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Tether Launches New Gold-Backed Stablecoin on TRON

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Tether

Tether

Tether has launched a new stablecoin backed by physical gold reserves called Tether Gold (XAU₮), according to a press release published on January 23. One coin will be equal to one troy fine ounce of physical gold, currently worth approximately US$1,550. Tether Gold is available as a TRC20 token on the TRON blockchain as well as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.

As per the press release, the funds are said to be “safely held in a Switzerland vault;” however, the institution holding the reserves remains unclear, but Tether has assured investors that they have a “direct control” over the reserves. Tether’s CTO Paolo Ardoino said that the new coin will provide investors with the stability of gold and the speed of digital assets, effectively serving as a substitute for those who want to trade gold but do not have access to such storage facilities.

Tether has also invited crypto exchanges that would like to support the coin to contact the company. Blockchain information for the Ethereum contract shows that there is an outstanding supply of almost 4,000 tokens, which would be equivalent to a $6.2 million market capitalization. Issued by TG Commodities, Tether Gold can be transferred to any on-chain address from the purchasers’ Tether wallet and is the only product among the competition that offers zero custody fees.

The launch of a new gold-backed coin has raised some skepticism in the crypto world given longstanding allegations against Tether, and its sister firm Bitfinex, which claim that both were involved in creating “the largest bubble in human history.” These allegations are centered around claims that Tether essentially printed billions of dollars worth of tokens in order to inflate prices and stimulate increased demand.

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Multiple lawsuits were brought against Tether, claiming that it played a key role in defrauding the crypto market out of up to US$1.4 trillion. Those cases have now been consolidated into one single suit, which will be heard in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York next month. Both Tether and Bitfinex have consistently denied all allegations; however, it has flip-flopped multiple times on its claims that its coin is pegged 1:1 with the US dollar, with one lawyer saying its coin was only 74% backed by cash or cash equivalents.

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Binance Coin (BNB) Tumbles Amidst Growing Competition

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Binance Coin

Binance Coin

Binance Coin (BNB) is one of the notable losers in the crypto space over the past three months.

The tremendous growth experienced by the cryptocurrency space over the past five years has seen the development of several new tokens related to a wide range of projects. The sheer interest and buzz about the sector led to the development of plenty of new tokens. While many failed, a large percentage of them succeeded and survived.

One of the more interesting projects was the one started by Binance, the giant crypto exchange. It launched its own cryptocurrency known as Binance Coin, and during the crypto rally during the first half of 2019, the token recorded impressive gains.

BNB tumbles 50% in Three Months

Back in June, when the rally was at its height, Binance Coin hit record highs of about $39, up from $6 at the start of the year. However, since then, it has come down significantly and is currently trading at around $20 per token.

The crypto space lost a lot of its momentum since July, and along with Bitcoin, Binance Coin was one of the many altcoins that lost a considerable amount of value. One of the biggest reasons behind the meltdown in the crypto space was the announcement of Facebook’s Libra back in July, and since then, most cryptocurrencies have failed to regain the momentum that took them to record yearly highs.

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The scrutiny from regulators regarding Libra created a lot of uncertainty among crypto traders and investors, which is why many decided to cash in their profits. That being said, Binance is still the biggest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, and the company continues to make improvements that could see it becoming the world’s preeminent exchange.

Hence, the promise of the project is still there, but the price of the token is a case of wider market sentiments. Recently, Binance announced that it is also going to have an Initial Exchange Offering platform, and it goes without saying that this is another progressive move. It remains to be seen how the price of Binance Coin reacts in the coming months to this news.

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Tether Becomes the Most Used Cryptocurrency in the World

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Tether

Tether

Over the past few years, the fiat-backed stablecoin Tether has become the subject of fevered discussions among those in the crypto sphere as well as those outside of it. It is a crypto token that is used across a range of crypto exchanges in order to facilitate trading, and it goes without saying that the stablecoin has become extremely popular among plenty of crypto traders.

Most Widely Used Cryptocurrency

However, data from Coinwidely using cryptocurrency market cap has now shown that Tether is actually the most widely used cryptocurrency in the world. Many believed that the most widely used token must have been Bitcoin, which is the biggest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization. But it seems that this is not the case.

It is interesting to note that the stablecoin has a market cap that is a fraction of that of Bitcoin and is, in fact, 1/30th of it at this point in time. However, data from CoinMarketCap has revealed that Tether experiences the highest trading volumes both on a weekly and monthly basis. It is a significant achievement for a stablecoin that is often the subject of extreme debates among members of the crypto community.

The data has revealed that it was back in April this year that the stablecoin managed to surpass Bitcoin by trading volume for the first time in its lifetime and managed to extend the lead since the start of August.

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Its daily trading volume stands at $21 billion per day, according to the data. It is interesting to note that it was back in April that Bitcoin was surpassed. At the time, Bitcoin had been in the middle of its remarkable rally, and so its trading volume was huge.

The monthly trading volume of Tether is higher by as much as 18% compared to that of Bitcoin. In this regard, it is also important to point out that the stablecoin has now become an extremely important part of the whole crypto ecosystem.

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Tether (USDT) Dominance Persists Amidst Mainstream Adoption

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Tether

Tether

Tether (USDT) popularity in the cryptocurrency space is unmatched. Immediate data indicates it is the most widely used stablecoin by virtue of trading volume. In November, for instance, USDT accounted for as much as 79% of Bitcoin trading between fiat or stablecoins. Likewise, a total of 9.69 million Bitcoins were exchanged in favor of the Tether stablecoin.

Popularity

The popularity stems from the fact that Tether is one of the most stable cryptocurrencies, given that it is pegged to the US dollar. USDT popularity and trading volume are expected to continue rising as cryptocurrency mainstream adoption continues to gain traction. Likewise, the stablecoin looks set to benefit from increased usage in derivatives such as crypto exchanges like Okex, which has already unveiled USDT futures.

The stability aspect brought about by stablecoins should continue to benefit the broader cryptocurrency market. Gone are the days when people shunned the market on fear of the high levels of volatility as well as the lack of liquidity. With the likes of USDT being pegged on stable assets such as the US dollar, investors are now able to use stablecoins to hedge against market volatility.

Headwinds

While USDT looks set to continue dominating the stablecoin landscape, it has had to contend with a fair share of challenges. There were ownership concerns in 2017 after it emerged that Bitfinex and Tether Ltd might be backed by the same owners, for example.

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Tether has also had to contend with supply concerns amidst fears in 2017 that there might have been a large supply of USDT relative to demand.

Uncertainty continues to surround Tether. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked for proof to show if there is sufficient US dollar backing the 2.3 billion Tether coins in circulation. While Tether has provided a financial audit, inconsistencies have cropped up, especially with ties to Tether holdings.

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The HEX Controversy | Bitcoin.com Listing Despite Community Hesitations

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HEX

HEX

The wild growth of the crypto sector has been nothing short of a miracle despite the many pitfalls, but that has also resulted in the emergence of tokens that might not be completely above board, and one of those is HEX.

The token is widely believed to be part of an elaborate scam, and in a new development, it has emerged that the crypto platform Bitcoin.com listed the token in spite of these hesitations from the general crypto community.

Went Live Last Week

Officials have revealed that trading on the token went live on the platform on December 13, and the revelations have led to fresh controversy about this token in the crypto space.

There are very few crypto exchanges in the world that list the HEX token anymore, and Bitcoin.com is now one of the few reliable crypto exchanges that list it at this point. It is particularly startling since the association between the exchange and the crypto project seems to be a new one.

This has come at a time when Richard Heart, the founder of the actual HEX crypto project, has had to fight against allegations of fraud. The coin was launched early in December, but in the little time since its launch, it has already become a controversial subject in the crypto space.

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Not a lot of data has yet become available with regards to HEX trading so far. At this point in time, Bitcoin.com is offering two trading pairs to its users. One is HEX/BCH, and the other is HEX/ETH. The former is now down by as much as 65%, while the latter has declined by 59%.

Critics of the HEX project have stated that the founder, Richard Heart, will have control of as much as 45% of the entire supply of the token after one year from the launch. An expert stated that the founder could potentially enrich himself from the built-in HEX protocol.

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Stellar (XLM) Soars 18% as 55 Billion Tokens are Burned

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Stellar

Stellar

Over the course of the past few years, many cryptocurrencies have emerged that have demonstrated a definite use case, and one of those is Stellar (XLM). SDF or the Stellar Development Foundation, which looks after the entire ecosystem of the cryptocurrency, made a major announcement today, and it could have far-reaching implications.

Major Boost

The SDF announced a new protocol altogether with regards to its network on Monday and added that it has burned as many as 55 billion XLM (Stellar Lumens). The burning of those many tokens by the company is going to reduce the number of XLM in circulation, and it remains to be seen what sort of effect this will have on the price.

The whole project is apparently trying to become far more efficient in the near future, and the SDF believes that the move to burn 55 billion Stellar tokens will help in streamlining operations considerably. Considering the fact that XLM is now trading for $0.085 each at this point, the cost of the tokens that were burned is pegged at around $4.7 billion. However, the market has reacted positively to the move, and the price of XLM has rallied by as much as 18% at $0.0816 after the news broke.

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The SDF published a post on Medium in which it explained the rationale behind the move. In the post, it stated that the move is going to make the ecosystem more efficient. It stated, “SDF can be leaner and do the work it was created to do using fewer lumens. Over the years we’ve also seen that giveaways and airdrops have diminishing effects, especially in the outsized amounts our original plan was designed to support.” It went on to state that out of the remaining tokens, the SDF is going to give away as many as 12 billion tokens to make Stellar more popular in the crypto sphere.

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Ethereum Classic (ETC) Suddenly Rockets 30% in a Week But Why?

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Ethereum Classic

Ethereum Classic

While Ethereum has been in the middle of a bit of flux due to the halving and other associated factors, Ethereum Classic has been surging. The coin jumped by as much as 30% over the past week and much of the gains have been due to the slew of positive news that has come about with relation to Ethereum Classic.

The coin started off the past week at $5.50, and today it has climbed to as much as $7.20 as more and more investors piled onto it. Here is a look at some of the reasons why it rose by that much.

Key Drivers

One of the biggest reasons for optimism with regards to Ethereum Classic is the upcoming Atlantis Fork that is going to take place on September 13 next week. It is believed that the fork event is going to improve security considerably on the blockchain, and that has become a source of excitement for many investors. In addition to that, the Atlantis Fork is also expected to lead to better compatibility with Ethereum as well.

Ethereum Classic Labs, which has been a center of research and development, has also made an important announcement. In a new development, it has emerged that North Block Capital, an investment group based out of London, has joined the Studio Program.

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The association with North Block Capital could prove to be a hugely important event since the investment group is going to help sell the token in Asia. As everyone knows, Asia remains one of the most important markets for cryptocurrencies. As far as crypto usage and development are concerned, the continent is lightyears ahead of many other regions.

Last but not least, the Ethereum Classic event is also going to take place in the first week of October, and generally, the price of a token rises when such an event takes place.

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Altcoin Season? Bull Run Continues While Bitcoin Stalls

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Altcoins

Altcoins

All but two of the top 15 cryptocurrencies are trading upwards today as altcoins continue their bull run, while Bitcoin (BTC) is down 0.45%.

Many analysts are predicting that the altcoin bullish run recently indicates the beginning of altcoin season, a period in which traders tend to get overly excited about Bitcoin alternatives so they can increase their Bitcoin holdings in the long run. Unlike the name suggests, altcoin season is not something that happens at the same time every year, as seen by the fact the market for alternative coins had been bleeding for most of the last two years.

With Bitcoin consolidating its price range between $9,000 USD and $12,000 USD in recent weeks, boredom has led traders to turn to altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) in an attempt to increase profits. One Twitter analyst expects Bitcoin to continue to stagnate over the next two weeks, paving the way for altcoins to take advantage. Crypto Bitlord, another prominent Twitter analyst with over 100,000 followers, said, “I’m telling you now, this is the bottom for most alts. If you’re not yet “all in” yet, now is the time to do it.”

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Ethereum, the second-largest coin after Bitcoin, has been leading the charge among altcoins, having just yesterday surpassed the $200 mark. This can be somewhat attributed to Tether’s decision to migrate to ETH, which could lead to its surpassing BTC for daily transactions. Bitpay, a leading crypto payments processing service, also recently announced its intention to start supporting ETH in the near future.

Ripple has been the biggest gainer of the top altcoins so far, currently trading up 8.67%. The surging value of XRP could be put down to fears that a fork of the token was coming being put to bed. Many XRP investors felt that those in charge at Ripple had been dumping the coin by selling it to clients to fund various investments. These fears have been allayed after a change.org petition garnered over 3,600 signatures since its publication last month.

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Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings Places XRP, EOS, BTC, and BNB on Top

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Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings

Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings released its March 2019 “Weiss Cryptocurrency Outlook” report, with Ripple (XRP), EOS, Bitcoin (BTC), and Binance Coin (BNB) receiving the top four spots on the list of 122 cryptocurrencies. Weiss Ratings is the world’s only financial rating agency that provides grades on cryptocurrencies.

The report, which is called “Dark Shadows with a Bright Future,” examines the cryptocurrencies available on the market using two factors—the tech/adoption grade for long-term investors and the risk/reward grade based on short-term factors.

Of the 122 cryptocurrencies examined in the report, XRP, EOS, Bitcoin, and Binance Coin were given an overall B- rating, while none received an A rating, which is considered excellent.

Remarkable Growth in the Cryptocurrency Space

Authors Martin Weiss and chief cryptocurrency analyst, Juan Villaverde, start the report by noting that despite a sharp decline in the price of cryptocurrencies, “the industry’s network capacity and security have improved dramatically and underlying technology has evolved with new, more efficient ways to create digital assets.”

What’s more, leading cryptocurrencies are seeing three times more volume in user (on-chain) transactions than they did in early 2018. These improved fundamentals and lower prices offer new opportunities for investors, although this is dependent on whether or not they can “afford the risk, avoid the worst and invest in the best.”

Cryptocurrency Market Still Risky

Despite improvements to cryptocurrency fundamentals, the Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings report authors still advise investors who cannot afford to lose money to be wary in the near term.

“Investors who cannot afford to lose money, the recent market declines and doldrums imply high risk and uncertain rewards. Crypto market liquidity is very thin. Trading comes in spurts. Relatively small infusions of new buying cause sudden price rallies. Equally small bouts of selling cause unexpected market crashes,” said the report.

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Cryptocurrency Trends to Watch

In the report, Weiss and Villaverde identified trends in the cryptocurrency space that investors should keep in mind. These trends include changes to the way cryptocurrencies are secured and some cryptocurrencies moving away from blockchain entirely, as well as killer dApps like decentralized, crypto-based social media, peer-to-peer lending, and fair and secure elections playing the biggest role in determining the future winners.

What do you think will happen in the cryptocurrency space moving forward? Which cryptocurrency do you have your eye on?

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2019 Review | Chainlink (LINK) Leads, Bitcoin Stands in 6th Position

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Chainlink

Chainlink

After having been in the middle of a directionless muddle for much of 2018, Bitcoin came back with a vengeance this year and went on an excellent rally that took it back to heights that had last been scaled back in 2017.

Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap and it is the token that ultimately decides the health of the market. However, it would come as a surprise to many that Bitcoin is in fact not the biggest gainer in 2019 so far. While no other crypto can quite match Bitcoin in terms of wealth or influence, it needs to be pointed out that there are 2,500 cryptocurrencies in total according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Chainlink is the Biggest Popular Gainer

According to data on CoinMarketCap, there are five coins that have gained more than Bitcoin this year. The five cryptocurrencies in question are Tierion, Ren, Binance Coin, Chainlink, and Huobi Token. The returns generated by these five tokens this year so far has been nothing short of remarkable and the biggest gainer is Chainlink with a whopping 800% climb. To put the rise of Chainlink into perspective, no other coin in the crypto space managed to rise by more than 400%.

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By contrast, Bitcoin’s incredible run this year so far saw it gain 185% and although it is only 6th on the gainers list, the value added by that rise is the biggest in the crypto market. From a level of $3,764 at the start of the year, the token is now priced at $10.674 and the value it added to its market cap runs into the tens of billions.

Hence, the scale of the rise of Bitcoin cannot be matched by other coins. After the excellent run until June, Bitcoin hit a bit of a roadblock in July and much of August, which saw it losing momentum.

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