Bitcoin has been heralded as the bellwether for crypto and all altcoins, but this week saw a departure from tradition as Bitcoin was the only one out of the top 5 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization to lose value this past week. Most notably, last week marked the third week in a row of Ethereum having its value go up, with an impressive increase of 11.5% last week. Other important developments include new additions to JP Morgan’s Interbank Information Network blockchain project, the registration process for Binance.US opening for a majority of US states, and Ethereum surpassing Bitcoin in daily aggregated fees for the first time in history.
Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.
Bitcoin (BTC) started Monday at $10,347.22 and the highest price of the week took place later that day at $10,386.87. The lowest price of the week happened on Thursday at $9,851.69, a 5.2% decrease from Monday’s peak. On Sunday BTC closed at $10,070.39, decreasing 2.7% in price throughout the week. Bitcoin’s market capitalization shed almost 2% of its value during the week, closing on Sunday at roughly $181B.
Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Ethereum (ETH) opened on Monday with the lowest price of the week, $189.69. Unlike Bitcoin, ETH held the highest price of the week on Thursday at $222.87, showing a 17.5% increase from Monday’s opening price. By Sunday’s closing ETH had settled at $211.55, managing to grow 11.5% in price during the week. The market capitalization for Ethereum grew 7.4% throughout the week closing at approximately $22.8B on Sunday.
Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Ripple (XRP) opened on Monday at $0.261574 and held its lowest price of the week that same day, bottoming out at $0.259181. The highest price of the week happened on Wednesday at $0.322034, 24.3% higher than the lowest price on Monday. Sunday closed with XRP at $0.278931, experiencing a 6.6% increase in price throughout the week. The market capitalization for XRP grew almost 7% during the week, closing at roughly $12B on Sunday.
Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) opened on Monday at $304.26 and like ETH and XRP, held its lowest price of the week that same day at $302.87. By Wednesday, BCH’s price had increased 9.9% since its lowest price that Monday and the coin peaked at $332.89. On Sunday, however, BCH closed at $308.3, with a 1.3% price increase for the week. BCH’s market capitalization also displayed a small gain, increasing 0.3% throughout the week and closing at roughly $5.6B on Sunday.
Bitcoin Cash 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Litecoin (LTC) started the week at $70.32 and the lowest price of the week happened that day as well, at $70.11. On Wednesday LTC peaked for the week at $79.66, with a 13.6% increase from Monday’s lowest price. On Sunday LTC closed at $72.62, with a 3.3% gain for the week. Litecoin’s market capitalization closed at approximately $4.6B on Sunday, growing only 0.1% throughout the week.
Litecoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.
Last week saw the addition of two important members to the Interbank Information Network (IIN), the blockchain project of JP Morgan Chase. At the beginning of the week, it was announced that Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank, was joining the IIN. On Friday the 20th, only four days after the first announcement, it was revealed that the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), the second largest lender of Southeast Asia, had also joined the network. The Interbank Information Network is a blockchain network powered by Quorum, a permissioned variant of the Ethereum blockchain. With the incorporation of the OCBC, the network now has more than 340 banks as members; the goal for JPMC is to onboard 400 banks by the end of 2019.
According to the plaintiff’s accusations the company, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Ripple’s subsidiary, XRP II, are accused of violating securities laws by selling XRP. Regarding the accusations, Ripple stated that XRP is not a security by law and that the Federal Departments of Treasury and Justice have confirmed XRP to be a “convertible virtual currency”, making it a commodity according to the CFTC. The company’s lawyers argued for the dismissal of the case, with a hearing date set for early next year, based on the plaintiffs not having initiated the case within 3 years of the ICO as well as on the denial of XRP being a security.
The French and the German governments have released a joint statement declaring that “no private entity can claim monetary power” in an attempt to block Libra from continuing its development. The blockchain community has reacted to the statement, with “The Bitcoin Standard” author Saifedean Ammous pointing out “the lack of freedom on the global financial stage”. Vitalik Buterin, although he is aware of the concerns regarding the technical structure of Libra and users privacy, had previously stated that the stablecoin is a “wake up call for governments” as it forces them to think about “creating a sovereign digital currency” themselves."
The multinational financial company announced on Tuesday the 17th that there were plans to pilot an internal settlement service—Wells Fargo Digital Cash, a USD-pegged stablecoin. Lisa Frazier, Wells Fargo’s Head of Innovation, stated: “We’re energized to take this significant step in applying the technology to banking in a material and scalable way. Wells Fargo Digital Cash has the potential to enable Wells Fargo to remove barriers to real-time financial interactions across multiple accounts in multiple marketplaces around the world.” The plan is to pilot the stablecoin in 2020, and it is expected to complete USD transfers, with the possibility of expanding it to multi-currency transfers later on.
LVC Corporation, LINE’s subsidiary in charge of its digital assets and blockchain business units, announced on Tuesday the launch of the BITMAX cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange, which supports Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, will be aimed at the Japanese market and will eventually be available for more than 80 million users. Unrelated to LINE’s Singapore-based exchange BITBOX, the BITMAX crypto exchange can be accessed from the “LINE Wallet” tab on LINE.
One month ahead of the review deadline and decision from the SEC, the Cboe Global Markets Inc. BZX Equity Exchange withdrew its application for the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC filing, published on Sep. 17, reveals that Cboe withdrew the application without reason on Sep. 13. In response to this, VanEck Associates’ Director of Digital-asset Strategy Gabor Gurbacs claimed on Twitter that “(bringing) a physical, liquid and insured ETF remains a top priority. We continue to work closely with regulators & market participants to get one step closer every day.”
On Sep. 17, Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi announced its launch in Argentina following an increasing demand for crypto-related products and services in the country. Argentinians can now purchase digital currencies with Argentine Pesos (ARS) through Huobi Cloud, which allows users to build OTC and digital asset exchanges on top of the Huobi platform. The company is set to launch a fiat gateway next month, allowing users to trade ARS for crypto and buy crypto with credit cards, wire transfers, and other local digital payment providers.
On Wednesday morning, the registration process for the Binance.US exchange was opened for most states excluding Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Users of the exchange will be able to trade without fees until November, but the exchange will offer a flat fee of 0.1% once the fee schedule is implemented.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission published a press release on Wednesday, stating that ICOBox had raised roughly $14.6m worth of "ICOS" tokens from more than 2,000 investors in an unregistered offering in 2017. The press release details that the SEC is charging ICOBox and its founder, Nikolay Evdokimov, with violating the SEC’s registration requirements, as the offering of tokens was unregistered, and because Evdokimov had acted as an unregistered broker as well. The SEC is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties.
On Sep. 19, Bitcoin dropped to $9,716 and triggered the liquidation of long positions on the BitMEX exchange. One day after BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes had stated that Bitcoin would hit $20,000 again, the cryptocurrency experienced a sharp decrease in price, causing the Liquidation Engine on the exchange to kick in and automatically liquidate $150M in long positions, which led to a number of traders losing over $100,000.
Thursday the 19th marked a historic development as, for the first time ever, the aggregated fees of the last 24 hours for the Ethereum network amounted to $207,331, which was higher than the $183,794 in aggregated fees that the Bitcoin network amassed on the same day. According to Messari, the average transaction fee for Ethereum is $0.16 per transaction, whereas Bitcoin has a $0.206 average transaction fee.
Last Thursday was the day Bitcoin suffered a massive drop in price, which caused the liquidation of some long positions. Most notably, this happened on the same day that Ethereum surpassed Bitcoin in terms of aggregated transaction fees, which means that the demand for Ethereum was higher than Bitcoin. Across the board, last week’s developments were positive for the industry, which could be evidenced by the performance of the other cryptocurrencies. In addition to this, the new exchanges and JP Morgan’s blockchain project expansion, as well as Wells Fargo jumping on the bandwagon could bring even more attention to the industry, and keep rallying the prices of cryptocurrencies.
We wish you a great week,
The COIN360 Editorial Team