In a pleasant turn of events, all five of the top cryptocurrencies by market capitalization ended the week with gains. Bitcoin’s price increased during the week until it peaked on Friday, while XRP peaked on Tuesday and the rest experienced their highest prices on Sunday. Other important developments of the week include issues related to Binance’s futures trading platform, Bitcoin reaching 70% of market dominance once again, and the announcement of a Bitcoin ETF-like product, developed by VanEck and SolidX.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) opened the week at $9,757.47 and its lowest price of the week happened that day at $9,730.65. By Friday, BTC’s price had increased 12% and it hit its high for the week at $10,898.76. On Sunday Bitcoin closed at $10,441.28, tallying up a 7% increase throughout the week. The market capitalization for Bitcoin grew almost 1%, closing on Sunday at roughly $187.2B.
Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Ethereum (ETH) started Monday at $171.7. Its lowest price of the week occurred on Friday, when ETH hit $168.34. During the weekend ETH’s price increased and its high of the week happened on Sunday at $182.98, 8.7% higher than its low on Friday. On Sunday, ETH closed at $181.36, growing 5.6% during the week. Ethereum’s market capitalization grew by 1.8% over the week, closing at $19.5B on Sunday.
Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Ripple (XRP) opened Monday at $0.258064 and on Tuesday, hit its high for the week at $0.265279. By Friday XRP’s price had gone down 5.5% and dropped to its low for the week at $0.250805. Sunday closed with XRP at $0.263084, experiencing an almost 2% growth throughout the week. Ripple’s market capitalization experienced a 0.9% growth, closing on Sunday at approximately $11.3B.
Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) started at $282.33 on Monday and later that day fell to its low for the week at $280.59. BCH didn’t peak until Sunday, when the cryptocurrency reached $309.79, a 10.4% increase from Monday’s low. BCH closed Sunday at $307.01, notching an 8.7% jump on the week. BCH’s market capitalization also grew, increasing almost 4.5% during the week to close Sunday at roughly $5.5B.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Litecoin (LTC) kicked off Monday at $66.11 and on Thursday its lowest price of the week occurred at $64.62. Like ETH and BCH, Litecoin peaked on Sunday at $71.11, rebounding by a 10% increase from Thursday’s low. LTC closed on Sunday at $70.55, growing 6.7% throughout the week. The market capitalization for Litecoin increased by almost 5.5% during the week, closing on Sunday at approximately $4.5B.
Litecoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
On Sep. 6, Twitter user @2xjump provided feedback for the two testnets that Binance is running for their upcoming futures platform. The first of the two platforms is being developed by Binance, whereas the second one is being worked on by recently acquired exchange JEX. According to the tester, the second platform has a poor interface and lacks important documentation and technical details about contracts, index prices, and others. The first platform, which he reports to be copied from BitMEX, has a better interface and has technical information available, but suffers from contract granularity issues—the smallest transaction possible is 1 BTC.
The tester then stated that the platform that is being developed by Binance actually supports transactions below 1 BTC, but that there were input validation issues in the platform that stopped him from being able to input decimals.
It seems that BitMEX got wind of the similarities between their own documentation of their futures trading platform and the ones published by Binance. In response, BitMEX sent out a jocose tweet on Sep. 4 that read: “congrats on the Testnet Futures launches @binance. Glad to see you enjoyed reading our documentation as much as we enjoyed writing it!” Most notably, the tweet also included screenshots of documentation of both platforms, which shows that Binance had copied BitMEX’s documentation verbatim. Shortly afterwards, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao apologized about the situation, claiming that it was going to be corrected promptly.
On Sep. 6 the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported that China’s upcoming digital currency will have similarities to Libra. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC)’s deputy director Mu Changchun had previously stated that the Chinese digital currency’s organizational structure is similar to Libra’s, and that Libra had influenced the PBoC currency’s original design to involve non-governmental institutions in its development and issuance process.
Changchun also said that China’s digital currency will aim to prevent money laundering while offering provisions for anonymous payments and it will be possible to use it across major payment platforms like WeChat and Alipay. The Hong Kong Economic Journal report also stated that China’s digital currency could be ready as soon as Nov. 11, beating Facebook’s Libra, which still doesn’t have a set launch date.
According to a Sep. 6 report from BNN Bloomberg, the two currencies moving in increasingly opposite directions could be a sign to believe that Bitcoin is being used as a hedge against the Chinese yuan, which is struggling due to a slowing economy and the ongoing trade war with the US. “There’s corroborating evidence for this, in that people in Asia were paying more for Bitcoin than elsewhere when the yuan fell. You can see it in the premium price paid for Bitcoin in exchanges like Huobi that cater to (the) Chinese”, said London School of Economics researcher Dr. Garrick Hileman.
Monday the 2rd was the day when Bitcoin dominance reached the 70% mark, peaking at 71.2% on Sep. 6th. The last time this happened was in March of 2017, when BTC dominance was above 80%. This has led to several people in the industry to comment on the current state of altcoins, including Max Keiser, host of the Keiser Report, who tweeted “Alts are never coming back.” Peter Brandt similarly commented that altcoins are to Bitcoin what lead is to gold.
According to a press release published on Sep. 5, Paxos and Binance have partnered up to launch the USD-backed stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD), approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). As reported by Richard Teo, Paxos co-founder and CEO, the NYDFS approval is a vital step for long term stability in global crypto markets. Binance USD will be available for purchase on the Paxos platform later this month, and it will be available for trading on Binance against BTC, BNB and XRP.
In an announcement published on Sep. 3, the New York-based Gemini exchange introduced sub-accounts, a new feature that allows institutional customers to create and manage unlimited accounts under a single master account. According to the announcement, sub-accounting is one of the most requested features by their institutional customers, and this would make Gemini the first crypto exchange in the world to offer this feature. Sub-accounts are able to conduct instant fund transfers in crypto or fiat between each other without fees.
After having their decision on their proposed Bitcoin ETF postponed by the SEC, the companies announced on Tuesday that they will be launching a more limited option on Sep. 5. Acting under the SEC’s rule 144A, which allows for privately placed securities to be traded among institutional buyers, shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust will be offered to clients such as hedge funds and banks. Ed Lopez, VanEck’s head of ETF products, explained that this was not an actual ETF, but that it was going to be a similar product to be traded over-the-counter via broker-to-broker transactions. In an official press release, the product is highlighted as “the first institutional-quality, cleared product providing exposure to Bitcoin and enabling a standard ETF creation-and-redemption process.”
On Sep. 6 Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) granted a license to operate a cryptocurrency exchange business in the country to messaging giant LINE’s blockchain unit LVC Corporation. The exchange, called BitMax, has been approved to offer trading for BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC and XRP and it will allow the firm to offer cryptocurrency trading services to its more than 80 million users.
Twitter-based monitoring resource Whale Alert tweeted about a 94,504 BTC (around $1B) transaction performed on Sep. 5. Most notably, the sender of the funds selected a fee of around $700, overpaying transaction fees 20 times as the funds could have been sent in a maximum of 10 minutes by paying a fee of just $35.
No known wallets connected to a specific cryptocurrency-related organization were involved in the transaction, and people began to take guesses regarding its origin, with one user suggesting the transaction corresponded to “institutions building inventory” while BTC was at $9k, and another one implying that the funds belonged to Bakkt, as the institutional trading platform started to accept client deposits on that same day.
Burger King Germany is now accepting payments in Bitcoin (BTC) on their delivery website and mobile application, although it is unknown if Bitcoin will also be accepted as a means of payments in the physical restaurants across the country. This isn’t the first time the global fast-food chain has embraced cryptocurrencies: in 2017, Burger King Russia announced it would start accepting Bitcoin payments after introducing their own virtual currency called Whoppercoin.
Last week also brought updates in the regulation of crypto-related firms for different jurisdictions. In the US, the Washington-based advisory firm Financial Integrity Network (FIN) is urging the US Congress to start regulating crypto firms under the Bank Secrecy Act. According to the official testimony, crypto firms (labeled as Virtual Asset Service Providers, VASPs) should be regulated depending on the particular services they provide, since there are VASPs that are currently regulated as money transmitters, while others are not being regulated at all.
A Reuters report from Sep. 3 reveals that the Dutch Central Bank will start regulating crypto firms in January of 2020, and that firms will have to register in order to “remain in business.”
On Sep. 6 Malta’s financial regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), published a three-year strategic plan (2019-2021) stating that it will modernize its regulatory approach and actively monitor the licensed crypto businesses operating in the country in order to prevent money laundering. The document states that the regulatory body is in the process of implementing SupTech (supervisory technology) intelligence tools to help automate regulatory processes as well as audit the risk management of virtual asset businesses.
For the first time in a month, the crypto industry was dealt a straight flush of green, with all top five cryptocurrencies ending the week with gains. It is important to note, however, that Bitcoin is once again among the coins that benefitted the most, only being surpassed by Bitcoin Cash. It will be interesting to see what happens if Bitcoin’s market dominance keeps rising, because it could signify a transition to a period where Bitcoin soars as altcoins slowly lose their value. For now, though, all top five cryptocurrencies are moving together. This week brought exciting news for institutional investors thanks to the announcements of the new Bitcoin ETF-like product from VanEck and SolidX, and the new sub-account feature on Gemini.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team