Cryptocurrency markets and news round-up 4 October 2018
Bitcoin's tightening range, Siacoin's jump, Coinbase's new valuation, the new top Ethereum dapp and more.
Markets have been down and up today, with all but a handful of the top 100 coins by market cap in the green right now. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar and Litecoin are all up around 2%.
And moving onto bitcoin. We mentioned a few weeks ago that BTC had formed a very clear descending wedge pattern on the charts.
As you can see, the range is tightening even further, with BTC refusing to break out in either direction yet. This is leading to anxiety among analysts, with Hacked's Mate Cser writing that the wedge will likely break soon.
When it does, a break below $6,275 is considered to be the first signal that it will head downwards to test the bottom of the wedge at $5,800.
However, if bulls can keep the gentle momentum of previous weeks going, a breakout above $6,750 could signal the long-awaited move up past $7,000 to the key resistance channel of around $7,200.
That gentle pressure from the bulls, however, may finally be running out. Omar Godbole from CoinDesk suspects that the inability to break the 50-day Exponential Moving Average signals that an immediate downwards trend may be on the cards.
Ethereum is s currently trading at $224, up about 2.7% on the day.
Prices aside, Ethereum continues to be the most popular platform for gaming dapps. CryptoKitties has become an almost household name now after having a breakout year since it launched in November last year. In that time it's received over $10 million in venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz, launched an exclusive Steph Curry collectible and, on a few occasions, nearly crashed the Ethereum network.
Well, now it appears that a new king of dapp gaming is in town.
HyperDragons, a competitive strategy game built on Ethereum, sees players fight with digital dragons while amassing a vast trove of collectible items. That last premise is similar to CryptoKitties, which saw game items reach crazy valuations due to their verifiable rarity thanks to blockchain technology.
HyperDragons now boasts more active daily users than CryptoKitties. According to gaming and blockchain publication SludgeFeed, HyperDragons has also witnessed a 10x increase in daily users and a 15x increase in spending in the past week, following the integration of the Tenfold Protocol. The new protocol makes gameplay faster as well as cheaper or free.
If you're interested in blockchain gaming, make sure to check out our TV show, Games x Blockchain, which you can watch via our Crypto Finder YouTube channel.
Next in the headlines today is Siacoin, which uses unused hard drive capacity to offer cloud storage services, secured by a blockchain. It's on our radar today following the big decision to block ASIC miners – produced by Bitmain and Innosilicon – from securing the Sia blockchain.
At first glance, this seems like an ideological move against the domination of ASIC mining that challenges a lot of cryptocurrencies. However, looking closer, it is a decision to specifically ban ASICs produced by those two companies mentioned above, Bitmain and Innosilicon.
According to David Vorick, the CEO of Sia's parent company Nebulous, the decision was made due to concerns that the products of those two companies were getting a dangerously large amount of the hash rate, which could threaten the integrity of the network.
Interestingly, Sia is in the process of creating its own ASIC miners. This has led to some in the community accusing the coin of centralisation, to which the CEO had this to say:
This seems to indicate that decentralisation is more of a means to an end for Sia, where that end is total control. One the one hand it's a private company, which makes that approach understandable, but on the other hand, its network is secured by the public, who may not like the idea of being rewarded in a cryptocurrency that is backed by a non-democratic organisation.
Nevertheless, it appears that the market spoke. Sia is up about 16% in the last 24 hours.
We first introduced you to the AltDex Exchange 100 Index a few weeks ago, which tracks the performance of over 20 cryptocurrency exchange coins, like Binance Coin, ZRX and Huobi Token.
At the time, exchange coins were performing much worse compared to the rest of the market, but let's have a look today and see if the trend has shifted.
If we compare the AltDex Exchange to the AltDex 100, which measures the performance of the top 100 coins, we can see some good news for fans of exchange coins.
Throughout September, the AltDex 100 fell by about 7% overall, while the AltDex Exchange only declined by 4.4% in that same period.
So what may have driven this relative success? Throughout September, exchange coins such as WAVES had positive price action following the release of smart contracts on the platform, Huobi acquired an exchange in Japan hinting at expansion, and Bancor announced its expansion to the EOS platform, making way for EOS-ETH token swaps.
Huobi Token (HT)
Houbi, which was recently accused of EOS vote manipulation, has launched its very own social media and chat platform, named Huobi Chat. It is an encrypted and decentralised instant messaging platform that could very well be poised to rival Telegram, which held a record-breaking ICO earlier this year.
Huobi Chat is currently in a closed beta, but curious minds can have a look at the website huobi.im, which gives details about some of the more intriguing features.
Unsurprisingly, Houbi plans to incentivise users through the use of a native cryptocurrency, which will be different to Houbi Token, instead opting for the far more creative name of Huobi Chat Token.
Users will receive the token when they promote the platform and complete certain tasks. Huobi calls this model "socialising is mining" and believes that users will adopt the platform due to the promise of financial gain.
It's certainly not a new idea, but it is the first time a cryptocurrency exchange has gone down this path and applied it to instant messaging. Given the breadth of already popular messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and WeChat, it will be interesting to see if a cryptocurrency-backed version will be enough to sway loyal users.
And just over the last few days, Binance Coin has now jumped over Ethereum Classic and NEO into 14th place in CoinMarketCap’s ranking of all crypto tokens by market cap.
New exchange security report
Staying on the theme of exchanges, a new report that surveys the security measures of 100 exchanges has been released by ICORating.com.
The report claims that, according to the parameters it outlines, it only considers 46% of exchanges to be safe, with Coinbase PRO taking the top spot ahead of Kraken and Bitmex.
Coinbase valued at $8 billion
And let’s stay on Coinbase to close out the wrap. The hugely popular exchange has been given a valuation of $8 billion dollars by a UK hedge fund, Tiger Global. The hedge fund is looking at purchasing a $500 million dollar stake in the company, which would bump its valuation up to $8 billion.
Last year, Coinbase was valued around $1.5 billion, which means that if this purchase goes ahead, Coinbase's value would have more than quadrupled in that time. This would make it one of the most valuable startups in the US, and one that is rumoured to be heading towards an IPO.
CEO Brian Armstrong says he started the company after reading Satoshi's white paper, quitting his role at Airbnb and gong to bitcoin meetups around San Francisco. Here he is talking to Emily Chang about how he got started.
Well, if Brian Armstrong thinks he was too late to the party, it just goes to show that it's never too late to get started.