After a very tumultuous couple of weeks, the cryptocurrency market has seemingly slowed down, at least somewhat. Last week saw no major price gains or losses for the top 5 cryptocurrencies, and by the end of it, four out of five closed the week higher than what they were at the start. Other important developments included more reactions to Facebook’s Libra project, Bitfinex repaying part of its loan to Tether, Binance announcing a Bitcoin futures platform, and Craig Wright providing false documents in court.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) opened at $10,796.93 on Monday. The lowest price of the week occurred on Tuesday at $9,737.88 and by Thursday the original cryptocurrency grew 23.3% to reach the highest price of the week at $12,006.08. BTC closed at $11,450.85 on Sunday, growing 6.1% during the week. In the same timeframe Bitcoin’s market capitalization grew 8.3%, closing at $203.9B on Sunday.
Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ethereum (ETH) started the week at $290.97, and the second cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization took a 6% plunge to hit its low for the week on Tuesday, at $272.60. The high of the week took place on Sunday at $310.14, 13.8% higher than Tuesday’s low. ETH closed at $305.70 on Sunday, growing 5.3% throughout the week. The market capitalization for Ethereum closed at $32.7B on Sunday, growing 4.2% on the week.
Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ripple (XRP) opened high on Monday at $0.3959, and grew 5.5% during the day to hit its high for the week at $0.417618. The low of the week occurred on Friday at $0.375611, 10.1% lower than Monday’s high. On Sunday XRP closed at $0.397047, notching a 0.3% growth on the week. Ripple’s market capitalization closed at $16.9B on Sunday, shedding 2.4% of its value over the course of the week.
Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Litecoin (LTC) opened the week at $122.11, and hit its low of the week at $112.65 on Tuesday. On Thursday Litecoin found its high of the week at $126.67, 12.5% higher than Tuesday’s low. On Sunday, Litecoin closed at $120.32, losing 1.5% of its value on the week. Litecoin’s market capitalization also experienced losses this past week, shedding 1.7% of its value to close at $7.5B on Sunday.
Litecoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened on Monday at $399.83, its only sub-400 start for the entire week. The BCH low of the week came on Tuesday at $382.83. The high of the week occurred on Thursday, at $423.85, 10.7% higher than the low on Tuesday. On Sunday BCH closed at $411.81, growing 3% on the week. The market capitalization for Bitcoin Cash shrank 1.1% during the week, closing at $7.4B on Sunday.
Bitcoin Cash7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Liquid’s previously reported non-official sale of Gram tokens will be conducted on Jul. 10, with each token being sold for $4. According to a report from Bloomberg, this marks a significant markup from Gram’s price of $1.33, the price for the coin’s second ICO round, in March of 2018. Holders of a specified tiered amount of QASH, the exchange’s native currency, will be able to purchase tokens at the discounted prices (the minimum price will be $3.50). The official website of the sale states that the sale stemmed from a partnership between Liquid and Gram Asia, confirming that there is no actual involvement from Telegram, the company behind the TON blockchain and the Gram token.
As per a Jul. 2 letter, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services is requesting Facebook to stop development on the Libra cryptocurrency and the Calibra wallet. In the letter, the committee states that Libra could lead to a new global financial system that could rival the dollar, and that the project raises serious concerns about privacy, trading, cybersecurity and monetary policy. The letter concludes by requesting Facebook to “immediately cease implementation plans” until regulators explore the situation properly.
A Jul. 1 Interfax report indicates that Russia will not develop special regulations for Libra, as Russia will introduce rules that will apply to all circulating digital currencies. Alexei Moiseev, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister, stated that a ban on cryptocurrencies will not be introduced, but that their use as a method of payment for goods and services will always be prohibited. In this regard, Moiseev touched on ICOs by saying that they will be “regulated, permitted, and that’s about it.”
Facebook has applied for the BitLicense, a New York special license that allows crypto operations to take place in the state. In addition to having been in contact with regulators in England and Switzerland, the social media giant applied for the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (NYDFS) license to be able to use its Libra cryptocurrency. Sean Parker, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at venture capital firm Anthemis, stated that if the company wishes to go global with Libra, it will potentially need “thousands” of licenses from different regulators around the world.
Joseph Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, stated on Jul. 2. that only a fool would trust Facebook with their financial wellbeing. In his opinion column, he says that the main complaint about traditional currencies has been instability, but that major national currencies have been “remarkably stable”, and that using them for nefarious activities has become more difficult in time. Stiglitz goes on to say that there are two possible business models for Libra: it could either endorse illegal activities, which would cause for it to be shut down, or it could mine data provided by Libra transactions, which is detrimental to user privacy. Stiglitz underlines Facebook’s tainted reputation, and refers to it as a potential “vehicle for nurturing illicit activities and laundering the proceeds.”
David Marcus, Facebook’s Head of Libra and VP of Messaging Products, addressed some concerns related to Libra in a Jul. 3 Facebook post. In it, he reminded readers that Facebook is only one out of 28 founding members of the Libra Association, and that funding members were trusted international entities in order to ensure the integrity of the Libra network during its foundational stage. Ultimately, he declares that users will not have to trust Facebook in order to be able to use Libra, as Facebook won’t have any special responsibilities over the network nor will it have access to any type of financial data.
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has repaid parts of its loan ($100M) to affiliated stablecoin operator Tether. Back in April, the exchange was accused of covering more than $700M in losses (losses and inabilities to handle client withdrawals) with Tether funds. While the repayment, wire transferred on June 30, wasn’t due to be paid yet, the exchange made the decision of repaying said amount based on its financial position at the end of Q2 2019.
According to its Q2 report, UK bitcoin mining operator Argo Blockchain saw a 101% increase from May’s mining results. The platform, which just like the rest of the mining sector has been benefited by the rise in Bitcoin’s price, generated about $1.7M, or 161 BTC, in June. Additionally, Argo will have delivered 2,500 ASIC units by the end of Q3 2019.
Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao announced last Tuesday at the Asia Blockchain Summit that the company would be launching a futures trading platform. Although there isn’t an official date for the launch, a simulation test version is reportedly expected in the next few weeks. The platform will initially support BTC/USDT contracts at potential leverage of 20x, and it is expected to later support a wider variety of cryptocurrencies. This announcement came shortly after a number of new features and improvements to Binance’s platform, including margin trading, were introduced to the exchange.
A Jul. 3 Twitter thread from lawyer Stephen Palley reveals that Craig Wright seemingly provided fabricated documents to court during the Kleiman case trial, where he’s being accused of stealing thousands of BTC from Dave Kleiman. Most notably, Palley discovered that one of the submitted documents, a deed of trust that is purportedly from October of 2012, has a copyright notice from 2015 related to the Calibri font, thus indicating that the document wasn’t actually authentic.
As of July 5, Dogecoin (DOGE) is available for trading on Binance through the following pairs: DOGE/BTC; DOGE/BNB; DOGE/USDT; DOGE/PAX and DOGE/USDC. The cryptocurrency, currently ranked at #29 in terms of market capitalization, experienced a surge of 31% after the news of the listing broke out. In addition to the recent listing, DOGE support was added to Coinbase’s wallet service back in May.
As per a Jul. 4 tweet from Venezuela’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, Venezuela’s President, Nicolás Maduro, ordered the Bank of Venezuela to start embracing the Petro (PTR) cryptocurrency. The order given by Maduro to the bank was to open Petro desks in all of its offices in an attempt to spark widespread adoption of the coin.
On July 3, BTG Pactual, Latin America’s biggest investment bank, announced its plans to shift its STOs onto the Tezos blockchain. Dubai-based asset manager Dalma Capital joined BTG Pactual for this new enterprise, and they plan to tokenize traditional assets in multiple industries using the Tezos blockchain. The ReitBZ (RBZ) token, an on-going STO of the bank, is currently backed by distressed real assets in Brazil and it is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The bank stated they would continue to use the Ethereum protocol, as well as take advantage of Tezos being a “global player with a robust blockchain for asset tokenization”.
Electrum, one of the oldest BTC wallets, will start supporting the Lightning Network soon as part of a major upgrade to the wallet, according to Electrum’s founder Thomas Voegtlin. LN, a payment protocol that works as a second layer on top of a blockchain, allows users to transfer Bitcoin almost instantly and with very small transaction fees. The wallet will join Coinbase as one of the first crypto wallets to provide support for the LN, after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey publicly praised the technology on Twitter earlier this year.
Despite the fact that weeks have passed, Libra is still playing a prominent role in the weekly headlines of the crypto industry. In addition to this, other longstanding sagas reached new points of development in the past week. First, Bitfinex starting to pay the money that they owe Tether is more important than it may seem at first glance. The incident, which resulted in a serious loss of money, had seriously compromised the reputation of both companies, and the only real way to undo the damage is by paying the loan and sorting their current situation out. On the other hand, the news of Craig Wright allegedly providing adulterated documents in court serves as further confirmation that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team