Bitcoin has been staging a modest recovery on Friday morning. Having failed to top $11k earlier in the week and subsequently breaking below the key $10k level, month-to-date BTC is down around 5%. Ethereum’s decline during the month of August has been much more dramatic, down over 20%, while Ethereum Classic (ETC) is up 5% over the same period, as market participants position themselves for the upcoming hard fork in September. As noted previously, Ethereum Classic’s hard fork, the Atlantis hard fork, is scheduled for September 17, or block 8,772,000, on the blockchain. Atlantis, paired with a later upgrade called Agharta, is intended to boost chain interoperability between the Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Ethereum (ETH) networks. Given the underperformance of ETC — relative to that of ETH this year — it’s shaping up to be a good RV play. This is expected to accelerate over the next week or so, before attention shifts back onto ETH and its long awaited transition to 2.0. Something else to note for Ethereum is that Tether (USDT) transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain have lost substantial ground relative to Ethereum, which has increased exponentially, and, at last check, Tether-ETH has around 130k transactions, while the Omni blockchain has 40k. Transaction fees are one reason for the shift; the average fee for sending an ETH transaction stands at just over $0.12, meanwhile, the average fee for a BTC transaction stands at just over $1 (source: Bitinfocharts).
In other news, FT writes that Elwood Asset Management — owned by British billionaire and Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard — is planning a $1 billion venture into the crypto hedge fund space. According to press reports, the asset manager is developing a platform that would tailor portfolios of cryptocurrency funds for institutional investors. The venture will aim to steer investors towards a selection of vetted crypto funds that have passed robust due diligence so that market participants can avoid the risks associated with the emerging sector. Bin Ren — who formerly served as chief investment officer at Brevan Howard’s Systematic Investment Group — said that initial screening of the sector had resulted in Elwood identifying up to 50 crypto hedge funds that “probably satisfy our due diligence.”
Dharma Labs announced it would be relaunching its services in closed beta beginning with a new savings product. By using existing liquidity pools of crypto on the lending platform Compound, Dharma V2 moves away from fixed interest rates and loan terms to variable ones that dynamically change and don’t require users to lock-up their funds. The company’s new site advertises interest rates of up to 11.2%.
Elsewhere, Hedera Hashgraph, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, announced that it will offer open access to its mainnet beta starting Sept. 16. According to Hedera Hashgraph’s official blog post, published on Aug. 29, the open access beta test will be a period of free public access, during which developers will be able to build decentralized applications (DApps) on the platform. The number of cryptocurrency transactions will be capped at 10,000 per second, while file services will be limited to 10 operations per second. The announcement also notes that Hedera intends to increase the network’s speed over the coming months.
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The BeQuant’s Analytics team