Outstanding Stablecoins, Spot Trading Volumes Hit Record 6451

Stablecoins have hit an all-time high with over $4Bn tokens representing the Greenback now on the blockchain. While Tether dominance remains, new stablecoins that came to market recently have made leapfrogs of progress. And trading volumes have already in less than 5 months beat that of last year’s record with 2019 set to dwarf the now infamous bear market in comparison.


This year to date has seen trading volumes with Tether pairs already exceeding a whopping $1.3 Trillion – $200Mn more than all of last year (see chart 3). Despite the transparency concerns of a now diversified reserve, the dominating market stablecoin has not budged traders from using it as it remains to have the most liquidity and options across cryptocurrency exchanges (Diar, 30 April).

While there is a leering concern of wash trading on unregulated and under-regulated exchanges, current volumes at this magnitude could also indicate a growing difficulty in market manipulation, should it be the case.

|| SLOW AND STEADY WINS A BULL MARKET RACE

Last year’s stablecoin newcomers have not been slouches either. Circle/Coinbase backed USDC has seen its outstanding tokenized version of the US Dollar grow by 41% since the start of the year – north of $100Mn. And trading volumes have finally managed to pick up some speed clocking in a whopping 435% increase (see table, chart 1).

|| GROWING IN TANDEM

TrustToken’s USD, one of the few stablecoin options on the market at the start of last year has seen growth, albeit, smaller than USDC. Still, TUSD has recorded $3.8Bn in trading volume for May, a little over $200Mn than their closest rival. Notably, though, is that TUSD has a higher velocity marking it a favorite by traders as the stablecoin has 30% less in outstanding reserves than Centre’s USDC.

|| BLOCKCHAIN BILLIONS

Major stablecoins now stand north of $4Bn, with more fiat options coming to market, primarily offerings from TrustToken. The company has announced a plethora of new fiat-pegged tokens, but have so far garnered little interest as trading pairs and a forex market does not exist as of yet.

|| BLOCKCHAIN UNUTILIZED

Though numbers impressive, the use case of stablecoins have found little appeal outside of sitting on centralized exchanges. USDC has indeed seen an impressive 540% increase in active addresses on-chain versus the start of the year. And TrustUSD is not very far behind on this metric either. But the absolute maximum addresses using the blockchain have been a mere 5500 at peak on a single day for the two majors outside of Tether.

|| NEW AVENUE PUSH

Last week saw Coinbase make its largest market push yet opening up crypto-to-crypto trading, including USDC, to another 50 countries bringing up the tally to an impressive 103 from 32 just a year ago (Diar, 11 February).

The popular exchange has now invested and built out its own vision of an ‘Open Financial System’ through various avenues from a non-custodial wallet, to supporting major Decentralized Finance (DeFi) companies that have garnered much attention as of late.

And while the experiment still continues as to the long-term stability of these various decentralized applications, the infrastructure is slowly coming together. However, with a focus remaining on distressed economies, the growth and use-case is likely to remain small without developed nations also adopting into the concept.

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IOTA Partners With luxury Fashion Brand to Use DLT for Supply Chain 7739

IOTA, the German blockchain foundation, is launching a DLT solution to enable a more sustainable and ethically-sourced fashion industry alongside global manufacturing company Avery Dennison, they shared with The Block. The platform will be trialled by luxury label ALYX to allow its customers full insights into the supply chain. Customers will be able to track the journey of the purchased item, from creation to the point of sale, with an app which reads items’ QR codes. IOTA’s DLT will record the garment’s origins, production date, and raw materials, allowing users to authenticate the product and check its sustainability credentials.

“Brands and consumers can know that the information they are being shown about the garment’s creation process is 100% accurate and can be trusted implicitly. This is a watershed moment for improving brand transparency and trust,” said Debbie Shakespeare, senior director of sustainability and compliance at Avery Dennison. Shakespeare added that by adding a blockchain layer, consumers would have “uncompromisable data.” While the companies have run a series of internal pilots, the partnership is one of the first public proofs-of-concept of the platform

Despite Crypto Comeback, Prominent Investor Doesn’t Expect Ethereum 2.0 Until 2021 8793

Over the past weeks, crypto has returned to the limelight. Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), amongst other digital assets have absolutely surged. While no specific fundamental factors have been pinned to the recent rally, it is widely believed that certain bits of news, like Fidelity’s institutional platform and Ethereum starting a Proof of Stake (PoS) integration, has boosted the price.

But one notable commentator claims that one key development, Ethereum’s transition to PoS (Serenity) may not occur as soon as optimists expect.

Per CoinTelegraph, during a panel headlined “The Smart Contract War Is Coming”, Ryan Selkis of data analytics startup Messari drew attention to the shortcomings of PoS. He claimed that the consensus mechanism, which gets rid of energy-chomping miners for entitled full nodes that can process Ethereum blocks, is “not proven to work.” Selkis, who is the CEO of the aforementioned firm, adds that Ethereum’s current Proof of Work (PoW) system may be “even good enough” for long-term scaling.

And thus, he added he doesn’t expect for “Proof-of-Stake and ethereum 2.0 to happen before the end of 2021 at the earliest.”

This news comes after Justin Drake of the Ethereum Foundation remarked last week that code specifications for phase zero are “on track” to see finalization by June 30th.  Once finalization occurs, developers can begin building code around said specifications, as they ensure that everyone is on the same page. For those unaware, phase zero, also dubbed “Beacon Chain,” will allow for validators, rather than miners, stake Ether and vote on improvement proposals.

Funnily enough, however, Selkis seems to be entirely bullish on Ethereum and its prospects in the short to medium-term. In a recent tweet, the long-time industry insider remarked that with all the things expected to happen during New York City’s Blockchain Week, “you’d have to be insane to short”. He then asserted that the bear market is “over”, and explained that the next “epic bull run”, for Bitcoin and Ethereum, is on the verge of arriving.

Ethereum (And Bitcoin Too) Still Looks Appealing

Despite all this, Ethereum has remained tantalizing, with the project seeing an array of other bullish developments.

For instance, in late-April, rumors revealed that Samsung, one of the world’s largest technology shops, has intentions to build an Ethereum-based blockchain that will host its own token. It isn’t clear what use this asset would hold, but the source suggests that blockchain could be brought to Samsung Pay, the tech giant’s fintech application.

In a similar string of news, JP Morgan and Microsoft unveiled a partnership that will see Quorum, the former’s Ethereum-based chain, be implemented into the tech company’s Azure Blockchain Service, thus allowing for the wider adoption of blockchain.

And most recently, a “senior official” that has knowledge of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) claims that the regulator is entirely amicable towards Ethereum. He/she explained that “we can get comfortable with an Ether derivative being under our jurisdiction,” confirming the hearsay that the CFTC’s cousin, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), sees ETH as a non-security. This means that if an exchange like the CME or CFTC requests to launch Ethereum futures, the agency is likely to approve such a proposal.

Bitcoin is Better! Aussie Bank Note Typo Highlights Inferiority of Fiat 9754

The Reserve Bank of Australia has spent most of the day wiping proverbial egg off its face today as it emerged that the latest run of A$50 notes it has printed has a rather embarrassing typo on them. Such a blunder serves to highlight the inferiority of fiat money over Bitcoin beautifully.

The institution says that there is nothing it can do about the A$2.3 billion worth of misspelled notes. The ultimately irony is that these notes will probably end up being more valuable than A$50 in the long run – unless of course the bank decides to double down on its error and misspell all fifties from now on!

Printing Money is a Serious “Responsibilty”!

As mentioned, the Reserve Bank of Australia made quite the blunder with its latest round of currency printing. It recently ordered around 46 million new A$50 notes to be created. Rather amusingly, it has emerged today that the financial institution made a typo in the text used on the note.

Whoever’s responsibility it was to spell the word responsibility correctly was clearly not up to task. Instead of the preferred spelling, they instead opted for:

“Responsibilty.”

According to a BBC article, the notes were first released late last year. They depict the first female member of the Australian parliament, Edith Cowan. The typo appears in a quotation of her first ever speech in government. It should read:

“It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here.”

What’s This Got to do With Bitcoin?

The irony with misprinted currency is that it usually ends up way more valuable than the correctly printed versions. This teaches an important lesson about the concept of value.

Fiat currency is printed paper. It has no intrinsic value. If you were stranded on a desert island and I offered you a briefcase full of $100 bills or a $50 life raft, which are you going to take?

The point is, value is subjective and the perceived value of different things can change over time.

Although the Reserve Bank of Australia intended their latest $50 notes to be worth the same as every other $50 note they have printed, by accidentally making them rarer than those that will follow, they have made them potentially more valuable. Since they’re still treated as legal tender, no one is going to exchange one of these typo notes for less than $50 but some people might want them enough to pay more than $50 for them. Relative scarcity has given them a higher potential value to some people. If there was just one note with a type, the increased scarcity would create even more potential value.

Amusingly, the bank could rectify this by including the typo in all their future $50 notes in this design. If they followed this counterproductive sounding plan, there would be no additional scarcity since none of the notes would be special.

Compare this to Bitcoin. There are just 21 million Bitcoin that will ever be and a decent percentage of these are lost. They can’t be made any less rare by a centralised institution and this is their main value proposition. Providing growing numbers of people need a non-correlated, permissionless, and non-state backed asset class to serve as a check on reckless government policy, the purchasing power of Bitcoin will only increase. Market forces decide how much a Bitcoin is worth, rather than some potentially corrupt, grossly dated institution such as a central bank.

Bitcoin Rally Sustains While Investors in Other Crypto Assets Continue To Suffer 9253

Last night, Bitcoin broke back above $6,000 across the crypto market, and to many, it’s a signal that the bottom is “in” and the bear market is now a lingering memory.

While the leading cryptocurrency by market cap has nearly doubled since its 2018 low, the rest of the crypto market continues to bleed out, with most altcoins setting new lows in their ratios relative to BTC. With Bitcoin at an inflection point, and much of the market in disbelief, analysts are torn as to whether altcoins like Ethereum and Ripple will continue to plummet, or are an attractive buy at this level.

In a recent Twitter poll, it was revealed that the average large majority of crypto investors are diversified across two to nine coins, which may or may not include Bitcoin. Only 16 percent of crypto investors responding to the poll claimed to be holding only Bitcoin, suggesting that only a small subset of crypto investors have experienced relief during the current Bitcoin rally.

While Bitcoin has nearly doubled in value since its 2018 low, altcoins have continued to suffer relative to their price in BTC. Much of the altcoin market is paired with BTC on exchanges, causing Bitcoin to have a powerful impact on the price of these other crypto assets.

Big Picture#Bitcoin surged to a new 2019 High while ALTs continued their bleeding

New 2019 low for $BTC paired frontline ALTs$XRP $ADA $XLM $TRX $XMR $DASH $IOTA $ETC $NEO $ZEC $ZRX $ICX $ZIL$BTC dominance at almost 18 month high now

Prior to Bitcoin breaking through $4,200 at the start of the April rally, altcoin growth had been closely correlated with the first ever cryptocurrency. Many were calling for an “alt season” – a period where altcoins experience extreme growth relative to BTC.

However, following that break of resistance, altcoins have been decimated through an inverse relationship with Bitcoin. The relationship between BTC and altcoins is fickle, with alts sometimes pumping when Bitcoin grows, and other times dumping violently while Bitcoin climbs.

The promise of alt season now has become a running joke across the crypto industry. However, such a decoupling may be a healthy sign for the crypto market, as YouTube personality Tone Vays and crypto entrepreneur Vinny Lingham say it is needed for a full blown Bitcoin bull run to begin once again.

Will Altcoins Set New Lows Or Rebound if Bitcoin Can Hold $6K?

As many altcoins, such as Ethereum, Ripple, and Stellar reach new lows in their BTC ratios, analysts are torn if these price levels present a strong buying opportunity, or are due to set even more extreme lows.

Bitcoin dominance is now at an 18-month high, and a rebound across the altcoin market is expected if Bitcoin can hold at levels around $6,000. Should Bitcoin fall further, it could cause most altcoins to fall off a cliff and see their ratios relative to BTC plummet further.

If altcoins do rebound, they have a lot of catching up to do if crypto investors that aren’t Bitcoin maximalists are ever to get some relief.

Is Ripple the Liquid alternative of Tether or USDC? 8821

  • Ripple (XRP) prices slide 1.7 percent
  • The rollout of xCurrent 4.0 is an opportunity for banks to upgrade and even adopt xRapid

That the World Bank and the IMF have Ripple Inc in their reports is bullish. At the core, Ripple Inc is introducing speed, efficiency and cost savings in the fund remittance sector searching for alternatives. Even so, the unregulated nature of XRP is slowing down adoption as prices range within a 4 cents zone.

Ripple (XRP) Price AnalysisFundamentals

For the extended consolidation, Ripple (XRP) is said to be a “sleeping” giant. However, it’s not a deep snore but a snooze, a power nap. We can glean all this from significant developments in the last few weeks.

First, there is xCurrent 4.0 that is available for the more than 200 banks and financial institutions. Although David Schwartz brought to light technical reasons that could slow down adoption—and upgrade to xCurrent 4.0 automatically activating xRapid, there are other positive developments. Ripple Inc, despite “stable” prices, is partnering with banks and working closely with regulators.

It is a necessary groundwork for laying infrastructure that the cryptocurrency industry would find useful in days ahead. Towards their grand goal, institutional grade investors are investing in XRP as the Q1 2019 XRP report reveals. With mention from the IMF, the EU via INATBA, the World Bank and the startup’s links with the White House, it is easy to see Ripple Inc’s fundamental trajectory. Even so, traders must be patient.

Currently, XRP resembles a stable coin, but if FIs migrate to xCurrent 4.0, then it would be only about time before there is an explosion above 40 cents.

Candlestick Arrangements

Meanwhile, Ripple (XRP) is down 1.7 percent in the last week, trading along 30 cents and pretty much stable like it has in the previous 24 hours. Therefore, in light with today’s development, our XRP/USD trade plan is valid. However, the longer this consolidation is, the stronger the breakout would be.

Even so, despite the likelihood that XRP could sink, printing towards the dredges, the fact that there is no movement despite Bitcoin (BTC) gains supportive of bulls.

That lag is bullish, and unless otherwise there is a drop below 30 cents, then any break above 34 cents could spur demand with targets at 40 cents and 60 cents.

Technical Indicators

With prices consolidating within a 10 cents trade range, participants are yearning for volatility that would lift prices above 40 cents in a breakout trade. Accompanying that break—or drop, should be high volumes exceeding averages of 11 million or preferable 36 million, the mean value of Apr-24-25 draw-down.

Chart courtesy of Trading View

Bitfinex Posts Record High Net Bitcoin Withdrawals in April 2019 8122

Trust in cryptocurrency exchange BitFinex is on a record decline, a new research highlights.

London-based blockchain investigation firm, Token Analyst, revealed that BitFinex witnessed its most massive net bitcoin outflow in April 2019 at 314,897 BTC. The second most significant withdrawal was 182,425 BTC in January 2018, which coincided with a bitcoin price drop from $17,178 to $9,601. But unlike the last time, the latest Bitcoin withdrawal rate at BitFinex didn’t exactly cause a price crash, indicating that traders were merely moving BTCs from one wallet to another instead of selling them for other assets.

Largest net outflow months in USD:

1) Jan 2018: $2.3B
2) Dec 2017: $2.2B
3) Apr 2019: $1.6B

Tether FUD

Bitcoin withdrawals’ rate at BitFinex started climbing soon after the New York Attorney General sued the exchange and its partner company Tether. The attorney alleged that the duo misled their investors by not disclosing $850 million that BitFinex raised to back Tether’s stablecoin USDT. The misbalance in the line of credit meant that USDT tokens were no longer fully backed by the US dollar on a 1:1 basis.

BitFinex told the NYAG office that a payment processing company Crypto Capital was in control of those $850 million. The response further mentioned that authorities in the US, Poland, and Portugal had seized those assets. However, both BitFinex and Tether added that they did not believe Crypto Capital’s representation that the funds had been appropriated.

BitFinex had already announced a plan to tackle the situation: an initial exchange offering to raise $1 billion. The exchange released a whitepaper earlier this month, stating that it was planning to sell 1 billion LEO tokens for 1 USDT each to cover its $850 billion losses. Taking cues from Binance, BitFinex said it would spend at least 27 percent of its monthly profits to buy back LEO tokens until only 100 million tokens survive. In case the missing $850 billion becomes accessible, BitFinex would buy back the entire LEO supply within 18 months.

Traders Losing Interest, Anyway

Bitcoin Outflow on BitFinex Reaching All-Time High | Source: BitInfoCharts.

Traders have decided to move their bitcoin funds from BitFinex despite the exchange’s tactical response, as clarified in the chart above. The platform’s USD balance is declining, which could be due to investors exiting/moving their USDT positions to other exchanges. On the whole, BitFinex has seen net outflows of $820m since the NYAG lawsuit. There is a mere $450 million worth of funds that are left in BitFinex cold wallets, per data provided by BitInfoCharts.

Bitcoin’s recent price action is a testimony to traders’ declining interest in USDT. As NewsBTC reported earlier, the cryptocurrency could be up partially because of a capital influx from USDT markets. At the same time, if BitFinex manages to raise $1 billion, investors would likely liquidate their Bitcoin holdings to come back to the USDT market. Sources tell that big whales, including venture capitalist firms, would hold at least 60 percent of the upcoming LEO token sale.