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How many cryptocurrencies are there?

A cryptocurrency can be described as a digital currency that takes the form of coins or tokens, and is available on a distributed and decentralised ledger. Although there are a few cryptocurrencies that have entered the physical world through projects like credit cards, the vast majority exist exclusively in the digital space and remain intangible.

Cryptocurrencies serve as real money in a digital form that is not governed or managed by any central authority. The beauty of this is that users are able to transact with digital currencies without having governments, banks, or any middlemen involved.

It is thought that there are more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, which include both coins and tokens. In terms of coins, this would include Bitcoin as the most popular followed by altcoins, which are all other non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies.

Start of cryptocurrency

While Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be established, there were previous attempts to create a digital currency using ledgers that are secured by encryption. Currencies like Bit Gold and B-Money were created but never developed fully. In 2008, a white paper entitled “Bitcoin — A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” was posted by a Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown identity that remains a mystery to this very day.

In 2009, Bitcoin software was made available to the public and mining of the coin began. In 2010, Bitcoin was valued for the first time and started growing in popularity as the idea of encrypted and decentralised currencies began to catch on. Due to this, many altcoins started to emerge in an effort to improve on the original Bitcoin. As mentioned earlier, there are now more than 10,000 in circulation with new ones popping up frequently.

Top Crypto Coins in Circulation

Whilst there are thousands of coins in circulation, the most popular ones appear below:

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in circulation and the one most closely associated with the cryptocurrency system. It is the go-to for traders and investors, and currently has more than 18.5 million Bitcoin tokens in circulation. The capped limit for Bitcoin is 21 million, so once that number has been mined, no new Bitcoins will be created ever.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash is an extremely popular cryptocurrency in circulation at the moment. It was created in 2017 and has faster processing speeds than the original Bitcoin. This is due to it having a bigger block size of 8MB when compared to the original Bitcoin that has a block size of 1MB.

Litecoin

Litecoin was created in 2011 and functions in almost the same way as Bitcoin. It is designed to improve on the Bitcoin technology and offers shorter transaction times, lower transaction fees, and more concentrated miners. The mining cap on Litecoin is 81 million.

Ethereum

Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Ethereum differs from Bitcoin in the sense that its focus is more on decentralised applications rather than being a digital currency. Ethereum tried to improve on Bitcoin through the use of smart contracts and offering much faster transaction speeds of up to 5 times.

Ripple

Ripple is different when compared to the aforementioned cryptocurrencies as it uses an iterative consensus ledger and validating servers as opposed to a pure blockchain. It is intended for large companies as opposed to individual users because it is meant to move larger amounts of funds globally. It remains popular because of its digital payment protocol and is capable of facilitating up to 1,500 transactions per second. This is far more than Bitcoin (3–6 transactions per second) and Ethereum (15 transactions per second).

How the industry has grown

Since its inception, cryptocurrencies have proved to be extremely resilient, with growing interest amongst investors for digital assets. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies appear to have emerged as a new asset class, with investors enjoying exponential returns over the past decade.

The journey hasn’t been smooth sailing, however, as there have been periodic slumps in the crypto market. 2019 and 2020 seem to have marked a period of recovery for cryptocurrencies, as the pandemic proved to spark more interest amongst investors.

Things are certainly looking bright in present-day as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin have already hit record highs in 2021. While there are concerns over the risky nature of the crypto market and security breaches, investors appear to be more confident as an increasing number of global companies, like Tesla and PayPal, are opting to invest in crypto.

Final Thoughts

The blockchain industry is growing stronger by the day with Bitcoin responsible for more than 50% of the entire cryptocurrency market capitalisation. With the value of the crypto market recently topping $2 trillion, an increasing number of retail and institutional investors are coming onboard. Whilst governments and banks across the world struggle to control digital assets and impose harsher regulations, it is clear that digital currencies are bound to upset the traditional financial applecart in the long run.

Wisly Wednesday Crypto – Industry News

With many interesting digital asset developments taking place recently, it certainly has been a thought-provoking week in the world of crypto. Dogecoin hits an all-time high after registering with eToro; Bitfarms expands its operations into South America; Ghana labels crypto transactions illegal, and eBay considers crypto for payments.

Dogecoin hits an all-time high after registering with eToro

Dogecoin continues to make waves in the world of crypto as its market cap rose above the $60 billion mark. Incredibly, it has surpassed the market value of Twitter — which made Dogecoin famous. Twitter is currently valued at $43.5 billion. Dogecoin rose from $0.27 to $0.44 in the last week as DOGE became available on one of the most popular trading platforms, eToro.

The Dogecoin Army, a faithful community of this meme-inspired crypto, expressed their delight with this recent surge, and there is quiet hope that Dogecoin will breach the $1 threshold in the coming months. While altcoins usually dovetail with the dynamics of Bitcoin, this trend appeared to deviate recently when Bitcoin declined dramatically while Ether reached record highs of almost $3,300.

While DOGE has its high-profile followers, including tech mogul Elon Musk, many naysayers believe that Dogecoin is excessively hyped and would be nowhere without Musk’s intervention. CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, Mike Novogratz, remained sceptical of Dogecoin’s gains, mentioning that the digital asset didn’t have a purpose and he would be worried if his friends invested in DOGE at these prices.

Bitfarms expands its operations in Argentina

Canadian blocks reward miner, Bitfarms Ltd, has announced its intentions to expand its operations in South America. It signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding in 2020 to secure electricity at a favourable rate of $0.02 per kWh with the hope of developing a 60MW digital currency mining operation in Argentina. The due diligence period to assess the project’s viability has since passed, and Bitfarms Ltd now appears ready to proceed.

Bitfarms Ltd struck an agreement with a private Argentinian power supplier that gives it access to 210MW of electricity at its discretion. The contract is expected to last eight years, and Bitfarms Ltd is now in discussions with a construction company to design and build the electrical infrastructure required for mining. It hopes that the facility will be ready by early 2022 to start with block reward mining operations.

Since the mining farm will be located close to the utility, the electricity contract does not entail any interconnection with the local power grid. Due to the favourable Argentinian climate, no costly liquid immersion cooling is required to cool the hardware in order for it to function optimally.

Ghana declares all crypto transactions illegal

Ghana has told its citizens to avoid cryptocurrency transactions in all forms. In a statement released by Ghana’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulator warned citizens that cryptocurrencies are illegal in the country and are not regulated by the commission.

Director-General of the SEC, Paul Ababio, underscored the risks associated with crypto transactions and highlighted how many people have lost money to such transactions. He mentioned, “There are clear risks to the nature of it. People have lost their keys, and they can no longer access their funds, so it is something we are studying.”

However, there appears to be some hope as Ababio hinted that the SEC may decide to amend this and regulate cryptos in the future. He said, “The Bank of Ghana does not treat it as a form of payment, it is not legal tender, but we will be engaging further to come out with frameworks.” Until such time, however, Ghanaians are prohibited from transacting with crypto.

eBay considers crypto for payments

Popular online marketing platform, eBay, is considering making cryptocurrencies a payment option while also looking into the non-fungible tokens (NFT) industry. eBay’s CEO, Jamie Iannone, was reluctant to reveal precisely when this payment option would be implemented or which cryptocurrencies would be accepted. In a recent statement, he revealed, “We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it is something we are keeping an eye on.”

Following in the footsteps of other major industry players such as Tesla, Paypal and TIME, eBay appears to be warming up to the idea in the wake of a weak second-quarter profit forecast. By exploring new ways to reinvigorate business, Iannone admits that cryptocurrencies may certainly be the way forward.

On the conversation surrounding eBay’s interest in becoming a trading platform for NFTs, Iannone said, “ We’re exploring opportunities on how we can enable NFTs on eBay in an easy way. Everything that’s collectable has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades.”

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been another interesting week in the world of crypto with some fascinating developments taking place. Reebok joins the NFT market; Ireland’s crypto businesses are now obligated to regulatory oversight; Binance plans to launch stock tokens for MicroStrategy, Apple and Microsoft; Indonesia plans to tax cryptocurrency transactions and the Central bank of Iran authorises for imports to be paid with cryptocurrencies.

Reebok joins the NFT market based on footwear

Reebok has introduced a new non-fungible token (NFT) collection that is based on its footwear. On Monday, 26 April, they revealed via Twitter that they had minted 200 of these limited edition NFTs that they plan to sell on the Wax Atomic Hub platform. These limited edition NFTs are called X NST2 and are collector items.

Reebok now joins a growing list of major names to dabble in the blockchain sector. Many of these NFTs are selling anywhere between $500 and $2000, with some reaching values as high as $20,000. It is uncertain how long these NFTs will last as they usually get snapped up in no time. The crypto community appears to have responded positively to the news with many sharing joyful sentiments over Reebok’s arrival on the scene. Exciting times ahead!

Crypto companies in Ireland must now comply with money laundering laws

Crypto firms that operate in Ireland must now register with the Central Bank of Ireland in order to continue with their business. Failure to do so will be a criminal offence. All Irish crypto firms have, for the first time, become subject to regulatory oversight and must now observe anti-money laundering guidelines as stipulated by the European Union (EU).

On 23 April 2021, the Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the EU was transposed into Irish law through the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Amendment Act of 2021. What this means is that businesses that operate with crypto assets and custodial wallet providers – referred to as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) – and the firms that service VASPs must adhere to the same regulatory standards that traditional financial companies do.

Irish VASPs have three months to register with the Central Bank of Ireland together with a complete due diligence check on their clients. This would include identity verification, accountability for the origin and destination of their digital assets, and reporting of any suspicious financial activity. Ireland previously had no crypto regulation which enabled traders to invest in digital assets anonymously. VASPs who fail to comply with this directive will be subject to stiff financial penalties or closure.

Binance plans launch of stock tokens for MicroStrategy, Apple and Microsoft

Leading crypto asset exchange, Binance, plans to list three new stock tokens in the next week. This comes hot off the heels of the launch of tokens for Tesla and Coinbase recently.  Monday’s announcement revealed that Binance is planning to launch tokenised stock pairings for established business intelligence conglomerate, MicroStrategy, as well as multinational tech giants, Apple and Microsoft.

With this news, users have the ability to trade fractionalised units of these share tokens and will have a minimum trade size set at one-hundredth of a token. Binance added that its stocks are supported by a depository portfolio of underlying securities that are held by CM-Equity AG, a German financial services provider. Users can only trade tokens against Binance’s stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD), and will observe traditional stock trading hours.

CM-Equity restricts some jurisdictions from trading in Binance’s stock tokens and residents from mainland China, Turkey and the US, amongst others, will be prohibited.

Indonesia plans to tax cryptocurrency transactions

The Commodity Futures Trade Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) in Indonesia has made plans to tax cryptocurrency transactions as a growing number of citizens flock towards digital assets. According to Bappebti, the Indonesian government is expected to impose a final income tax on all virtual currency transactions. This tax will be automatically levied by the cryptocurrency trading platforms that are registered with Bappebti.

This decision is currently under internal review at Bappebti and a tax rate has not been determined as yet. Bappebti issued a regulation in December 2020 that recognised 229 cryptocurrencies that users could legally trade. Moreover, in February 2021, they issued another regulation that officially recognised 13 platforms as licenced cryptocurrency trading platforms. Bappebti has, however, recently imposed stronger control over cryptocurrency trading amidst the frenzy in digital assets worldwide.

One of Indonesia’s largest crypto exchange platforms, Indodax, showed support for the purported tax plan envisaging that investors would not be overburdened by its presence. Executive chairman of the Indonesian Crypto Asset Traders Association, Teguh Kurniawan Harmanda, was not as positive and said, “We hope the tax rate will not be too high, or we fear that investors may turn to investing in crypto assets through illegal channels, which would be harmful.”

Iran allows imports to be paid with cryptocurrency

The Central Bank of Iran has given currency exchangers and banks the green light to use cryptocurrencies to pay for imports. Only cryptocurrencies that are mined by licenced crypto miners in Iran are eligible for payment of imports. All banks and currency exchange offices have received notification regarding the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency payments.

The Iranian government has slowly warmed to cryptocurrency adoption in the country with this amendment to its cryptocurrency regulations, backed by the Central Bank and Ministry of Energy. This now allows the Central Bank of Iran to pay for imports with BTC that is legally mined in Iran through licenced crypto miners. The requirement is that miners must sell their coins directly to the Central Bank of Iran.

Iran has so far issued over 1,000 licences to crypto miners in recent times. Iranian power plants are permitted to mine cryptocurrencies and licenced bitcoin miners now have exclusive access to the electricity generated from three of these power plants. Iran has also clamped down on illegal crypto miners, with over 1,600 mining farms shut down in January 2021.

2021-04-28T13:29:01+00:00April 28, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Is It Safe To Trade Cryptocurrency?

Trading with cryptocurrencies has the potential to bring you untold wealth or it could lead to your financial ruin if you are not careful. Cryptocurrencies are viewed by many as a fantastic investment that provides direct exposure to the demand for these digital assets together with the business and projects that they facilitate. The blockchain technology that cryptocurrencies operate under has enhanced security measures that attempt to stop hackers from infiltrating the network. With that being said, trading in crypto assets does bring with it associated risks that you must be aware of.

Risks of Crypto Trading

Investors who trade in the crypto market must be aware of the risks posed. Such risks are not as common with traditional financial markets, like those for bonds and stocks, and this requires investors to be extra vigilant with their activities.

Risks of Crypto Trading - Wisly Crypto Tracking App

Hacking of Crypto Exchanges

Crypto exchanges are a convenient platform for investors to store their crypto. Although the most stringent security measures are employed, crypto exchanges are vulnerable to hackers and criminal activity. Such breaches have previously resulted in devastating losses for investors whose digital currency balances were wiped clean. Check out our list of best cryptocurrency exchanges and see where it’s safest for you to invest.

Crypto Fraud and Scams

There are increasing numbers of scams and fraudulent activities within the crypto industry. Devious methods are being deployed to lure unsuspecting investors. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Fake Crypto Exchanges;
  • Ponzi Schemes;
  • Fake Cryptocurrencies;
  • Malware and Ransomware;
  • Email scams; and
  • Pump and Dump scams

These schemes can have devastating consequences for investors who are unfortunate enough to encounter them. When trading in crypto, you should always be alert to offers that sound too good to be true. For those investors who do fall prey to these schemes, the ramifications of the scam can have devastating consequences. When trading in crypto, you must always be alert to offers that sound too good to be true.

Cold Storage

Storing cryptocurrencies is not as straight forward as storing stocks or bonds. While storing your crypto on exchanges may be a convenient way for you to buy and sell your digital assets, you do run the risk of exposing your funds to theft and cyberattacks. In light of this, many investors choose to store their crypto in cold storage. Cold storage is an offline platform that includes hardware and paper wallets. When using cold storage for your crypto, you are given a private key to access your funds. While this method is quite safe, you will encounter problems if you lose your private keys as, without them, it would be impossible to access your funds.

Unpredictable Crypto Projects

You must be careful when choosing a crypto project to invest in as there is always the risk that it may not succeed. With competition being incredibly fierce, there are thousands of blockchain projects to entice you. As technology is still developing and needs time to be proven in real-world scenarios, your risk increases. Investing hastily in the wrong project could mean you losing your investment. Moreover, if crypto regulations in your country tighten then this could impact your investment negatively if associated taxes or charges are increased or if there is move to ban/block crypto trading.

Crypto Market Volatility

Since trading in cryptocurrencies is speculative, the risks are mostly related to their volatility. Cryptocurrencies have certainly experienced wild swings on the market with exponential gains and dramatic losses being a feature. The volatile nature of crypto prices can be attributed mainly to three sources i.e. sentiment, speculation and market manipulation.

Digital asset markets are anonymous and unregulated. This, combined with the vulnerability of cryptocurrencies and coupled with the rapidly changing sentiment of the public creates volatility in the crypto market unlike any other market. Crypto exchanges, investors with influence, and media owners have the power to manipulate prices. The most common manipulation strategies used are dark pool trading, pump and dumps, shilling, and wash trading.

It is recommended to start small and invest what you are prepared to lose, as a worst-case scenario. While returns can be quite profitable, losses can have a demoralising impact.

How to Trade Cryptocurrency Safely - Wisly Crypto Tracking App

3 Tips on How to Trade Safely

While traditional investments are a risky proposition, investing in cryptocurrency takes the element of risk to another level. With that being said, digital currencies are some of the hottest commodities at the moment with BTC recently breaching $60,000. If you plan to invest in cryptocurrencies, the following tips may help you on your journey.

  1. Research Crypto Exchanges: Crypto exchanges are platforms that investors use to buy and sell digital currencies. Before diving in with your investment, it is a great idea to research crypto exchanges. There are over 500 crypto exchanges available, so it is important to choose wisely. Research each exchange, check out their reviews and speak to experienced investors before making your decision.
  2. Plan Where to Store Your Crypto: Once you buy cryptocurrency, you will need a secure location to store it. Most investors store their crypto on a crypto exchange or a crypto wallet. Each of the crypto exchanges offers different levels of security. Each crypto wallet has its requirements, benefits and security measures in place. Once again, do some research to make an informed decision.
  3. Diversify Your Investments: It is always a good idea to spread your investments as opposed to putting all your eggs in one basket. Diversification is vital to effective investment strategies, and investing in crypto is no different. There are a plethora of investment options on the market, so consider giving your investment portfolio some variety.

Wisly’s Secure Crypto Tracking

Our secure crytpo tracking app is an ideal place for investors to track metrics and data in the crypto market. With the Advanced Cryptocurrency Analytics feature, you can access detailed and actionable insights on your investments and crypto portfolios for free. This will include a detailed profit breakdown, Fx-impact analysis, and risk metrics.

Our extensive market coverage extends to over 11,000 cryptocurrencies and over 3,300 derivative contracts that are updated daily. It has an easy-to-use interface where you can track your spot and future investments through an innovative dashboard.

Additionally, this is an AI-powered platform that has an automated coin-tracking system that finds and normalises crypto assets from multiple sources. It also supports delisted coins together with their historical prices so that you can get a holistic view of your portfolio. It is available on Desktop and Mobile applications, both Android and iOS.

Secure Crypto Tracking - Wisly Analytics Crypto Portfolio App

Final Thoughts on Trading Cryptocurrency

The blockchain industry and crypto market continue to strengthen at unprecedented levels. With financial infrastructure like institutional-grade custody services and futures markets currently being built, investors will have the most effective tools to manage and protect their digital assets. With many large companies committing sizable investments in the crypto market and an increasing number of companies showing a willingness to do so, the crypto industry has reached a stage where it appears that investing in crypto assets can be described as safe.

2021-04-27T15:53:21+00:00April 27, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

Despite some drops in value from Bitcoin -14.5%, Ethereum -6.5% and XRP -30% in the past week, there has been some positive news in crypto. Dogecoin shoots up 500%, Nasdaq Dubai plans to list the Middle East’s first Bitcoin fund, Newegg announces Dogecoin as an official method of payment, Deutsche Telekom invests in mobile DeFi platform Celo, and Nasdaq plans to list options for Coinbase Stock.

Dogecoin up by 500% in the last week

Dogecoin has been making waves in the crypto market this past week, rising up by an incredible 500%. In the early parts of 2021, DOGE was trading under a penny. Since the intervention of Elon Musk, however, DOGE has found a new lease on life with an exponential 4000% increase in the last few months.

After a tetchy weekend where Dogecoin experienced lows of $0.22, it appears to have made significant gains in the last 2 days sitting at $0.41 at the time of writing. In light of this recent surge, DOGE aficionados have labelled April 20 as DOGE Day to commemorate this meme-inspired coin.

Middle East’s first Bitcoin fund to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai

A Middle East Bitcoin-focussed fund will be the first digital asset to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai. This listing comes hot off the heels of Bitcoin’s incredible surge to over $60,000. The listing is due to take place in this quarter and comes from 3iQ Digital Asset Management after receiving its final clearances from the Dubai Financial Services Authority and regulator of Nasdaq Dubai.

Incidentally, this fund is an extension of a similar listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange done in April 2020, being the world’s first regulated major exchange-listed Bitcoin fund at that time. Dalma Capital, based in Dubai, is the syndicate manager for this fund and will manage its profile and exposure amongst investors based in the Middle East.

Newegg announces Dogecoin as an official payment solution

Newegg has announced that it is now accepting Dogecoin as an official method of payment on its platform. As one of the established tech-focused e-retailers in the US, Newegg made the announcement on DOGE Day, adding to the excitement of Dogecoin’s unprecedented recent gains. Newegg has been instrumental in integrating cryptocurrencies on its platform, having been the first major e-retailer to accept Bitcoin for purchases.

Andrew Choi, Sr. Brand Manager of Newegg, expressed his delight by saying, “The excitement and momentum around cryptocurrency are undeniable, and the recent surge in Dogecoin value underscores the need to make it easier for customers to make purchases with this popular cryptocurrency. We’re committed to making it easy for our customers to shop however works best for them, and that means letting them complete transactions with the payment method that suits them best. To that end, we’re happy to give Dogecoin fans an easy way to shop online for tech.”

Deutsche Telekom invests in mobile DeFi platform Celo

Deutsche Telekom, one of Europe’s largest telecom providers, has become the first to join mobile DeFi platform, Celo Alliance for Prosperity. Deutsche Telekom’s investment with this blockchain payments platform aims to support the development of decentralized finance. As announced on Tuesday by Celo Alliance for Prosperity, the telecom conglomerate made a significant purchase of its native token, the CELO. They did not, however, specify the size of this investment.

Together with this investment, Deutsche Telecom has joined Celo’s ecosystem that includes a network of payment processors, merchants, blockchains and non-profits spanning over 130 members. T-Systems MMS, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom, will implement the Open Telekom Cloud (OTC). The OTC will ensure that all compliance requirements are met in terms of the European regulatory framework, thus enabling secure financial services through smartphones.

If that wasn’t enough, Deutsche Telecom will also open up its SMS API that will enable validators to send verification text messages through their service. This will improve both the reliability and security of the decentralized phone verification protocol that plays a critical role in Celo’s blockchain usability.

Celo co-founder, Rene Reinsberg, beamed with joy as he said, “We’re excited to have Deutsche Telekom help secure the Celo network, develop the Celo infrastructure, and make meaningful contributions as a validatorThe powerful combination of owning CELO and building on its mobile-first platform will help accelerate mass-market adoption of digital assets.”

Nasdaq plans to list options for Coinbase Stock

The Nasdaq has made a decision to list options contracts for Coinbase stock on Tuesday. With this news, stock options now give traders a right – but not any obligation – to buy or sell a stock at an agreed-upon date and price. The two options that will be available are:

  • Puts, which is a bet that stocks will drop; and
  • Calls, which is a bet that stocks will rise.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, option trading has enjoyed an exponential rise in popularity, as commission-free trading offered by popular mobile investing apps attracted much more interest.

It must be said that while options have the potential to provide incredible profit opportunities through the leverage that it offers, it can pose a risk if the predicted change of price does not materialise before their expiry date. That risk, however, is restricted to the premium that was paid for that option.

2021-04-22T04:43:42+00:00April 21, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

How Covid and global affairs have impacted cryptocurrency

While cryptocurrencies began as a peer-to-peer payment system, they have emerged strongly as an important asset class. Cryptocurrencies have received an extraordinary amount of attention from investors in recent times due to the huge returns and unprecedented gains offered. Read on as we explore the impact of cryptocurrencies and how they appear to behave in an extreme financial climate.

The correlation between Bitcoin and the equities market has increased

Since the advent of the pandemic, the correlation between Bitcoin and the equities market seems to have increased. To illustrate this: When the price of Bitcoin dropped below $4000 in March 2020, this was a direct consequence of the dramatic drop experienced by the S&P Index in the US. This was attributed to investors who had margin calls in equity that needed to be secured by liquidating their assets like Bitcoin into cash.

Whilst Bitcoin’s current trajectory looks very promising, experts say that it has a long way to go before being regarded as a safe-haven like silver or gold. While some view Bitcoin as digital gold, others argue that it amounts to gambling. In terms of the economy, the US government has invested billions of dollars. Essentially, this means that as long as the dollar remains strong, it will be extremely difficult for Bitcoin to replace it.

Bitcoin most resistant to turbulence experienced by all global markets during this period

With the aftermath of the pandemic leaving the global economy in tatters, the fluctuations experienced by cryptocurrencies mirrored changes experienced by other capital and commodity markets. The virtual currency market has, however, showed remarkable stability in weathering the financial storm. This adds weight to the theory that cryptocurrencies should be regarded as mature and fully-fledged financial instruments.

When the pandemic first started, many investors escaped from risky financial investments and turned to Bitcoin, which was seen as a store value and inflation hedge. While Covid-19 infection rates increased globally, there was a sharp decline in global stock markets with a total sell-off of all assets, including Bitcoin.

Bitcoin continued to behave like a traditional and reliable financial instrument in the midst of uncertainty. This was consistent with the behaviour of traditional safe commodities like gold and silver. Once the global stock exchanges started moving upwards, Bitcoin and Ether displayed incredible correlation with traditional financial instruments. This suggests that investors were not afraid of the volatility of cryptocurrencies, but rather confidently included them in their investment portfolios.

In terms of industry analysis, it appears that the cryptocurrency market – and Bitcoin, in particular – has displayed the most resistance to a highly turbulent global market during the coronavirus pandemic.

Countries integrate cryptocurrencies during the pandemic

Many emerging markets have made special efforts to adopt Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into their financial environment.

Nigeria leads the way for cryptocurrency and Bitcoin adoption according to a recent Statistica report. Since cryptocurrency can be traded through mobile devices, it makes it easy for regions with limited ITC infrastructure or where people do not have access to computers. Enabling easy peer-to-peer payments through mobile devices is one of the most important factors that attract Nigerians to explore Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world where it is now legal for employees to be paid in cryptocurrency. This impact has seen a surge of interest in crypto investments. Moreover, 90% of the energy in Costa Rica is generated from renewable sources, which ensures greater profits and less damage to the environment. This has encouraged a swift advancement of a cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem in Costa Rica, with many US companies setting up new offices there.

In the Philippines, 16 cryptocurrency exchanges have been approved by their central bank, placing them at the forefront of the boom in technology within the South-East Asia region. In Vietnam, however, there has been incredible interest in cryptocurrencies despite the central bank issuing a ban on digital currencies and their ability to facilitate payments. Morocco also finds itself high on crypto trading volume despite being banned by authorities and is itself sitting behind Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya in trading volume on the African continent.

According to Statistica, Vietnam and the Philippines were second- and third-placed respectively – behind Nigeria – in terms of cryptocurrency adoption within emerging markets.

Final Thoughts

With the stock-market debut of Coinbase on the Nasdaq earlier this week – and the record highs experienced by Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin – it is clearly evident that cryptocurrencies are here for the long haul.

Whilst the pandemic has upset the financial applecart globally, the cryptocurrency market has remained just as reliable as traditional financial instruments. With Visa, Mastercard and PayPal implementing crypto payment options recently, and Tesla introducing BTC payment options for its electric cars, the future certainly looks promising for blockchain technology and digital currencies, post-pandemic.

2021-04-16T15:32:23+00:00April 16, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Wednesday Industry News

It’s been an exciting week for the crypto market with incredible developments taking place. Bitcoin and Ether soars to new all-time highs; the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency, XRP, is now more valuable than one of France’s largest banks; Binance decides to launch zero commission stock trading with Tesla heading up proceedings; and a Miami nightclub becomes the first in the U.S to accept cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin and Ether Hit All-Time High

The price of Bitcoin and Ether jumped to record highs on Tuesday. This comes ahead of the much-anticipated stock market debut of crypto exchange, Coinbase. In terms of data from Coin Metrics, the price of Bitcoin rose to more than 4% in the preceding 24 hours to record $62,718. The second most valuable cryptocurrency, Ether, also enjoyed an exponential rise with its value sitting at $2,210.

Coinbase is poised to make an appearance today (Wednesday) and is said to be valued at almost $100 Billion. If that is the case, it would be valued higher than major trading venue operators such as Intercontinental Exchange. Coinbase’s stock market debut has been praised by crypto investors, as this shows a remarkable shift from the years of scepticism from regulators and Wall Street.

XRP Market Cap Tops $72 Billion

XRP, the world’s fourth largest cryptocurrency, rose above $1.50 this Tuesday with gains of almost 15% in the preceding 24 hours. This meant that the total market cap shifted above $70 billion, a first since January 2018. Incredibly, XRP is now more valuable than one of France’s largest banks, BNP Paribas.

The latest spike in the price of XRP came after a peak in demand from retail traders. XRP’s price rose from $0.55 to as high as $1.58 in the past 2 weeks. Another contributing factor to this exponential rise was Ripple’s recent announcement in March that they had acquired a 40% share in one of the largest cross-border payment firms in Asia, Tranglo.

At the start of the year, XRP was trading at $0.23 after crashing by almost 60% due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a lawsuit against Ripple. XRP is now up by almost 600% since the year started, with a market cap of $72 Billion at the time of writing.

Binance Launches Zero-Commission Stock Trading

The biggest crypto exchange, Binance, once again shows fantastic innovation in the crypto sector by launching stock derivatives. This means that stock trading is now available for many more users. Each of the digital tokens are supported by a portfolio of underlying securities, with each token valued at one share of equity stock. This enables users to have no commission and affordable access to the stock market.

Binance has launched these zero-commission tradeable stock tokens with the assistance of CM-Equity AG and Digital Assets AG. Tesla’s stock derivatives will be the first stock tokens to be traded on Binance, with a minimum traded value of 1/100 of a stock token. Binance will use BUSD, their USD-pegged stablecoin, to price and settle all trades.

Any of Binance’s users who hold stock tokens will qualify for capital returns. This includes dividends and stock splits that they would typically enjoy with traditional shares. CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao said “Stock tokens demonstrate how we can democratize value transfer more seamlessly, reduce friction and costs to accessibility, without compromising on compliance or security.”

Corporate Nightclub in Miami becomes First to Accept Crypto

Miami-based nightclub, E11EVEN, has become the first corporate nightclub in the US to accept cryptocurrencies. This welcome addition is part of the club’s grand post-pandemic reopening on 23 April 2021. Incredibly, E11EVEN claims the title as the highest-grossing nightclub in the world.

Guests can reserve tables with a whole host of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ripple, and Ether. Although the crypto payment processor hasn’t been disclosed as yet, nearly all commercial payment processors have the ability to convert cryptocurrencies into fiat.

E11EVEN’s operating partner, Gino LoPinto, explained that their cutting-edge clientele from across the globe are mostly crypto savvy and felt enthusiastic about their guests taking advantage of this innovation. Whilst cryptocurrencies remain volatile, the owners have viewed their increasing value over the long-term.

This move further positions Miami as the Bitcoin capital after the city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, submitted a proposal to store city funds and pay employees in cryptocurrency. Moreover, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency conference has made the decision to move from Los Angeles to Miami.

2021-04-14T15:39:18+00:00April 14, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

A future with Bitcoin

What will the future hold for Bitcoin, the digital currency at the forefront of the crypto phenomenon? Does it have a future at all? Will its value soar or plummet in years to come? Is it bound to revolutionise the world we live in? The exact fate of the crazed cryptocurrency remains a mystery, much like its creator, who goes by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Crypto proponents and critics alike have weighed in on the debate and offered many interesting theories and scenarios that may unfold by 2030. Some are bursting with optimism, while others still have concerns about Bitcoin’s capacity to disrupt traditional financial systems. We can take a holistic look at the industry and its possible fate. Buckle up; this could be a bumpy ride as we explore positive and negative scenarios, cataclysmic failures and, of course, reaching “the moon”.

Bitcoin Thrives as Digital Gold

Peter McCormack, host of the podcast “What Bitcoin Did,” considers the simplest scenario a likely one. Bitcoin maintains its current trajectory – as more people adopt it, the network will continue to grow in value. We begin to see Bitcoin in pension funds, Bitcoin in sovereign wealth funds, and potentially Bitcoin on government balance sheets. Bitcoin’s market cap inevitably eclipses that of gold. McCormack deems this highly probable and the most realistic outcome for the virtual currency.

Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, believes this simplistic hypothesis would represent a victory. Today there are approximately 130 million Bitcoin account holders , and he thinks that by 2030 this figure could swell to 1 billion. Gladstein sees the theory that one should be able to buy a cup of java with Bitcoin for it to be considered a success, as misguided.

Bitcoin Gets Strangled by Regulation

Nigeria and India have imposed harsh crackdowns on Bitcoin. The fear is, what if the rest of the world were to follow suit? Jason Williams, author of “Hard Money You Can’t F**k With: Why Bitcoin Will Be the Next Global Reserve Currency,” claims that when countries try to block the growth of cryptocurrencies, it will eventually backfire. He says that in a fluid world, it’s easy enough to take your crypto business elsewhere when roadblocks appear.

Jackson believes prohibitions would only fuel the demand for crypto due to the scarcity created in the market. Should the U.S, for instance, ban crypto, it would likely cause an increase in demand and, therefore, the price. Bitcoin isn’t going to be squashed by regulation; that’s a myth. Regulatory attempts by single nations will ultimately be at no avail, but what about a “unified global regulation” scenario?

Williams, a mega-bull, says he sees this as the most significant risk to Bitcoin. World leaders could assemble to form a unified crypto policy – much like the Paris Climate Agreement adopted by 197 countries. This unified console could agree to clamp down on the crypto industry by imposing harsh restrictions. Williams says this would add another degree of complexity to the equation as the world struggles to work together on policy reform as it is, let alone when dealing with digital currency and its future. Key parties seldom agree, and this would lead to challenges in getting consistent follow-through.

Bitcoin Extends Its Use Cases

It’s widely felt that for Bitcoin to succeed as digital cash, it must first become digital gold. Bitcoin is already used as a medium of exchange for cross-country payments, settlements, and nations with deeply troubled currencies.

Tech entrepreneur and author Andreas Antonopoulos says he uses bitcoin weekly to pay web designers and translators in different countries and believes it’s currently being used by hundreds of thousands of people globally. Even so, Bitcoin still only accounts for a sliver of the global transactions, but will this change by 2030?

Let’s address the elephant in the room – price volatility. Raoul Pal, the former Goldman Sachs exec who now heads Real Vision Group, considers this a material obstacle to spending bitcoin. Pal suspects that the price of Bitcoin will be less volatile by 2030, but not enough to make it your first-choice payment method when visiting your local bakery. Pal says the volatility of Bitcoin makes it a nightmare for business merchants to accept. The fluctuations are difficult to account for in a balance sheet and could pose business modelling issues. Although buying a buy a round of beers with Bitcoin may be the dream for some, it’s a stretch to think will it possible by 2030.

Doomsday – The Network Breaks

The Bitcoin blockchain is impregnable, bulletproof, safer than a bank, and has never been breached by hackers. These are the sentiments often echoed about Bitcoin advocates. Security is the foundation of the network, but what if this Fort Knox-like system was compromised?

When asked, stockbroker and financial commentator Peter Schiff laughed and said it could be game over. A Black Swan failure could take shape in several forms – a 51% attack; an assault by quantum computing; or a network glitch or failure the likes of which we haven’t even dreamt of yet.

The bitcoin enthusiasts, perhaps unsurprisingly, consider this possibility unlikely. Gladstein argues that on top of the hefty price tag (at least $5 billion) required to acquire enough mining equipment to take over, destroy or manipulate the Bitcoin blockchain, the issue of a global semiconductor chip shortage would stand in one’s way. So, he considers the idea of anyone producing enough Bitcoin mining equipment to disrupt the network implausible.

As for hacks by quantum computing? Entrepreneur and investor Anthony Pompliano believes it’s rooted in nearly no reality, as when the offensive malicious capabilities of technology increase, so too do defensive technological abilities. In cryptography, it’s a cat and mouse game, and Pomp says that if you happened to have access to a quantum computer, you’d likely attack something else first. Why would you destroy its value and not reap the benefits? A target with more upside is more realistic.

Bitcoin Topples Fiat

Our grand finale scenario sees Bitcoin topple fiat by 2030, replacing it as the world’s go-to currency. Even the bulliest of the Bitcoin bulls consider an extremely unlikely outcome. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more passionate Bitcoin bull than Jason Williams, whose Twitter handle is @GoingParabolic. He is confident Bitcoin will eventually become a global reserve currency. He says it’s easy for him to see a Bitcoin valued at $5 million by 2030 but concedes he doesn’t foresee Bitcoin replacing fiat by 2030.

Fiat is here to stay, at least in some capacity. Gladstein predicts fiat currency to still be around for the next 60 – 100 years. He added that as Bitcoin gains in prominence, government’s ability to control the world will diminish.

There is simply no crystal ball to know what will transpire in the crypto-verse by 2030, but we hope our insights have broadened your scope of what’s possible debunked some mystery, and entertained you with outlandish speculation.

2021-04-09T11:38:01+00:00April 9, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

Wisly Industry News

Welcome back to the Wisly crypto-verse. It’s been a week at the edge of our seats with news breaking hourly of new institutional interest and further NFT hype. Easter saw Alt Season’s resurrection as rallies in the alt markets created bullish momentum for crypto overall. While XRP found itself valued at over $1 for the first time since 2018, before recoiling to sit just below.

Let’s take a closer look at what other milestone moments and intriguing stories came out of the crypto industry this week.

Crypto Market Cap Surpasses $2 Trillion

The total market value of cryptocurrencies has broken through the $2 trillion mark for the first time, doubling in the last two months as institutional demand surges. Bitcoin (Link to – https://wisly.io/how-many-people-own-bitcoin/) alone is now worth more than $1 trillion after its price has more than doubled in 2021 thus far. The leading cryptocurrency has been on a tear as institutional investors continue to dabble in crypto to boost cash returns in a world of falling interest rates.

Bitcoin advanced Monday after Grayscale Bitcoin Trust — the world’s largest institutional holder of the cryptocurrency, with $34 billion under management — announced plans to convert the trust to an exchange-traded fund. Last week, Coinbase Global, the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, revealed plans to have its shares commerce trading later this month on the Nasdaq following a direct listing.

The psychological $2 trillion barrier was cleared comfortably but not without the help of well-performing altcoins. Sharp increases in the price of smaller digital currencies such as Ethereum, Binance coin, Ripple’s XRP, and Litecoin propelled crypto to a new milestone.

Ether Reaches All-Time High

Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum network and second-largest cryptocurrency, has risen to a record high as the rally in digital assets broadens beyond Bitcoin. Konstantin Anissimov, executive director at cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO, feels the latest backing from Visa has given the bulls a new reason to persist upwards.

Visa said last week that its payments network would use USD Coin to settle transactions over Ethereum, which has helped boost sentiment about the platform. Billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, added fuel to the fire with comments about his crypto portfolio consisting of 30% of Ether and believing it’s the closest to a true currency. The ongoing upgrade of the network has also peaked investor interest, according to Greg Waisman, co-founder, and COO of the global payment network Mercuryo.

Another contributing factor to the ETH price rally is the relatively upbeat DeFi industry. In the past few days, the industry’s total value has jumped to a record $51 billion. Some of the biggest DeFi platforms, such as Uniswap, Maker, and Compound, have led this rally. The industry and ETH have a symbiotic relationship as most platforms are built on the Ethereum blockchain.

With a market value of about $230 billion, the Ether token has mirrored the gains in Bitcoin over the past year. However, it’s done so amongst a flood of stimulus aimed to boost the global economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has led critics to classify crypto as a speculative bubble likely to burst. Julius de Kempenaer, a senior analyst at StockCharts.com, recently commented on Ether’s relatively strong gains compared to Bitcoin.

Decentralised Messaging App Introduces Crypto Reward System 

The decentralised social messaging application company, Make Sense Labs, funded by venture capitalist Tim Draper, now allows its users to earn rewards in crypto. The messaging app was initially aimed at avoiding third-party data harvesting but now adds a new dimension to its platform with the incentive of crypto accumulation.

According to an announcement from the technology company, it launched the crypto rewards feature on Monday on its Sense Chat app, which was first developed in 2018. Sense Chat enables its users to earn the company’s native SENSE token by interacting with others online, subscribing to various channels, inviting new users to join, and creating message threads.

Crystal Rose Pierce, CEO of Make Sense and wife of controversial crypto figure Brock Pierce, said the project was created to break free from third-party data-harvesting. This kind of data harvesting has become common practice for high-profile social media and messenger platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. She says the app’s users will retain control of their data while maintaining their privacy.

Recently even those with the intention to preserve their users’ privacy have failed to do so and experienced massive breaches. Just last year, Telegram suffered a data leak that exposed personal user data on the darknet. While messaging app Signal accepts donations in crypto, Sense Chat may be one of the few privacy-oriented apps to offer crypto rewards. Based on the EOS blockchain, SENSE currently has a market capitalisation of more than $10 million.

2021-04-08T13:41:29+00:00April 8, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments

5 Myths About Cryptocurrencies

As with any new investment area, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have prompted potential investors and analysts to raise many questions. In the past couple of years, digital currencies have experienced significant boosts in popularity; nonetheless, there are persistent untruths, myths, and rumours about the crypto space and specific coins and tokens in particular.

Despite existing for over a decade now, there remains a significant amount of disinformation, misinformation, and mythology surrounding digital assets. We take a look at these myths and see if there is any truth to them.

Digital Currencies Are Mainly Used for Illicit Activities

One of the oldest and most pervasive myths about digital currency is that it is primarily used for criminal purposes, easily avoiding detection from the authorities. This is partly based on misunderstanding; while it’s true that digital currencies can used by those with nefarious intention, it still remains more transparent than some traditional financial systems and cash.

The confidentiality reputation of Bitcoin—the most famous cryptocurrency—is unrivalled, with all transactions recorded in an unforgeable public ledger: The blockchain. The anonymity crucial to most cryptocurrencies has given life to the myth that it is largely exploited by those engaging in dubious enterprises.

Criminals though, could quite easily use fiat currency for their activities instead, and more often do. Analysed research patterns of the flow of money on the Bitcoin network has revealed that while there was indeed a period where most Bitcoin activity was concentrated in black markets such as Silk Road, today illegal activity occupies only a mere fraction of the total flows.

It’s a false narrative. Behind the smoke and mirrors a Chainalysis report found that, criminal activity fell from 2.1% to just 0,34% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume from 2019 to 2020.

Digital Currencies Have No Value

Many sceptics believe that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value as they are not backed by a commodity such as gold. Yet, most fiat currencies are not backed by a commodity either. This idea exists that cryptocurrencies are a fad, and they will simply disappear, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Cryptocurrencies do not need to be supported by a commodity to hold value.

Fait currency obtains value from being government-issued and relies entirely on agreements to enable individuals to exchange it for goods and services of a similar value. Its value is agreed upon by all parties involved.

Cryptocurrencies are essentially the same. Though the government does not issue them, there is an agreement in place between willing buyers and sellers. This creates demand and supply and allows it to be exchanged for value in the real world.

According to the principle of scarcity, when a commodity is limited in nature, its value will fluctuate with time due to supply and demand trends. Bitcoin falls into the same category as a commodity as a limited digital currency, with a production limit of only 21 million Bitcoin. Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, will soon follow suit in limiting its supply with its EIP 1559 update scheduled for July.

Digital Currencies Are Not Safe and Secure

Another misconception is that cryptocurrencies aren’t secure. Yes, there are crypto hungry hackers out there, and some major hacks have taken place, but these security flaws have mainly been exploited on exchanges and forked networks.

Blockchain technology by design is secure; the Bitcoin blockchain, for instance, is a tamper-proof network that is virtually unfeasible to hack. The use of hash functions to record every transaction and data on blockchain networks and broadcasting it to all network participants means it’s practically impossible to overwrite or manipulate the records.

Cryptocurrency advocates pinpoint the lack of a central point of failure as an added security advantage. In the case of hackers compromising certain users, the overall network will always remain secure. Blockchain’s security is attracting global attention, with even the U.S military looking into building a cutting-edge cybersecurity platform.

Companies can use three different encryption methods to mitigate security risks. These include symmetric encryption, asymmetric encryption and hashing.

Symmetric encryption is also known as private-key cryptography or a secret key algorithm. This requires the sender and receiver to have access to the same key. This method is most effective for closed systems, which are less vulnerable to third-party intrusion.

Asymmetric encryption, or a public-key cryptography, uses two mathematically linked encryption keys; one for encryption and the other for decryption.

The final method, Hashing, generates a distinctive signature of fixed length for a data set or message. Each message has its unique hash, making minor changes to the information easily trackable. Data encrypted with hashing cannot be decoded or reversed back into its original state. Therefore, hashing is used strictly as a method of verifying data. 

There is Only One Huge Blockchain in Place and in Use

There is no one singular blockchain. There is, in fact, one blockchain for each cryptocurrency. Each cryptocurrency is coded differently and therefore has its own blockchain, which records transactions by adding a new ‘block’ of information specific to its ‘chain’ every 10 minutes.

However, blockchains also vary in nature based on their intended purpose and industry. Some are public, while others are private. They can also be open or closed-sourced.

Let’s give you an example: Bitcoin strives to be digital cash, whereas Ethereum allows developers to build peer-to-peer applications that don’t require intermediaries and operate on top of its blockchain, much like the internet. Their use cases are very different. Therefore, you can’t undertake a Bitcoin transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, as these different blockchains do not interact with one another. It would be like trying to pay for dinner in the US with British currency. The restaurant won’t be too impressed and will expect you to exchange your currency for settling the bill.

Governments Will Kill Bitcoin with Regulation

The truth is regulation could help increase the adoption of Bitcoin. The world remains divided about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies’ classification. The implications of decentralisation spark many debates globally on how it could and should be regulated by governments.

It’s true that in Nigeria, India, Russia, and Belarus, Bitcoin is getting the cold shoulder from the government. Recent bans in India and Nigeria may have fuelled mistrust in their respective governments but have not deterred the rest of the world from continuing to trade.

In the U.S., Canada, and most of the West, the situation is very different. For instance, the top U.S. securities regulator now teaches a course on cryptocurrencies at MIT. So, we can see direct governmental support emerging for the crypto industry.

It’s essential to view the regulation of cryptocurrencies not as a death knell but as a necessary step in the industry’s development. Throughout history (the prohibition era in America), we have seen that attempting to ban something tends to increase black market activity for it and piques public interest even more. We’ve also observed that a complete lack of regulation can be equally problematic.

There are other myths to bust in the crypto space as the rumour mill continues to turn, but we hope we have debunked the most common misconceptions about digital currencies for you. Our aim: To bring to light that digital currencies don’t serve mainly for illegal operation; digital assets do indeed hold intrinsic value; regulation could be positive for Bitcoin adoption; blockchain technology is secure; and each cryptocurrency has its own blockchain.

2021-04-06T06:13:09+00:00April 2, 2021|Cryptocurrency Tracker|0 Comments
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