Tether has recovered from a mid-October sell-off to trade near parity with the U.S. dollar once more.
The crypto market’s dominant stablecoin had fallen to 86 cents, with speculation surrounding tether’s dollar reserves. Despite fears that the stablecoin may see further selling, the price has since recovered to $0.9921. according to data from Coinmarketcap.
The recovery in tether had been helped by further transparency regarding the dollar reserves, however a recent announcement has stated that the 500 million tokens have also been removed from circulation. The timing of this move suggests that tether are burning tokens in excess of their stated reserves. This could be part of a plan to produce a more transparent audit.
The redemptions and growing competition in the stablecoin market are still signs of discomfort for tether.
Ripple has released its Q3 2018 XRP Markets Report, which shows that XRP sales doubled in Q3, largely due to institutional buying.
Total sales of XRP was $163 million up from $73.5 million in Q2. Institutional sales accounted for the majority with $98 million, from only $16 million in Q2. The increase is largely down to the hype and release of the xRapid product.
XRP had traded in a tight correlation with the overall crypto market but was underperforming until the September rally on the xRapid news.
Another interesting chart highlighted the growing importance of South Korea and Malta. The latter surprisingly accounted for, “two-thirds of digital asset trading”. Koreans have increased their trading volumes as the emerging markets have struggled in the global risk sell-off. Although Malta has been a strong supporter of blockchain technology, the European nation only has a GDP of $12bn. A large portion of the volume may be from institutions and startups who have moved to the regulation-friendly island. Malta’s moves to adopt cryptocurrency has seen the country attract the name “Blockchain Island”.
Ripple’s XRP has struggled to see follow-through on xRapid. This is due to the small number of companies that have signed up so far. XRP has consolidated the recent rally but a further advance cannot be ruled out.
Stratis have recently released a roadmap for Q4 which futhers their ambitious plan to build their blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform. Smart contracts, full nodes and sidechains are the focus of the Q4 plans.
A further feature in development is Breeze protocol, which is a privacy-enabling feature. The upgrades are scheduled for completion by year-end. The project’s mission has been to target C# developers who want to develop software and services for business.
In another exciting news release Stratis announced that they are now a certified Microsoft partner. The partnership includes access to the Azure cloud marketplace, which the developers noted, “… gives app and service providers access to 120,000 enterprise customers and 800,000 ecosystem partners in 190 countries.”
The certified partner status comes after the ICO platform was made available on the popular cloud platform. This made the Stratis the first Blockchain-Based Web App solution available on the Marketplace.
The Stratis token is up over 10% on the week and currently has a market cap of $150 million with a supply of 99 million tokens.
Coinbase has announced that it will now support the Circle stablecoin USDC. The cryptocurrency exchange announced on a blog post that the coin had begun trading yesterday, the 23rd October. The move is significant as it is the first time Coinbase has shown support for a stablecoin and it also comes only a week after tether had seen a panic spike lower as traders continue to question the legitimacy of the coin’s 1:1 peg. The addition of USDC could be seen as a vote of no confidence in tether. This follows news last week that Binance was expanding its stablecoin offerings to four.
The underlying technology of the USDC coin was actually co-developed by Coinbase and Circle under the CENTRE banner.
The company’s blog stated, “The advantage of a blockchain-based digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with, to send quickly, to use in dApps, and to store locally than traditional bank account-based dollars. That’s why we think of it as an important step towards a more open financial system.”
USDC will also be added to the Coinbase Pro platform in coming weeks. The stablecoin already supported on the Coinbase Wallet, which supports ERC20 tokens.
The move to a stablecoin is a further sign that Coinbase are becoming more aggressive in their listing policy. Competitor exchanges have wider offerings and competition is heating up in th ecryptocurrency space.
Decred has surged over 24% after it was announced that the cryptocurrency would be added to the Binance exchange.
Binance announced the news on Twitter and stated that trading in the coin would begin tomorrow, the 24th October.
It was announced last week that Decred would be handing over its $21 million treasury to investors in a move designed to further decentralize governance. “Politeia” will give holders of the cryptocurrency the opportunity to exercise control over each project. The treasury held DCR 570,000, valued at roughly $21 million. Today’s rally will bring this figure closer to $28 million. The treasury is also funded by a portion of new coins created with each block, so it’s a self-funded system.
DCR now has a market cap of $417 million with a circulating supply of only 8.6 million coins, from a maximum supply of 21 million.
Basic Attention Token (BAT) has been soaring in the last ten days as traders anticipate a possible Coinbase listing.
BAT has moved from lows near $0.17 to trade at highs around $0.30. The move has extended recently, following the addition of 0x to the Coinbase exchange. The cryptocurrency exchange had talked of “exploring” five coins in the past apart from 0x: Stellar Lumens, Cardano, ZCash and BAT. BAT has moved to number 31 in the list of coins by market cap but is still valued at more than 50% lower than its nearest competitor on the list in ZCash.
Basic Attention Token is a project that aims to decentralize the digital advertising market. The token is created on the Ethereum platform and can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers and users. The goal of the project is to eliminate middlemen, trackers and fraud.
The BAT token works alongside the Brave browser , which is an open-source, privacy-focused browser that blocks trackers and also contains a ledger system that captures user attention to reward publishers.
The token’s utility is derived from — or denominated by — user attention.
Worldwide Digital Ad Spend 2010-2018
The Basic Attention token currently has 1 billion tokens in circulation, so the current price represents a market cap of $280 million. Global digital ad spending is currently over $550 billion so there is a huge market for the project to pursue.
Maximum control of the digital ad world would make BAT tokens worth $550. This figure should be adjusted for share of the market. Even a 5% share of the ad market would give BAT a valuation of $25 – 100x its current valuation.
Qtum was higher today in a quiet cryptocurrency market as traders digest the foundation’s AWS deal.
Trading 8% higher in early trading, Qtum slipped to a gain of over 3% on the day. The general market was quiet with only NEM and Tezos showing gains in the top twenty coins by market cap. The Singapore-based Qtum foundation had called the AWS partnership a “ground breaking” deal that sees them provide smart contract technology to the China division of AWS.
Qtum bounced off resistance at the $4.75 level, however a move above that could see the coin almost double in price. The coin currently sits at number 26 in the list of coins with a market cap of $387 million and 89 milion coins in circulation. VeChain currently holds twentieth spot with a market cap of $617 million so it would take gains of 100% in Qtum to move into top twenty.
Galaxy Digital, the firm founded by billionaire cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz, are teaming up with U.S. banking giant Goldman Sachs to invest in crypto custody service BitGo.
The two firms are investing $15 million of the total $58 million raised in the startup’s series B funding round. The arrival of the two heavyweights will surely help BitGo attract further investment.
According to the company’s website, BitGo are aiming to build a $1 trillion crypto wallet. CEO Mike Belshe commented on the deal, “No one is better positioned than BitGo to serve institutional investors who want to trade cryptocurrencies and digital assets. That’s why we’re focused on figuring out what it takes to secure a trillion dollars. The market’s not there yet but our job is to be ready first.”
The BitGo deal comes on the back of news that Fidelity Investments are moving forward with their own custody plans. The official announcement of the Boston-based asset maanger this week are highlighting the move of some heavyweight firms into preparing the ground for a wave of institutional investment into the cryto space.
Rana Yared, a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs’ Prinicpal Strategic Investments Group said of the BitGo deal: “We are impressed by BitGo’s product, unique services, and the management team. We view our investment in BitGo as an exciting opportunity to contribute to the evolution of this critical market infrastructure.”
Mike Nogratz reiterated his belief that institutions are keen to get involved, saying, “Institutional investors are gradually realizing that digital assets are going to be a game changer, and they want to participate.”
CCN has reported that tether pulled $610 million of the stablecoin’s market cap out of circulation since the beginning of October.
The tether coin saw heavy selling on Monday as the U.S. dollar peg cracked, with the coin trading at only $0.92. The move spurred a spike higher in Bitcoin and there was also a move above the $1 mark in Gemini’s new stablecoin, Gemini Dollar (GUSD).
The recent moves are indicative of trading activity around the news, where traders are becoming nervous at the “stability” of the stablecoin. Bitfinex was rumoured to be insolvent, which the exchange firmly denied, whilst tether had faced accusations that its dollar reserves were not enough to back the peg at 1:1 with the current market cap of over $2 billion. The two organisations share the same management team, so with new stablecoins appearing, there is competition and a potential safe haven for worried tether holders. As CCN highlighted, “Tether has not issued any new tokens in October, and the last time that new tokens entered circulation was on Sept. 21, when the treasury sent 50 million USDT to Bitfinex.”
Billionaire crypto investor Mike Novogratz also criticized tether’s role in the problems due to their poor attempts at transparency. Novogratz said the company should stop printing new reserves of USDT and focus on reassuring investors. He saw the lack of transparency as continually hurting tether’s brand. Novogratz was still positive on the role of stablecoins in the crypto market.
Tether has tried to calm the market by providing an update on the reserves situation. This seems to have worked so far but it’s a reminder that the risk of a tether sell-off is still possible. Traders don’t often show patience when there are rumours and a lack of clarity. The fact that the company has halted all new tokens and altered the circulation is maybe a sign that there is some work to be done to convince the market further.