Cryptocurrency market and news round-up 26 September
Market movements, Ethereum's proposals, Google ban tweak, regulatory impacts, Walmart blockchain.
Markets reverse... again
The market looks to be making another reversal, this time back in the downwards direction.
Despite the strong gains made last week, many cryptocurrencies are starting to falter. XRP is making up a substantial amount of the market losses.
At press time, the downturn has started ekeing back up. Where it is by the time you read this remains to be seen. The markets appear to be seeing a lot of volatility, even by crypto standards, at the moment.
Bitcoin is trading for $6,470 at the time of writing.
According to an analysis by NewsBTC, bitcoin's failure to maintain support at $6,600 indicates that its decline could drop towards the next support at $6,275 in the near future.
Bullish traders will be looking for bitcoin to quickly retest that $6,600 mark again, to restore faith that the coin has moved into an uptrend.
Vitalik Buterin has proposed a new solution to Ethereum's scaling dilemma.
The proposal would scale Ethereum transactions up from the current average of 7 per second to 500 per second.
Vitalik says that through the use of technology called zk-snarks, Ethereum transactions could be grouped together in massive batches which would allow the system to process more at a time. In fact, he estimates it would be about 24x faster for ETH transactions and ~50x for ERC-20 transfers.
What is particularly important about this proposal is that it is an on-chain solution. On-chain solutions can be thought of as the holy grail of blockchain scaling solutions, as they allow for transaction data to be stored on the main blockchain, instead of on layer-two solutions, such as Ethereum's upcoming Plasma or Raiden.
Layer-two solutions are less desirable because they require separate state channels to operate off the main blockchain. Their basic premise is that they transmit transaction data but don't make any major changes to the blockchain. Instead, they use the main blockchain as a source of truth about transactions.
Unfortunately, Vitalik has acknowledged that his proposed zk-snark solution is quite computationally demanding, requiring a lot of heavy-duty computing by network relayers, although he hopes advances in technology will help alleviate the issue.
As it turns out, Zk-snarks, which Vitalik hopes to use to improve Ethereum, are actually a technology that was pioneered by the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash.
Zcash is currently one of the only currencies seeing green today, up about 5% on the day. Its current price may have been helped further still by the rumour mill.
On Twitter, leading Ethereum dev Vlad Zamfir mused about the ability to merge different cryptocurrencies. Vitalik was called into the thread to explain a hypothetical he once discussed involving the merging of Ethereum with – as an example – Zcash.
While the thread is clearly an exchange of hypotheticals, it's possible the exchange had an influence on the price of Zcash.
Zcash is currently trading for $133, and it is the #21 largest coin by market cap.
EOS currently sitting around US$5.41
24-hour trading volumes have risen significantly (15%) in last 24 hours.
Coindesk reports that four early senior staff - and two contractors - have resigned their positions at Block.one, EOS's parent company, to undertake a new venture of their own, currently in stealth mode, but to be known as StrongBlock.
This includes the senior vice president of technology operations; vice president of product; vice president of infrastructure; and senior director of technology products.
"We left because we saw a need in the blockchain marketplace that Block.one was not going to address," one of the former Block.one employees, who left the company earlier this year in summer, reportedly told Coindesk.
Google tweaks crypto ad ban
Google is set to ease its full ban on cryptocurrency advertising - but only for regulated exchanges buying ads in the US and Japan. Google’s new policy starts in October.
Washington roundtable on crypto regulation
Close to 50 US venture capital firms, Wall Street fund managers and crypto companies - including Coinbase, Ripple, the NASDAQ and Andreessen Horowitz - have been invited to Washington this week to debate crypto regulation. According to CNBC, part of the invite reads:
“Your input is critical to helping us preempt a heavy-handed regulatory approach that could stall innovation and kill the U.S. ICO market.”
New Coinbase listing process
Coinbase has announced a new token listing process that will allow assets to much more rapidly be submitted via a form and be evaluated against Coinbase’s Digital Asset Framework.
Coinbase was founded to give people around the world access to a more open financial system. Towards this end, we’ve always taken a deliberate approach to adding support for new assets to the platform.
— Coinbase (@coinbase) September 25, 2018
Most interestingly, Coinbase’s new process will allow it to:
“list most digital assets that are compliant with local law, by satisfying listing requests in a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction manner. In practice, this means some new assets listed on our platform may only be available to customers in select jurisdictions for a period of time.”
Regulation impacts bitcoin price
The Bank for International Settlements (known as the BIS), which is owned by 60 central banks that together account for about 95% of the world’s GDP, has released a new report that claims the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are affected by news about regulation.
Here is Principle Economist, Raphael Auer explaining the research:
All up, the research looked at 6 leading currencies: bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash and XRP. They were compared against a scale called the CRNI which measures regulatory news. On the whole, they found cryptocurrency prices responded to regulatory news.
Bitcoin was used as a baseline with which to compare other coins. They found that bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum all responded to news in equal measure. Privacy coin Monero actually responded to news more strongly than bitcoin, while its privacy coin counterpart Zcash reacted less, although they do note Zcash has only been around for two years, so there was less data.
Interestingly, XRP reacted the least.
Is XRP price immune to regulatory news?
The BIS report demonstrated that XRP is less susceptible to regulatory news than the other coins studied. The authors concluded that:
“The XRP token also reacted less, which may reflect that its network of trusted nodes is centrally controlled by its issuer Ripple, making the XRP token distinct from other, permissionless, cryptocurrencies”
The report is saying that XRP is indeed a centralised coin, controlled by the central entity Ripple. XRP has received its fair share of flak by cryptocurrency purists for its relationship to the company Ripple.
Ripple has even gone so far as to issue a statement halfway through this year claiming that XRP is not owned by any single entity, not even Ripple, and it issued a series of cease-and-desist orders to media publications about their usage of the term XRP versus Ripple.
You can see some of Ripple’s claims outlined here.
Before you go... Walmart wants to serve blockchain with a side of salad
Walmart is requiring its leafy green suppliers to adopt the IBM Food Trust Blockchain by this time next year.
Last year, Walmart was impacted by a deadly outbreak of E.coli in romaine lettuce. During the outbreak, the usual practices were followed. A recall was issued and it was then up to both store managers and the consumers to identify whether or not they had purchased the tainted goods.
Given that every head of romaine lettuce looks the same, no one could actually identify which lettuce came from the tainted region, so the only solution was to pull lettuce from stores all around the country.
This is obviously incredibly costly, and is an inefficient way of ensuring health and safety.
In comes the IBM Food Trust Blockchain, which will track products "end-to-end from farm to table", ensuring accountability and improving record keeping. Walmart believes it will also speed up the identification and research of food safety issues.
Here's a video from Walmart explaining the initiative:
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