Exchange tokens rival heavyweight cryptocurrencies in YTD price performance; sign of things to come?

Can 2019 get any more bullish? Price-performance, public sentiment, and exchange volume are all on the up-and-up in the cryptocurrency world, with Bitcoin spearheading that green wave with a 200 percent price rise. Given the fact that this BTC bull run has ensconced this past quarter, a lot of notable isolated success stories have been […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] transaction fee conundrum encourages whale movement vis-à-vis skewed address distribution

Whales have become regular members of the Bitcoin [BTC] market, often moving larger quantities of the top cryptocurrency between exchanges, and piquing the interest of the community. While these large-scale transfers spur market sentiment and at time hints at suspicious activity, the other end of the spectrum often goes unnoticed, the wallets with relatively meager Bitcoin.
A recent report from the cryptocurrency analytics firm, Longhash pointed to a notable divergence of Bitcoin addresses that show amass small quantities of the cryptocurrency, causing a bottleneck of sorts. The report, citing data from BitInfoCharts, detailed that over 18 million BTC addresses held over $1 but less than $100 of the top cryptocurrency.
Longhash stated that the reason for this bottleneck of sorts was the digital assets’ “transaction fees,”
“As the result of current transaction fees, however, these users may be hesitant to send payments with Bitcoin.”
In reference to the above only one-third of the above figure, or 6.1million address held between $100 and $1,000 worth of Bitcoins. The total number of addresses drops by over 62 percent when looking at the addresses holding between $1,000 to $10,000 of BTC, which are about 2.29 million in number.
Source: Longhash
On the other end of the chart, only 541,959 addresses hold over $10,000 worth of BTC. Analyzing this disparity of Bitcoins held between the arrays of addresses, the report stated,
“While this distribution may be a positive sign that Bitcoin is not just for the wealthy, high transaction fees could pose an obstacle for small holders.”
The report added that the transactions fees recorded earlier this year was quite low, implying that Bitcoin could be used as an ‘effective, daily payment tool.’ However, with the hike in the fees mid-year, the cost of a transaction being processed in the next block is as high as $2.54.
On the importance of the transactions fee balance in relation to the overall picture of Bitcoin, the report read,
“Transaction fees serve as an incentive for miners to play a functional role in Bitcoin’s governance. They are determined by factors such as how congested the Bitcoin blockchain is at the time the transaction is taking place.”
Given the fixed fee structure of Bitcoin the economies of scale are skewed, as on one hand, the whale movement will result in meager transactions fees while on the other small transactions are too costly in reference to the fees amassed to implement the same. Hence the transaction structure, in itself, provides an incentive to hoard and send large sums of Bitcoins and discourages to small, unkempt reserves, acknowledging the above 18 million addresses that record under less than $100 of BTC.
In light of the conundrum between transactions fee and the address distribution, the report concluded,
“While it may be encouraging to see so many small Bitcoin holders, high transaction fees could mean that many are unlikely to spend their BTC at the current point in time. The sheer number of small Bitcoin holders illustrates the need for scaling solutions that combat the asset’s intermittently high transaction fees.”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin Adoption: Crypto Leaders Cite Regulation, Price Speculation as Barriers

The cryptocurrency market is has seen good days in 2019 and technical pointers indicate a brighter future for the industry. However, Adoption is the one challenge cryptocurrency has not been able to surmount in the ten years of its existence. A number of major influencers in the cryptocurrency industry have expressed their views on why cryptocurrencies are seeing very slow adoption.
Regulation, Speculation
CEO of ShapeShift Erik Vorhees says the major challenge facing crypto adoption is regulation. While regulation is one of the factors that are key in driving institutional investors to the industry, it has not been handled well, hence the delay in institutional adoption, according to Vorhees. Individuals have shown significant interest in cryptocurrency and a significant number of them are using it, but the lack of clarity concerning the status of cryptocurrencies is a challenge holding institutions back.
Another major player Tyler Spalding, the CEO of Flexa thinks price speculation is the major challenge facing crypto adoption. This could be one of the reasons the SEC is delaying ETF approval for both Bitwise and VanEck. Recently, an Economics professor Steve Hanks described the lead cryptocurrency, Bitcoin as a highly speculative asset. This is the view of millions who still see cryptocurrency as being purely speculative with no clear direction. According to Spalding, cryptocurrency must be used to build useful projects for the common people if it will see any major adoption.
Read Here: Bitcoin Gains 55% in May as it’s 4th Best Month since 2013
Other factors cited as hindrances to the massive adoption of cryptocurrency include lack of appreciation for the digital asset at this time, according to Tone Vays. In his view, people are yet to see the need to use cryptocurrency but no obvious barrier is standing against adoption. Once people start to use it to solve real problems then adoption will increase. Tron CEO Justin Sun in a similar fashion said the user experience for crypto needs to improve, as most users currently find it difficult to use it.
It has started, though
Although adoption is still at a very low level, several indicators suggest the industry, particularly Bitcoin, is seeing wider adoption and acceptance worldwide. For instance, LongHash data shows an increase in the number of confirmed Bitcoin transactions in 2019 and more merchants are accepting it for payment on varying skills. With this and the coming institutional investors who are expected in the industry when the SEC eventually approves ETFs, cryptocurrency adoption is likely going to see the adoption it needs to become a mainstream industry.
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Source: CoinGape

XRP marks strong green candles against Bitcoin [BTC] for the first time in 2019

Mirroring previous upswings, Bitcoin’s [BTC] bullish rise isn’t looking to slow down anytime soon. Notably, some coins have failed to join the party. The most significant coin among them, XRP.
In 2019, the second largest altcoin in the market saw a slump against the price of Bitcoin, owing to the growing dominance and price push of the king coin.
For the first time in 2019, the XRP/BTC chart showed positive signs as the altcoin took the baton from the king coin to spearhead the latest market surge. As can be seen from the below chart, XRP took off on 14 May, following seven consecutive red-marred candles.
Owing to the announcement by Coinbase regarding XRP trading for New Yorkers, coinciding with the forever-bullish Consensus conference, XRP saw a massive +30 percent rise, even seeing a mammoth 6 percent hourly price gain on 15 May.
Source: Trading View
However, despite current trends showing positive returns for the Ripple-controlled virtual currency, its performance against Bitcoin is contrary to previous years.
As a recent report from Longhash pointed out, XRP has “lost nearly half of its bitcoin-denominated value,” in 2019 alone. Citing Trading View, the crypto-analytics firm stated that XRP rose by a whopping 1600 percent against the king coin in 2017, despite BTC nearing $20,000 later in the year.
The next two years were not so fruitful for the altcoin though. In 2018, the price of XRP, in terms of BTC, dropped by 14.5 percent and with just five months into 2019, XRP has already plummeted by 46.6 percent.
Since Coinbase reigned in the XRP bulls thanks to an overdue listing on the exchange, the XRP market has been fairly quiet. Longhash stated that since the Coinbase listing, the price of XRP against BTC has “plummeted.”
The Nasdaq XRP Liquid Index announcement in partnership with Brave New Coin is the only other standout announcement that has blessed XRP markets.
Longhash added,
“Additionally, investors may have finally realized that many of the banking partnerships announced by Ripple Labs weren’t related to the use of XRP or involved payments from Ripple to these institutions to incentivize them to try out the fintech company’s products.”
In 2017, the report concluded, the rush towards buying XRP over Bitcoin and other highly priced cryptocurrencies was because of “Unit Bias,” where investors were scared off due to the sheer price of Bitcoin, which at the time was in five-digits.
With XRP and XLM largely left out of the Bitcoin-induced bull run, bank coins are changing course and finally heading into the green, with both coins seeing over 9 percent daily gains. XRP’s turnover against Bitcoin is also down to the BTC bulls backing off over the past few hours. However, to get back to winning ways, consecutive green candlesticks will hold XRP in good stead.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC]: Privacy on the rise; CoinJoin transactions soaring since January, finds report

In addition to being untethered to governments and banks, Bitcoin was seen by many as a censorship-resistant, anonymous currency that could be sent to anyone from anywhere.
Privacy, despite being touted as a mainstay in the Bitcoin ethos, has been adopted by altcoins such as Monero [XMR] and Zcash [ZEC].
However, even with the presence of these privacy-centric coins, Bitcoin has an air of privacy, through the concept of CoinJoins. This form of transacting Bitcoins enables multiple BTC payments from several users into one transaction, thereby creating difficulty for third parties to deduce the two ends of the transaction.
Longhash, the crypto-analytics firm reported that these CoinJoin transactions are on the rise since the beginning of the year. The Longhash report obtained CoinJoins data from zkSNACKs CTO, Adam Fiscor, the company behind the Wasabi Wallet.
Source: Longhash
Since the beginning of January 2018, when the BTC price was in full swing, CoinJoin transactions started to dip. Through the infamous crypto winter when BTC’s price fell to under $3,200, privacy was less looked upon by the larger coin market, with more emphasis placed on salvaging the price.
In the past few months however, CoinJoin transactions are seeing a resurgence owing to the market recovering and Bitcoin inching closer to its glory days. Additionally, the report added that Wasabi Wallet’s release in August 2018 was also an important factor in the rise in the number of CoinJoin transactions, with the percentage of monthly Bitcoin payments growing from 1.31 percent to 4.09 percent.
The report pointed out key points through Bitcoin’s history where CoinJoin transactions have surged. Longhash stated that the rise in CoinJoin transactions before 2013 was due to developers testing out transactions with minimal payments on the network, peaking at over 7.5 percent of all BTC transactions. The release of the Blockchain Shared Coin Integration in November 2013 caused CoinJoin transactions to surge in 2013-2014, reaching over 6.25 percent.
Following the removal of Blockchain’s CoinJoin feature, transactions saw a massive dip in early 2014. Join Market, the CoinJoin implementation that was pegged to enhance the privacy and fungibility of BTC transactions, was released in 2015, which led to a massive increase in the CoinJoin transactions. This took their share to almost 4 percent, which the current upswing has overtaken.
CoinJoins create a layer of anonymity for Bitcoin transactions, but the report states that “the existence of these types of transactions are relatively easy to identify.” Two key points are required to uncover such transactions; first, the transaction will have two outputs of the same value and second, the output value will not be more than the input value.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin Market Cap Dominance has surged 50% in the past Year – LongHash

Bitcoin (BTC) has been struggling with the bears since 2018 and the struggle continues to this moment for altcoins as well. However, LongHash has noted that market dominance of Bitcoin has not been static but rather has risen by 50% in the last one year.
A tough journey for Ethereum
On the Contrary, Ethereum’s dominance has declined also significantly within the same time period. According to the LongHash Twitter update,
Marketcap | Date: 29/01/2018 | Source: LongHash
 
Marketcap | Date: 29/01/2019 | Source: LongHash

“BTC market cap dominance is up 50% in 1 year. Jan 29 2018: 35.6%
Jan 28 2019: 53.6%
 
ETH dominance is down 55% during the same time frame.
Jan 29 2018: 21.6%
Jan 28 2019: 9.7%”
 
This shows despite the struggling crypto market, Bitcoin may be doing better than many think. The Bitcoin dominance had crashed somewhere in August 2018 but has risen again suggesting an improvement. As for Ethereum, well, things may be getting worse despite the surge it experienced just a few weeks ago that took it from under $100 to just above $160.
What this means
In the seemingly worsening crypto crash, many experts and analysts including Weiss Ratings have said the worse the crash, the better the time to buy. It seems they knew what they were saying judging from this recent stats. Bitcoin might be preparing for another bull run even though it may not look like it at the moment.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market is still under the grip of the bears with all top ten cryptocurrencies in the reds except the stablecoin Tether (USDT) which claimed the fourth position on the coinmarketcap.com ranking recently. It is unclear where the market is going from here but many believe the crypto winter may get worse of Bitcoin goes below $3000.
Are we going further into the winter or are we coming out soon as LongHash data reveals about Bitcoin market cap dominance? Only time will tell and we will be waiting to see how it goes.
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Source: CoinGape