March has already begun, but it is still worth it to take a look at the summary of the last week of the previous month.
The previous episode of Weekly Update brought you closer some updates about the Binance and a surprising story of CoronaCoin. What interesting happened at the end of the month?
The end of February wasn’t favorable for the Bitcoin. The leading cryptocurrency (according to the market capitalization) noted a significant fall after the fantastic performance in the first weeks of 2020 when it achieved an impressive value above $10,000 for one coin. Now, Bitcoin has retreated to the price of around $8,500.
What may has caused this pullback? It might be explained by the price correction after the latest bull market, reasonable in situations while the value of some asset is quickly rising in a short period. Some people, however, associate the price drop with a further advancing coronavirus outbreak. Nevertheless, this situation isn’t necessarily ominous for Bitcoin. According to Kraken CEO, Alex Saunders, the cryptocurrency industry soon may notice the next, even more intense, bull run.
Central bankers: Blockchain is not needed for digital fiats
An intensified discussion about blockchain and decentralized currencies caused national central banks (like, for example, the Bank of France) to consider a potential utilization of this idea. But apparently, not every country is interested in such an improvement. During a conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, dedicated to the topic of CBDC (central bank digital currencies), the representative of the National Bank of Ukraine stated that previously tested utilization of distributed ledger technology for a fiat e-currency didn’t work in this case.
Similar voices came from representatives of central banks from Canada and the Netherlands. But why such institutions are getting involved in CBDC anyway? According to Jamiel Sheikh, who talked with CoinDesk about this topic, the reason is a fear of private banking, already teased by Libra.
New Zealand and crypto taxes
Last year, New Zealand surprised public opinion with the announced possibility of salary paid in cryptocurrencies. Now, the country is going to improve the tax system to better fit for decentralized assets. As for now, cryptocurrencies are considered as property, which means they follow the rules of standard goods and services tax (GST). In such a situation, every transaction with decentralized assets is subject to a 15% tax, which leads to over-taxation. Proposed changes assume excluding cryptocurrencies from GST tax in some cases, when said decentralized assets works more like currencies or shares.
Crypto-football deal called off
Last week we told you surprising news about the Australian football club, Perth Glory FC, being bought by the London Football Exchange (LFE) – a blockchain-focused project aiming for the tokenization of this sport. An owner of the club, Tony Sage, recently traveled to London to finalize the deal. However, things didn’t go exactly as both sides had planned, and Sage announced that the transaction is called off.
We can’t be sure about the reasons behind this decision, but it might be related to possible illicit connections of LFE. According to the investigation of an Australian radio station, 6PR, LFE CEO Jim Aylward is, in fact, James Abbass Biniaz, previously charged with attempting to defraud the U.K. tax office.
Crypto use against sanctions
The tense situation between the USA and Iran was a hot topic at the beginning of 2020, causing a significant bitcoin price increase. And apparently, the conflict between those two countries is still related with the blockchain industry. Saeed Muhammad, a commander of the Iranian military branch called Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, opted for cryptocurrency utilization against the American sanctions.
As we may read on CoinDesk, the news was initially spread through Telegram, which is a very popular tool for communication and sharing information in Iran. It is worth to be noted that similar usage of cryptocurrencies is being used by North Korea.
Jim Parsons explains crypto in Simpsons
And for the end of today’s Weekly Update, we have something more casual. An ultimate crossover happened last week in a beloved animated TV series, Simpsons. In the episode titled “Frinkcoin,” the rules of cryptocurrency world get explained by Jim Parsons, an actor famous for his role as Sheldon Cooper in a “The Big Bang Theory” comedy series. He described the processes, which stand behind decentralized money and distributed ledger technologies.
For the cryptocurrency industry, every “cameo” of Bitcoin in any popular medium is gaining a lot of attention. Some people believe that such situations are taking us closer to more widespread adoption since they are popularizing the idea of blockchain. Will Simpsons episode about crypto will go down in history as the one which has revolutionized the crypto world? I rather doubt it. But it is still a pleasant surprise for blockchain enthusiasts.
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Coin Metrics Report Details Surges in ETH, Doge Trading
Coin Metrics: Altcoins Are Taking Over
While bitcoin is still the world’s number one digital currency by market cap (it is currently trading for about $35,000 per unit), the asset has experienced some serious dips over the past month, while by contrast, Dogecoin and Ethereum have exhibited gains and are regularly moving up the digital ladder.
Coin Metrics garnered much of the information for its report by looking at data from Binance, arguably the largest and most popular crypto exchange on the planet in terms of daily trading volume. Additional statistics were gathered from exchanges such as Coinbase and FTX. Coin Metrics points out that thus far, 2021 has been the year for “smaller altcoins,” suggesting that a great many of them have surged heavily between the months of January and early May. From there, however, a serious crypto crash has taken precedence, with Coin Metrics unable to pinpoint what, exactly, might have been the cause.
For the most part, numerous altcoin pairs are offered on Binance, which explains why the company’s trading volume for many of the world’s smaller assets likely overtook that of bitcoin. The report says:
ETH volume surpassed BTC volume on Coinbase by a wider margin than on Binance. Coinbase did not offer Dogecoin trading in May (although they introduced it in early June), so it did not have a Doge rush similar with Binance, but it did have a relatively high amount of volume for some other altcoins, led by MATIC, ADA and Ethereum Classic (ETC)… Continuing the trend, ETH volume edged out BTC on FTX, although not by much, but comparatively, the top altcoins made up a lower percentage of total volume on FTX than on Binance and Coinbase.
Some of the world’s smaller exchanges – such as Huobi – also saw Ethereum and Dogecoin trading surge to levels beyond what people were doing with bitcoin. The report continues to say:
Similar with Binance, DOGE volume surged on Huobi, taking the spot as the third most traded currency by volume.
Bitcoin Hasn’t Been Fully Cut Out Yet
The only place – according to the document – where bitcoin trading appears to remain dominant at the time of writing is the CME in Chicago, Illinois. The company delves in bitcoin futures trading and has recently opened the door to ETH futures, though this is still in its early stages. Coin Metrics writes:
The markets continued to move mostly sideways over the last week. Bitcoin and Ethereum usage both stayed relatively flat, with daily active addresses dropping 2.5 percent and growing by 3.3 percent, respectively. Ethereum daily transaction fees dropped by over 35 percent week over week as gas prices continued to fall, and bitcoin transaction fees followed a similar pattern, dropping by 40.5 percent.
Bitcoin Taproot upgrade finally achieves activation lock-in!
The much-anticipated Bitcoin Taproot upgrade passed the Speedy Trial, which was a signaling period which gauged support for the upgrade from bitcoin’s mining sector. Since SegWit, Taproot has been touted as the next significant upgrade for Bitcoin.
Data from Taproot.watch, a webpage created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, released an interesting yet hilarious video to announce the completion of the lock-in stage.
— Hampus Sjöberg 🥕🟩 (@hampus_s) June 12, 2021
On the official page, it read:
“This period has reached 1815 Taproot signaling blocks, which are required for lock-in.”
Different mining pools tweeted their support for the upgrade on their respective platforms with Slush Pool being the first to do so.
TAPROOT LOCKED IN AT BLOCK 687285 BY SLUSHPOOL 🟩 pic.twitter.com/FFDdibtmGt
— pourteaux (@pourteaux) June 12, 2021
AntPool also supported the upgrade.
“As of block 687284, Taproot signalling has reached 1815 blocks this period, guaranteeing that absent very deep reorgs, it is guaranteed to lock in. Following that, it will activate at block 709632, probably around mid-November 2021.”
He also addressed that ‘there is a lot of work left of course’, which included:
a) PSBT extensions to communicate Taproot keys/scripts/signatures,
b) MuSig2 standardization so the software can cooperate in signing,
c) Output descriptors,
Why is it so important?
“With this upgrade, you’ll see Bitcoin to be the settlement network. Funds are transferred from one institution to another, say one bank to another.”
“The update would lower the data size of smart contracts, in turn lowering transaction costs. Taproot is also expected to enhance smart contract functionality and efficiency.”
Jeremy Rubin, a Bitcoin Core contributor and founder of Judica projected a similar optimistic narrative,
“With taproot, you get optimization of Bitcoin, much different from how people know Bitcoin today- little too inefficient or reveal too much information about what you’re trying to do. Taproot helps to be private and efficient.”
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Next-Gen Decentralized NFT Platform, NEFTiPEDIA Announces Launch of its ICO In 3 Days
NEFTiPEDIA, a next-generation decentralized NFT platform that operates in a way that contributes to the elevation of digital artists, creators, and investors has announced the launch of its ICO which is set to happen in 3 days.
NEFTiPEDIA has designed a commission-free platform to enable its artists to maximize income, following its aim to help them increase revenue via NFTs.
Following NEFTiPEDIA’s plans to storm the marketplace while launching its ICO, it aims to serve the marketplace with different categories of products including cosmetics, vehicles and property.
“….we believe NEFTiPEDiA will become a community-run marketplace and the industry will make our project as a kind and remarkable one in the world,” the announcement reads.
The development will see the platform provide a decentralized marketplace for Artists, where they can sell and validate their NFT links to fans and interested buyers.
NEFTiPEDIA Offers Exciting Prizes to Users
The team behind the project have allotted a total of 250,000,000 $NFT tokens for its users to enjoy in the upcoming ICO.
To further celebrate the intended development, the platform has proposed a referral scheme where winners can enjoy amazing and exciting prices.
Users who wish to participate in the program are required to sign up for the platform’s ICO panel and get a referral code.
The code can as well be shared with friends, giving users the opportunity to win exciting prizes.
A minimum of 5 referrals is required for participants to be considered for winning.
“Only those referrals ended in purchase will be added to the count. After the completion of ICO in 30 days, winners will be announced. Notably, winners will bear all the applicable tax.” The team further elaborated on the conditions for winning.
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