BitPR Weekly Crypto Highlights: Goodbye 2018

Week 4 December 2018
28 Dec 2018

From a price perspective, crypto markets in 2018 looked like Godzilla just stepped on them.

If you depend on crypto trading to make money, you probably cannot wait to turn the page on 2018. Even the past 7 days’ losses erased most of the mini rally we saw for a couple of days last week.

7-day crypto market state. Source: Coin360

But let’s face it, the Bear market is probably good for the long-term. There are way too many ineffective projects that need to be weeded out and hype needs to be removed from the market. With prices and volatility low (or lower), we may soon see institutional money come into the market. This will be good from an investment perspective since institutions tend to invest with a longer-term view, which could lower volatility a little.

There has also been progress in 2018. We’ve talked about increased adoption and usage of blockchain in our past Weekly Highlights. Regulators around the world are waking up to cryptocurrencies and are starting to suggest regulatory frameworks that foster innovation and bring confidence to the industry (unless you are an unregistered ICO). We believe that this progress will continue in 2019.

Happy Holidays!

What Crypto and Blockchain Needs to Succeed in 2019

Source: CoinDesk

Scott Sornetta, whose co-authored “How to Time-Stamp a Digital Document” was cited eight times in Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper, is now with the blockchain investment firm Yugen Partners. He recommends that blockchain projects need to do the following to attract investment in 2019 and eventual adoption:

  1. Have a strong community: a community united by a shared purpose and commitment is more important than the underlying technology.
  2. Solve today’s major problems: projects should offer immediate benefits to early users and solve today’s pressing problems. The focus should not be on cool technology or protesting against centralized powers and traditional systems. Have a plan that immediately solves a problem and can be improved over time. The financial services industry has plenty of opportunities for this.
  3. Create stable incentives: incentivize the ecosystem participants who actually create value. Create governance systems that prevent the kind of behavior seen during the Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV hard fork.
  4. Be flexible: like any startup, blockchain projects need to adapt to the needs of their user communities.

None of Stornetta’s recommendations are new, but new and current blockchain projects need to work towards these goals if they want to win investment and eventual mainstream adoption.


Four Questions for Ethereum in 2019

Source: CoinDesk

Ethereum is useful enough to hang around, but the community needs to address the following to really build for the future.

  1. The promise of dapps: There are many good projects already showing how dapps can improve user experience. KyberNetwork, for example, is unifying the increasingly fragmented token ecosystem. For dapps to really gain widespread adoption, developers must build ecosystems with user experience and newcomer adoption in mind.
  2. The end of ICOs and restoring trust in crypto: ICOs as we know them are probably finished. 80% of ICOs launched in 2017 were identified as scams. Most ICOs were launched on Ethereum, and the Ethereum community didn’t self-regulate to protect its users. In addition to possibly fixing this flaw, Ethereum needs to find a way to move beyond ICOs.
  3. Keeping the community together: Hard forks are possible. What will hold the community together is developers’ willingness to work together and compromise, rather than go their own way. It helps that Ethereum’s co-founders are actively engaged in the ecosystem.
  4. Building for the better: A steady and considered approach is needed for Ethereum to grow and prosper. It is necessary to keep up the pace of development and continue hitting development milestones to keep the community interested in Ethereum’s purpose.


Ripple’s Breakthrough 2018

Source: Invest In Blockchain

Ripple had a productive year despite the XRP token dropping 90% from its (insane) all-time high. RippleNet, Ripple’s global payments network powered by XRP, now connects over 100 financial institutions from 40 countries, enabling cheaper, faster and easier transaction settlements through Ripple’s xRapid system.

Some beneficiaries of RippleNet are the remittance services of Santander’s OnePay FX and CoinOne Transfer’s Cross. Ripple’s customer BeeTech eliminated SWIFT fees for all remittances was able to reduce fees for their customers from $20 to $2 per transaction.


Waves Launches Beta Version of its Security Token Issuance Platform

Source: Waves Medium Blog

Waves, a token platform, has launched a beta version of Tokenomica, a fully compliant security token issuance platform.

With the unregulated ICO model under increasing strain from regulators, there is widespread belief that regulatory-compliant security tokens are the future of token offerings. However, there are few platforms out there that combine the necessary blockchain technology with financial market solutions. In short, there isn’t enough to entice a large number of investors into this space.

Tokenomica is built atop the Waves blockchain. It is one of the first platforms that allows issuers to create compliant security tokens and investors to trade tokens on secondary markets.


Two Mimblewimble Privacy Coins Announce Mainnet Release

Source: Beam Medium Blog

Two privacy coins based on the humorously named Mimblewimble protocol have announced their mainnet launch for January 2019. This is a significant milestone for the Mimblewimble protocol, which stops blockchains from revealing personal information, thereby overcoming some of Bitcoin’s privacy concerns.

Beam aims to be a scalable privacy coin. Transactions are private by default and no addresses and other private information are stored on the blockchain, making transaction info easier to store than other privacy coins and digital currencies. The Beam mainnet release has been scheduled for 3 January 2019.

Grin also aims to be a scalable privacy coin that will not store wallet addresses or transaction amounts. Its mainnet release has been scheduled for 15 January 2019. This explanation describes Grin and Mimblewimble and discusses the relationship between the coin and the protocol.


US Lawmakers May Change SEC’s Securities Definition to Exempt Cryptocurrencies

Source: Invest In Blockchain

Two U.S. Congressmen are introducing a new bill to exclude digital currencies from the definition of a security. The bill is entitled the “Token Taxonomy Act” and will amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 while also adding provisions to exempt cryptocurrencies from different taxes.

If the bill becomes law, SEC’s decision to update their definition of securities will ease the regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies. However, the bill is still in early stages. Even if it does get support from lawmakers, it could be a while before we see any concrete legislation that can bring clarity to cryptocurrencies.


Check back next week for more bite-sized crypto highlights!

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