Cryptocurrency round-up 25 September 2018
Market updates, listings and delistings, AUD stablecoin, crypto browser extensions and HAM radio crypto.
Consolidation following a wild weekend
Markets appear to be consolidating now, as traders lock in their profits from a wild weekend of gains. None of the top 20 coins are in the green right now (other than Tether) and overall market cap is down about 4% in the last 24-hour period.
Bitcoin is currently trading for around $6,400, where it might look to stabilise following a weekend of gains.
The upward push over the weekend has returned bitcoin to roughly where it was a month ago, up about 11% from where it was three months ago. Market dominance is down slightly, currently at 52%, which is down from 55% this time last week.
Billionaire fund manager Mike Novogratz, who recently called a bottom to this year's bear market, has said on CNBC's Fast Money that the next key level for bitcoin is $6,800.
VeChain has been featured as the star pupil on CNBC's Advancements with Ted Danson. The episode explored blockchain technology and used VeChain as a standout example to demonstrate blockchain's application in supply chain management and product authenticity.
VeChain is currently the 19th-largest crypto by market cap and trading for around 1.3 cents.
Over the weekend, the Circle Investment app added EOS, Stellar, ZRX and Qtum, which we saw correlate with a nice little price pump for Stellar. Another app named Crumbs, which handles micro-investments, also added a slew of well-known coins, such as BTC, Monero, Ethereum and Basic Attention Token.
Binance has added a new stablecoin. The Paxos Token is pegged to the US dollar and runs on Ethereum.
HitBTC has gone ahead and added the Winklevoss Twins' Gemini Dollar, which is another USD-pegged stablecoin, also running on Ethereum. This a big win for the Winklevi as HitBTC is one of the largest exchanges by trade volume, according to CoinMarketCap data.
And of course, Coinbase is still exploring the addition of Cardano, Basic Attention Token, Stellar, Zcash and 0x. Hopefully we will have an answer on that before the end of the year.
Singapore-based Digifinex is in the process of delisting USDT, also known as Tether, perhaps the most widely used and recognised stablecoin to date.
Speaking with CoinDesk, Digifinex's cofounder Kiana Shek made it clear that it was an issue of trust, saying "I simply don't believe in Tether but I had no choice [but to list it]" and that she had been "looking for ways to get rid of USDT".
She went on to say that she had chosen the TrueUSD token made by TrustToken to replace Tether, saying that "through my research, due diligence and my communications with the TrustToken team, I have come to appreciate their commitment to industry-leading best practices."
For almost a year now Tether has been at the centre of an ongoing controversy surrounding whether or not its tokens are actually backed by fiat reserves. Earlier this year, Tether famously broke off ties with an auditing firm that had been hired to vet Tether's fiat reserves, adding further fuel to the fire of suspicion.
And there's a further shake-up for Tether with KuCoin announcing that it is reorganising its USDT pairings. Nine USDT pairs will be removed, including OmiseGo and Dash, and will instead be replaced by six new pairs, including Aurora and IoT Chain.
KuCoin has not given any explanation for the shake-up.
Poloniex is deslisting eight cryptocurrencies under its new rules for underperforming coins. The affected coins and tokens are BTCD (Bitcoin Dark), BTM (Bitmark), EMC2 (Einsteinium), GRC (GridCoin), NEOS (NeosCoin), POT (PotCoin), VRC (VeriCoin) and XBC (Bitcoin Plus).
BitConnect finally delisted
And finally, the cryptographic cancer and pyramid scheme that was BitConnect, has finally been delisted from all exchanges, following its removal from an obscure exchange named Trade Satoshi.
BitConnect rose to fame late last year, despite having all the hallmarks of a classic pyramid scheme, in which users would receive increased profits for every other user recruited. The scheme operated out of India and was eventually shut down early this year leaving many investors in the lurch.
In that time it had managed to become a top 20 coin by market cap, which is why its presence in the cryptocurrency ecosystem was so damaging. In fact, it got the attention of several courts in the US and did nothing to help the perception of cryptocurrencies in those jurisdictions.
As a result, two US states are still urging Indian authorities to seize the property and assets of several of those involved with the BitConnect scam. Illinois and Arizona state governments suspect that BitConnect defrauded of a total $5.6 billion from investors.
Good riddance BitConnect.
New AUD stablecoin
Australia is getting an AUD-pegged stablecoin. The project is the result of a collaboration between the blockchain-based employment infrastructure company Emparta and Australian exchange Bit Trade.
Emparta touts the title of being the "The World’s First Smart Employment Contract on the Blockchain" so you can imagine that a stable cryptocurrency is necessary for its operations. The inclusion of Bit Trade in the deal is a no brainer, as its marketplace will likely facilitate the trade of the stablecoin to both crypto and fiat.
Emparta CEO Adam Sarris had this to say about the stablecoin and its necessity in the Australian market:
"The need for an Aussie dollar-backed and redeemable coin is essential for the broader market adoption of digital currency throughout Australia and the world... We see multiple uses for the stablecoin, and our partnership with Bit Trade enables us to maximise its utilisation and work with some of the most talented and experienced blockchain experts in Australia."
The stablecoin is expected to launch in 2019. No name has been given to the coin as of yet.
Users can earn with Brave Browser
Brave CEO Brendan Eich has estimated that users of the Brave web browser will be able to earn over $70 next year, simply by using the browser and agreeing to view ads while they browse.
Users who view ads would be rewarded with the aptly named Basic Attention Token (BAT) for their time. Since the payout is in BAT, that $70 figure could rise over time. If the popularity and value of BAT rises, Eich predicts that the payout could amount to as much as $320 by 2020.
The system benefits both users and publishers, with both parties receiving crypto for their efforts. Here's a short video of Eich explaining how it works.
Brave is currently available on Mac OSX, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android, although each of these releases are at different stages of their integration and testing of BAT.
Brave users are not yet able to earn BAT rewards, although Eich's comments suggest a 2019 release. Brave recently broke the 10 million downloads mark and has 4 million monthly users. This certainly looks like one to watch.
Opera tests Ethereum-integrated browser
The Opera web browser is rolling out a desktop version of its Ethereum-integrated browser to closed beta testers. The new browser has a built in Ethereum wallet, as well as the ability to natively browse Ethereum dapps on the network.
The browser is called Opera Labs and interacts with the existing Android version of the software. In fact, if both the desktop and the Android version are paired, desktop transactions can prompt the Android version for confirmation, where a fingerprint can be used to authorise transactions and add an extra layer of security.
A spokesperson for Opera said the company had plans to extend browser integration to other networks, but would not specify which ones just yet.
Before you go
Crypto goes off the grid
A project called Burst claims to have created the first ever solar-powered blockchain that operates completely off the electricity grid and that can send blockchain transactions via radio waves.
— "Daniel Jones" (@nixops) September 16, 2018
Other projects have used radio waves to transmit blockchain data before, but because this is fully off-grid and self-sustaining, it could be a useful tool in areas with poor infrastructure or that have suffered a natural disaster.
Burst started as part of a hackathon called CallforCode, which encourages developers to create tech that is used for humanitarian purposes. Disaster relief happens to be one of these areas. Burst would allow for blockchain data to still be communicated in disaster scenarios, or to even transact cryptocurrency in an area where devastation has left fiat currencies rendered useless.
It's not the first HAM radio cryptocurrency though, with some speculating that Daniel Jones had something to do with an obscure 2014 HAMRadioCoin project from bitcointalk.
Speaking about the project and its potential, lead developer Daniel Jones had this to say:
"Burst would allow people suffering from natural or man-made disasters to preserve value and have something worth trading even in the event of banks and on-grid blockchains being blockaded or destroyed. The trope of money being useless in an apocalypse scenario applies to fiat, certainly, but less so to Burst. Theoretically, the disruption of infrastructure and centralized government should not affect the value of the currency or the ability of people to transact with it in a secure, immutable way around the world."
Sounds like they're making cryptocurrency for the zombie apocalypse.