February 12, 2019

Weekly Fundamental Analysis

It has been a dynamic week for the crypto community with several intriguing news coming out from the four major teams in the industry, respectively: Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum and Litecoin. Тhese developments managed to put at least a temporary cap to the market’s exhausting slide on Friday. Furthermore, all the aforementioned currencies managed to end the trading session on a markedly positive note, with Litecoin closing the day at $41.24, an eye-watering 26.5% gain.


To begin with, the political journal Congressional Quarterly cited Robert Jackson Jr., one of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s top employees, saying that the tendency of Bitcoin exchange traded fund rejections from the institution will be eventually reversed.


A number of attempts to launch crypto ETF-s either received straight “no” verdicts, or at least delays on the final decision. Some of the notable applications include VanEck’s attempt to launch a Bitcoin ETF last year and the Winklevoss twins two separate applications for an analogical investment vehicle in 2017 and 2018. What the SEC pointed out as main reasons for the rejections of the Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss applications were the considerable volatility, low liquidity and the high potential for manipulation of the crypto market. The change in tone coming from the commission’s officials now, however, adds to the hopes that cryptocurrencies are set for a bright future in the long-term.


Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, is seriously contemplating a partnership with Ripple. This was confirmed by Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, who shared that his company is definitely looking to utilize Ripple’s cross-border payment platform, xRapid. Backed by the liquidity of XRP, the biggest altcoin on the market by market cap, xRapid is designed to make cross-border transactions much faster.


Ethereum denied the rumors that it had planned to spend $15 million on developing Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs) to aide its transition to a Proof of Stake (PoS) network. The VDF technology basically protects the system from manipulation or attack. In a blockchain using a PoS algorithm, VDFs are key to circumvent the possibility that someone predicts randomness so as to manipulate the leaders and validators appointed through the protocol.


According to the company’s report, the shift to PoS is to be finalized with the final upgrade of the network, Serenity (or Ethereum 2.0): the last one pointed out in the platform’s roadmap. Currently, the Ethereum network is in stage three, named Metropolis. The later is made up of two hard forks: Byzantium and Constantinople. The ultimate goal, the co-founder Vitalik Buterin explains, is through PoS and other upgrades Serenity to be capable of dealing with fundamental issues such as: security, scalability, centralization of mining and economic completeness.


Friday’s strongest rally among the twenty largest cryptocurrencies was attributed to litecoin. The strong upside move resulted in LTC taking over the fourth place by market capitalization from its rival EOS. According to CoinMarketCap figures, at the time of this publication litecoin has a market cap of $2.69 billion compared to $2.50 billion for EOS.


The strong uptick made by LTC mainly stems from the recently announced partnership between the company and Beam. The main goal here is the Mimblewimble protocol to be implemented on Litecoin, which is expected to greatly improve privacy and scalability.


The situation on the crypto market should be carefully watched in the coming days and weeks. Although it rallied big on Friday, it is still too early to call an end to the lasting more than a year downtrend. Strong trends are too difficult to reverse, and for this to happen the positive impulse should have a follow up in the near and mid-term.


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