Over the past year, blockchain development communities have turned their attention towards winning government contracts.
Washington, DC. There is a huge opportunity presented by increased government spending on blockchain projects. According to Bloomberg Government BGOV200 Report, federal government spending reached $597 Billion in 2019. However, since new businesses face barriers gaining direct access to government contracts, many have joined the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) to introduce their cutting-edge blockchain platforms to the public sector.
Traditionally government program managers choose to work with the same few legacy companies. For example, there are currently over 4.1 million US Federal government contractors but of the $597 billion in prime contracts awarded in FY19, the top 10 government contractors received $173.4 billion according to Bloomberg Government. However, the COVID-19 Global Pandemic was a catalyst that necessitated governments from around the world look at bold and innovative new ways to solve problems from a more diverse community.
In March of 2020 the US Department of Health and Human Services hosted a virtual Pandemic Response Hackathon. This hackathon idea completely changed the former process of government acquisitions. The slow pattern of the past was rewritten to adopt to the chaos, uncertainty, and urgency of COVID. Government contracts went from a centralized channel to open and decentralized solutions coming in from completely new sources. A new way of doing business was introduced to the world stage, and in November 2020 the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), National Informatics Centre (NIC) held their own up a GovTech Hackathon. Throughout 2020, countless examples of crowdsourcing solutions contested the traditional procurement processes.
Along with new paradigms in acquisitions, 2020 brought explosive growth of decentralized development communities and platforms. Decentralized communities operate on independently run servers, rather than on a centralized server owned by a business. Initially, most blockchain solutions were private-permissioned blockchains dominated by a single vendor. One of the most popular government blockchain solutions is Hyperledger Fabric. Though it is technically an open-source project, almost 80% of software changes to Hyperledger Fabric came from IBM, demonstrating an ongoing dependence on IBM to maintain the code.
Lately, next gen blockchain solution providers have been self-organizing into working groups and communities to compete in the contracts space. The largest and most engaged of these decentralized communities is the Government Blockchain Association, with members in over 500 Government Offices, thousands of public and private sector members in 120 Chapters, and more than 50 Working Groups, and 25 Communities of Interests. They also host regular online and in-person events to introduce blockchain solution providers to government officials, promoting this new diverse community.
Some of these next gen blockchain leaders include:
- DragonChain – DragonChain is an enterprise and start-up-ready platform to build flexible and scalable blockchain applications. It has business-ready applications and developer-friendly integrations that support many applications including learning management systems, decentralized identity, and anti-fraud and compliance solutions.
- NEM – A community that has developed two blockchains. They are NEM NIS1 and Symbol. NEM NIS1 is the original blockchain offering from NEM, created by the community, and optimized to be a developer’s sandbox. With zero downtime or major outages since 2015, NIS1 is the blockchain you can trust for all your project needs. Symbol is the next-generation enterprise-grade blockchain solution from NEM, purpose-built to help businesses cut costs, reduce complexities, and streamline innovation. With major upgrades in flexibility, security, speed and ease of use, the Symbol platform is the best-in-class blockchain enterprise solution.
- Simba Chain – SIMBA Chain is a cloud-based, blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, enabling users across a variety of skill sets to implement decentralized applications (dapps). These apps allow secure, direct connections between users and providers, eliminating third parties. The easy-to-use platform is tailored for users, developers, government, and enterprises to quickly deploy blockchain dapps for iOS, Android, and the web.
- TON Labs – TON Labs is the core developer of Free TON, comprised of a decentralized team focused on developing the infrastructure and free software for TON OS. TON OS is a full-fledged, vertically integrated technology stack that helps developers work easily with the blockchain and makes it simple and intuitive for users.
Decentralized blockchain projects include the Government Business Blockchain Platform (GBBP). This multi-blockchain platform allows solutions built on any blockchain to connect and become available to governments around the world. Sub-set eco-systems include Emergency Management, Healthcare Delivery, and Citizen Services. Blockchain applications can interconnect on the GBBP, providing identity management, logistics, asset management, payments, and many other blockchain services.
These examples demonstrate how blockchain providers are working together, self-organizing into decentralized entities to build public-facing blockchain solutions. GBA groups regularly host online meetings to discuss their projects. Anyone interested in joining the discussion can find out more on the GBA Events Calendar or Events List. Later this year the GBA will be bringing World-Class Leaders to Washington, DC for Government Blockchain Week on Sept 27 to Oct 1, 2021.
AgeUSD to Launch as First Stablecoin on Cardano Network
Multinational blockchain technology company Emurgo initially announced the AgeUSD stablecoin in January 2021. The firm has since announced a partnership between the Ergo Foundation, Emurgo, and Charles Hoskinson’s Input-Output Global, the parent company of IOHK.
The AgeUSD stablecoin will be available on Cardano as soon as smart contract capabilities are launched on the blockchain, it revealed.
Do We Need Another Stablecoin?
Emurgo is aiming to prevent events like MakerDAO’s Black Thursday which emerged through vulnerabilities in its Dai collateralization mechanism. A mass liquidation of the vast majority of Maker vaults resulted in around $4 million in Dai being under-collateralized at the time in March 2020.
AgeUSD’s so-called “Staticoin” protocol-inspired design does not rely on collateralized debt positions (CDPs).
“Thanks to its design, the scenario that happened on Black Thursday is not possible for the AgeUSD protocol. Without CDPs, we do not have liquidation events nor the requirement for users to perform transactions to ensure that the liquidations actually work properly,”
The stablecoin runs on the Ergo blockchain aiming to automate as much as possible within the mathematics of the protocol itself. Reserve providers pay Ergo’s native currency (ERG) to mint reserve coins which represent the underlying collateral. Users of the stablecoin can also deposit ERG into the reserves in order to mint AgeUSD, it explained. This is only allowed by the protocol if there are enough reserves above its reserve ratio. Banks use a similar method to loan out funds.
The Cardano partnership will also enable its native token, ADA, to be used as collateral to mint reserves. However, the potential downside is that the stablecoin is only backed by these two assets whereas Dai is backed by multiple cryptocurrencies.
AgeUSD will launch on Cardano when it rolls out the Alonzo update that ushers in Plutus powered smart contracts. This is expected in the latter half of this year according to the roadmap.
Cardano ADA Price Update
As the long-awaited update nears, ADA prices have been cranking to new highs, the most recent ATH being $1.55 on April 14. At the time of writing, ADA was trading up 2% on the day at $1.45 according to Coingecko.
It is the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap which currently stands at $46 billion and there are 32 billion tokens in circulation. The token was briefly flipped by Dogecoin but has regained its position in the charts, just below Tether.
How sustainable is YFI’s current price run?
The past week saw a lot of growth across the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin and Ethereum seeing their values pushed towards new all-time highs. However, it is safe to say that the digital assets market is no longer just about the top two cryptos in the market, with DeFi coins such as YFI registering significant gains on the charts.
Over the past 6 months, YFI has seen its price hike by over 520 percent. Now, while this looks extremely promising for the alt, the truth seems to be in yet another shade of grey. The price hike from over $11k in November 2020 to its press time valuation of $48,415 has been less than straightforward.
Akin to many other altcoins in the market, YFI too has endured extended periods of the price going back and forth. However, given the current market scenario, how sustainable is YFI’s current price or is history going to repeat itself in the form of yet another short-term price correction?
Interestingly, data provided by Santiment highlighted that despite the bullish nature of the YFI market, there may be a bit of FUD finally creeping into the market as the price continues to remain close to the $50k-level. In such a scenario, what YFI really needs is a strong level of support for the price if bearishness is to soon hit the market.
Taking a look at a few of the key fundamentals can provide more clarity on where the price is likely to head in the coming weeks. According to data provided by Santiment, YFI’s supply on exchanges has been stagnant for a while and hasn’t been increasing. While fewer coins in exchanges are normally a good sign of hodling, in the case of YFI, if one were to take a look at past precedents, the price decline began as soon as the supply hit a stalemate.
Additionally, the analytics platform also pointed out that the current price rally began with low on-chain activity for the coin. However, over the past few weeks, a trend reversal has emerged, with on-chain activity noting a surge and the price continuing to be inversely relational to it.
With the price inching closer to its ATH, there is always the question of price discovery. YFI seemed to be lacking in this regard, at press time. The coin’s MVRV, as per Santiment’s data, placed it in the danger zone and prime for a new trend reversal, one that can induce a short-term price correction.
In the coming days, if the price correction does set in, YFI’s $44k-price level may end up being a key support level for the coin. However, if this level is flipped to resistance in the coming weeks, a lot of the upward momentum and price surge YFI saw over the past few months might be undone.
This, once again, will result in YFI’s price continuing its current trend by which the coin will be subject to strong ‘push and pulls’ at regular intervals.
EOS, Synthetix, Maker Price Analysis: 16 April
EOS can be expected to find strong support around the $6.8-zone. If Bitcoin stabilizes above the $60.5k-area, altcoins could have a chance of recovery in the coming days. Otherwise, it would be further selling pressure across the market. Synthetix and Maker posted gains over the past few days, but were likely to retrace a significant portion of their value.
EOS was trading within a rising channel, and the past few hours saw the price test the upper boundary of the channel before falling lower.
The mid-point of the channel was ceded to bearish pressure. A region of demand lay just above the $6.8-mark. The confluence with the channel’s lower boundaries could serve as strong support for EOS.
The RSI was back at neutral 50 and would drop lower to signal a shift in momentum to bearish over the next day or two, especially if EOS closes a session under $6.8. This could see EOS fall further to find support at $5.6.
Synthetix ascended past the $21. 4-level of resistance, but its retest of the same level on the back of strong selling forced the price to drop to $20.7 and could drop further. On the 4-hour, the Supertrend indicator continued to give a buy signal that would only be flipped to sell on a session close under the $19.5-level.
The 20 EMA and 50 EMA (white and yellow respectively) highlighted the bullish momentum behind SNX in recent days, with the price not sinking under these moving averages yet.
The OBV was on an uptrend and suggested that the recent spate of selling was reactionary fear, rather than sustained selling.
Two sets of Fibonacci retracement levels were plotted to highlight some levels of importance for MKR. $2,400 is a level that MKR had been stuck under from late February till the past week. The surge past this level in recent days has been rapid, and the price did not stop at many areas to mark it as support or resistance.
As such, the move back down could be almost as rapid, and some of the Fib levels laid out possible areas of support for MKR.
The MACD was correcting lower after the MACD line rose high above the Signal line to indicate overbought market conditions.
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