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Binance exchange, Bakkt Bitcoin futures platform, Libra coin news
September 30  |  10 min read

Crypto Week #39 Overview

The COIN360 Editorial Team

Last week the cryptocurrency market took a hit on Tuesday, when the prices of most top 5 cryptocurrencies plummeted. Most notably, the only cryptocurrency that was safe from the crash was Tether, a stablecoin that was built to be pegged to the US dollar. Other important developments include Kik Messenger shutting down to cover the costs of their crypto-related trial, Libra revealing information about the assets that back the Libra coin and Binance launching their own token staking platform.

Here’s what you need to know about last week’s happenings in crypto.

1. Cryptocurrency Market Analysis

Bitcoin (BTC) opened last Monday at $10,067.96 and later that day reached its highest price of the week at $10,074.24. The lowest price of the week came on Thursday, when BTC sank under $8k for the first time in over three months, bottoming out at $7,895.63, 21.6% lower than Monday’s peak. Sunday ended with Bitcoin at $8,104.19, losing 19.5% of its value throughout the week. Bitcoin’s market capitalization also suffered greatly, shedding 16.7% of its size during the week and closing at roughly $146B on Sunday.

Bitcoin price chart, market cap, BTC price in USD

Bitcoin 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.

Ethereum (ETH)
started the week at $211.71. Later on Monday, ETH peaked for the week at $211.84. Thursday saw ETH’s low for the week at $157.13, a staggering 25.8% decrease from Monday’s high. By Sunday, ETH had recovered slightly, closing at $170.5 to lose 19.5% of its value throughout the week. Ethereum’s market capitalization shrank 15.5% during the week, closing at approximately $18.4B on Sunday.

Ethereum price chart, market cap, ETH price in USD

Ethereum 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.

Ripple (XRP)
opened the week at $0.278602. Later on Monday it hit its high at $0.286114. On Tuesday, XRP bottomed out for the week at $0.227052, 20.6% lower than Monday’s peak. Sunday closed with XRP at $0.241388, losing 13.4% of its value on the week. XRP’s market capitalization closed the week at roughly $10.4B, shedding 10.2% of its size throughout the week.

Ripple price chart, market cap, XRP price in USD

Ripple 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.

Tether (USDT) is the very first stablecoin to be featured on COIN360’s weekly overview, overthrowing Litecoin from the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. USDT’s market capitalization closed the week at approximately $4.1B, growing 0.3% in the process. Its daily volume, however, experienced a 15.7% drop during the week. Having peaked on Tuesday during the noticeable market fall, it ended up closing on Sunday at $15.8B.

Tether price chart, market cap, USDT price in USD

Tether 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
opened at $308.22 on Monday and soon hit its high for the week at $308.47. By Thursday, BCH had suffered a massive 32.5% drop, bottoming out for the week at $208.17. Sunday closed with BCH at $220.43, going down 28.5% on the week. Bitcoin Cash’s market capitalization lost almost a quarter of its size throughout the week, closing at roughly $4B on Sunday.

Litecoin price chart, market cap, LTC price in USD

Bitcoin Cash 7-day price and market cap chart. Source: COIN360.

2. Kik Messenger to Shut Down

On Sep. 24 Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik Interactive, announced closing of Kik messenger as the company prepares to go to trial over cryptocurrency-related charges. According to the announcement, the SEC was urging the company to label their Kin token as a security. Livingston stated that the company is focusing all their current resources on preparation for the case and mitigating the costs of the trial, which includes shutting down the app and reducing their staff by approximately 80%.

3. Bitcoin Hash Rate Bounces Back and Sets New All-Time High After 40% Flash Crash

Bitcoin had a rough start to the week, experiencing a 40% decline in hash rate in hash rate on Monday, and members of the community claimed that the crash could have been due to mining crackdowns in Asia or simply due to variance. As it turned out, it took Bitcoin only a couple of days to bounce back, setting a new all-time high of 101 EH/s (or 108 EH/s, depending on the source) on Wednesday. Sources have shown that other metrics such as daily transaction and developer activity are also at an all-time high despite the low price of Bitcoin, which contradicts the proposed theory of price following hash rate.

4. Bakkt Futures Platform Reports Trading Volume of $700k on First Day of Operations

Bakkt finally launched its future trading platform on Monday, resulting in the trade of 72 futures contracts, which equated to roughly $710K in notional trading value. This amount was perceived as rather underwhelming by the community, with some of them claiming that the poor debut of Bakkt contributed to the decline in the price of Bitcoin.

5. Facebook Reveals Libra’s Basket of Global Currencies

In a letter to Fabio de Masi, one of the German politicians who believe Libra is a threat to financial stability, Facebook revealed that 50% of the composition of the basket backing up Libra will be tied to US dollars. Libra will also be backed by the Euro (18%), the Yen (14%), the British Pound (11%), and the Singapore Dollar (7%). Libra’s regulatory status remains unclear. However, Libra is still planned to launch on schedule in the second half of 2020.

6. OKEx Denies Allegations of Fake Trading Volume and Prepares to Launch Tether Futures

An important takeaway from the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) September surveillance report was that there were some exchanges, namely OKEx and Bibox, that still registered 75% to 90% of fake trading volume. In response to this, OKEx personnel, including CEO Jay Hao, denied the accusations of fake trading volume on Monday, critiquing the methodology used by the BTI. The following day, Hao would up the ante, publicly challenging BTI for 100 BTC, claiming that if the exchange proved that at least 10% of its trading volume was real, BTI would have to pay him 100 BTC.

It was also reported on Monday by an OKEx spokesperson that the exchange is preparing to launch USDT margin futures during the month of October.

7. EOS Successfully Undergoes its First Hard Fork

According to the EOS Nation website, on Sep. 23 the EOS mainnet performed its largest upgrade to date and underwent its first hard fork, which activated the 1.8 version of the EOSIO platform. EOS block producers had previously signaled their intent to implement the update, with 29 out of the top 30 block producers upgrading to the new version of EOSIO.

8. Binance.US Opens Trading with 13 Pairs and Adds 5 New Cryptocurrencies

On Tuesday the 24th, Binance.US revealed 13 fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto pairs, made up by BTC, ETH, XRP, BXH, LTC, BNB and USDT. The exchange also announced the previous day that 5 more coins will become available for deposits once they pass the Digital Asset Risk Assessment Framework: ADA, BAT, ETC, XLM, and ZRX.

9. Binance Launches Token Staking Platform

The Malta-based exchange launched its staking platform this past Thursday, providing users with a platform where they can deposit and hold their assets to receive monthly rewards, with no technical requirements or minimum staking amounts. It was also reported that Binance will update its staking calculation methodology at the beginning of October to provide a more accurate distribution of rewards. The platform supports the staking of the NEO, ONT, VET, XLM, KMD, ALGO, QTUM, and STRAT cryptocurrencies.

10. Bitfinex Wins Partial Stay in NYAG Lawsuit; New Token Sales Platform Announced

A new development in the Bitfinex and Tether saga took place on the 24th, when they won a motion that will prevent them from having to turn over documents to the New York Attorney General office. However, the victory is only temporary, as the motion was granted “on the condition the appeal is perfected on or before Nov. 4, 2019.”

The same day, Bitfinex unveiled the Bitfinex Token Sales platform, which will replace the current IEO platform Tokinex. This new platform reportedly will be focused on sustainable growth, and will be holding a sale of Kimcoin tokens, the cryptocurrency of MEGA’s Kim Dotcom.

11. US Congress and SEC Hearing Fail to Reach Consensus on Crypto Regulations

The hearing, which took place on Sep. 24, produced mixed opinions regarding the possible status of cryptocurrencies. SEC Commissioner Hester M. Pierce defended investors’ rights and advised her colleagues against “overriding investor preferences” regarding crypto, while US Rep. Brad Sherman warned people about the potential of cryptocurrencies to “meet the needs of tax evaders, drug dealers, and terrorists.” The main concern during the hearing, however, was the legislative uncertainty that has hovered over the crypto space and cryptocurrencies in particular, with Rep. Anthony Gonzalez urging the SEC to speed up the process of drafting regulatory norms for crypto, citing the lack of regulation as the reason innovation in the crypto space has been moving outside of the U.S.

12. FINRA Grants Broker-Dealer License to Harbor Subsidiary

Per the license, Harbor Square Investments, a subsidiary of the Harbor tokenized securities platform, will now be able to buy and sell digital assets on its own behalf and on behalf of its clients. Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor, mentioned the importance of this development in the process of bringing institutional investors into the crypto space, as the company has concentrated on institutional-grade people, processes and technology since its founding. Stein also noted the importance of the licensing, seeing in it an end of the year-long standoff between crypto companies and U.S. regulators.

Final Thoughts

Seeing Bitcoin (or any reputable cryptocurrency) lose so much in value in just one week is clearly not something that traders and hodlers enjoy. However, data from several metrics could be interpreted by some as Bitcoin going strong, even achieving new all-time highs in things such as hash rate and daily transaction count during the week. This discrepancy has led people to believe that the price drops are just market corrections, and that it shouldn’t be an issue as long as the Bitcoin community remains strong and active. In addition to this, many traders expected Bakkt to be a game-changer and rally the price of Bitcoin, but one week is clearly not enough time to gauge the success of the platform.

We wish you a great week,

The COIN360 Editorial Team