June has so far been unkind to the cryptocurrency market which lost about $20 billion of its total capitalization. This marks a decrease of about 7.5 percent, as the market is currently valued at around $250 billion
Bitcoin (BTC) broke down to below $8,000 in a sudden negative move and it has so far proven to be unable to break back above the strong resistance. Since the beginning of the month, BTC dominance has decreased by roughly around 1%, which signals that the altcoins have managed to gain some strength.
With this said, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the altcoins that will be interesting to monitor throughout this month.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin (BNB) remains one of the most interesting cryptocurrencies to watch and that’s probably going to stay like that for quite a while. The native currency of the world’s leading crypto exchange is down about 8.5 percent in the past two weeks. However, its year-to-date performance remains remarkable. It’s managed to increase by 400 percent in value since January 1st.
The reasons for which BNB is interesting to watch out for is because we can see constant developments coming from both Binance and Binance Chain which add more utility. Let’s also not forget the fact that the next IEO is likely to be announced sometime this month, meaning that we’re likely to see another wave of buyers of BNB in an attempt to participate in the Initial Exchange Offering to come. Moreover, Binance is also doing quarterly burns of BNB, which reduces its circulating supply. This is another reason for which its price could continue to appreciate in the future, given the demand remains the same or increases.
Litecoin is also a very interesting altcoin to watch out for during this month. As Cryptopotato reported, Litecoin’s halving is just about 55 days away from now. This is a landmark moment in the network’s cycle as the block reward and the overall supply of LTC on the market will be slashed in half.As seen on the chart, LTC has had a great month in June so far. It’s up more than 13 percent. Its year-to-date performance is even better, as the cryptocurrency surged more than 330% against the USD. With such a major event coming in relatively soon, it’s definitely exciting to see what’s going to happen.
Just a few days ago, Cryptopotato reported that Bitfinex’s LEO token is up 70% since its private sale. Today, the total gains amount to 90 percent as LEO is currently trading at around $1.90, sitting at a market capitalization upwards of $1.9 billion.Looking at the chart since the start of June, we can see that the month has been nothing but good for LEO. It’s up almost 30 percent since the beginning of June alone, marking 8 percent gains on the day as well.
With the repurchase and burn schedule which is put in place, as well as the expected growth in utility for the token, means that we have quite a lot to see on this front. Of course, it’s anyone’s guess whether LEO will continue to appreciate in price, but it seems that the mechanics are there for this to happen.
Ripple (XRP) is currently the third largest cryptocurrency by means of market cap. Its price performance throughout 2019 has been somewhat lacking, failing to pursue the gains which most of the top projects saw during the same period.However, as Cryptopotato reported, XRP rebounded off the strong support at around $0.3790 and attempted to break the resistance at $0.40 yesterday. So far, it failed and the price has dropped slightly to the range of around $0.388 with a slight decrease of about 2.6% on the day.
June also saw the cryptocurrency depreciate in value as XRP has so far lost a little more than 10% during the month.
However, the fact that XRP was lacking behind is also what’s making it very interesting to follow. Should it manage to break through the serious support at $0.40 definitively and with volume, it has a lot of room for very serious gains going forward. With Ripple constantly announcing new partnerships and developments, XRP will definitely be one of the cryptocurrencies worth watching in June.
TRX is currently sitting on a market cap of slightly more than $2 billion and is the 12th largest project in this regard. During 2019, TRX increased by about 60 percent so far. At the time of this writing, it’s trading at around $0.30 which is a slight 2% decline in the past 24 hours. Looking at its performance since the beginning of June, we can see that TRX managed to hold its ground and it’s trading at the same price as in the beginning after a notable price increase in the first few days.One thing that can’t go unnoted about TRX, however, is its founder – Justin Sun. He’s known to be particularly proactive online, providing TRON’s community with constant updates on what’s going on.
Sun, however, is also known for going a bit over the line, creating hype around things that simply shouldn’t matter. Most recently, he literally announced an announcement, which contained little to no essential information. Yet, the price of XRP surged 7.35% on the news.
Later, it turned out that his big announcement was that he paid $4.6 million to charity in order to get the chance to sit at a 3-hour lunch with prominent investor Warren Buffet. We have yet to see what will happen during this meeting, but it’s something that puts TRX as an interesting cryptocurrency to follow over the current month.
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Bitcoin transactions leveraging SegWit hit an all-time high
Bitcoin payments leveraging SegWit hit an all-time high of 50.47% on September 15th. The Segregated Witness aka SegWit protocol was developed by Pieter Wiulle in December 2015, separates [or segregates] the digital signatures from the transactions to reduce processing fees and time for Bitcoin to solve the scalability issue.
For the most part of 2018 and early 2019, SegWit adoption figures on Bitcoin blockchain was low. According to data on transactionfee’s website, Bitcoin transactions using the protocol, on 1st January 2019, accounted for only 40.55%. Notably, an increase of 24.46% was noted in the last nine months.
Securing approval for the implementation of SegWit was not a problem for Litecoin which required 75% approval. Bitcoin, however, needed 95% support from network miners who were reluctant to switch and hence failed to acquire support initially. Litecoin took the lead and after SegWit’s successful activation, Bitcoin followed suit in a couple of months.
Despite its activation at block 477,120 on 21 July 2017, what held back its adoption on the Bitcoin network, was the backward-compatibility nature of the scaling upgrade or the soft fork. This meant that the non-upgraded users could still use their existing full node software.
Despite receiving a warm welcome from major wallet providers, the upgrade failed to attract leading crypto exchanges to switch to SegWit as they already had a huge customer base and did not mind paying high fees. The leading crypto platforms, like Binance, Blockchain.com, BitMEX, and Bittrex are yet to implement SegWit.
Recently, OKEx, the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced support for SegWit addresses of Bitcoin as well as Litecoin on its platform. Gemini was the first major exchange to roll out support for the protocol.
Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis September 16 — 20, 2019
Bitcoin BTC/USD ends the trading week at the level of 10313 and continues to move as part of the correction and the formation of the «Triangle» model. Moving averages indicate a bullish trend. At the moment, we should expect an attempt to continue to decline and test the support area near the level of 9535. Where again we should expect a rebound and an attempt to continue the growth of the Bitcoin rate with a potential target above the level of 14050.
Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis September 16 — 20, 2019
In favor of raising the BTC/USD quotes in the current trading week September 16 — 20, 2019, a test of the ascending trend line on the relative strength index (RSI) will come out. The second signal will be a rebound from the lower boundary of the «Triangle» model. Cancellation of the Bitcoin growth option will be a fall and a breakdown of the 8850 area. This will indicate a breakdown of the lower border of the pattern and a continuation of the fall of BTC/USD with a potential target below the level of 5655. A confirmation of the development of the upward trend will be a breakdown of the upper boundary of the Triangle model and closing quotes above the level of 11650.
Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis September 16 — 20, 2019 implies an attempt to the support area near the level of 9535. Then, the cryptocurrency will continue to grow to the area above the level of 14050. An additional signal in favor of the Bitcoin exchange rate will be the support line test on the relative strength index (RSI). The cancellation of the growth option for Bitcoin cryptocurrency quotes will be a fall and a breakdown of the area of 8850. In this case, we should expect continued decline with the target at the level of 5655.
Hodl Hodl Wants You to Clone Its Bitcoin Exchange
Hodl Hodl plans to make its software freely available so anyone can launch their own version of the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange.
Announced Saturday at the Baltic Honeybadger conference in Riga, Latvia, the plan is, in part, a recognition that Hodl Hodl’s business model is vulnerable to regulatory crackdowns.
“History teaches us that if a government wants to shut you down, it will,” Hodl Hodl CEO Max Keidun told CoinDesk.
Open-sourcing the code for its smart contracts, which Hodl Hodl intends to do sometime next year, is a way to deal with the threat, Keidun said, explaining:
“Let’s imagine, our domain gets blocked — some activist would be able to just take the code from Github, fork it and launch something new.”
Already, people in Africa, Asia and Latin America have reached out to the company, asking about such an opportunity, he said. “Peer-to-peer is something emerging markets, in particular, are interested in.”
Hodl Hodl is a rare animal in the 2019 crypto world: as a matter of principle, it focuses on bitcoin (the only cryptocurrency that the company’s founders trust), it doesn’t do know-your-customer (KYC) checks and it has no plan to start.
Why not? “Because we don’t like three-letter abbreviations,” Hodl Hodl’s CTO, Roman Snitko, joked in a slide for his presentation to the Riga conference.
In all seriousness, Hodl Hodl is averse to holding the sensitive personal information that financial institutions are mandated to collect from customers under global anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations.
“We think KYC/AML does more harm by exposing law-abiding users to fraudsters and criminals,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “The information and documents users upload to exchanges has been stolen many times in the past. It also does very little to prevent actual money laundering and criminals from using those services. They always find ways.”
Yet regulators across the globe are tightening the screws on the industry to identify the parties to transactions. Most notably, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, has directed its member countries to make exchanges collect and store information about who their customers trade with.
Winds of change
Hodl Hodl’s founders believe they don’t have to identify customers because the exchange never takes custody of users’ funds.
Rather, it lists offers to buy or sell bitcoin and provides an escrow service in which the seller locks bitcoin in a multi-signature smart contract until the buyer sends fiat. Releasing the bitcoin requires 2 out of 3 signatures, belonging to the buyer, seller, and Hodl Hodl (which steps in as a referee when there’s a dispute).
“We don’t touch the crypto, don’t match users automatically and don’t keep funds in our wallets,” Keidun said. “We create multisigs in a public blockchain,”
In the same June guidance, the FATF said even peer-to-peer platforms may be subject to such regulations in cases “where the platform facilitates the exchange.” It’s unclear whether Hodl Hodl’s escrow service counts as “facilitating.”
But the founders see the way the wind is blowing.
“We’re not switching to the open-source model exclusively because of the regulatory pressure,” Snitko told CoinDesk. “In fact, we haven’t experienced any due to the fact that we’re a non-custodial exchange. However, we do foresee regulators becoming more desperate in their attempts to contain the spread of bitcoin and we refuse to be the victims of desperate actions.”
Passing the reins
At some point, Keidun and Snitko might hand management of Hodl Hodl to others so they can focus entirely on supporting and upgrading the code. (The exchange says it has no head office; employees work remotely, serving 10,000 users worldwide.)
“We want to create a community around us, so that at some point we could pass the reins to other people,” Keidun said. There is no timeframe for that yet.
In his Riga presentation, Snitko also announced Hodl Hodl’s intention to open “a bitcoin smart contract app store.”
Another way people can utilize the code is payments for e-commerce, and in the coming months, the team will focus on making the technology plug-and-play, so people who are not proficient coders can easily deploy it in their online store and accept bitcoin.
“We want to launch a platform for bitcoin smart contracts, so that anyone who wants to sell homes online or do [over-the-counter] trades could use it,” Keidun said, adding that it might be a multi-sig with more than three signatures and it can be used for multiple use cases.
Aside from bitcoin-to-fiat trades, Hodl Hodl’s multi-sig escrow is used in a peer-to-peer predictions market when people bet on things like the price of bitcoin or publicly traded stock, sports results and other measurable outcomes. A real estate platform is also in the works, with a launch tentatively scheduled for 2020, Keidun said.