This Week in Crypto
What a tumultuous week it’s been in the world of crypto! We previously mentioned to expect at best, only small changes in the price of bitcoin from week to week, but recent events have shown that you can never let your guard down. Bloomberg has estimated that the drop in value from crypto-assets across the board over the past 7 days was over $40 billion.
Pundits are placing the blame for the market retreat squarely on the hack of the South Korean exchange ‘Coinrail’ (more on this story below). Others highlighted lingering concerns over a potential lockdown on Chinese exchanges. Combined with continued scrutiny into cryptocurrencies and a wide range of issues such as theft, money laundering, and market manipulation, the cryptocurrency space is being tested and needs to overcome these obstacles if it is to truly bring about the change we need in the world today.
South Korean exchange hacked
The biggest news of the week is the hack of South Korean exchange ‘Coinrail’. Over the weekend, hackers made off with roughly 30 percent of the coins traded on the exchange. The estimated value of the heist has been placed at over $37 million. The remaining 70 percent of coins have been placed in cold storage and have been taken offline until a thorough investigation can be completed.
ETC – forever down but never out!
Ever since the split of Ethereum into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC), the latter was always seen as the upstart sibling that didn’t have what it took to make it big. Many people still held on, however, and believed in the original promise that Ether brought when it exploded onto the scene so many years ago. The patience of the steadfast has finally paid off, it seems, with Coinbase recently saying in a blog post that it is working on trading ETC on its platform. That would give millions of Americans easier access to ETC and we can expect the community to rally behind their token even more strongly. Expect positive ETC developments in the weeks and months to come.
Indian crypto clampdown – based on…nothing!
Indian authorities jumped on the crypto-banning bandwagon and issued an ultimatum by the central bank back in April stating that lenders and crypto traders were to close crypto accounts, related bank accounts, and crypto exchanges within three months. It was recently revealed, however, that the ban was arbitrary and came into effect “without any thought from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).” It never helps to impose blanket restrictions of this type on new tech without first doing a little research, so maybe now we will see the authorities putting some effort into doing their due diligence before issuing updates to crypto laws down the road. With a huge population of over one billion and countless opportunities to reach the unbanked and help uplift large sections of society, India could present an unrivalled opportunity to experiment with the potential benefits of crypto and blockchain tech in real-world scenarios.
Ether addresses surpass those of bitcoin
Now for some good news. According to Etherscan.io, the number of active ethereum wallet addresses crossed the 35 million mark last week, overtaking the number of bitcoin addresses ever created for the first time. This means the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap is finally number one in at least one category! Despite the crypto market currently continuing to bleed, this increase in popularity strongly suggests increased recognition of crypto’s viability.
SelfPay Asia could accelerate crypto adoption
SelfPay is a payments project built to work with every type of credit and debit card. It uses a native token called SxP that bridges between crypto and fiat currencies. The idea with SelfPay is to make crypto payments as easy to make as using a standard credit or debit card, thus overcoming the adoption hurdle of having to learn a new way to do something new.
Monaco – crypto in every wallet
Another point-of-sale (POS) type crypto project is Monaco, which has been regularly rolling out new updates for over a year. Featuring very aesthetically pleasing and lavishly designed metal Visa cards, a user-friendly native app, investment tools, cashback rewards, and of course a buy and sell wallet for cryptocurrencies, Monaco has been in motion for some time and will soon hit Asian markets, followed by European and North American markets. Their aim is to not only make buying, selling and investing in crypto hassle-free but to allow those deterred by new technology to seamlessly use their Monaco card. With Visa compatibility, we may well see the use of crypto on Monaco cards as mainstream as fiat currency on Visa.
Crypto in Afghanistan
Code to Inspire (CTI) is a non-profit that is teaching women in Afghanistan to code, and they have entered into an exclusive partnership with the Bounties Network to pay these coders in ETH for finding and fixing business or project vulnerabilities that are posted online. The coders are first set up with MetaMask accounts and software wallets and can earn anywhere from $10 to $80 per bounty. Who said crypto can’t break barriers and bring about change?
This week on the blog
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