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5 Cryptos Making Waves In 2020: XRP, ETH, XTZ, ADA, NEO

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5 Cryptos Making Waves In 2020: XRP, ETH, XTZ, ADA, NEO
5 Cryptos Making Waves In 2020: XRP, ETH, XTZ, ADA, NEO

On Feb. 12, the crypto market achieved a new milestone by climbing above the $300 billion market capitalization mark for the first time in 6-months. This shows interest in the sector continues to grow as a steady flow of funds enter the space. Since the start of 2020, the crypto market cap has increased from $218.4 billion to $303.1 billion, a 65.92% increase. At the same time, Bitcoin’s (BTC) dominance rate dropped from 68% to 62%, which has allowed altcoins to pull off some amazing triple-digit rallies over the last 2 months.

Even now as Bitcoin price struggles to overcome the $10,500 resistance, several altcoins are continuing to rally in their BTC and USD pairs. Let’s take a look at some of the big performers of the day.

XRP

XRP USD daily chart

XRP price finally broke above the resistance at $0.30 and $0.31 and has since rallied more than 14%. The strong upside move was propelled by the highest surge in volume seen since May 13, 2019, when XRP price rocketed 56.25% as it climbed from $0.30 to $0.47 in one day. XRP has now set a higher high above the previous high at $0.3145 set on Nov. 6 as part of a tweezer top that saw the price sharply reverse to a two-year low at $0.175. Now that the key overhead resistances have been cleared, traders will likely set their short-term targets at $0.38 and $0.41

Tezos

XTZ USD daily chart

Tezos (XTZ) has been on a tear since Jan. 15 when the altcoin broke from its bottom in the $1.20-$1.30 range and started what has become a 183% parabolic rally to a new all-time high at $3.61. Currently, the XTZ rally has become over-extended after such a rapid move to a new high and at the time of publishing the altcoin has corrected 7.25% and is down 14.79% from its all-time high. As XTZ price bounced right at the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level ($3.072) and traders will observe to see if the altcoin finds support and consolidates at the current level. It is worth mentioning that parabolic moves tend to forgo establishing strong support levels as the price swiftly surges significantly higher each day. This means that if traders book profits and shift their attention to other cryptos, or if Bitcoin sharply corrects, XTZ could quickly reverse course and retrace the entire up move.

Cardano

ADA BTC daily chart

Since bottoming at 0.00000400 satoshis on Jan. 14, Cardano (ADA) has performed excellently. The altcoin is up 71% off its 2019 and 2020 bottom and since crossing above the 200-day moving average on Jan. 12, the altcoin has rallied 37.09%. Traders will notice that above 0.00000682 satoshis there is limited pressure from sellers. This means all that is required is a heavy influx of volume to push the price higher in one massive candlestick. There is also a sizable gap in the volume profile visible range indicator (VPVR). If a high volume breakout occurs, ADA price could rally 53.47% to 0.000001041 satoshis.

ETH

ETH USD daily chart

Ether (ETH) continues to show that its price action is hinged to Bitcoin’s hip and rallied to a new 2020 high at $275 on Feb. 13. As discussed in a previous analysis, the price easily pushed through the take profit zones at $240 and $260. As Bitcoin traders work to push the digital asset to $10,500 and above, Ether price continues to climb and appears set to reach $300 over the coming hours. Traders will note the VPVR gap from $270 to $300. If bulls can push the price above $276 then a shot at $300 is on the cards.

NEO

NEO USD daily chart

After forming a double bottom at $7.73 on December 18, 2019, NEO has doubled its price to reach a 2020 high at $15.85. Since Jan. 1, the altcoin has rallied 88.37% and traders will now target $17.44 and $19.60. If NEO pushes above $20, $25 and $40 are on the next zones traders will look to. In the event of a pullback, traders will look for a bounce at the 21.6% Fibonacci retracement ($13.95) and below this $12.93. Generally, the support levels for NEO are closely aligned with the Fibonacci retracement levels so traders could follow the indicator if the altcoin’s price corrects.

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Former CFTC Chair Giancarlo Suggests That The FED Should Create a Digital Dollar

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Former CFTC Chair Giancarlo Suggests That The FED Should Create a Digital Dollar
Former CFTC Chair Giancarlo Suggests That The FED Should Create a Digital Dollar

Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) believes it’s time for the Federal Reserve to issue a fully digital currency on Feb. 21. Giancarlo told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move program that the Federal Reserve must issue a digital currency in order to compete with China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). 

The former CFTC chairman highlighted that online shopping would benefit from the U.S. offering a digital payment option as there won’t be any intermediary fees involved like with the traditional debit and credit cards. Giancarlo also added:

“When we talk about a digital dollar we’re talking about in the virtual world, to have that same immediacy of payment that we have in the analog human world.”

Image result for CFTC Chair Giancarlo

Giancarlo believed that a digital dollar is agnostic to other initiatives in the cryptocurrency space. He said that Bitcoin and innovations like Facebook’s Libra have their own “value propositions” and could co-exist with a central bank issued digital currency (CBDC). He expressed that:

“I think the market is always better when there is a lot of competition out there… An instrument like Bitcoin may serve to the equivalent to the digital dollar might be equivalent to the digital gold.”

Giancarlo has also advocated that the U.S. regulatory framework needs updates to adapt to the changes that cryptocurrencies bring to the financial institutions. He says:

“It’s going to change things dramatically and our laws need to evolve with that as they’ve done over the 90 years, now they need to evolve again.”

Giancarlo is involved with a Digital Dollar project that is supported by a global consulting giant Accenture, which is allegedly collaborating with Sweden’s central bank on its own digital currency known as the e-krona. This project was initially started by Giancarlo with the goal of establishing a non-profit foundation to study prospects for converting the dollar into a “fully electronic currency based on blockchain.” 

It was reported earlier this month that the U.S. Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) has questioned the Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome H. Powell on U.S’s CBDC progress at a hearing on monetary policy. He specifically cited China’s plan to implement the digital Yuan among countries involved in its Belt and Road initiative and that it could jeopardize the dollar’s world reserve currency status.

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Crypto Makes A Cameo On The Simpsons Where Jim Parsons Explains It’s ‘Cash of the Future’

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Crypto Makes A Cameo On The Simpsons Where Jim Parsons Explains It's 'Cash of the Future'
Crypto Makes A Cameo On The Simpsons Where Jim Parsons Explains It's 'Cash of the Future'

One of the latest episode of “The Simpsons” aired has just aired featuring Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory appearing as a guest star to explain cryptocurrencies and how a blockchain works. In the song and dance predicts cryptocurrency to be the future money, the animated ledger states: “Each day I’m closer, to being the cash of the future. Not in your wallet, I’m in your computer! At the end of Jim’s talk, there is a subliminal message on screen. It further explains how cryptocurrencies work, part of which says:

“Using the word “cryptocurrency” repeatedly while defining cryptocurrency makes it seem like we have a novice’s understanding of cryptocurrency. Well that is a total pile of cryptocurrency. In this system, rules are defined for the creation of additional units of cryptocurrency. They can be generated by fiat like traditional currency or just thrown around randomly or all given to LeBron.”

The crypto community welcomed the episode. Altcoin Daily account has commented:

“The Simpsons did it! Cryptocurrency explained to Lisa by the great Jim Parsons on #TheSimpsons! It’s the money of the future! Bullish!”

Some comments to the tweet also pointed out that the Simpsons has a reputation for predicting the future over the years. Ten years ago it showcased Donald Trump as the president of the U.S., and more recently guessed the Game of Thrones series finale.

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What Business Sectors Are Realizing the Full Potential of DeFi Protocols In 2020?

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What Business Sectors Are Realizing the Full Potential of DeFi Protocols In 2020?
What Business Sectors Are Realizing the Full Potential of DeFi Protocols In 2020?

As the new decade unreels, a new wave of disruption seems to be coming to the shores of the global financial system. That wave is called decentralized finance protocols. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, simply refers to financial software that is built on the blockchain to make it easy for anyone to piece together digital assets and financial smart contracts. Think of DeFi as a Lego system for the finance industry. According to Defi Pulse, an analytics site that tracks the sector’s growth, the entirety of the DeFi ecosystem achieved its highest valuation in 2019 when its value peaked beyond $600 million in June. In 2020, the value locked in the entire ecosystem has more than doubled, peaking at a value of $1.2 billion.

Incidents such as the global financial crisis of 2008 highlight serious weaknesses in the traditional global financial system. DeFi is emerging as a palatable solution to provide an alternate future for the traditional financial sector. In fact, beyond the finance sector, DeFi has the potential to increase innovation as well as improve operational efficiencies in various ways. As DeFi applications widen across different sectors and industries, more and more investments are steadily pouring into the DeFi ecosystem.

The DeFi ecosystem has largely been populated by Ethereum-based protocols as a result of its early beginnings at the tail end of 2018 with the launch of MakerDAO. However, more diversity is underway as the sector matures and increases in liquidity, a report says. From decentralized credit and lending systems, predictions markets and asset management, DeFi’s applications have caused quite a stir in the mainstream space for their capacity for enabling multiple efficiencies. As DeFi solutions continue to grow while bringing about financial inclusion and empowerment, here is a look at the sectors where DeFi is flourishing in 2020.

Prediction markets are created for the benefit of researchers, speculators and traders looking to bet on future events. Generally, their main purpose is for market participants to take advantage of the outcomes of events. The predictions can range from exchange averages to quarterly sales reports of a specific company, to elections and even commodity prices. One of the companies using Ethereum’s blockchain to bring about decentralization to this sector is Veil, which is built on top of Augur (Ethereum’s leading prediction market protocol) and enables anyone to create, report and trade in their predictions. From politics, finance, sports and worldwide events, the Augur predictions market can correctly rule on the occurrence of real-time events while ensuring trustless communication and bet settlements on a decentralized network. Another company at the forefront of enabling decentralized finance in the predictions market is Gnosis. With Gnosis, anyone can create customized forecasting applications with conditional tokens that make it possible to trade the outcome of an event.

Image result for blockchain protocols

If blockchain was the internet, then digital wallets would serve as the equivalent for browsers. Simply put, digital wallets act as the gateways to blockchain, and therefore all interactions with the blockchain are made on a digital wallet. However, finding a balance between simplicity and security while developing digital wallets is a challenge. Also, managing digital wallets requires accurate knowledge of private and public keys, as mismanagement of these keys can lead to irreversible losses of the wallet’s contents. Furthermore, the steep learning curve — not to mention technical talk about hot and cold wallets — mostly goes over most people’s heads. These challenges can become barriers to mass adoption. DeFi tools can, however, be used to improve simplicity in terms of asset management on a digital wallet. MetaMask is a good example of how this can be done. The company has created a platform that enables interactions with distributed networks on a simple browser. This means an Ethereum decentralized application can be run on a browser without the need for using the full Ethereum node. Users can also open a wallet on their browser in just 30 seconds without giving up personal details. Balance — an Ethereum wallet developing company that is working to build a simple, user-friendly interface for an open-source financial system — is also pioneering this sector. In terms of security and simplicity, Argent has boosted security and simplicity by giving users full control of the wallet. Users also get to choose easy-to-read wallet addresses unlike the complex cryptographic texts found in most digital wallets.

Another application that gets as close to a decentralized bank as it can is Zerion. The company has created a simple user interface with support for multiple wallets, not to mention a detailed transaction list of users’ DeFi investments.

Managing a digital wallet can be complicated for most people. Not only can a user lose their crypto funds through exchange hacks or misplacement of a private key, simply sending crypto to a wrong address leads to an irreversible loss of crypto funds. For that reason, providing DeFi insurance is a sure way of giving users a decentralized experience similar to what traditional companies are offering in the sector. DeFi insurance protocols like Etherisc can be used to collectively build risk transfer solutions. With Etherisc, whenever certain conditions are met as a result of unprecedented weather calamities, flight delays or attack from hackers, a smart contract self-executes to dish out immediate payouts. Nexus Mutual is also implementing DeFi insurance, but instead of only covering risky events, they cover users against the failure of smart contracts. By pulling funds from multiple individuals into a smart contract, several people get to share risks, thereby eliminating the need for an intermediate insurance company. As a result, DeFi is also making insurance payouts more cost-effective.

It goes without saying that in a digital world, the most important data is personal data. However, there is less and less privacy at a time when such data is increasingly being referred to as the new money. Multiple online businesses such as exchange platforms and even social media companies are beginning to ask users for their passport and national identification documents to prove nationality or address for verification. Unbeknownst to most people, personal data stored by most centralized institutions can easily be stolen and sold to third parties, especially if users have weak passwords. Decentralized identifiers easily solve this problem by enabling users to create and manage their data, therefore, reducing the risks that come with centralized storage of personal data. Selfkey, for instance, offers decentralized identifiers that not only eliminate the need for centralized authorities but also give users self-sovereignty over their data. Instead of disclosing too much personal data while interacting with online platforms, Selfkey users can selectively choose what data to disclose during authentication processes. Other companies building tools to enable online data privacy include Civic, a wallet provider for safe crypto and personal data management; Telegram Passport, offering unified authorization for online identity verification made by the creators of the Telegram messenger and Telegram Open Network; and uPort, a company focused on creating scalable and secure data exchanges.

Image result for blockchain protocols

Freelance work and the gig economy is seen by most to be the future of work. However, even as the number of freelancers in the modern workplace continues to grow, one of the biggest challenges that freelancers face is getting paid for their work. From delayed payments to high fee charges from third-party service providers, freelance workers are mostly forced to move from one platform to the other as a result of a poor payment structure. With decentralized finance, smart contracts can be used to guarantee payment for work done. Also, since crypto payments are instant and global, the gig economy can get rid of third-party service providers who charge exorbitant fees. Gitcoin is one of the companies pioneering DeFi in the freelance and payments sector, providing a marketplace for open-source development. Once an open-source project is complete, funds from the users of the product are directed to developers who contributed to the open-source project. Ethlance is also making life easy for freelancers with its autonomous platform that connects freelancers to employers with zero service fees and free membership. Freelancers can also use services such as the Ink Protocol to access a decentralized payment system that can be integrated with any marketplace. The platform enables peer-to-peer transactions with a reputation system that can be imported or exported for use on multiple marketplaces.

Given that there are multiple inefficiencies in the current global financial system, DeFi tools offer an easy solution that can eradicate cybercrime, increase liquidity and reduce costs. Furthermore, DeFi protocols are capable of giving everyone access to quality financial services regardless of their status or location.

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