Week 3 - 2020 News Recap
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Increased as Hash Rates Hit New Highs
According to data provided by Glassnode monitoring resources, Bitcoin hash rates have achieved the highest rates by far concluded with January 7th, 2020. As data suggests, the rising hash rates might be the consequence of the latest technical achievements made by Bitcoin. Hash rate represents the computing power used for mining Bitcoin and verifying transactions on the blockchain, while strong hash rates facilitate stronger security for the network. At the same time, high hash rates indicate that the interest in mining Bitcoin is also on the rise. Hash rates are difficult to measure to the exact true value, but in accordance with other technical indicators, the general data is confirming the presence of an uptrend in hash rates on the Bitcoin network.
During the second week of January, 2020, hash rates reached 150 quintillion hashes per one second. Moreover, Bitcoin is obviously showcasing signs of bullish returns from the end of 2019 and in the beginning of 2020, also showing increased interest and trading volumes in trading Bitcoin futures. Previously, we could see the mining difficulty decreasing, while the difficulty is once again rising to showcase increased activity on the blockchain. During the last week difficulty levels for Bitcoin mining increased by 6%. As Bitcoin appears to be preparing a bullish return, many market analysts are trying to predict target prices for the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.
Digital Bank Based in Switzerland is Planning a $95 Million Fundraise
A relatively new digital bank based in Switzerland, SEBA, is planning on raising 95 million dollars, which would represent a secondary way for the bank to raise more capital from new investors, which would include financial institutions, but also individual investors who would like to participate in the fundraiser.
Operating under the name SEBA Bank AG, this Swiss-based cryptocurrency start-up got the green light from Switzerland’s financial authority, Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The digital bank gained approval from FINMA, to operate with banking services and securities back in November 12th, 2019. According to the CEO of SEBA bank, the bank managed to raise around 100 million Swiss francs, which is the equivalent to 103 million dollars. It took 18 months for the bank to collect these funds in the initial funding round.
Now when the bank is clearly going through a fast expansion, the team is planning to have another funding round. Only a single month after SEBA bank started to operate in Switzerland, the bank expanded their services to nine more countries, which includes Italy, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
How Close Are We to the First International Monetary System?
Preceding the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that will commence on January 20th and end on January 24th, 2020, big names from politics and economics, including the world of cryptocurrencies, will debate on the matter on whether the opportunity of reshaping the way the economy works so that the idea of distributed wealth and value can be created. According to the CEO and chairman of Circle, one of the pioneers within the open standard CENTRE Consortium and USD Coin (USDC), the world is ready to try something new so that the economy would work for everyone and recessions could be avoided. Circle’s CEO and chairman, Jeremy Allaire, believes that the new type of monetary-based assets with decentralized authority – cryptocurrency and similar digital assets – could help this positive change as all previous efforts since the Great Recession failed in terms of reshaping the global economy.
What is interesting is that although blockchain and cryptocurrency still represent relatively new technology, people worldwide are already accepting the inclusive way of transferring and storing monetary value without the involvement of third parties such as banks and financial institutions. Big tech companies are also working with blockchain, while many startups and firms have created their own digital assets and blockchain-based networks. What Allaire suggests is that stablecoins, as digital assets pegged to fiat currencies, could bring the change we have all been waiting for, which should be discussed at Davos starting from January 20th, 2020.
Enterprise-level Blockchain Tools Pre-released by a Ripple-Backed Wallet
BRD, a mobile wallet provider, achieved a new milestone by developing and designing a new blockchain toolbox that should enable blockchain developers to build and create enterprise-level apps at a faster and more efficient pace. The new set of tools for developers who are working on enterprise applications based on blockchain technology is called Blockset, and was announced on January 17th, 2020. As BRD claims regarding the new release of enterprise-level tools, the new API should allow users to make transactions in near real-time, also operating with transactions on multiple blockchain environments. The new toolbox has support forRipple’s XRP, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Hedera and Ethereum, while nodes can be used outside the toolbox.
Additionally, the team behind BRD claims that more cryptocurrencies will get support during the year of 2020 and beyond. The toolbox is still being evaluated in the state of pre-launch by companies such as SBI Holdings, Ripple, and KPMG, while BRD claims that the developed Blockset should suit the needs of increased demand for growth displayed by banks and financial institutions. The main advantages of the newly developed set of blockchain-based tools is the ability to cut development and hosting costs, while the time taken to build enterprise-level apps is cut as well. Hopefully, the new Blockset should facilitate new use cases for blockchain in terms of enterprise demands.
Bitcoin Price Drops After Breaking the Resistance at $9,000
On January 16th, 2020, the top trading cryptocurrency managed to make a major move by rising from a bit above the price of 8,700$ towards breaking the resistance of 9,000$ and reaching the price of 9,009$. Bitcoin attempted to rise over the resistance point of 9k$ three times since the beginning of January, eventually dropping back to around 8,800$ on January 17th, after touching the value of 9,000$. In the meantime, other top trading cryptocurrencies are trying to recover from losses marked during 2019.
According to the cryptocurrency expert and market analysts at eToro, Simon Peters, touching the value of 9,000$ for Bitcoin means that the 200-day moving average is also being challenged, meaning that BTC might be preparing for another bullish returns. Even with the declines below 9k$, Bitcoin is not recording major losses. Still, Peters reminds that the market may consider BTC to be overbought with breaking the resistance of 9,000$, which could consequently cause retracement from the current trend. As other cryptos from the list of top trading 10 digital assets are getting close to peak prices in the last 60 days, the dominance of Bitcoin in the total market share of all cryptos have declined by 2%. Still, Bitcoin dominance is set above 60%.