What’s Next for Bitcoin, Now that It Broke Through $20,000?

The sky’s the limit for the largest cryptocurrency. But where we go to next in the short-term, that’s the next question in everyone’s mind because now no technicals are there to guide the market.

We have already gone well above $23,000, with the ‘real’ trading volume also surging past $11 billion. Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder of crypto lender Nexo, says,

“We have a new line in the sand and the focus shifts to the next round number of $30,000.”

“This is the start of a new chapter for Bitcoin. It’s a narrative the media and retail crowd can properly latch onto because they’ve been noticeably absent from this rally.”

According to Meltem Demirors, Bitcoin breaking above $20,000 marks an important psychological milestone. She told Bloomberg,

“The biggest thing is the macroeconomic conditions — this is the perfect setup for Bitcoin”

“From here things are going to move very quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we touched $35,000 in the next three to six months.”

This week, Bank of America’s survey revealed Bitcoin to be the third-largest crowded trade after long tech and the short US dollar.

It might look crowded to the outsiders, but the market knows that Bitcoin has just started its new cycle. Ed Campbell, managing director at QMA, said,

“People tend to pile into momentum trades, so Bitcoin could have more upside from here.”

As we have been reporting, institutions lead this uptrend with the retail “out of this rally,” which, according to Kay Van-Petersen, global macro strategist at Saxo Capital Markets, means the “price will now go from linear to parabolic.”

Interestingly, despite bitcoin’s big moves, implied volatility remains muted. The crypto market’s low volatility is expected to sustain the largest digital asset’s performance next year.

Not to mention, interest rates will remain at zero and sub-zero while the Federal Reserve announces that they will continue to keep up with its massive stimulus measures.

All of this has Bitcoin’s top in this bull rally anywhere between $100k to $500k and $1 million in an even larger scheme of things.

However, in the short-term, “testing $36,000 will be the next real objective,” if BTC sustains its momentum, said Dan Gunsberg, CEO of crypto trading platform Hxro, adding that a significant break below $13,800 would bring a much weaker period.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Driving Wealth Creation, Even a Small Position Goes a Long Way

We have entered a point in the Bitcoin market where wealth is created as BTC’s price continues to climb to new highs. Although we aren’t at a place yet where people are getting hilariously rich, things have indeed started.

As one Bitcoiner @HODLAMERICAN615 shared on Twitter, BTC helps him turn around his mother in law’s finances. “She now has over 100k in savings for the first time in her life,” he said.

With an aggressive savings plan, he put everything into Bitcoin. And by the time the Bitcoin peaks, he is expecting her to become a millionaire. He added,

“A woman who makes 28k a year working at a pre school who was flat broke 3 years ago will literally be a millionaire.”

Bitcoin has been the best performing asset of the last decade. Continuing this trend, the digital asset beats traditional assets, stocks, and precious metals in 2020.

Up nearly 150% YTD, BTC went as high as $18,500 this week, a level that was last seen in December 2017. We aren’t much far off from the all-time high of $20,000.

“Markets are drawn to round numbers,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo. “Since we passed $16,000, the next stop was $18,000. Now it’s $20,000.”

The gold of this century, Bitcoin is a better investment option for returns and being censorship-resistant and, of course, portable.

Another good thing about BTC is that one doesn’t have to buy an entire coin; instead, a fraction of it can be purchased. Satoshi aka sat is the smallest Bitcoin unit, one hundred millionths of one full BTC (1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis).

With BTC prices surging higher and higher, these small units also continue to represent higher value. 1 Satoshi is currently equal to 0.0001801493 USD.

Even Rapper Logic said that he bought $6 million worth of BTC last month. If we go back one month exactly, pure speculation on when he purchased, the price would have been around $12,000, which would give him about 500 BTC. Of course, he could have bought at a higher price or lower than that as well.

“A small position in Bitcoin can go a long way,” Hugo Rogers, chief investment officer at Deltec Bank & Trust, who bought BTC when it traded around $9,300 in June, told Bloomberg. He said,

“There’s a lack of an alternative in real assets that can show a comparable return. If you’re going to diversify your portfolio anyway, this is a good place to go.”

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Author: AnTy

Exchange Sees Record Growth with Expansion for Rapid Crypto Adoption

Cryptocurrency platform Luno is now expanding into Australia. The region where bitcoin trading reached a record in February, to $74,000 up from $44,000 in January, still remains largely untapped.

In the last five years, Australia that has a supportive regulatory environment, has seen a fivefold increase in the number of fintech companies, said Luno General Manager Marius Reitz.

The South African company, which operates in Nigeria and the UK and recently started trading Uganda and Zambia as well, employs 350 people across offices in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

According to Reitz, Africa is one of the “most promising” regions for crypto adoption, given the challenges of high inflation rates, volatile currencies, and a lack of banking infrastructure in different countries of the continent.

Moreover, “Africa’s young and mobile-native make the continent even more ideal for the rapid adoption of crypto,” he said. Not to mention, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana are frequently among the top 10 countries by Google searches for the term “Bitcoin.”

Luno has added about a million users to its platform since the pandemic began. Just yesterday, it announced that the company has officially reached 5 million customers.

Founded seven years ago, Luno attracted $3 million in funding in 2015, led by Africa’s biggest company Naspers, which along with Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Ltd, Balderton Capital UK LLP, Venturra Capital, and Digital Currency Group all own less than 20% stakes in the company.

As we reported, DCG here just made a bet of $100 million on bitcoin mining with its fourth subsidiary, Foundry, the other three being Grayscale Investments, Genesis, and Coindesk, to reduce China’s dominance on BTC hash rate and bring it back to North America.

The crypto world is seeing a lot of development in 2020, just this week, Fidelity unveiled its first bitcoin fund for family officers and registered investment advisers with a minimum investment of $100,000.

As the crypto market is enjoying the gains, with Bitcoin up 56.4% YTD, development in the space is gathering speed as well.

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Author: AnTy

Hunt for Yield Drives a Record Q2 for Genesis Lending

Genesis released its Q2 2020 report where it revealed a “very strong growth” in direct lending and liquidity mining or “yield farming” and believes this growth will continue into Q3.

The crypto lending service provider added more than $2.2 billion in new originations last quarter marking it the “largest quarter ever,” with a 324% increase from the same quarter last year. Active loans outstanding also surged past $1 billion, representing a 118% increase QoQ.

After decreasing in the previous three quarters, its BTC loan composition increased in this quarter, which came mostly from due to a decrease in USD loan composition over the same period. Combined, BTC and cash dominates the loan portfolio at 83.2%.

“The infrastructure, maturity, and general interest in BTC/USD markets relative to altcoin/USD markets is much greater, and we don’t see that trend redirecting any time soon.”

Since its launch, Genesis has originated over $8.4 billion in cryptocurrency loans.

In Q2 2020, Genesis traded $5.25 billion in spot trading, up from $4 billion in Q1, the majority of which traded on an OTC basis. In its first full month of derivatives trading, it recorded $400 million in notional value, with 80% concentrated in BTC/USD.

Insatiable Appetite

The Genesis report notes the major theme in Q2 was the demand for yield on digital assets, which continues to drive markets with the last quarter being ‘yield-centric.’ The most prevalent forms of yield generation are spot lending, call overwriting, and, most recently, liquidity mining with “an insatiable appetite for all of them.”

This hunt for yield in Q2 led to tremendous growth, especially in June, in the total interest paid to that pool of lenders and the number of unique institutional lenders on its platform, up 24% from previous months and 187% from last year and. The report reads,

“It’s not surprising DeFi yield farming has impacted our lending business, particularly on the demand side. The demand to borrow assets which have the most advantageous fee structures increases when the market is hot and rapidly decreases once the market is onto the next asset.”

Moreover, a jump was seen in call option overwriting,

“as an alternative to spot lending, many of our counterparties are selling out-of-the-money call options to generate yield via premiums.”

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Author: AnTy

ETH 2.0 will Restrict the Supply and Drive Prices Up, But ‘Unlikely to Succeed as Planned’

Today is a big day for Ethereum as it surpasses 10 million blocks. Unlike the Bitcoin network where it takes 10 minutes to produce one block, Ethereum blocks are mined every 20 seconds.

The digital asset Ether is also recording 57% returns YTD as currently, Ether trades at $205. Moreover, in the past 30 days, Tether paid $757,000 in fees for the processing of transactions on the Ethereum network.

Launched in 2015, Ethereum remains the second biggest network that will go through the PoW to PoS transition in the coming years.

The Ethereum 2.0 roadmap reveals that it will be launched as early as July 2020 but will be implemented in three phases — Phase 0 Beacon Chain which is the one coming by the end of Q2 2020 and will introduce staking.

Phase 2 that will make Eth 2.0 network operational after its introduction at some point in 2022 as Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin recently said, Eth 2.0 issuance could take two years at most.

Back in mid-April, Prysmatic Labs launched Topaz testnet that requires a deposit of 32 ETH, the minimum requirement for staking as planned for Ether 2.0 mainnet.

July launch is likely to be testnet…

The initial launch of Ethereum 2.0 will most likely operate as a testnet network for the new proof of stake (PoS) consensus ecosystem. As such, most of the smart contracts and economic activity will remain on the original network which will exist parallel to Eth 2.0. Moreover, initially, Eth1 coins could be converted into Eth2 but not back.

The issuance rate of Eth2 will depend on the amount of Ether participating in the staking process. And the more ETH is transferred into Eth2, the more coins will be issued. But the more coins are staked the lower the investment return but also lower the annual inflation rate.

The entire economy of Eth 1.0 will be later transferred to new network Eth 2.0, a transition that is “risky, highly complex and will take a considerable amount of time,” noted BitMEX in its latest report.

For Ethereum’s growth to continue, both the full node operators and consensus agents would be required to run larger computers, this would not only become increasingly expensive but could “eventually lead to increased centralisation,” and degrade the censorship resistance characteristic of the system.

As for the much-anticipated sharding for scalability, it would be added to the system in phase 1 which has now been scaled down to just 64 from the original 1,024 shards.

The beacon chain, the parent chain will contain links to each shard. Also, in phase 1, the sharding system and staking process will become interrelated.

An incredibly ambitious project…

According to BitMEX, because of constant experimenting with new and complex systems, Ethereum “satisfies a need in a community keen on trying new ideas.”

As such, a “considerable amount of funds will move into Ethereum 2.0 and earn the staking rewards, perhaps billions of dollars worth of ETH,” predicts BitMEX.

As for what will be the effect of the launch of Ethereum 2.0 on the price, in the short term, a significant amount of ETH will be locked inside the beacon chain attracted by taking which would “restrict the supply of ETH on the market and drive up the price.”

But at the same time, it could merely end up attracting ETH from other contracts where they are locked. But in order to drive long term value, Ethereum 2.0 needs to have sustainable demand as well.

However, before that, there is a lot to be done, the proof of stake and sharding need to work and be “compelling enough to attract the economically significant components of the Ethereum ecosystem over to it.” Moreover, smart contracts and DeFi systems would have to choose between the shards.

So, overall it will be “many years” before the Ethereum ecosystem makes the switch or at least a significant part of it. It said,

“Ethereum 2.0 is an incredibly ambitious project and we consider it highly unlikely that it will succeed as planned, without major hiccups.”

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Author: AnTy

Vitalik Buterin: Ethereum Miners Can Use Their Obsolete Mining Machines For ZKPs

Ethereum blockchain is in a transition period where the network is moving from a Proof-of-Work consensus to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, in order to improve the network’s scalability and efficiency. The change of mining consensus was scheduled in phases and the final phase is scheduled to commence in June 2020. While the change of mining consensus has become the need of the hour given the network congestion that Ethereum has faced in recent times, the main worry remains around miners.

Many people are wondering what would existing miners do with their machines once the Ethereum network makes the transition from its current version to Ethereum 2.0. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that once the network changes the mining consensus, the obsolete mining machines could be utilized for Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). Buterin recently appeared for an interview on The Shitcoin Dot Com to discuss Ethereum 2.0 launch (currently in testnet) where the question about obsolete mining machines came up. He said,

“They’re very powerful. First of all, they give you a lot of privacy. Second, they give you a lot of scalabilities, because instead of verifying a really big thing, you just have to verify a really small proof.

You can use them to verify the validity of things, you could potentially use them to replace Merkle trees; cut the Merkle tree branches and witnesses down from hundreds of kilobytes to like a couple of kilobytes, and all of these nice things.”

At present Ethereum uses a custom version of Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining consensus called Ethash which requires miners on the platform to input the high amount of computational power to mine the next block. However, with the change in mining consensus to Proof-of-Stake, not all miners would be required to put in high amounts of computational power, rather the community would select a particular miner based on their on-chain activity or accumulated wealth on the platform.

Vitalik during the interview noted that although the existing mining machines would be of no use on the Ethereum 2.0 blockchain, still miners can dedicate their devices towards Zero-Knowledge Proofs Network.

What is Zero-Knowledge Proofs?

Zero-Knowledge Proof which is also known by their abbreviation ZKPs is an information-sharing protocol. ZKPs allow two parties to share an encrypted form of information between them and either of the parties does not have to know what is the actual info being shared. ZKPs are an important part of privacy centered currency like Zcash which uses a specialized version of ZKPs called ZK-SNARKS which allow customers to send completely encrypted transactions on the network.

Buterin has been a big fan of Zero-Knowledge Protocol for quite some time and has advocated for the same calling it one of a kind technological revolution.

Ethereum 2.0 Launch Less Stressful Than The First Launch: Buterin

Buterin was also asked about how nervous or nerve recking it is to get prepared for such a significant change in the original protocol. The Ethereum co-founder noted that the change in mining consensus is definitely a major milestone but it is not as nerve recking as it was in 2015 during the launch of the platform. He explained,

“It’s definitely a bit less nerve-racking than the first time, just because I’ve been through the whole thing before. Definitely nervous with anticipation, but also just very excited to see all of this stuff finally go live.

It’s important to remember that up until very recently, ETH 2.0 was basically an idea and a dream, as far as most people could tell.”

You can catch the full interview here:

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Author: James W

Crypto Lender Dharma Rolls Out ‘Social Payments’ on Twitter; Send USD to Any Account

Decentralized crypto lending platform Dharma has added support for payment via twitter, where a client can send US money to any Twitter account irrespective of its geographical location. The new feature would be called social Payment and the receiver of the payment would not be required to have a Dharma account in order to get the social payment.

The announcement was made via Dharma’s official Twitter account on April 21st which would permit all Dharma customers to send US money from their smart wallet as long as they have the required amount in the wallet. The sender would also need to retweet the tweet to the payment bot and tag the recipient so that they would be notified about the payment received.

Once a user receives the payment through the Social Payment system, they would be required to click on the attached link when they receive the notification and create a Dharma account which they would be required to connect with their Twitter account. Since Dharma is decentralized lending platform where users can hedge funds and earn interest on that hedged fund, even the fund received via Social Payment can begin to earn interest for the receiver well before the receiver makes a Dharma account to claim the award.

Dharma is not the First to Introduce Payment Via Social Media

Dharma believes its Social Payment system could have numerous uses be it for tipping micropayments on social media, or charitable donations across the border as well as sending and receiving business payments.

Dharma’s Social Payment might sound familiar to those who are associated with the decentralized space and that’s because Brave has already introduced a similar system back in August last year where Twitter users can use Brave’s Twitter tipping service to make micropayments and tips in Brave’s native Basic Attention Token (BAT). Apart from Dharma and Brave even Lightning network has tried their hands at micropayments via social media in the past quite similar to Brave and Dharma.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Enjin’s Blockchain Gaming Ecosystem Upgrades Its ENJ Wallet Before China Roll Out

Blockchain gaming platform Enjin is all set to expand its business in South Asia where China will be its biggest target given the world’s most populous country has invested heavily in blockchain and is a hub for gamers. The gaming platform has made a few upgrades to its wallet right before it opens its services for the Chinese consumers.

The firm made an announcement on 13th April revealing that the native wallet for the Enjin Coin has been tweaked to meet the regulatory requirements of the country. The blockchain gaming firm noted that the new changes to their wallet make it “certified and compliant in China,” and the approval for the same has been granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Bryana Kortendick, vice president of marketing at Enjin revealed said,

“The infrastructure running our services and products, including the Enjin Wallet, has been certified/licensed by [the] Chinese state agency. The wallet app itself complies with all local laws and regulations set forth by the Chinese government and communicates with the … compliant licensed infrastructure.”

Enjin Wallet Made Easier To Use

The announcement also revealed several new changes to the native wallet which would make it much easier for everyone to use, send and receive funds and transact in a few simple clicks. The Enjin wallet has also introduced Ethereum Naming Services (ENS), a feature that helps in shorting the complex crypto wallet addresses to simple human-readable ones.

A few other highlights of the news changes include,

  • Added native support for ERC-1155 blockchain assets
  • Introduced Enjin Beam, so you can receive assets by scanning a QR code
  • An in-app exchange featuring the world’s first multi-swap support
  • Built-in a fast, flexible DApp browser
  • Enabled buying and selling option for blockchain assets on the Enjin Marketplace
  • Ability to create and manage an infinite number of wallets

Enjin wallet was launched back in early 2018 and grabbed the public eye after its strategic partnership with South Korean Electronic giants Samsung back in 2019. The wallet was featured in Samsung’s Blockchain Keystore. The Samsung news also boosted the value of its native token Enjin Coin which gained over 70% in the aftermath of the announcement. The wallet then also made headlines when it partnered with Microsoft for its crypto collectable reward scheme on the Azure platform.

China is the largest producer and consumer market of the world and despite the outbreak of COVID-19 and the scrutiny the country has faced for not taking appropriate measures to contain the outbreak, it remains the lucrative hub for any kind of product. With their focus on the launch of their digital DCEP and aggressive blockchain promotion, many decentralized blockchain firms are eying to enter the Chinese market.

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Author: James W

44% Think Bitcoin’s in a Bull Market & Alt-Season Will Occur in 2020: Kraken Survey

In the currently unstable environment where industries are laying off, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is on a hiring spree as it moves ahead to expand its team with 67 new hires.

The exchange also released a report called 2020 Sentiment Survey at a time when bitcoin has crashed 50% from this year’s top.

However, despite this, 44% of the respondents that involve investors and traders believe we are in a bull market in comparison to 22% that think we’re in a bear market.

Crypto market widely expects 2020 to be the year of the beginning of the bull run as such these industry participants remain as bullish as ever on the market as despite only 36% of them having raised capital last year, 49% now expect to do so this year.

According to 20% of Kraken’s VIP client base, adoption from central banks, corporations, various generations, institutions, and/or retail users would accelerate the crypto adoption.

Other potential drivers include bitcoin reward halving, conflict (political, war, etc.), FOMO, crisis (currency, debt, financial, etc.), and ongoing product development.

Bitcoin and Altcoins

Currently, Bitcoin is trading around $6,500 but the average price target for this year puts the digital asset at a new all-time high at $22,866, while the most commonly cited target was the $20,000.

Meanwhile, people remain as hopeful of a Bitcoin ETF as ever despite there being no proposal left for the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval. 48% of the respondents believe a Bitcoin ETF will be approved in 2020.

When it comes to altcoins, the top five choices of Kraken’s survey respondents are Ether (ETH), Monero (XMR), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Tezos (XTZ), in this order.

The reasons for having these altcoins as their favorite included their development team, for hedging, liquidity, security, utility, and volatility.

However, what about the alt-season? The majority, 54%, still believes that the alt-season will occur in 2020.

These respondents see Ether surging to $810 this year, an increase of more than 500% from current prices. While the median price target was $500, the most frequent target was $300.

Coming onto the stablecoins, while over 44% of the respondents don’t use any stablecoin, Tether remains the top choice with 33.6% because of its ease of use, exchange support, stability, and supported pairs.

USDT is followed by USD Coin (8.7%) which is favored for being regulated, stable, and trusted and then DAI (8.4%) because of its Dai Savings Rate (DSR), being decentralized, and Ethereum-based.

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Author: AnTy

Cardano ‘Laser Focusing’ on Delivering Value, Brand Recognition & Promotion in 2020

  • Cardano is “laser focusing” on areas where it can “really deliver value”
  • Cardano Foundation team and community expanding
  • They have initiated a “major brand reappraisal project” to increase brand recognition & Cardano promotion

2019 marked Cardano’s second anniversary that saw the Cardano Foundation team expanding and its community increasing in size and becoming more geographically and linguistically diverse.

Entering into 2020 which is expected to be another busy one, the Cardano Foundation team will continue its “geographic expansion to strengthen our collective skillset as the Foundation and as a community,” said Hinrich Pfeifer, General Secretary of the Foundation.

As Deloitte’s 2019 Global Blockchain Survey revealed 53% executives believe Blockchain Technology has become a ‘critical priority’ while a whopping 83% sees its compelling use cases. 23% of the responding executives have already initiated a blockchain deployment which points to the fact that Demand for blockchain-enabled solutions is there and will continue to grow.

Cardano just needs to work on areas where it can “really deliver value for a wide range of stakeholders,” said Manmeet Singh, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation says they have started “laser focusing” on them.

Supporting the revolutionary technology & the entire industry

Nathan Kaiser, Chairperson of the Cardano Foundation also shared that 2019 was about getting the non-profit behind the 12th largest cryptocurrency back on track and focused on the legal affairs, taxes, and partnerships including the one with Konfidio to develop “real-life use cases ranging from supply chain and logistics, IoT to Identity Management.” The Foundation also teamed up with COTInetwork to introduce an adaPay solution.

Cardano community is seeing “incredibly strong growth,” with over a million individuals now part of it.

Cardano Foundation emphasizes that its focus isn’t only on Cardano but to support the entire industry and the revolutionary technology. As such, they are “working with other foundations, policymakers, regulators and key stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem,” shares Tamara Haasen, Council Member of the Foundation.

The idea is to have the necessary legislative support and increased education, awareness, and collaboration to drive the adoption and meeting the demand of the future.

Towards this, Cardano has initiated a “major brand reappraisal project.” This will further help them increase their brand recognition, increase it engagement and share of voice in the media to promote Cardano.

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Author: AnTy