Bitcoin continued to rise this week reaching $5,8k for the first time this year. The other top 5 cryptocurrencies followed bitcoin’s lead, ending the week with gains. Other developments include Jaguar Land Rover partnering up with IOTA, Amazon releasing their very own Blockchain service to the public, more updates on the Bitfinex and Tether case, and a new country taking the top spot for contributions in crypto token sales.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) has managed to stay above 5k USD for almost a month, and this past week, the coin maintained its subtle and stable growth. Bitcoin opened Monday at $5,284.86, and later that day had its low of the week at $5,216.49. On Tuesday, Bitcoin closed at $5,350.73 and during the week closing prices increased gradually until it passed the $5.8k barrier on Friday, peaking at $5,865.88. The peak of the week came on Saturday, at $5,886.89, 12.9% higher than the week’s low from Monday. By the end of Saturday, Bitcoin’s price had barely decreased and Sunday closed with the cryptocurrency at $5,795.71 with a 0.6% loss for the day and a 9.7% gain for the week. Bitcoin closed April in the green on Tuesday, with a 30.3% gain for the month. The market capitalization for Bitcoin started the week at $92.7B, growing 10.5% throughout the week and closing Sunday at $102.5B.
Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Ethereum (ETH) started the week with losses, opening Monday at $157.29, and going down during the day to hit the week’s low at $153.19. Ethereum’s price went up throughout the week however, peaking at $164.06, $162.94 and $170.07 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively. Just like Bitcoin, the high of the week came on Saturday at $170.65, with a 11.4% price increase from Monday’s low. Ethereum closed Sunday at $163.45, with a 0.3% loss for the day and a 3.9% gain for the week. The cryptocurrency closed April in the green, ending the month with a 14.6% gain. Ethereum’s market capitalization was $16.4B on Monday, and by Sunday it had gained 5.4%, closing the week at $17.3B.
Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Ripple (XRP) started the week low at $0.297422 and Monday saw its low of the week at $0.291652. On Tuesday XRP had a 5.9% surge, peaking at $0.311631 for the day. Although Wednesday and Thursday experienced small losses, during the weekend, Ripple’s price picked up to reach the week’s high on Saturday at $0.315657, a full 8.2% higher that the week’s low on Monday. By Saturday’s close, the price of XRP was at $0.304552, and on Sunday the coin closed at $0.302342, with a 0.8% loss for the day and a 1.7% gain for the week. Unlike the two aforementioned cryptocurrencies, Ripple closed April in the red experiencing a 2.2% loss for the month. Ripple’s market capitalization was $12.4B on Monday, and it gained 2.9% throughout the week to close at $12.7B on Sunday.
Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened at $255.55 on Monday and lost 8.9% during the day to reach its low of the week at $232.91. On Tuesday the price of BCH had a 12.7% growth and closed at $267.76. The rest of the week the cryptocurrency continued to increase its price, and by Friday the high was at $297.16. Following the market’s trend, Bitcoin Cash reached its highest price of the week on Saturday, at $311.66, 33.8% higher than its low on Monday. By the end of the day BCH’s price had gone back down to $291.49, and Sunday it closed at $293.95, experiencing a 0.9% gain for the day and a 15% gain for the week. It is noteworthy that Bitcoin Cash had one of the most astounding price surges this month, opening April at $168.9, increasing by 74% of its initial price during the month. Bitcoin Cash’s market capitalization was $4.2B last Monday and by Sunday it had gained 24.3%, closing at $5.2B.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
Litecoin (LTC) displaced EOS for the 5th place on the rankings this week. LTC opened Monday at $69.78 and went down throughout the day to reach its low for the week at $67.27. The cryptocurrency picked up the pace on Tuesday and closed the day at $74.28. LTC’s price kept rising during the week and on Friday the coin went over $80. Litecoin peaked for the week on Saturday at $82.02, 21.9% higher than the lowest price on Monday. On Sunday, the coin went back under $80, opening at $78 and closing at $75.98, with a 2.6% loss for the day, a 8.9% gain for the week, and a 25% gain for the month. Litecoin’s market capitalization was $4.2B last Monday and by Sunday it was $4.7B, growing 12% throughout the week.
Litecoin Cash 7-day price chart. Source: COIN360
In addition to what was covered about Facebook’s $1 billion crypto project investment a couple of weeks ago, this week saw a Wall Street Journal piece where it was revealed that Facebook was in talks with Visa, MasterCard and payment processor First Data Corp for potential support of the project. Facebook is also reportedly talking to multiple e-commerce companies and apps with the aim of achieving acceptance and smaller financial investments for the project, known as FB Coin.
A survey released on May 2 by U.S. asset management firm Fidelity Investments shows that more than one fifth of all institutional investors already own digital assets. The survey took into account 411 U.S. institutional investors, and its results show that institutional investments are likely to increase over the next five years, with 40% of the respondents saying that they are open to future investments. 46% of them say that the most appealing feature of crypto is the low correlation that it has to other assets.
Local media outlet The Korea Times reported on May 2 that South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has authorized nine fintech companies to operate within the country. This initiative is part of a regulatory sandbox that was launched last January, and it will see the provision of innovative services, blockchain among them. These services will first be offered during a trial period where they will have no regulatory limits.
An Apr. 29 press release confirmed that UK’s Jaguar Land Rover will be partnering up with IOTA, one of the most widely known blockchain IoT (internet of things) platforms. The car manufacturer will use IOTA to reward drivers with IOTA tokens for data reporting regarding road conditions and vehicle performance. which can be used to pay for recharges, road tolls and other products. This partnership caused a 20% spike in price for IOTA, which was covered in our summary on blockchain and IoT.
As reported by Roll Call on Apr. 30, around half of the 80 entities that reported lobbying in fintech included cryptocurrencies and blockchain among their biggest concerns, an increase from Q4 of 2018’s 33 companies. This brings the quarterly lobbying expenditure to over $42 million. The biggest spender of them all was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which accounted for a little less than $16.5 million. Other important companies featured on the list were accounting firms Ernst & Young and Accenture, payment firm MasterCard, and crypto exchange Coinbase.
According to Bitfinex shareholder Zhao Dong, who disclosed the information publicly on the instant messaging app WeChat, there are plans for Bitfinex to issue its own native exchange token. Zhao Dong reportedly mentioned that the sale of the token will feature a total supply of 1 billion, with the token being priced at $1. Additionally, Dong stated that only qualified foreign investors are allowed to invest, and that half of the tokens had already been vouched for.
The Bitfinex saga’s latest development has arrived after new legal documents were released on Apr. 30. In the papers, the lawyers for the exchange confirm that only 74% of the stablecoins were backed by its cash reserves. This directly contradicts what Tether publicly claimed on their website up until late February, that 100% of their stablecoins were backed by their reserves. This is related to the allegations that Bitfinex took at least $700 million from Tether’s reserves to cover losses that Bitfinex suffered in a deal, which we covered last week.
In AMD’s Q1 2019 financial results, published on Apr. 30, it was revealed that AMD had surpassed expectations for their earnings per share. The earnings per share amount posted on the press release was of $0.06, 1 cent above the $0.05 target. This comes after a generally difficult 2018, where companies such as AMD took an extra hit due to the lowered demand for hardware components associated with cryptocurrency mining. This seems to not be the case anymore, further evidenced by the company’s 5% spike in share price that happened soon after.
An Apr. 30 press release made by Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB), a service that will allow customers to create, manage and scale blockchain networks in an “easy and cost-effective way”, purportedly capable of supporting millions of transactions. Among some of the most noteworthy customers are Nestlé, AT&T and Accenture. However, the introduction of QLDB, described as Amazon’s “fully managed ledger database with a central trusted authority”, has sparked some skepticism in the community due to the centralized structure of the service.
On Apr. 29, world famous technology entrepreneur Elon Musk simply tweeted out the word “Ethereum”, quickly garnering hundreds of thousands of reactions from his followers. To this, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin engaged in conversation with Musk, inviting him to Ethereum’s upcoming DevCon and then outlining some of his own picks for things that should be developed on Ethereum. The tweet also elicited responses from TRON’s Justin Sun, who replied in kind by tweeting out “TRON” and “BitTorrent” in two separate tweets.
Recent geographical data shows that the United Arab Emirates have reigned in 2019 in terms of crypto token sales with a total of $210.5 million, more than 25% of the worldwide total. The Cayman Islands and Singapore follow, with shares of $103.8 and $89.7 million. Historical data shows that the US used to dominate this category, but regulatory concerns have made the US fall to sixth place this year, contributing $37.2 million in token sales. The UAE, on the other hand, is experiencing a boom period, it wasn’t even featured in the top 10 countries for digital token sales last year.
Last week was a good one for the market, as each one of the top 5 cryptocurrencies closed with gains. Bitcoin continues to rise, comfortably reaching new goals and becoming ever closer to the $6k mark. This can already be linked to other ongoing events such as AMD’s market performance and involvements from giant companies such as Facebook and Amazon. This is an important period for crypto, and hopefully this week will bring more positive developments.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team