Sunday, Feb. 25: the crypto markets are down almost all across the board, but not by very much. Of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap, no coin is down more than 5 percent in the 24-hour period by press time. Only altcoins Litecoin (LTC) and IOTA out of those top ten coins are in the green. Litecoin is trading for about $208.53, up almost 2.8 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. IOTA is up even more, roughly 5 percent over a 24-hour period, trading for about $1.80 by press time. Bitcoin (BTC) has spent the past day and a half below $10,000, a mark that it had broken through again on Feb. 15. This week saw BTC almost hitting $12,000 before slowly dropping until it hit an intra-weekly low today. BTC is currently trading for around $9,552.92, down a little more than 3 percent over a 24-hour period by press time. Ethereum (ETH) is down 1.21 percent over a 24-hour period by press time, trading for around $827.65.
Total market cap is almost $420 bln by press time, down from the intra-week high of over $500 bln, but higher than the intra-week low thus far of around $417 bln.
Ripple price (XRP) rose significantly in the last two weeks amid its penetration in the financial sector; the price is now struggling to extend the momentum. What’s going on? XRP price dipped for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, and the price plunged below $103. There was no particular event or market report that could change the bullish trend; the downside movement signifies a major price correction – possibly the end of the Bull-Run. Bulls had pushed ripple and other cryptocurrency prices in the last two weeks, with the reports of softer regulatory actions from the United States and South Korea. Along with the support from a broader rally in digital currency prices, stronger confidence from payment services companies and banks added to the growth in XRP price. Ripple has achieved several milestones in the past two weeks, including the partnership with Saudi Central Bank for internal and cross-border payments. The dip in cryptocurrency prices shows that investors are trying to capitalize on the gains they had generated in the last two weeks.
Blockchain veteran Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of the Ethereum network behind No. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap ETH, is a realist. While last year may have put cryptocurrencies on the map, Buterin brings up the risk/reward profile. He doesn’t want investors to have false illusions about pie-in-the-sky returns without identifying any of the risks. Meanwhile, the ETH price has advanced nearly 40% since Feb. 5. Buterin took to Twitter, which is often his soapbox platform of choice, to seemingly tout the merits of traditional investments at the expense of cryptocurrencies but only in the event when an investor’s life savings are at stake. He doesn’t offer specific investment advice though stocks and bonds are about as traditional as securities get. His comments echo the sentiment of regulators around the world that don’t want to see investors risk it all on an emerging asset class. Meanwhile, even traditional asset managers tout the merits of diversification.
Notable ethereum stakeholders are joining forces to create a fund for projects building on the world’s second-largest blockchain. Called the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF), the effort is the result of a collaboration between Cosmos, Golem, Global Blockchain Labs, Maker, OmiseGo, Raiden and Tendermint, with those involved agreeing to work to connect ethereum projects with companies that could benefit from the blockchain services they offer. It will also support the projects in the form of a grant program that will function as “a permanent financial endowment” for selected projects, according to a release.
The central bank of South Africa has launched a new proof-of-concept (PoC) project to replicate interbank settlements on an Ethereum-based blockchain. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the country’s central bank, has announced a new FinTech initiative that will include ‘Project Khokha’ – a blockchain PoC endeavor via a partnership with Ethereum coder collective ConsenSys, an official announcement revealed. As the central bank’s technology partner, the Brooklyn-based Ethereum blockchain developer will enable the ‘processing of wholesale payments using Quorum’, an Ethereum enterprise blockchain developed by JPMorgan and EthLab, an Ethereum developer startup. The development to explore blockchain technology comes despite statements to the contrary by the central bank’s deputy governor who claimed the issuance of a blockchain-enabled central bank cryptocurrency would be “too risky”, in August 2017.