Week 50 News Recap
Nike Turns to Tokenization of Footwear with Ethereum Blockchain
Nike joined the digital revolution driven by blockchain technology on December 10th, when the popular footwear giant decided to launch a non-fungible token that would enable digital purchase of Nike shoes now known as CryptoKicks. Nike chose Ethereum blockchain for issuing their NFT (non-fungible token), also releasing a patent with instructions on how this digital product can be used. A part of the patent, Ethereum-based ERC721 or ERC1155 serve the purpose of authentication and transacting of the physical product. Nike also describes the token as a way of buying shoes and Nike’s goods in general with improved authentication.
With Nike’s blockchain-based pattern, buyers and future owners of Nike’s good can merge the ownership of physical shoes with the ownership of a digital asset linked to the shoe model they had previously purchased. Moreover, ownership of digital assets can be transferred to new buyers in case the shoes are sold to a different owner. Thanks to blockchain, owners can store and save their digital shoes in accordance with ownership of physical Nike’s shoes, while assets can also be used for “breeding” new types of shoes much like it is the case with collectible digital assets in the popular Ethereum-based game, CryptoKitties. Combined, physical goods sold by Nike and digital assets representing Nike’s products, make CryptoKicks.
Dark Web Silk Road’s Founder Predicts 100,000$ for Bitcoin in 2020
The first and top cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, got a rather flattering prediction from the founder of Silk Road, the infamous Dark Web-based, presently non-existent market place. Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road’s founder, published an analysis with a bold prediction claiming that Bitcoin will manage to top 100,000$ per one unit in the upcoming 2020. Ulbricht is serving a double life sentence with no possibility of parole, so the analysis was published from the prison he is serving sentence at. Ulbricht claims that Bitcoin charts were being sent to him on a weekly basis, which enabled him to create and complete a detailed analysis on the future price of Bitcoin.
The mentioned analysis on Bitcoin price prediction for the upcoming 2020 was published in a series of posts on Medium. Ulbricht is said to use Elliott Wave Theory to predict the movement of Bitcoin in the market, explaining the way he managed to come to a conclusion to readers on Medium, and claiming that all indicators are pointing that Bitcoin is going to have a major rally in 2020, ultimately taking the top coin to the flattering price of 100k US dollars per one unit. In the end, Ulbricht is warning traders that the pattern he had pointed out in his analysis might not continue, claiming that the market may take an unpredictable turn at any time.
The First Active Bitcoin Node is Orbiting the Earth
Going at a speed of five miles per second, the first active Bitcoin node was launched by SpaceChain developers as a part of the official launch of Falcon 9 rocket on December 12th, 2019. The node represents the first crypto wallet launched into the stratosphere where the wallet is out of reach of hackers, as well as beyond governments’ jurisdictions. The node was launched to stratosphere in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at the International Space Station. The Bitcoin node weighs 1 kilogram, representing only a fraction of SpaceX CSR-19 mission with resupply of 2,600 kilograms of payload.
SpaceChain developers consider the mentioned launch of the first active Bitcoin node above the Earth, to be an important step towards creating a decentralized and robust blockchain-based environment above the Earth, seeing the launch as the new way of safely transferring BTC units, while making cryptocurrency transactions more secure and out of physical reach. From the moment the node is activated by astronauts working on the project, the wallet, although small, will operate for a full year by using data feed from the International Space Station. Zee Zheng, the CEO of SpaceChain, stated that the company placed all of its resources into the development and completion of this project, although he didn’t wish to disclose the full cost of research and development. Building the first space wallet surely wasn’t the easiest thing to do, while Zheng added that they also had to figure out how to make their space wallet compatible with the ISS system.
Chinese Bitcoin Miners Hold the Majority of Global Hash Rate
According to CoinShares, a digital asset manager based in London, and the study published by CoinShares, Chinese province Sichuan is accountable for over half of global hash rate for Bitcoin mining. In accordance with the latest report, published on December 11th as reported by Reuters, China is presently controlling over 66% of global hash rate, which places Chinese miners in control of the majority of global hash rate for mining Bitcoin. Hash rate signifies the power used for cryptocurrency mining, where the rule applies that greater power means greater security. According to the report by CoinShares, China controlled around 60% of global hash rate for Bitcoin mining in June 2019, surging by ana additional 6% of hashing power by December 2019.
Sichuan is reportedly holding around 50% of the total hash power of China, while other provinces such as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan are held accountable for the remaining 16% out of 66% of hashing power. The head of research at CoinShares, Chris Bendiksen, suggests that the latest surge seen in the hash rate controlled by China could be the result of a more advanced mining equipment, while the surge benefits the Chinese mining infrastructure. Following China, the remaining percentage of global hash rate for Bitcoin mining belongs to the United States, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Cryptocurrencies Still Top Performing Assets of the Year
Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency market is yet to come to the stage of maturity, and the fact that cryptocurrencies significantly dropped since December 2017 when the majority of crypto assets spiked to reach their all-time high prices, cryptocurrencies are still the top-performing asset class of the year. When taking into consideration annual returns of commodities, securities, bond markets and equities in the United States, cryptocurrencies are showcasing the greatest yearly returns once again in 2019.
Major annual returns are especially noted in large-cap digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and other top-performing cryptos, that managed to facilitate greater returns within a single year when compared to other markets and asset classes. Of course, this is not the case with all top-ranked cryptocurrencies. While Ethereum is up by 35% of returns in the course of a year, and Bitcoin can brag with 100% of returns in the same period of time, Ripple’s XRP is down by -25% from where it stood a year ago around January 2019.