Bitcoin keeps reaching new heights, as it surpassed the $9k mark this past Thursday for the first time in over a year. The rest of the top 5 cryptocurrencies in the market closed the week with gains, although Bitcoin’s and EOS’s market capitalizations both experienced losses. Other relevant news include the release of a preliminary version of the TON testnet lite client, new regulations from Japan and Australia, a malware campaign on Youtube, and an update on a Bitwise report from March.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) opened on Monday high at $8,674.07, and following the momentum from the week before, went up to reach $8,907.17. By the end of the day, it had gone down to $8,805.78, making it the highest closing of the week. During the week, bitcoin’s price range became wider, and as bitcoin’s price grew throughout the week to reach the highest amount on Thursday, at $9,008.31, it also dipped into new lows, bottoming out for the week on Friday at $8,172.55, 9.3% lower than the day before. Bitcoin picked up the pace towards the end of Friday, closing at $8,574.5. The weekend was uneventful as the first cryptocurrency opened and closed at $8,573.84 and $8,564.02 respectively on Saturday and at $8,565.47 and $8,742.96 on Sunday, making a 2.1% gain for the day and a 0.8% gain for the week. Bitcoin’s market capitalization started the week at $156.1B, and unlike the past few weeks, closed the week with losses, shrinking 0.7% and ending Sunday at $155.1B.
Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ethereum (ETH) started the week at $267.14, went up to the second highest price of the week at $278.51 and went back down to close Monday at $272.86. Tuesday and Wednesday didn’t experience big changes, closing at $271.77 and $269.46 respectively. On Thursday, however, ETH’s price range went between $287.20 — the high of the week — and below $250, giving place to the low of the week at $247.35, 13.9% lower than the high of the week earlier that same day. The weekend was rather calm in comparison to Thursday, opening at $256.02 on Friday and closing at $268.11. Saturday closed at $265.39 and Sunday at $269.25, with a 1.8% gain for the day and a 0.8% gain for the week. Ethereum’s market capitalization was at $29B on Monday. It lost 1.4% throughout the week and closed at $28.6B on Sunday.
Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ripple (XRP) started the week low at $0.408397, decreased 0.34% during the day to give room for the low of the week to take place at $0.407021 and then grew 6.6% to close the day at $0.434168. Tuesday and Wednesday closed at $0.446549 and $0.443713 and towards Thursday, the price of XRP increased to reach the high of the week at $0.469458, 15.3% higher than Monday’s low. By the end of the day however, XRP had taken a plunge to close the day at $0.422395. The weekend was rather stable, with the highest prices for each day being $0.440177, $0.440843, and $0.445865 for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday respectively. The week closed at $0.444785, with a 3.2% gain for the day and an 8.9% gain for the week. Ripple’s market capitalization closed Monday at $18.3B, grew 2.6% throughout the week and closed at $18.8B on Sunday.
Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened on Monday at $432.97, grew 5.4% to hit the third highest price of the week at $456.25 and then went back down to close the day at $443.80. Tuesday didn’t see any great changes and on Wednesday, Bitcoin Cash’s price spiked to reach $462.78, the second highest price of the week. Just like Ether, BCH held their high and low of the week on Thursday, at $478.53 and $414.15 respectively, decreasing 13.5% in price between the extremes. Towards the weekend the cryptocurrency showed more stability, with more relatively stable price ranges. On Sunday, BCH opened at $434.72 and closed at $443.77 with a 2.1% gain for the day and a 2.5% gain for the week. The market capitalization for Bitcoin Cash closed at $7.9B on Monday, grew less than 0.1% throughout the week and closed seamlessly at $7.9B.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
EOS opened on Monday at $6.90 and shortly after, the low of the week took place at $6.85. Tuesday’s opening price was $7.97 and it was the only day of the week (apart from Friday) to close over $8, at $8.05.Throughout the week, EOS’s price gradually increased, reaching $8.57 on Friday and peaking for the week on Saturday at $8.59, 25.4% higher than the week’s low on Monday. Saturday and Sunday closed at $7.78 and $7.77 respectively, with a 0.3% loss for the day on the latter and a 12.6% gain for the week. The market cap for EOS was $7.3B on Monday, shredding 2.5% of its value throughout the week to close at $7.1B on Sunday.
EOS 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
A recent email to investors has confirmed the release of a preliminary version of the lite client for the TON blockchain. This followed news of a user seemingly uploading a version of the client to Github, which could be connected to a full node of the TON blockchain if configured properly. According to the original readme file of the release, this is a distribution of a preliminary version of the TON blockchain lite client along with relevant portions of its library. It is described as a “simplified stable version”, which means that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is representative of the totality of the code that has been developed.
A new bill—prepared by Japan’s FSA—to amend national laws that regulate cryptocurrencies was officially approved by the Japanese House of Representatives. The bill’s purpose is to introduce modifications to two existing national crypto assets laws: the Act on Settlement of Funds and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, and are expected to be enforced in April 2020. These modifications promote user protection, more strict crypto derivative trading regulations, and establish a “more transparent regulatory framework for the new asset class”. The bill also introduces a legal name change for cryptocurrencies from “virtual currencies” to “crypto assets”, to prevent investors from confusing the aforementioned with legal tender.
A May 25 official blog post announced that the NEO mainnet was scheduled to be upgraded at 09:00 on Jun. 3, upgrading its consensus node to version neo-cli v2.10.2. The biggest change of the upgrade is the addition of oversize fees, which apply to high priority transactions that are larger than 1,024 bytes. For such transactions, a fee will be charged based on the following formula: transaction size * 0.00001 GAS + 0.001 GAS. The purpose of this is to prevent malicious transactions and network attacks, and it shouldn’t affect normal NEO transactions from regular users.
A press release published on May 30 announced TRON’s plans for their decentralized storage blockchain solution. BTFS (BitTorrent File System; a variant of the InterPlanetary File System open-source protocol) will purportedly allow users to receive and host storage on their computers with businesses and other individuals, with early testing having begun in late May. According to Justin Sun, BTFS is, along with BitTorrent Speed and the BTT token, a platform to “let users quickly and privately interact with each other around the world without a middleman or government intervention.” The BitTorrent File System mainnet is scheduled for a Q3 2019 release.
Dadiani Syndicate, a digital currency investment firm that acts as a peer-to-peer trading network using cryptocurrencies, has reportedly been approached by a client who made the request of acquiring 25% of the total available bitcoin supply. This action would affect the crypto market greatly due to the amount of coins lost and the even bigger number of bitcoins currently held by hodlers. Eleesa Dadiani, the founder of the firm, said this order is not possible to fulfill, but that the company would try to “gain access to as close as 25% as possible”.
Fake news circulating in China may be responsible for the recent price surge in Bitcoin SV (BSV), according to a tweet posted by Dovey Wan, co-founder of Primitive Ventures. Apparently, a screenshot of a fake article stating that Craig Wright had transferred 50,000 BTC from “the biggest bitcoin wallet in existence” to the Binance exchange, was the culprit for the BSV price spike, as the screenshot acted as proof of Wright’s allegations about him actually being Satoshi Nakamoto. After the fake report screenshot surfaced—and went viral in Chinese social media—Bitcoin SV experienced a growth of over 30% in market capitalization, as the screenshot also reported that Changpeng Zhao would re-list BSV on Binance after having delisted the cryptocurrency in April.
New ICO and cryptocurrency guidelines have been published by the Australian Securities and Investment Commissions (ASIC) on its official website. The new regulations state what prerequisites a cryptocurrency business has to follow in order to comply with the ASIC Acts and the Australian Corporations. One of the most important guidelines specifies that if a crypto asset is a financial product, “the issuer and firms dealing with it are required to hold an Australian financial services license”, and miners and transaction processors will be part of the clearing and settlement process in these cases. To determine whether a crypto asset is a financial product, “entities and their advisers need to consider all the rights and features of the ICO” and exchanges managing and offering these assets will also need a license to prove they are complying with all relevant Australian laws.
It was reported that videos promoting a “bitcoin generator” on Youtube were actually a malware campaign that installed the information-stealing trojan Qulab. According to the report, the fraudulent videos were taken down once they were reported, but they were being continually reuploaded by new accounts. The videos direct viewers to download the application listed in the description, which turns out to be the Qulab trojan. If the application is installed, the trojan will be deployed, and it will attempt to steal personal information and credentials. Additionally, the trojan also acts as a clipboard hijacker, which means that it can swap any wallet addresses that it finds with a different one. Since wallets are hard to memorize, many of these address swaps go unnoticed, which allows for the trojan to steal cryptocurrency.
Internet-of-things-focused cryptocurrency, IOTA, is getting rid of its coordinator security mechanism, which has made the cryptocurrency the focus of a lot of criticism for not being decentralized enough, as well as for lacking censorship resistance. There’s still little information regarding the new protocol upgrade (called Coordicide), but according to David Sønstebø, co-founder of IOTA Foundation, they have been working on removing the coordinator ever since IOTA’s inception. He also stated that this move will help the company “accelerate into [their] next phase of growth and enterprise adoption in the real world”.
With Bitcoin’s price at new highs since the August of 2018, 450k BTC have been accumulated by “firm size” addresses (1,000-10,000 BTC) in the last 9 months. The number of addresses with an amount between those numbers has been on the rise lately, and they now make up for 26% of the circulating BTC supply. Although it is unlikely that retail size wallets (0-100 BTC) have any implication in the recent price spike of Bitcoin, they have also been on the rise, with a 126k BTC increase and 38% of participation in the circulating supply. Large addresses like exchanges have seen more than 300k BTC removed since the beginning of 2018, and the dominance over the circulating supply of Bitcoin shifted from over 20% to only 16% today.
A survey from LendEDU, a finance information site, showed that Facebook coin would probably attract new investors to the crypto market. The company has been in the spotlight due to talks of a purported 2020 release of “GlobalCoin”, as well as for their new LLC “Libra Networks”. The survey, answered by 1,000 Americans, stated that even though only 7% of the subjects had never invested in cryptocurrencies before, 18% would be interested in investing in a cryptocurrency created by Facebook. The main reason for this was attributed to trust in the firm’s name. The study also showed that Facebook’s Marketplace, a buying and selling community, would benefit from a native cryptocurrency, as half of the surveyees who don’t use Marketplace said they would if there was a Facebook coin on the platform.
A whitepaper was published on May 24 by Bitwise to expand on the results presented in a March report, which disclosed that 95% of the reported trade volumes of crypto exchanges were actually fake, and that only 10 out of the 83 exchanges met the criteria to be considered real exchanges. The results of the whitepaper state that “prices between the 10 exchanges not only trade closely together but also have their disparities rapidly arbitraged away, meeting both criteria set forth by the Commission for demonstrating effective arbitrage.” Bitwise also concluded that real investors and derivatives products used these effective exchanges as a source for the price of bitcoin, with the ones displayed in fake exchanges not being taken as real market information.
The idea of a social media giant like Facebook releasing their own cryptocurrency was always thought of as big in terms of adoption, but recent survey results show just how big its impact could truly be. This, when coupled with the fact that Telegram has just released a preliminary version of their testnet lite client, shows that crypto is in a very important stage where key projects are being developed. Sadly, this means that the risk of ill-intentioned campaigns that want to spread malware and trojans increases (as it could be seen this week), but it’s only a matter of time until awareness is raised within the community to filter them out.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team