Crypto Market Update for 3 May 2020: Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, Tezos, and Chainlink

This article provides an overview of how Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), Tezos (XTZ), and Chainlink (LINK) have been doing over the past 24-hour period, covers recent news that might have affected their prices (or might do so in the future), and looks at interesting tweets about these cryptoassets from prominent members of the crypto community.

To give you a rough idea of how well the crypto markets are doing today, 14 out of the top 20 cryptoassets (by market cap) are currently in the green (against the dollar).

All market data used in this article was taken between 12:20 UTC and 13:05 UTC on 3 May 2020 from CryptoCompare, which also provided the price charts shown in this article.

Bitcoin, which stated the year at $7,183, is current at $8,984, which means that it is up 25.07% so far in 2020. In contrast to the cryptocurrency that is quite often referred to as “digital gold”, physical gold is up 12.06% for the year-to-date (YTD) period, according to data from GoldPrice.org.

Bitcoin’s YTD performance is even more impressive when you consider that the S&P 500 is down 13.11% in 2020 (according to data from Google Finance):

Bitcoin’s next (third) halving event is on May (i.e. in less than nine days), and there are many who are expecting in the run-up to this event. However, this is by no means a certainly since during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Bitcoin has been showing a moderate amount of positive correlation to the S&P 500 index, and if there is more bad news about COVID-19 cases or the U.S. economy, this could negatively impact the price of Bitcoin.

XRP, which started the year at $0.1927, is currently at $0.2218, which means that it is up 15.10% so far in 2020.

On Thursday (April 30), Ripple released its “Q1 2020 XRP Markets Report”. Ripple publishes this quarterly report to “voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments.”

Ripple reminded us that since Q2 2019, it has been using “a more conservative volume benchmark for XRP sales, away from CoinMarketCap and to CryptoCompare Top Tier (CCTT).”

In Q2 2019, Ripple “significantly reduced XRP sales.” And in Q3 2019 and Q4 2019, Ripple “further reduced XRP sales and paused programmatic sales.”

This appraoch was maintained in Q1 2020, with total XRP sales for this quarter coming to $1.75 million vs. $13.08 million in Q4 2019. Programmatic sales of XRP stayed paused, with the company “focusing solely on its over-the-counter (OTC) sales to build XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia.”

Litecoin, which is the 7th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, began the year at $41.20 and is currently at $48.67, which means that it is up 18.13% so far in 2020.

Weiss Crypto Ratings, a crypto-focused division of ratings agency Weiss Ratings, has an overall rating of “B-” for Litecoin (same as XRP).

On Friday (May 1), David Burkett, the Grin developer who is leading the project to add privacy support to Litecoin via the MimbleWimble (MW) protocol, provided an update on the progress achieved in April 2020:

XTZ, which is the 10th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, started the year at $1.347 and is currently at $2.786, which means that it is up a mere 106.83% so far in 2020.

As Coindesk reported last Thursday (April 30), Tezos has become the latest blockchain to decide to use Chainlink for oracle services.

A joint press release announced that two indepedent teams of Tezos developers — Smart Chain Arena and Cryptonomic — “are making Chainlink natively available to all developers building on Tezos.” The two firms are “working together to make Chainlink the go-to oracle solution for developers connecting their Tezos smart contracts to real world data and systems.”

It went on to say that “integrating natively with Chainlink allows Tezos developers to harness the power of decentralized oracle networks to securely and reliably access key off-chain resources and use them in their on-chain applications.”

LINK, which is the 12th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, started the year at $1.76 and is currently at $3.761, which means that it is up an incredible 113.69% in 2020.

in the addition to the work being done to integrate Tezos and Chainlink, which was mentioned above, last Wednesday (April 29), Bancor announced the second major version of the Bancor Protocol. One of Bancor V2’s main new features is “a new automated market maker (AMM) liquidity pool integrated with Chainlink price oracles that eliminates the risk of impermanent loss for both stable and volatile tokens.”

Source: Crypto Market Update for 3 May 2020: Bitcoin, XRP, Litecoin, Tezos, and Chainlink

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Alibaba, Tencent, Five Others To Receive First Chinese Government Cryptocurrency

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China’s central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency and issue it to seven institutions in the coming months, according to a former employee of one of the institutions who is now an independent researcher. Paul Schulte, who worked as global head of financial strategy for China Construction Bank until 2012, says the largest bank in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the second largest bank in the world, his former employer, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency.

A separate source, who’s involved in the development of the cryptocurrency, dubbed DC/EP (Digital Currency/Electronic Payments), confirmed that the seven institutions would be receiving the new asset when it launches, adding that an eighth institution could also be among the first tier of recipients. The source declined to provide the name of the additional company. Speaking under terms of anonymity, the source, who previously worked for the Chinese government, confirmed that the technology behind the cryptocurrency has been ready since last year and that the cryptocurrency could launch as soon as November 11, China’s busiest shopping day, known as Singles Day.

At the time of launch, the recipient institutions will then be responsible for dispersing the cryptocurrency to 1.3 billion Chinese citizens and others doing business in the renminbi, China’s fiat currency, according to the source. The source added that the central bank hopes the currency will eventually be made available to spenders in the United States and elsewhere through relationships with correspondent banks in the West. “That’s the plan, but that won’t happen right away,” the source said.

The plan to use a diverse set of China’s trusted intuitions to disperse the cryptocurrency is reminiscent of a number of other ideas currently percolating around the world. For instance, Facebook’s planned libra cryptocurrency will be backed by a basket of currencies issued by central banks with support from companies like Mastercard and Uber in the United States, Vodaphone in England and Mercado Pago in Argentina. And last week, Bank of England governor Mark Carney floated the idea of a new currency backed by a number of central banks to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

What sets China’s DC/EP apart from libra and Carney’s “synthetic hegemonic currency” (SHC), according to Shulte, is that while libra is little more than early-stage computer code and the SHC doesn’t appear to have gone much further than Carney’s mind, the Chinese cryptocurrency is ready to launch. “China is barreling forward on reforms and rolling out the cryptocurrency,” says Schulte, who now runs an eponymous bank research firm. “It will be the first central bank to do so.”

At the time of publication, neither the People’s Bank of China nor any of the seven institutions mentioned by Schulte had responded to Forbes requests to confirm or deny his claim. However, the two-tiered strategy, where the central bank creates the currency and others distribute it, aligns with previously unreported statements made by Mu Changchun, deputy director of the Paying Division of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the new head of China’s cryptocurrency research lab. In a speech on August 10 at the China Finance 40 Forum, since revised and posted on the PBOC’s WeChat channel, Mu described the central bank’s “two-tiered” system, wherein the bank would create the cryptocurrency and a small group of trusted commercial businesses would “pay the central bank 100% in full” to be allowed to distribute it.

In addition to preventing regional banks and other organizations from being disintermediated, Mu said the two-tiered system is designed to “curb” public demand for other cryptographic assets, consolidate China’s national currency sovereignty, ensure that the central bank maintains control over monetary policy affecting the currency, increase the likelihood of people using the currency, distribute the risk of having all the authority directly in the hands of the central bank and encourage competition between the organizations that receive the cryptocurrency.

“This dual delivery system is suitable for our national conditions,” said Mu. “It can not only use existing resources to mobilize the enthusiasm of commercial banks but also smoothly improve the acceptance of the digital currency.”

The composition of the organizations Schulte says will receive the DC/EP also aligns with Mu’s comments. Later in his speech, Mu added that only after the technical specifications for the DC/EP were completed in 2018 did the central bank realize the similarity between its design and that of libra, the cryptocurrency being developed by Facebook and about 30 other early-stage partners.

One key difference, according to Mu, is that while libra is being designed to handle 1,000 transactions per second, the DC/EP was designed to handle 300,000 transactions per second. For context, Mu added that during last year’s Singles Day the peak volume of all transactions in China was 92,771 transactions per second, dwarfing what the other platforms could support, but well within the DC/EP specifications. “At present, we belong to a state of horse racing,” Mu said according to the translation.

How Blockchain Went From Bitcoin To Big Business| 37:20

The DC/EP can achieve this kind of volume only because it is not a “pure blockchain architecture,” according to Mu, and therefore it doesn’t need to wait for groups of transactions to settle in a block. Like other permissioned blockchains that not anyone can use, the DC/EP is centrally managed, in this case by the central bank, meaning the digital currency remains a liability of the bank and the debtor/creditor relationship is unchanged, according to Mu. Also, instead of using an algorithm to limit supply, like bitcoin, Mu says the PBoC itself will control supply. Crucially, Mu says, the DC/EP is being designed to replace the physical notes and coins in circulation, not the renminbi sitting in bank accounts in a digital form.

“The central bank’s digital currency can be circulated as easily as cash,” said Mu. “Which is conducive to the circulation and internationalization of the renminbi.”

Whether anyone outside China would actually use a digital renminbi for transactions in their own country is unclear. As the Bank of England governor’s comments about replacing the U.S. dollar indicate, much of the world is tired of having their financial stability tied to the United States’ monetary system. But China may not be the best alternative. Earlier this month, as part of the escalating trade war between the United States and China, U.S. President Trump accused China of being a “currency manipulator.” After China’s renminbi fell to its lowest in 11 years, hitting 6.9225 renminbi per dollar on August 5, according to a Financial Times report, it has recovered significantly, trading at 7.15 renminbi per dollar today. While China has denied the charge and called the U.S. “protectionist” in a press statement, the perception of manipulation could be harmful to broader adoption of a digital currency linked to the renminbi.

In December 2017, another country accused of devaluing its currency, Venezuela, revealed plans for its own cryptocurrency, backed by oil and called the petro. After much hullabaloo, the currency somewhat officially launched in 2018, but it isn’t available on most international exchanges because of a U.S. embargo and has been almost impossible to accurately value. Another obstacle to adoption could be uncertainty about the benefits of a technology that’s intended to replace fiat currency but is still under centralized control. While it’s obvious that any central bank wishing to more closely observe how citizens are using a cryptocurrency would prefer a transparent ledger like the bitcoin blockchain, which makes transactions easily traceable, most of the benefits to users of current blockchains, such as instant settlement and digital transactions without the need of a middleman, could be undermined by central control.

One person who’s not concerned about the obstacles to adoption of China’s cryptocurrency is Charles Liu, chairman of HAO International, a private equity firm investing over $700 million in Chinese growth companies. After largely focusing on solar, organic fertilizer, and wastewater treatment technologies since 2012, Liu says he is an angel investor in “the first blockchain company to be able to sign an official contract with the People’s Bank” of China.

Liu declined to reveal the name of the firm or its technology but lent support to Mu’s comments about the potential benefits to businesses using China’s cryptocurrency. In addition to being a more efficient way to track money laundering, bribery and other transactions, Liu says, the cryptocurrency will give banks increased confidence in the creditworthiness of borrowers, let merchants receive payments instantly and lower transaction fees. While Liu says that banks in the United States have been resistant to such improvements that eat away at their bottom line, he adds that China doesn’t have that problem, because the government owns the banks.

“What will facilitate commercial transactions and enhance efficiency, the central government decides and they go ahead and do it,” says Liu, adding that “China’s strategic plan is to integrate more closely with the rest of the world. Cryptocurrency is just one of the means to have a more internationalized renminbi. It’s all strategic. It’s all long term.”

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I report on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies are being adopted by enterprises and the broader business community. My coverage includes the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, and extends to non-cryptocurrency applications of blockchain in finance, supply chain management, digital identity and a number of other use cases. Previously, I was a staff reporter at blockchain news site, CoinDesk, where I covered the increasing willingness of enterprises to explore how blockchain could make their work more efficient and in some cases, unnecessary. I have been covering blockchain since 2011, been published in the New Yorker, and been nationally syndicated by American City Business Journals. My work has been published in Blockchain in Financial Markets and Beyond by Risk Books and I am regularly cited in industry research reports. Since 2009 I’ve run Literary Manhattan, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to showing Manhattan’s rich literary heritage.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

China’s central bank is reportedly on the verge of launching a national digital currency. Investigative Journalist Ben Swann joins Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss the implications. He argues that at some point every country will have its own digital currency. And that there’s “nothing attractive” about such currencies as they’re no better than traditional government-backed fiat currency. #NVHughes #QuestionMore #RTAmerica Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

Grayscale To Move Billions In Bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP, Ethereum, And Litecoin To Coinbase In One Of The Largest Ever Crypto Transfers

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency asset manager Grayscale Investments is today planning to move billions of dollars worth of holdings to U.S. crypto wallet provider and trading platform Coinbase in what could be one of the largest single day transfers of bitcoin and crypto assets ever.

Grayscale, which claims to be the world’s largest bitcoin and digital currency asset manager, is today announcing Coinbase Custody will serve as custodian of the underlying assets for its products, and is expected to transfer nearly $3 billion of assets in fewer than 12 hours to Coinbase.

Coinbase Custody, which is operated as a standalone, independently-capitalized business to Coinbase, will now will oversee Grayscale’s cryptocurrency holdings, including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin, and Ripple’s XRP, among other major tokens, as well as Grayscale’s publicly quoted cryptocurrency trusts and its Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which provides exposure to bitcoin and crypto through a market cap-weighted portfolio.

“Grayscale and Coinbase have led the way in providing safe, secure, trustworthy, and regulated access to digital assets. Grayscale is an established, trusted, and valuable partner to its clients and its service providers should be the same,” said Sam McIngvale, Coinbase Custody chief executive.

“As a NY State-chartered trust company, Coinbase Custody is held to the same fiduciary standards as national banks. We also offer some of the broadest and deepest insurance coverage in the crypto industry.”

The move comes as bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors nervously look for signs of how global regulators will react to Facebook’s plans to launch its own cryptocurrency sometime next year, dubbed libra.

Expectations that some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, including iPhone-maker Apple and micro-blogging platform Twitter, are increasingly looking to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a potential source of revenue has been largely responsible for the rise in the bitcoin price so far this year.

Earlier this month, the New York-based Grayscale reported assets under management of $2.7 billion, an all-time high for the company and up three-fold on the previous quarter.

Last month, Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service, boasted it has signed up 30 million users since launching in 2012, with eight million new users added over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, Grayscale last week found that more than a third (36%) of U.S. investors would consider buying bitcoin, representing a potential market of more than 21 million investors.

“Since its introduction in 2009, bitcoin has steadily grown in popularity and today has expanded its reach to a broad mainstream audience,” Grayscale reported.

“Investors are constantly looking for new ways to diversify their portfolios as traditional assets and markets have begun to move more closely in sync with one another.”

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Grayscale To Move Billions In Bitcoin, Ripple’s XRP, Ethereum, And Litecoin To Coinbase In One Of The Largest Ever Crypto Transfers

20% of 18-34 Year Olds in America ‘Own Bitcoin,’ Recent Survey Reveals – Omar Faridi

Spencer Bogart, a general partner at Blockchain Capital, recently revealed the results of a survey which suggest that despite the extended cryptocurrency bear market, “Bitcoin awareness, familiarity, perception, conviction, propensity to purchase and ownership all increased/improved significantly.”

According to a blog post, published on April 30th, 2019, by Bogart, the survey “results highlight that Bitcoin is a demographic mega-trend led by younger age groups.” Bogart also wrote that the “only area where older demographics matched younger demographics was awareness.”

Notably, the survey was “conducted online by The Harris Poll, on behalf of Blockchain Capital, from April 23–25, 2019 among 2,029 American adults.”

Most Americans Have “Heard Of Bitcoin”

Bogart, a business economics graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, explained that those surveyed had a relatively high awareness about cryptocurrencies. He noted that “regardless of age, the vast majority of the American population has heard of Bitcoin.”

As mentioned in Bogart’s blog, the “percentage of [US residents] that have heard of Bitcoin rose from 77% in October 2017 to 89% in April 2019.”

18-34 Year Olds Have “Highest Rate Of Awareness”

Moreover, the survey results indicated that overall “awareness of Bitcoin is strong across all age groups — those aged 18–34 have the highest rates of awareness at 90% and those aged 65+ have the lowest at 88%.”

60% Of 18-34 Year Olds Are “Somewhat Familiar” With Bitcoin

When compared to last year, the “percentage of people that have not heard of Bitcoin fell by more than half — from 23% in October 2017 to 11% in April 2019,” the survey data revealed.

Approximately 60% of survey participants aged between 18 and 34 said that they were “at least ‘somewhat familiar’ with Bitcoin — up from 42% in October 2017.” Moreover, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are “3x as likely to be at least ‘somewhat familiar’ with Bitcoin as those aged 65 and over,” the survey data suggested.

More Americans Now Believe Bitcoin Is “A Positive Innovation”

Other notable survey results indicate that the “percentage of [Americans] who ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agree that ‘Bitcoin is a positive innovation in financial technology’ rose 9 percentage points — from 34% in October 2017 to 43% in April 2019.”

Meanwhile, the “younger demographics were most inclined to have a positive view of Bitcoin,” the survey results suggested. In fact, around “59% of those aged 18–34 ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agree that” the Bitcoin protocol will have a positive impact on the world’s existing financial system. Notably, the overall positive attitude towards Bitcoin (BTC) among younger US residents increased by as much as 11% “from October 2017.”

Many Americans Think “Most People Will Be Using Bitcoin” In The Next Decade

Interestingly, more Americans now believe that “most people will be using Bitcoin in the next 10 years.” According to survey data, the percentage of US citizens who think Bitcoin will play a significant role in the future economy increased “ from 28% in October 2017 to 33% in April 2019.”

Survey results also indicate that “48% of those aged 18–34 ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agree that ‘it’s likely most people will be using Bitcoin in the next 10 years’ — up 6 percentage points from October 2017.”

Significantly More Americans Are Now Planning To Buy Bitcoin

According to recent survey data, 27% of Americans said “they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely to buy Bitcoin in the next 5 years” – up “from 19% in October 2017.”

Other key findings from the survey are as follows:

  • “21% of [US residents] said they would prefer Bitcoin to government bonds — up from 18% in October 2017,”
  • “17% of [US residents] said they would prefer Bitcoin to stocks — up from 14% in October 2017,”
  • “14% of [US residents] said they would prefer Bitcoin to real estate — up from 12% in October 2017,”
  • “12% of [US residents] said they would prefer Bitcoin to gold — up from 8% in October 2017,”
  • “11% of the [American] population owns Bitcoin — including 20% of those aged 18–34 and 15% of those aged 35–44.”

Source: CryptoGlobe

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