It’s yet another crimson week for crypto as Bitcoin and the rest of the top five cryptocurrencies finished the week with losses. In general, the top cryptocurrencies had their highest prices of the week on Monday and as the week progressed, prices decreased to reach their lowest between Thursday and Friday. By the week’s end they had all ended with losses, with Litecoin holding the greatest of the five, both in price and market capitalization. Other important developments of the week include a new crypto lending service from Binance, a ruling from the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit, and updates from Bakkt, BitTorrent Live, and other projects.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) opened the week at $10,126.30 and later on Monday the highest price of the week took place at $10,512.33. By Thursday, BTC had decreased 10.4% from its peak of the week and bottomed out for the week at $9,421.63. Sunday closed with Bitcoin at $9,757.97, experiencing a 3.6% loss for the week. Bitcoin’s market capitalization went from $185.6B on Monday to $174.8B approximately, shedding roughly 5.9%.
Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ethereum (ETH) opened at $186.74 on Monday. That same day, ETH peaked for the week at $193.44. The lowest price of the week took place on Friday at $167.07, 13.6% lower than Monday’s highest price. ETH closed at $171.63 on Sunday, losing 8.1% of its value throughout the week. The market capitalization for Ethereum shrank 9.1% throughout the week, closing on Sunday at around $18.5B.
Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Ripple (XRP) opened on Monday at $0.269946 and held its highest price of the week later that day at $0.277432. Like BTC, XRP bottomed out for the week on Thursday at $0.249951, almost 10% lower than Monday’s peak. On Sunday XRP closed at $0.258054, losing 4.4% of its value during the week. Ripple’s market capitalization closed at approximately $11.1B on Sunday, shrinking 4.6% in size throughout the week.
Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened the week high at $305.32, and the highest price of the week took place on Monday at $315.09. On Friday the lowest price of the week occurred at $272.88, 13.4% lower than Monday’s highest price. By Sunday BCH had managed to recover slightly, closing at $282.33, with a 7.5% decrease in price throughout the week. BCH’s market capitalization shed 9.2% of its value during the week, closing on Sunday at roughly $5.1B.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
Litecoin (LTC) opened at $72.32 on Monday and, like its peers, it held its highest price of the week that same day at $74.99. The lowest price of the week didn’t happen until Friday when LTC bottomed out at $62.61, 16.5% lower than Monday’s peak. Sunday closed with Litecoin at $66.14, making it the biggest loser with an 8.5% decrease throughout the week. Litecoin’s market capitalization shed 10.4% of its size during the week, closing on Sunday at roughly $4.2B.
Litecoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360
According to an Aug. 30 report from the Financial Times, the Elwood Asset Management firm is working on a platform for institutional investors that designs the portfolios of crypto funds. According to the report, crypto hedge funds have seen a 60% rise on average since the beginning of the year, but many of them are still seen as risky investments. Details haven’t been finalized, but the platform will reportedly allow users to customize their portfolios by specifying the risk they are willing to take, their expected returns, and their liquidity terms. However, these features will not be for free, as users will be required to pay a fee to Elwood Asset Management for the use of the new platform.
When asked about the platform, Elwood Asset Management CEO Bin Ren stated that the new product could end up managing over $1B worth of assets, and that it is seen as a “very big growth opportunity.”
On Aug. 29, distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform Hedera Hashgraph announced it would start its open access mainnet beta testing on Sep. 16. The network will reportedly offer three different services: cryptocurrency, smart contracts, and file services. Once the open beta test is finished, Hedera’s HBAR tokens will begin to be distributed over a period of 15 years, and the network will transition to a permissionless one via token staking over an extended period of time.
Due to technical reliability issues and security concerns, crypto lending and borrowing firm Dharma announced on Aug. 29 the start of a closed beta for a new version of its platform. The San Francisco-based firm partnered with Ethereum-based money market Compound, and will use its protocol as infrastructure for the new platform in addition to making smart contracts open source prior to production. Dharma V2 will feature a non-custodial and multisig smart wallet, dedicated deposit addresses, and frictionless fiat on-ramps and off-ramps. The firm also plans to open up the beta within the next few weeks to make it accessible to the public for further testing.
Also known as BLive, BitTorrent and TRON’s blockchain live streaming platform is currently set for full release at the end of Q1 2020. Before that, however, BitTorrent will begin internal alpha testing of the platform, which will feature a selected group of users and some features such as BLive’s gifting system (where users will be able tip creators with BTT and other cryptocurrencies), instant messaging, and a top users chart. Most notably, the platform will boast a profit-sharing ratio of 7:3 between the platform and its broadcasters, which is much more convenient than the industry standard of 9:1.
On Aug. 28, Bakkt announced via Twitter that its qualified custodian, Bakkt Warehouse, will start offering secure storage for clients to deposit their Bitcoin funds on Sep. 6. The company, which postponed the launch date of their platform for Bitcoin daily and monthly futures multiple times due to compliance issues, is scheduled to launch on Sep. 23.
According to The New York Times, anonymous investors of Telegram’s ICO, Gram, stated that the company confirmed the token is scheduled to launch in late October. In terms of launching a public global digital currency, this puts Gram’s launch date ahead of Facebook’s Libra as well as the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency, though little is known regarding Gram’s technical details or regulatory situation. In addition to this, a different investor of the Telegram Open Network (TON) reported that the company would begin publicly testing the network on Sep. 1.
Binance announced their newest product on Aug. 26, aimed at people who want to hold on to their crypto and accrue interest by lending their assets to the platform. According to the announcement, the first phase of the lending service consists of a 14-day fixed term lending products of BNB, USDT, and ETC, with annual interest rates of 15%, 10%, and 7%, respectively. Upcoming phases may have an adjusted annual interest rate depending on the market reception of the initial phase.
In his latest Twitter AMA, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed that Binance’s Future Trading Platform will be launched during the month of September.
According to notes from the 69th Ethereum Core Devs meeting on Aug. 23, Parity core developers had some setbacks refactoring and accepting the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) of the upcoming Istanbul hard fork, which has led to a two-week delay of the process of selecting a block number. The new deadline to implement the EIPs will be Sep. 6, and once Parity implements the EIPs, a block number for the hard fork will be picked. Similarly, the developers stated that the mainnet hard fork might be delayed and may not be ready by Oct. 4. According to Parity developer Wei Tang, there are also concerns related to gas price that need to be acknowledged before the hard fork.
An Aug. 28 report from Binance Research stated that Chinese citizens will be able to trade CBDC (China’s Central Bank Digital Currency) without opening or having a bank account. This will provide a degree of anonymity to its users and will promote higher CBDC turnover. According to the report, smart contracts will be limited to only providing “basic monetary requirements”, because otherwise it could add value to the CBDC token and make it a security for regulators.
According to data from Coin Metrics, the total revenue of Bitcoin miners is over $14B to date. Despite the massive increase in the Bitcoin network’s hash rate, which has been breaking records continuously the past few months and has increased operational costs for miners, revenues have grown exponentially over time. While the first $5B took 8 years to be reached, the $10B mark was broken only 8 months later.
An official court document, published on Aug. 27, states that Justice Bruce Reinhart has ruled that Wright must give more than half of the 1M Bitcoin, valued at more than $4B, that he and Dave Kleiman had mined before 2014 to Dave Kleiman’s brother, Ira. Along with this, Craig Wright will have to surrender half of his intellectual property related to the Bitcoin software, and pay the attorney’s fees from the lawsuit. The court also ruled that Wright had acted in bad faith and was guilty of perjury, due to the falsified documents that he provided to the court.
According to McAfee’s August 2019 threat report, cryptojacking campaigns, which consist of installing and running a cryptocurrency miner without the user’s permission, had a 29% increase during Q1 2019, with new malware families such as PsMiner and Cookie Miner being discovered. These campaigns steal users’ information from user websites like Binance, Coinbase and MyEtherWallet, among other major crypto services.
In addition, McAfee Labs also reported a 118% increase in ransomware attacks during Q1 2019, with malware family Ryuk being used in some campaigns. McAfee also stated that Ryuk, which came into action during that same time, is similar to a cybercrime operation rather than being backed by a nation-state.
According to a report by Jornal de Negócios from Aug. 26, the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority confirmed that crypto transactions and payments are exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT) in the country. The agency published an official document in which it is stated that crypto-to-fiat exchanges are exempt from taxes, and it is in line with a previous tax ruling published by the agency in 2016 in which it was stated that income from selling crypto in Portugal is not subject to income tax either.
For the second week running, all five of the top cryptocurrencies experienced losses throughout the week, which is a worrying sign for the current state of crypto. However, this week also featured multiple announcements that point towards a promising future for cryptocurrencies. This includes new options for institutional investors (Elwood Asset Management’s crypto venture); new platforms like BitTorrent Live, Hedera Hashgraph, and Bakkt; and the long-awaited Telegram cryptocurrency GRAM, which has the potential to reach over 300 million users worldwide thanks to its record-breaking ICO. Most of these projects will begin a new stage in their roadmap soon or will have done so by 2020, and hopefully they will have a lasting positive impact on the market.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team