethereum‘s leading blockchain-based technology.

A monthly attestation report will be disclosed by certified public accountants to verify the availability of assets to support the value of the stablecoins. GMO Trust will issue and redeem GYEN and ZUSD directly to reduce fees while improving security and transparency.

GMO Internet Group has been a global market leader in the Internet infrastructure, Internet finance and digital asset space since its inception in 1991.

It operates the world’s largest online FX trading platform, claiming the top global spot in trading volume within the FX space for seven consecutive years. It also operates a Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) regulated Internet bank. In 2017, it launched a digital currency exchange regulated by the FSA and a large Bitcoin mining operation. In 2018, it began research and development for the launch of GYEN.

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A Christmas Day Look At The Crypto Market

The Bitcoin price is rising!

The price of cryptocurrency protagonist Bitcoin (BTC) has recently hit the $20,000 milestone, marking a new consecutive day record. According to Coinmarketcap, on December 16th, the Bitcoin price first reached $20,000, climbing to $24,085 on the 19th. As of early Christmas morning, Bitcoin is trading at $24,375 after reaching a high of $24,722 a short while ago. BTC currently has a total market cap of $455.4bn.

But the spotlight is also on Ethereum (ETH), the no. 2 cryptocurrency by market capitalization. According to data published by blockchain data analysis firm Glassnode on December 8th at 11am, there were 1,178,174 wallets holding at least 1 ETH, marking an all-time record. This is a roughly 17% increase over January, when the figure stood at 972,924.

Ripple’s XRP has surged more than 44% in the past 24 hours.

As governments around the world are pouring out money to stabilize the economy shaken by COVID-19 and as low interest rates are persisting, cryptocurrency is also receiving attention from institutions and other investors searching for a destination to invest their ample capital. Data published on the 17th by Bitcoin Treasuries shows that a total of 23 listed and private companies worldwide, including NASDAQ-listed MicroStrategy and Square, held a total of $17.1bn worth of Bitcoin. This represents 4.47% of the total Bitcoin volume in circulation.

The number of Bitcoin fund participants is increasing

Buoyed by the bull market in crypto, the capital flowing into cryptocurrency funds is also increasing.

According to a report by Reuters published on the 7th, the assets under management (AuM) of British cryptocurrency asset management firm CoinShares reached a record high driven by institutional investors. Institutional investors invested $429m, the second-highest figure ever, raising the total AuM to $15bn. This represents an over six-fold increase over the $2.57bn recorded at the end of 2019.

The total AuM of US cryptocurrency asset management firm Grayscale, fueled by an influx of institutional investors and rising cryptocurrency prices, surpassed $15bn on the 17th. Grayscale Capital’s flagship cryptocurrency fund Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) surged by 40% over the previous month, trading at $28.25.

2020 will certainly go down as the year that the Grinch used covid-19 as the means to bring ample aggravation to the global Whoville residents, but Santa would have none of it and brought ample Christmas cheer to all the good little boys and girls HODLing cryptocurrencies!

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ETH2 Staking Reaches 4th Largest

Ethereum 2.0 has already emerged as the fourth-largest proof-of-stake network by total value locked in staking within roughly six weeks of the Eth2 deposit contract going live.

Despite withdrawal functionality not yet enabled and no precise estimation for its full launch date, nearly $1 billion worth of Ether (ETH) has already been designated for staking. According to crypto data aggregator Staking Rewards, more than 1.5 million Ether or 1.35% of Ethereum’s supply has been deposited for staking.

Ether staking rewards are currently estimated at approximately 13.20%, meaning that a single stake of 32 ETH would earn $2,530 over one year at the current price of around $600.

Polkadot, the brain-child of Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, is currently the largest staking network by total value locked. Since Polkadot’s mainnet launch in May, the network has seen 67.51% of its supply designated for staking, valued at nearly $3.4 billion. Cardano, a rival network from fellow Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, ranks as a close second, with 65.53% of its supply locked since July for a staking TVL of $3.37 billion. 

Tezos launched staking in 2018, and has the highest rate of network participation among staking networks ranking among the top 50 crypto assets by capitalization with 79.43%. Tezos has a current staking cap of $1.38 billion. Since its mainnet launch last year, Cosmos has also emerged as a top proof-of-stake network, with 71.77% of its supply locked up for a staking TVL of $915,593,114.

While Ethereum 2.0’s developers are yet to provide a precise date for when users will be able to withdraw their staked Ether, staking service provider Rocket Pool recently estimated the function may go live during the first quarter of 2021.

If you have been pondering about getting into the world of smart contract technology or maybe you are just thinking of getting into the best cryptocurrency opportunity for the first time, one of the things that you might be wondering is whether or not it would be beneficial to start a crypto staking plan. Taking into account the info above, the answer is that it certainly can be.

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Ether Futures Contracts Coming In February

The CME Group, a leading global commodities exchange company has announced the introduction of an ether futures contracts on February 8th, 2020 at 16:00 (BST). Each ether futures contract will have 50 units of each and each contract will trade between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CMT from Sunday to Friday. The contracts will utilize the CME CF trading index from CF Benchmarks, an eco indices service approved by the Commodity futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CME’s ether futures contracts are accessible to CFD trading clients who have an account with the company or through its Web portal.

The CME is the platform for the execution of CFD trading, which is facilitated by CFD Trading Commission, which is controlled by New York Stock Exchange. According to ether future contracts’ overview, the CME’s ambition is to provide institutional investors with reliable, transparent and fast-priced markets which can be accessed 24 hours a day. Since CFD trading is an unregulated market, institutional investors will play a vital role in shaping and molding the future of this trading market. In order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by ether futures contracts, institutional investors have decided to purchase these contracts using margined trading platforms.

In their opinion, the high trading volumes to be synonymous with institutional trading. They also believe that future trends are predicted with a high degree of accuracy. Moreover, they feel that the transparency and credibility of the CME’s pricing data will provide investors with significant insight into the ongoing crypto trends. To conclude, they consider that the prices of ether will likely follow the trends that the CME is following and are predicting.

Ethereum futures contracts