2017 was the year when the crypto craze was in full swing, with Bitcoin becoming one of the most Googled word in the world and with celebrities investing heavily in cryptocurrencies and promising blockchain enterprises left, right and center.
However, among the many who invested in the tech early on, there are those distinguished celebs who have become proper crypto advocates in their own right and some even see the potential good that decentralized platforms can do for the world.
The first crypto fan we have lined up is popular Hollywood actor, social activist and tech investor, Ashton Kutcher. We love Kutcher’s enthusiasm for all thing blockchain, especially this gem of a tweet he published way back in 2014 for the love of Ether.
Not only is Kutcher vocal about the tech, he has also invested in crypto exchange, BitBay, backs crypto ventures such as Unikrn and also serves as a great role model for his some 2.5 million followers on Twitter.
The winner of millions of hearts around the world for his skills on the field, global football sensation, Lionel Messi proved that blockchain is for everyone when he took on the responsibility of becoming blockchain based Sirin Lab’s ambassador. It’s no surprise that the platform chose one of the worlds best football players as their global brand ambassador as according to their website, their goal is to “bridge the gap between the blockchain economy and the mass market through multi-layered cybersecurity and a much-improved user experience.”
Music producer, rapper and Snapchat celebrity, DJ Khaled is onto another one of his wins as he definitely has an eye for talent and potential when he started endorsing blockchain enterprise Centra’s ICO to his some 8.5 million followers.
Crypto Today: Bottomless ‘pit’ swallows Bitcoin and altcoins
Here is what you need to know
Rampage has been the order of the day for three days in a row across the cryptocurrency market. Major digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum have suffered greatly at the hand of the bears. The entire market is under duress as cryptocurrencies face the worst selloff since the rally that started in January.
BTC/USD is dealing with increased selling activity. A drop under $9,500 support resulted in a stronger bearish grip. Bitcoin price plummeted to levels close to $9.000. However, an intraday low has been formed at $9,093. The largest crypto is valued at $9,146 while the trend remains bearish and the volatility levels heightened.
ETH/USD is down 3% on Wednesday after correcting from $246.71 (intraday high) to $239.50 (market value). Support at $250 failed to rise to the occasion leaving the bears to their own devices. Ethereum has hit lows of $235.52; it made a shallow recovery but the upside is limited at $240 and $250 respectively.
XRP/USD is trading 3.75% lower on the day after bears pushed the price lower from $0.2522 (opening value) to $0.2428 (market value). The high volatility and a strong bearish trend suggest that losses may still be imminent.
Top 100 cryptocurrencies worst performers
All cryptocurrencies among the top 100 are in losses. However, a number are posting extreme declines such as Bitcoin SV down 12.91%, Tezos down 11.49%, Tron down 10.84%, Dash down 10.62%, NEO down 10.17%, Cosmos down 10.98% and NEM down 12.01%.
Chart of the day
BCH/USD 1-hour chart (Price moving closer to the lower trendline of a falling wedge pattern. Further dip is likely to find support leading to a breakout above the wedge pattern in the short-term).
MoneyGram relationship with Ripple balloons
MoneyGram, a global payments provider is expanding the use of both Ripple and XRP for its international money transfers. In a recent earnings call, CEO Alex Holmes said that the firm plans to launch more payment corridors utilizing Ripple’s RippleNet to cater to account-to-account transfers.
“Our progress on the Ripple partnership has been instrumental in helping us lead the evolution of digital P2P payments… Today, our trading volume continues to grow and we’re partnering to expand the service to more corridors.
I’m also excited to announce that we are working to integrate RippleNet for account-to-account transfers in 2020. This new integration will further accelerate our progress in accomplishing our vision of real-time global settlements.”
The Bank of Canada (BoC) is yet to see any viable reasons as to why it should issue a central bank-backed digital currency (CBDC). According to the Deputy Governor, Timothy Lane, there is no threat to cash at the moment. However, if a competitor like Facebook’s Libra becomes successful then such digital currency considerations could be made. Despite taking part in CBDC concept study and research the bank concludes that:
There is not a compelling case to issue a CBDC at this time. Canadians will continue to be well-served by the existing payment ecosystem, provided it is modernized and remains fit for purpose.
In Japan, three significant economic watchdogs have come together in support of CBDC. The Finance Ministry, the Financial Services Agency, and the Bank of Japan are said to have participated in discussions that explore the possibilities of digital currencies and related economic impact. The three have also decided to focus on advanced research and analysis regarding the technological aspect of digital currency initiative. Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan governor was quoted in a local news daily saying:
We are advancing research and study from the technical and legal perspectives so that we will be able to move in an appropriate way when there is a growing need.
Coinbase has announced that its Coinbase Wallet has started support for Ethereum Name Service (ENS). The support will see users send ETH payments to a human-readable ETH address format. Users will feel as though they are sending crypto to an email address, unlike the usual hexadecimal addresses. It is important to note that the users must be registered under the ENS to utilize the new service.
Quote of the day
Economically, if you want to be viable as a community, you have to have some sort of technological expansion to ensure your survival. I think this is one way to do it, not just from a price standpoint of buying Bitcoin but also, from the technological standpoint, building the products we’ll use in the future.
Isaiah Jackson, author of “Bitcoin and Black America.”
WILL CRYPTO MARKETS MIRROR 2019 AND DUMP ALL ALTCOIN GAINS?
Digital asset markets are pulling back harder today with many high cap crypto currencies dumping double digits. Will the correction wipe out all gains again as it did last year?
Over the past 24 hours $15 billion has been unceremoniously dumped from crypto asset markets as spooked traders flood back into fiat.
The pullback has been largely predicted by analysts and so far has been nothing to worry too much about, after all prices do not move in a straight line.
2019 CRYPTO MARKET REDUX?
A greater concern is that the correction accelerates and all altcoin gains made so far this year are wiped out as they were in 2019.
Last year total crypto market cap started at $127 billion on January first and ended the year at $193 billion but that was largely due to bitcoin gains. Most of the altcoins ended flat or lower than they started according to Coinmarketcap.com.14 BTC & 30,000 Free Spins for every player, only in mBitcasino’s Crypto Love Affair! Play Now!
This year has been positive so far in terms of gains as total cap is still 36% up since the beginning of the year. Analysts and traders are already noticing the similarities that could play out if the correction continues into deeper territory.
Another concern is that if this has been the peak of the rally in 2020, then it marks another lower high which means we are still in a bear market.
Analyst ‘Dave the Wave’ is confident that things will resume their upward momentum once another bottom has been made, which will be higher than the previous.
Others are looking into buyback zones for bitcoin and the general consensus of opinion on the crypto twittersphere is the mid-to-low $8k range.
There is a huge support zone for BTC at $8,300 so a dump to that range could well play out. This would annihilate most gains made by the altcoins so far this year making a 2019 redux entirely plausible.
Bitcoinist has already reported on the possibility of alts being wiped out if big brother fails to hold key support areas.
At the time of writing it was still holding above $9k following a 5% fall on the day. Altcoins were getting hit harder as expected with Ethereum dumping 9% and XRP getting smashed 11%.
There are however too many bullish factors for bitcoin and Ethereum for them to completely capitulate this year.
What is playing out at the moment is an anticipated correction amidst an already shaky global financial outlook. This has been exacerbated by a virus outbreak which is being brushed under the digital carpet by governments across Asia for fear of further pain to their own economies.
JAPAN’S FINANCIAL REGULATORS TO DISCUSS CRYPTO ASSET CREATION
- Japan Joins List of Countries Exploring Central Bank Crypto Assets
- Central Banks Explore Digital Currencies as Response to Facebook’s Libra, Bitcoin
Japan’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry have set out to discuss the issues pertaining to creation of a state-backed crypto asset.
JAPAN JOINS LIST OF COUNTRIES EXPLORING CENTRAL BANK CRYPTO ASSETS
Japan is preparing to join the growing list of countries to explore the benefits of a state-backed digital asset. Also called Central Bank Digital Assets (CBDCs), those tools are still a hypothesis. China is considered the closest to a decision to launch a digital yuan, which would be the first CBDC.
But more central banks are opening explorations of offering a new type of digital coin and a blockchain solution directly related to a central bank. For now, this move is hypothetical, but if applied in practice, it would change both the banking and the crypto industry.
Japan, which is one of the most favorable markets for public digital assets, may also get a boost from a favorable stance to issuing a blockchain-based crypto yen. In the past month, the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan, and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) met to discuss the potential for a Japanese CBDC, reported the Japan Times.
The meeting brought together Yoshiki Takeuchi, vice-minister of finance for international affairs, Ryozo Himino, FSA vice-minister for international affairs, and Shinichi Uchida, BOJ executive director for international affairs. The Japan Times reported their discussion involved topics such as the effect of CBDCs on the currently highly dollarized global economy.14 BTC & 30,000 Free Spins for every player, only in mBitcasino’s Crypto Love Affair! Play Now!
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda previously said, “We are advancing research and study from the technical and legal perspectives so that we will be able to move in an appropriate way when there is a growing need.”
CENTRAL BANKS EXPLORE DIGITAL CURRENCIES AS RESPONSE TO FACEBOOK’S LIBRA, BITCOIN
With the latest discussions, the Bank of Japan joins other monetary policy authorities that have shown interest in central bank crypto assets, including the European Central Bank, the Swedish Central Bank, Bank of England and Bank of Canada.
Japan, however, has lagged behind as a hub for crypto-related activity. The FSA initially started with relatively lenient requirements but went on to require more stringent registration rules for exchanges. The added regulatory pressure caused Binance to leave its Tokyo offices and seek alternative headquarters and registration.
Central banks accelerated their exploration of CBDCs after Facebook started on its Libra project. The fear of undue influence from Facebook urged central banks to react and explore the potential of offering an alternative to Libra, with more regulatory oversight. The crypto community is split on its opinions of CBDCs. Those assets may validate a blockchain use case, but at the same time, undermine the central feature of cryptocurrencies – that they would be permissionless, public, and censorship-free.