AS the price of bitcoin suffers a lengthy New Year hangover one of the surprising trends for 2018 so far has been the arrival of a noticeable chasing pack of crypto offerings.
Ripple has arrived in 2018 by grabbing headlines, mostly down to optimism from mainstream banks that – unlike bitcoin, with its links to the Dark Web and terrorism – offers blockchain technology without the accompanying bad press.
Ripple or XRP has a market capitalisation of $112billion, having overtaken Ethereum earlier this year. It now sits second only to bitcoin’s market capitalisation of $225billion and has gained more than 45,700 percent over the last 12 months.
Express.co.uk spoke to asset manager Levi Meade, Lead Investment Analyst at Columbus Capital about the many differences in the “protocols” of the new offerings and why this is important in understanding their move towards mainstream adoption.
Mr Meade says that, although Bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Ripple are all referred to as cryptocurrencies, they are very difference animals and not necessarily in direct competition with one another.
Bitcoin Cash, Mr Meade says, was created on the basis of becoming a global currency, with Bitcoin only more recently seeming to be a potential safe haven asset or store of wealth. In terms of payment, both bitcoin and bitcoin cash have been built to allow the simple A to B transfer of value as the application.
Ethereum, on the other hand is referred to as a smart contract platform.
Mr Meade adds: “This was built with the purpose of extending the programmability of money, which simply means that much more complicated transactions than simple A to B transfers can take place when utilising the capabilities of the Ethereum blockchain.”
The asset manager presents an example, when he said: “Perhaps you would like to do a transaction with another person or company that has certain criteria to be met which affects the timing and amount of a payment or even perhaps stream of payments.
“With this is mind, rather than aiming to become a world currency, Ethereum has the potential to be a fundamental piece of architecture behind the next generation of the Web and smart devices, handling all aspects of value transfer natively to these systems.”
Finally, the Ripple blockchain again differs to an even greater extent to bitcoin than Ethereum.
The asset manager says that while the name of the game for bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum is “disruption” of the financial world. He said: “Ripple is a blockchain solution that can best be described as a massive infrastructure upgrade to the world of finance bringing value transfer into the digital age.
“The Ripple blockchain seeks to replace existing payment rails that connect Banks, Payment providers, Corporates and exchanges in order to provide quite dramatic savings in costs and time.”
But which of these offering is most likely to challenge bitcoin’s hegemony as the number one cryptocurrency?
None of them, according to Mr Meade.
He added: “It is certainly not the case that Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum or Ripple are directly chasing bitcoin.
“It is quite possible that amongst a number of different scenarios, all of these assets and blockchains can coexist. However, it is also the case that if anyone of these experiences massive wide scale global adoption that an ecosystem develops around it that leaves no room for a competing blockchain to fulfil its own individual use case at scale.
“The situation is not black and white – winner takes all.
“It is much more accurate to think of the situation like the Big Bang; right now developers and technologists are experimenting with this technology to see how it can be applied with other technologies and how it can be used and applied to form the foundation of a next-generation Web and digitally native financial architecture.”
Although the asset manager won’t pick a winner Jimmy Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer of leading blockchain specialist, nChain, told Express.co.uk that Bitcoin Cash – with a commitment to bigger blocks, faster speed, and lower transaction fees, is a new piece of technology that can rival the VISA and Mastercard global payment systems and create enterprise-level payment and technology systems.
He added: “While legacy Bitcoin has attracted much attention in late 2017, Bitcoin Cash has been quietly gaining traction.
“Bitcoin Cash is now set to take off further in the next 12 months as awareness of the benefits of a truly scalable cryptocurrency become clearer in the eyes of business leaders.”
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
Cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC/USD) is trading at 3587. Cryptocurrency quotes are trading below the moving average with a period of 55. This indicates a bearish trend for Bitcoin. At the moment, cryptocurrency quotes are moving near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019
As part of the Bitcoin exchange rate forecast, the test level of 3820 is expected. Where should we expect an attempt to continue the fall of BTC/USD and the further development of the downward trend. The purpose of this movement is the area near the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located near the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator at the level of 3850.
Cancellation of the option to continue the decline in Bitcoin will be the breakdown of the area of the upper border of the Bollinger Bands indicator. As well as the moving average with a period of 55 and closing of quotations of the pair above the area of 4250. This will indicate a change in the current trend in favor of the bullish for BTC/USD. In the event of a breakdown of the lower border of the Bollinger Bands indicator bands, we should expect an acceleration of the fall of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin (BTCUSD) weekly forecast on February 18 — 24, 2019 implies a test level of 3820. Further, it is expected to continue falling to the area below the level of 2700. The conservative area for selling Bitcoin is located area of 3850. Canceling the option of falling cryptocurrency will break the level of 4250. In this case, we should expect continued growth.
BTCUSD Analysis: Bitcoin still trading in a bearish consolidation [Video]
Any upside moves are classified as corrective ahead of what could be the next downside extension and bearish continuation. It would take a break back above 4,380 at a minimum to take the immediate pressure off the downside. Next critical support comes in the form of the July and September 2017 lows, around 2,000 and 2,975 respectively.
In this analysis, we take a look at Bitcoin each day, highlighting all of the need to knows for anyone looking to extract up to date information about major levels and relevant trends, both short term and longer-term. The analysis is designed for the trader, investor and even those simply holding the crypto asset, looking for an idea of where they may want to consider making that next conversion.
The cryptocurrency update is new each day and is presented with an added layer of animation, in an effort to make the analysis as engaging as possible, while also communicating the message with respect to key trends and levels in an easy to understand, seamless manner with great value add to all.
Are Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Net Positive Or Negative For Bitcoin And Crypto Assets?
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have been analyzed by several banking institutions around the world, specifically by several central banks in different countries. However, they are different than virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). How would the issuance of CBDCs affect Bitcoin and the whole crypto market?
There are some important differences between Bitcoin and CBDCs. For example, Bitcoin is permissionless, decentralized and censorship-resistant while CBDCs are permission, centralized and censorable. Thus, they are almost contrary to Bitcoin. While the most popular cryptocurrency provides freedom to users, CBDCs allow governments to have larger control over their populations.
A few days ago, the popular investment bank JP Morgan unveiled a stablecoin called JPM Coin that would be used to make transfers between customers in just a few seconds. Although JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been against virtual currencies, it seems that the bank will be using blockchain technology to power their virtual currency.
There were several individuals in the market claiming that the new JP Morgan digital coin killed Bitcoin, or at least, it is going to kill the most popular cryptocurrency in the market. However, it is important to understand that these coins will never be similar and work in a completely different way. CBDCs and stablecoins issued by financial institutions such as JP Morgan work in a centralized and controlled way.
Indeed, these new digital assets do not seem to present a threat to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. SWIFT could be affected by these new coins. SWIFT is the mainstream and most popular system to perform cross-border payments. This system has proven to be slow and costly for many financial institutions and banks all over the world. Indeed, Ripple’s services could also be affected by the growth of new CBDCs.
CBDCs legitimize that virtual currencies are the future of money. Because of this, it might be possible for Bitcoin to distance itself from drugs and criminals. At the same time, with CBDCs individuals will discover that there are several advantages of using digital assets.
Individuals will clearly have their funds frozen at any moment using CBDCs if the financial institution regulating the asset decides so. Moreover, their accounts can be suspended and users would not be able to use these funds anymore.
There are some crypto experts that believe that CBDCs could be very harmful to societies. For example, China is currently trying to control its population with new surveillance systems related to how individuals use their funds.
Crypto fiat (i.e. government controlled permissioned cryptocurrencies) will be the biggest battleground globally for human rights over the next decade. China is leading the way, many other countries, including some big western democracies, will follow. https://t.co/8BqfmBJ2mP
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) February 13, 2019
With CBDCs, people will realize that there is no more freedom and that the government is ultimately controlling everything. This is why Bitcoin could grow as a safe haven where users can feel free to use their funds as they want without being controlled by governments.
That does not mean that Bitcoin will be used to perform illegal things. It means that users will protect their privacy and what they do with their funds.