If blockchain wants to take over the world, it’s going to have to get a lot faster. We’re adding some of the tokens trying to make it happen.
With news this week that Ethereum’s latest scaling solution – the unfortunately named Optimism – has been delayed until July, focus has once again turned to the fact that the world’s second largest blockchain is still using the same transaction infrastructure it was back in 2017.
The main difference being that in 2017 nobody was using Ethereum, while in 2021 many, many people are using Ethereum and right now the network is perpetually clogged with the digital equivalent of those ‘fatbergs’ they keep pulling out of our sewerage systems.
The result has been slow transaction times and eye-wateringly high gas fees (i.e. the cost to have your transaction processed by the network). The DeFi ecosystem, overwhelmingly built on Ethereum, has slowed to a crawl as the ability to buy and sell tokens on Uniswap has become constrained by your willingness to pay US$50 for the privilege.
If only there was an easier way!
Over the last few years, a number of new players have entered the so-called ‘application layer’ space, offering transaction throughputs hundreds, if not thousands of times faster than Ethereum (which currently tops out at around 14 transactions per second).
These are networks such as Algorand and EOS – both being added to CoinJar this week – as well as Solana, Polkadot, Waves, Tezos, Cardano, Cosmos and many more.
While there are myriad incomprehensibly obscure technical differences between these platforms, they’re all unified in offering faster, simpler and more accessible blockchain services to both users and developers. Surely that should be enough to knock Ethereum off its perch?
Death to the king
You’ll often see these tokens described as “Ethereum-killers”, but that’s not a particularly helpful way of approaching things. For one, no matter what you might think about the superiority of any of these alternative networks, if Ethereum was, in fact, killed, the collateral carnage to the blockchain space at large would make the 2018 crypto winter look like an all-expenses paid trip to Fiji.
Ethereum is simply too big, too well understood and too secure to be so easily displaced. When Visa announced on Monday that they were going to start settling transactions in USDC, they were really saying that they had chosen Ethereum as their crypto settlement solution. It’s the very nature of blockchain technology that the more it’s used, the more secure and stable it becomes. Ethereum’s first mover advantage is profound. And when it does finally scale? Watch out.
But the cryptoverse is a big place and if it comes anywhere close to fulfilling its potential as the backbone of Web3, there’s going to be room for a lot of different protocols, each with their own specialties and use cases. After all, the internet is built on top of a whole bunch of interlocking protocols and each of them is equally important in creating the modern web experience that we so love/tolerate.
The Internet of Value is coming – application layers give you the chance to own some of the land it will be built on.
Rothschild Investment Buys $4.75M in Shares of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust
Asset manager Rothschild investment Corp has acquired 265,302 shares from the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, a purchase worth $4.75 million.
According to an SEC filing on April 15, the firm also bought an additional 8,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), now owning a total of 38,346 shares.
Not The Rothschild You Think
Rothschild Investment Corp has nothing to do with the Rothschild family, but many in the community are still confused.
Founding members Monroe Rothschild and brother-in-law Samuel Karger have said the firm has no relation with the wealthy dynasty originally from Frankfurt. In 1995, New York Times published an article that clarified the differences between both branches.
Rothschild Investment Corp was founded in 1908, headquartered in Chicago. The firm holds over $1.2 billion in its portfolio and over 450 open positions in the market. Unlike the famous bankers, the firm has been accruing shares since 2017, long before traditional institutions started investing in crypto assets.
Grayscale Finally Hit the $50 Billion Mark
The recent purchase comes after Grayscale hit the long-awaited $50 billion mark. As reported, Grayscale finally holds over $50 billion in total assets under management (AUM). The GBTC alone holds $41,442 million, while the Ethereum Trust holds over $7,420 million.
Ethereum also hit a new all-time high by reaching $2500 after a parabolic run in the last five months. It soared 13.7% last week, breaking its previous resistance at $2,2007. The Berlin hard fork went live a few days ago in an attempt to reduce the high fees on the network, but many users have complained about syncing issues for the network nodes.
The crypto market was overall bullish in the last weeks but the market took a u-turn this weekend, causing mayhem across the board, liquidating over $10 billion worth of both long and short positions in less than a day.
Are we there yet? Here’s why one analyst says its not ‘altcoin season’
Few traders would argue against the fact that Bitcoin (BTC) is in a bull market, but there is less consensus on whether the market is in the midst of an “altcoin season.” A quick view of Crypto Twitter shows the schism between traders who are certain we are halfway through alt season and those who believe it has yet to begin.
Typically, traders rely on a wide swath of indicators and metrics, like Bitcoin’s total market capitalization versus the total altcoin market cap, Bitcoin’s dominance rate, and whether low-cap altcoins have rallied by a certain percentage.
As is the nature of investing, too much signal can at times produce mixed results, so Cointelegraph decided to have a chat with Ben Lilly, co-founder and analyst at Jarvis Labs, to see where he and his firm think the market currently stands and to determine the most appropriate metrics to use in figuring out whether or not an altcoin season is truly at hand.
Cointelegraph: A number of analysts claim we’re in an altcoin season, or at least right at the verge of one. Some are looking at support/resistance flips and fractals on altcoin market cap charts (isolated from BTC’s market cap) to make convincing arguments. Why do you think that we are nowhere near an altcoin season?
Ben Lilly: I believe everybody’s interpretation of what defines an altcoin season varies. For many, altcoin season might exist when both BTC and altcoins move higher. This is opposed to Bitcoin rising while altcoins remain flat or drop.
I think this is a fair view of altcoin season, but it’s not necessarily one I subscribe to. Simply because if this is a definition for altcoin season, it’s not a compelling reason for me to move away from Bitcoin and into altcoins from a risk-adjusted perspective.
Because in that definition of altcoin season, Bitcoin is still the preferable asset to own.
We think of altcoin season as market movements that take people by surprise or at least make traders rethink what is normal.
CT: So, altcoin seasons are not reflecting a macro-level trend shift in the market direction of Bitcoin’s momentum?
BL: Well, getting back to what I said earlier, support and resistances are helpful ways to explain. We can view these as areas that, when broken, create fast price action. It’s the type of action you want exposure to, assuming you’re on the correct side of it. While anything in between these supports and resistances can almost be assumed as “expected” or normal — in a loose sense.
To figure out where this area might be, we can look at a Bitcoin dominance chart. This lets us know the percentage of the market Bitcoin represents. Right now, it’s trading in a range, which is to say an “expected” range. And because it’s trending down, this is good for altcoins as Bitcoin concedes some dominance to other coins.
While many might point to this and say it’s an “altcoin season,” I’ll point out that this type of activity tends to happen in a bull cycle because new money is moving in.
In fact, we’ve been trading in this range of expectation from the middle part of 2019, which coincides with when Bitcoin found its low and began to turn bullish.
Oddly enough, we recently jumped out of this range in late 2020, and when we did, Bitcoin went on an absolute tear. During this run, altcoins lost value. And similar to how Brent Johnson describes his dollar milkshake theory, Bitcoin sucked up the market’s liquidity as it ran higher.
We have since returned to this range of expectation, also known as the normal area of the market.
Now, if the opposite happens and we break this expected range to the downside, in our point of view, this will signify that altcoins are the asset to be sitting in, as they will generate outsized returns relative to Bitcoin. That’s when things will get wild.
CT: For years, traders have pinpointed the shifts in dominance rate between BTC and altcoins as a relevant indicator of when altcoin season begins. As the theory holds, when Bitcoin’s price consolidates or is in a downtrend and its dominance rate drops below a certain percentage, altcoins capitalize on Bitcoin’s range-bound action by rallying higher. What thoughts do you have on this?
BL: Similar to what I explained previously, it’s all about expectations. As soon as the market creates a change in view of what’s normal, then “altcoin season” will appear.
Another chart I’m frequently leaning on is the ETH/BTC pair. When Ether gains in relation to BTC, this is generally a good sign for altcoins. And recently, there’s been some bullish momentum on the chart within its current range of expectation.
The ETH/BTC pair is currently forming what we can describe as the Livermore Accumulation Cylinder. For more than a month, we have been discussing this in our free “Espresso” newsletter from the Jarvis Labs Substack, and what is clear is that the chart is taking form and is at the later stages of its trend.
If ETH/BTC breaks up and out of this cylinder, it’ll be another moment where expectations of what is normal will be adjusted. This is when we will see fast price action, and likely an altcoin season.
CT: While a rising tide does lift all boats, altcoins have been the top performers in the market when compared with Bitcoin. A quick look over CoinMarketCap shows that at least 50 have made moves that are well above 100%, and the altcoin market cap has risen from $250 billion in January to nearly $900 billion today. In your opinion, what is the primary signal that the market is in a proper altcoin run?
BL: Now, this is a bit different than an altcoin season, in my opinion. That’s because a proper bull run for altcoins is when investors are more likely to walk further out on the risk curve of crypto versus simply buying Bitcoin, not necessarily outsized gains compared with Bitcoin.
Based on this definition, we can make the case that whenever Bitcoin dominance is falling while crypto as a whole is in a bull market (like today), then this is a bull market for altcoins.
While investors might not have outsized gains relative to Bitcoin in a proper altcoin bull run like they would in an altcoin season, it is wise to begin building exposure to these higher-risk assets in this environment.
CT: Does on-chain data have any value in determining when alt seasons begin?
BL: Absolutely. On-chain is very valuable if you know how to filter out all the noise that comes with it. With crypto, there’s so much transparency in seeing transactions on-chain. This creates a trove of data that can be looked at in hundreds of different ways, many of which are somewhat meaningless.
At Jarvis Labs, we filter out all the data to find the data that matters. Then we run it through algorithms to create trade signals. It’s high-value data analytics and tends to be used in place of in-house analysts.
In saying that, on-chain is still an evolving space outside of Bitcoin and Ethereum. We’re on half a dozen blockchains watching these signals evolve and generating a variety of reliable signals will better pinpoint exactly when trend shifts take place and altcoin seasons begin and end.
One simple thing traders can follow in order to see the progression of an altcoin season is USDT flows.
When an altcoin season arrives, we’re likely to see USDT flow into other layer-two protocols such as Polkadot, Cosmos and Solana. That’s because many small-cap assets that are very far out on the risk curve, which tend to be bought in these types of environments, will exist on decentralized exchanges rather than centralized exchanges.
As investors start buying up these small-cap assets, liquidity will arrive, and USDT is the most ubiquitous form of liquidity in the market.
So, when USDT enters these ecosystems by the hundreds of millions, you can be sure it’s altcoin season, as investors will be chasing these assets only found on DEXs native to their protocol (i.e., Serum).
CT: Is it possible that the narrative may be changing and that some altcoins are breaking away from their reliance on the performance of Bitcoin, shifting what an altcoin season may look like?
BL: The changing landscape of risk is how I view this particular question.
And as other assets begin to grow in market cap and age, the network effects will grow. This, in turn, will insulate many crypto assets from Bitcoin since a lot of value will be attached to them.
In this way, over time altcoins will slightly deviate away from BTC’s performance.
Ethereum will be the first asset to do this, simply because of where it’s at in terms of its life cycle and development. But in terms of being immune to Bitcoin’s price, this won’t happen for many years. In fact, I think there will always be some correlation to an extent.
That’s due to macro reasons. Simply put, commodities as a whole tend to have a correlation to one another, equities as a whole have correlation, and even currencies tend to move in tandem with one another (i.e, USD, CHF, JPY). In saying this, crypto as a whole is likely to move in tandem with one another for at least most of this decade if not longer.
Disclaimer: Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim to provide you with all the important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as investment advice.
COINQVEST and Anclap introduce inflation free cryptocurrency payment processing for Argentina
COINQVEST, a licensed virtual currency service built on the Stellar Network that allows merchants to accept, manage and disburse cryptocurrency payments, today announced its collaboration with Argentina-based Anclap, a Peso Argentino anchor and financial technology service provider, to bring blockchain-based and inflation-free payment processing to merchants and enterprises in Argentina.
Anclap provides real-time bank account integration in Argentina and helps businesses protect themselves from the inflationary nature of the Argentine Peso.
The COINQVEST platform offers Argentinians secure payment processing of transactions in BTC, ETH, XLM, and other major cryptocurrencies or stablecoins with settlement to international and local fiat currencies. Merchants can on and off-ramp funds from digital wallets or brick-and-mortar bank accounts.
Benefits of COINQVEST include non-custodial settlement, reduced costs and settlement times, crypto wallet and fiat bank payouts, customer invoicing, and compliant record-keeping.
“Argentinian merchants can now settle sales in USD and maintain a USD balance sheet to protect themselves from the depreciation of the Argentina Peso. Settled funds can automatically be exchanged into ARS using payment rails provided by Anclap in real-time.”
– Marcin Olszowy, Co-Founder at COINQVEST
COINQVEST’s service offers solutions for developers and non-developers alike. A hosted checkout interface was created for lean businesses without web development personnel. For enterprises with a dedicated development team, COINQVEST’s powerful and well-documented API with white-label capability is available for greater control and customization.
“COINQVEST is redefining the digital payments industry. It brings countless benefits for Argentine businessmen and entrepreneurs. Anclap participates in this process connecting e-commerce with the local financial system through Argentine Pesos, providing an on-/off-ramp to the network, and allowing access to new global financial services instantly and safely, maintaining full compliance with PLA/FT regulations.”
– Ivan Mudryj, Co-Founder at Anclap
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