The US SEC Dithers, Ripple Bursts Back Onto the Scene, While Digital Media Giants YouTube, Twitch, and Wikipedia Eye Adopting XRP all in the IBRC Weekly Review

Every week the ICOBox Blockchain Research Center (IBRC) tracks the most important developments on the cryptocurrency and digital asset market, providing brief analytics on the topics that we feel are significant for crypto industry enthusiasts and participants. During the week of September 16-23, 2018, IBRC identified moves by Ripple and the SEC that could have positive and negative effects on crypto markets respectively. Meanwhile, our experts believe YouTube, Twitch, and Wikipedia’s flirtation with adopting XRP could be a long-term game changer.

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES


Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Sept. 28, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
Total market capitalization

Cryptocurrency market capitalization continued to grow for the second week in a row. This time it increased by more than 10%, or by $21 billion, from $203 billion to $224 billion. However, as usual, the week was not without its intense peaks and valleys. The most characteristic day in this regard was September 19. First the market plummeted due to the news on the hack of the Japanese exchange Zaif and the theft of nearly 6,000 BTC, BCH and MONA tokens worth a total of $60 million. Then, on the same day, the market did a complete 180° turn, which might have been triggered by the purchase on the BitMEX exchange of five million bitcoin futures contracts at a higher price.


Market trends also continue to be affected by nearly any news regarding the actions of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It should be noted that this past week one and the same news item - that the SEC had requested more information before taking a decision on bitcoin ETFs - managed to cause diametrically opposed reactions among market participants over a very short span of time, provoking a wave-like movement of prices.


Cryptocurrency trends

IBRC experts have observed that Bitcoin dominance increases during a prolonged fall in capitalization, but during a market recovery, the opposite occurs. This is exactly what happened last week: the dominance of the main cryptocurrency fell from 55.5% to 51.7% against the backdrop of a 3% increase in its price (from $6,537 to $6,715). All the main altcoins showed a positive price trend. For example, Ethereum appreciated by 8% (from $223 to $241), Bitcoin Cash by 9% (from $448.5 to $488), and Litecoin by 7% (from $56.6 to $60.6).


The unquestioned leader of the week was Ripple, which experienced a price jump of more than 100% over seven days! This cryptocurrency even managed to overtake the second largest cryptocurrency by capitalization, Ethereum, for a short time. This was the first time this had happened since December 2017. Ripple’s meteoric growth was caused by a series of positive news items and events, including the full-scale launch of the xRapid product along with the adoption of Ripple by a growing number of companies and banks.


Key events having an influence on the market

Our experts identified a number of key events that had varying effects on the markets last week. Most notably was the announcement that Ripple was partnering with Saudi Arabia’s largest bank, The Saudi Arabian National Commercial Bank, in order to help them implement new technology that will establish connections with Singapore as well as other Asian and American establishments. Meanwhile, Taiwan, Asia’s seventh largest economy, is investigating creating crypto-friendly regulations. The island state is seen as the next major cryptocurrency market, and a friendly regulatory frameworks could prove to be a boost for economic growth there.


As noted above, Ethereum experienced some recovery last week, and that is in part due to the announcement of the upcoming launch of Komgo SA. Conceived of by Dutch bank ING, France's Société Générale, and Mercuria, commodity trading giants like Guvnor Group and Royal Dutch Shell will collaborate with a number of international banks to develop the Ethereum-based exchange platform. The adoption of blockchain technology could have a transformative effect on that sector.


Also having a positive influence on markets is the prediction by billionaire investor and legendary former hedge fund manager, Michael Novogratz, that bitcoin prices will see a 30% rise in 2018. Novogratz believes it’s impossible for Bitcoin not to rebound to the $8,800 to $10,000 range.


The IBRC experts are also keeping an eye on talk of regulation of cryptocurrency in the UK. Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan was quoted as saying, “It’s unsustainable for the Government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting.” For now, this will have neutral to uncertain effects on markets.


On the negative front, the SEC has asked for more information regarding the CBOE Bitcoin ETF. It’s expected to make a ruling on September 30, 2018. After the SEC postponed its decision in early August of this year, cryptocurrency markets lost of $20 billion. As discussed below, the SEC could further postpone this decision which will continue to affect markets.


Events that could influence the market in the near future

Ripple could see more growth as the company hints that its cryptocurrency product xRapid may launch as early as next month. The product is being developed to help banks speed up XRP transactions.


Meanwhile, Ethereum plans to activate the Constantinople hard fork some time next month as well, which could lead to a reduction in rewards per block of Ethereum from 3 ETH to 2 ETH. At the moment the news is considered by IBRC experts to have a neutral to uncertain influence on markets in the near future.


The SEC may continue to drag its feet on its bitcoin ETF decision, which could in turn create a continued negative effect on cryptocurrency markets overall. As well, two major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea have decided that users must have verified real-name accounts in order to withdraw fiat from the exchanges. Bithumb, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, as well as the third largest exchange, Coinone, both announced the change last Friday. This will bring the exchanges in line with new South Korean cryptocurrency regulations stipulating real-name requirements that will come into effect in January 2019.


ICO statistics and the most important projects to complete their initial coin offerings

The number of projects that have completed their ICOs and disclosed information on collected funds has fallen for the third week running. Last week there were only seven such projects. They collected $64.2 million, the lowest figure in September. In total, more than 30 ICOs were completed from September 16-23.


The leader in funds collected was the Ankr Network project, which managed to collect $18.7 million. However, this is the smallest amount collected by a weekly leader so far this month. The project aims to create a blockchain-based cloud computing platform which will give participants incentives to share their computing resources with its network in order to reduce costs and improve computing efficiency. The platform expects to be less expensive than centralized solutions such as Amazon or Google cloud services.


Key news item of the week

The key news item this week was that Coil will be facilitating XRP micropayments on YouTube, Twitch, and Wikipedia. Coil is an XRP-driven platform that was developed by former Ripple CTO, Stefan Thomas, as a flat-rate subscription service. Fiat micropayments have been something of a impractical concept for digital platforms to date, but cryptocurrency technology could change all of that. According to IBRC expert, Dima Zaitsev, who is head of PR International at ICOBox, “More than 2 billion people per month use YouTube and Twitch to watch videos, while 2.5 billion access Wikipedia. If the implementation of XRP by these companies is more than mere hype, it could mark the beginning of widespread adoption of cryptocurrency on the Internet and in other facets of everyday life. That possibility is colossal, and regulators who are dragging their feet will need to step up to meet the demands of what could be a watershed moment in cryptocurrency markets worldwide.”


Strangest news item of the week

Chechen authorities announced a plan to create an Eurasian mining pool in the Republic. They claim to want to create a crypto cluster in the Russian republic in order to combine the resources of miners from the EAEU while helping them save on commission fees to foreign intermediaries. On the face of it, this may not seem particularly strange. But there are two catches. The first is that Russia does not have legislative regulations on cryptocurrency and crypto mining. More importantly, it’s best to take announcements such as these with a pinch of salt. Chechen authorities are notorious for their love of bombastic PR.


About ICOBox:

ICOBox is the world’s leading ICO solutions provider, offering a wide range of technical, legal and marketing services to projects selling their products and services via Initial Coin Offerings. As a global blockchain startup accelerator, ICOBox has helped organize dozens of ICOs, including such prominent projects as INS, Universa, Play2Live, Crypterium, Celsius, Patron, Storiqa, Tokenstars, CrowdGenie, SM.M, NVB, and more. For more information please visit https://icobox.io/


        

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