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What Will The Chinese Crypto Do To Bitcoin?

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What Will Chinese Crypto Do To Bitcoin?

What Will The Chinese Crypto Do To Bitcoin?

China’s long-fabled “cryptocurrency” launch is finally on the horizon.

According to Bloomberg, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) payments department deputy director Mu Changchun confirmed at the China Finance 40 Forum that the country’s cryptocurrency is nearing its release following a year of research and development.

Given Beijing’s history of antagonism toward decentralized cryptocurrencies, what does the impending launch of a PBoC-approved digital currency mean for bitcoin?

CHINA’S ‘CRYPTO’ PLAY IS ABOUT RESTRICTING FREEDOM

 

China, which has had strict capital controls in place for many years to restrict the outflow of the depreciating Chinese yuan, is expected to use the PBoC-issued cryptocurrency to exercise even stronger control over the national currency.

By utilizing a centralized blockchain network or a system modeled after the blockchain, replacing cash in circulation with a digital asset would enable the PBoC and the government of China to better monitor -and control – the flow of the yuan.

Cash – by nature – is anonymous in that it is difficult for the authorities to scrutinize offline transactions made in a peer-to-peer manner. A digital system would ease the process for regulators to oversee so-called suspicious transactions.

However, whether it can truly be described as a cryptocurrency remains a separate issue as a blockchain protocol, as seen in the structure of the Bitcoin network, often demonstrates a certain level of decentralization through the presence of nodes and open-source communities.

Regardless, China’s so-called “crypto” project is about restricting freedom – not enhancing it.

‘DIGITAL YUAN’ WON’T STUNT DEMAND FOR BITCOIN

In recent months, reports have indicated that major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and tether (USDT), have seen rising inflows from China.

China accounts for 60 percent of tether volume (source: diar.co)

Crypto research firm Diar stated that 62 percent of tether’s on-chain volume in the second quarter of 2019 came from China.

“Data provided to Diar by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis highlights the magnitude of Chinese Tether demand with over $16Bn received by exchanges based in that market in 2018. This year the number has already surpassed an outstanding $10Bn, setting the stage for the biggest year yet. 2019 to date flows into exchanges catering primarily for Chinese traders beat the $7Bn of all the transactional value for 2017,” the report stated

The popularity of bitcoin in China reflects the growing interest in BTC as an alternative store of value. It’s clear that Chinese crypto users view BTC as a store of value – not an everyday payment tool – because efficient digital currency system platforms like Alipay and WeChat have already onboarded hundreds of millions of users in the region.

As such, the nation-backed cryptocurrency is highly unlikely to impose any impact on China’s stance towards bitcoin – or stunt investor demand for BTC.

SAFE HAVEN ASSET NARRATIVE

Still, it’s not clear whether bitcoin has definitely proven its value as a safe-haven asset.

Throughout August, as the bitcoin price slightly declined, the volume of the asset decreased, and its premium in major markets like China and South Korea dropped.

The bitcoin price is trading at a discount in South Korea relative to Western markets. | Source: CoinMarketCap

In South Korea, a major cryptocurrency market that accounts for a relatively large portion of global bitcoin volume behind the U.S. and Japan, bitcoin is trading at a rate that is lower by more than one percent when compared to the global average price. With increasing geopolitical risks and intensifying conflicts across the globe, analysts expect traditional safe havens like gold to outperform. Bitcoin has a chance to prove similar resilience.

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Little-Known Facts Behind Telegram and its GRAM Token

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Telegram and its GRAM Token

Recent court filings reveal a treasure-trove of interesting details behind Telegram and its GRAM token that were previously obscure to the public. Here’s what we learned from the disclosure.

The SEC filed an emergency action halting the launch of Telegram’s blockchain, the Telegram Open Network, and the distribution of the protocol’s native token, GRAM. Telegram responded that the emergency action was an unnecessary, unfair case due to Telegram’s close cooperation and communication with the SEC over the last 18 months. The Court postponed the case until late February 2020.

From Humble Beginnings to Fantastic Heights

Telegram’s first beta version was launched in late 2013. It was capitalized by Pavel Durov and a private, Buffalo, NY based investor.

The SEC’s filing estimates Telegram Messenger’s userbase to be 300 million monthly active users. The last public statement from Telegram in early 2018 had Telegram at 200 million MAU.

A Ubiquitous Standard

The SEC filing cites the statistic that “84% of projects involving blockchain technology have an active community of Messenger users.”

This stat likely comes from the Telegram primer, which pulls this number from a small sample of just 200 projects on ICOBench from 2017. It’s unlikely that this number remains an accurate representation.

A Tight Team

The SEC filing quotes Telegram’s engineering headcount at 15 developers.

GRAM Purchasers: US vs. Global

Telegram raised a whopping $1.7 billion in their 2018 token sale (the second largest token sale ever, after Block.one), but the exact numbers and breakdown of US-based vs. global purchasers provide further insight.

The $1.7 billion was raised from 171 total purchasers, including $424.5M from 39 U.S.-based purchasers, and $1.28 billion from 132 non-U.S. based purchasers.

Notably, across both of the two phases of the sale, the minimum purchase quantity was $10 million worth of GRAM per purchaser (largely pricing out unaccredited and retail speculators).

Fiat-Only Fundraising

Through the 2017-2018 ICO boom, almost every project hitting the ICO market was selling tokens in exchange for ETH or BTC.

The result: the treasuries of these projects dried up as the crypto market slid into recession. Companies who raised tens-of-millions of dollars in ETH or BTC and didn’t diversify into fiat currencies saw their spending power plummet.

To Telegram’s credit, and perhaps indicative of Telegram founder Pavel Durov’s foresight, Telegram rejected the trend of raising in ETH or BTC and accepted only fiat currencies (dollars and euros) in exchange for GRAM tokens.

Thus, Telegram’s treasury didn’t lose any value as the crypto markets slid into recession through 2018. Their $1.7 billion in spending power remains $1.7 billion in spending power. Another point for Pavel and the Telegram team.

Assuming a moderate 4% interest rate, Telegram’s treasury yields a cool $68 million per year, $5.7 million per month, in interest alone!

Extensive Investment

Telegram estimated it would spend $520 million on messenger alone between 2019 and 2021. As of Jan. 31, 2019, Telegram had used approximately $218 million of the $1.7 billion raised to support the development of Messenger and the TON Blockchain.

Token Allocation

Post-launch Telegram intended to distribute Grams in the following allocations:

  • 500 million Grams as incentive payments to third-party developers of products for the TON Blockchain
  • 100 million Grams for the Durovs
  • 100 million Grams for other Telegram developers
  • 1.4 billion Grams for other users by the TON Foundation — including distributing 250 million “free” Grams to Telegram users.

A Global Web of Entities and Key Players

After leaving Russia in self-imposed exile, Pavel and the Telegram team vowed to create Telegram as a privacy-focused communication network that would be free from the prying eyes of government surveillance.

As such, they’ve structured theirs entitles in a very opaque, distributed fashion, to remain obscure and to avoid jurisdictions and regulations wherever possible.

The primary players in the Telegram team are co-founders and brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov. The younger Pavel Durov, the CEO, is 35 years old and is a citizen of Russia and St. Kitts and Nevis. The SEC action lists Pavel as 100% owner of Telegram Group Inc.

Pavel’s older brother Dr. Nikolai Durov, 39, is Telegram Group Inc.’s co-founder, co-owner, and CTO.

The primary entity owning Telegram Messenger, Telegram Group Inc., is a privately owned British Virgin Islands company, with its principal place of business in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the primary entity overseeing the GRAM token distribution, TON Issuer Inc., is a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company, wholly owned by Telegram Group Inc., with its primary place of business in Tortola.

TON Foundation is or will be incorporated as a Cayman Islands LLC. Its mission is to “promote and support the TON Blockchain,” and includes management of Grams distributed to the TON Foundation by TON Issuer Inc. Pavel and Nikolai Durov will be and are the sole members of the TON Foundation’s board.

What Will Happen With Telegram?

There are some major open questions about the future of the Telegram Open Network – most of which will likely be answered in the February hearing vs. the SEC.

Despite these questions, Telegram remains a formidable entity, with strong leadership in the Durovs, a global userbase in the hundreds of millions, and a massive war chest in the billions. Given these facts, it’d be premature to bet against Telegram.

Guest post by Alan VanToai. The opinions expressed here are not the opinions of Crypto Briefing.

Alan is the co-founder of Telefuel.com — the Telegram client for crypto professionals, powers, and teams, trusted by teams at Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, Bitcoin.com, NEM Foundation, and others. With Telefuel, your Telegram messaging experience is faster, more organized, and more efficient thanks to Telefuel’s powerful features including chat folders, unread messages and mentions filters, chat type filters, keyboard shortcuts, and more. Get started for free at Telefuel.

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Ethereum Fractal Suggests Altcoins Could Soon Outperform Bitcoin

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Ethereum Fractal Suggests Altcoins Could Soon Outperform Bitcoin

Throughout 2019, altcoins like Ethereum, Ripple, and others, have grossly underperformed next to Bitcoin, sans a few outliers like Chainlink, or Binance Coin, who had breakout years themselves in 2019.

But according to a very accurate-looking fractal on ETH/BTC price charts, Ethereum could soon break out against Bitcoin, helping to propel altcoins out of the gutter and back into a full-blown alt season.

ETH/BTC Trading Pair Fractal Hints at Ethereum Outperforming Bitcoin

The year of 2019 has been mostly about Bitcoin and its safe-haven narrative driving the price of the leading cryptocurrency by market cap up 350% at its high of $14,000. At its peak, the first-ever cryptocurrency was able to reclaim as much as 70% of the all-time high price is set at the height of the crypto hype bubble.

During Bitcoin’s highly-publicized meteoric rise, another crypto asset, the number two cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum, also reached its all-time high price of $1,400. However, throughout 2019, Ethereum was only able to regain 25% of the ground it lost during the bear market and downtrend.

But that may soon change, as according to a fractal shared by one well-known crypto analyst, the ETH/BTC trading pair price chart is exhibiting a price pattern fractal that very closely mimics a pattern that played out just before Etheruem had its first alt season, where the altcoin exploded in value against its Bitcoin ratio.

In the chart shared by the analyst, prior to the main, blue-underlined price action notated with 7 total waves, a miniature version of the price action can be seen, with the same exact peaks and troughs. In the tiny-sized version, following the sixth wave down, came a powerful, seventh wave up that sent the price of the asset skyrocketing.

ETH/BTC just completed what appears to be the sixth wave down once again, which could indicate that an extremely powerful wave seven upward is about to begin, causing Ethereum to greatly outperform Bitcoin for the foreseeable future as it makes up for ground it lost throughout the year against the first-ever cryptocurrency.

The last time this occurred, Ethereum helped drag the entire altcoin market upward, causing what most refer to as an alt season – or a period of time when altcoins trend and significantly outperform Bitcoin as a result.

Altcoins have long been oversold, reaching increasingly lower lows, and potentially signaling that a bottom is in against Bitcoin and a reversal could soon take place – all while Bitcoin continues to correct following the lonely parabolic rally it went on by itself during the second quarter of the year.

ETH/BTC is currently priced at around 0.02 on the ratio against Bitcoin, but such a move could take the ETH/BTC back to 0.16 or higher, where the trading pair peaked in early 2017

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Leveraging Brave’s Open Ecosystem to Monetize YouTube Videos, Blog Posts, and More

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Leveraging Brave’s Open Ecosystem to Monetize YouTube Videos, Blog Posts, and More

Brave has been striding onwards towards mainstream adoption, dominating the Android market in several geographies. But its native token, Basic Attention Token (BAT) hasn’t been able to find the same level of traction. Some independent content creators have found a new source of income with BAT tips as it can be used to monetize content, December 3, 2019.

A New, User-Focused Internet

At the heart of the privacy-enhancing browser, Brave is a vision to reclaim the glamour of the internet and restore power to the people. In an age of monopolies and crony capitalism, middlemen and corporations have multiplied their wealth while at the expense of the little guy.

Earning and spending BAT is its primary use case. It is a form of money that enables value transfer over multimedia layers, and users decide where value accrues. Content creators on YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Reddit, and blogs can earn income through BAT tips.

In all honesty, this is still a fringe use case. There is almost no real adoption of BAT as a primary source of passing on value to content creators. Most of the fuss around BAT has been Brave using it to pay users for viewing advertisements. Branding and awareness drives can help propel the ecosystem from the current depths it sits in.

With Brave’s market penetration as a user-friendly browser with no shady data management practices, it opens up the BAT ecosystem to its target audience.

The Investment Mindset and Drawbacks of BAT

A key nuisance that stops BAT from being actively spent on money is the investment mindset that runs rampant in crypto. Even if a project launches a utility token, a large majority of the holders are in it to hold it and sell it as opposed to using it – which is what a utility token is for. The search for the next 10x altcoin has caused many utility tokens to falter since they aren’t designed to automatically appreciate.

A mindset like this means that nobody wants to spend their BAT as they worry about the money they would’ve lost if it rapidly appreciates next week. Volatility is a major bane on the space for a number of reasons.

The strongest drawback of earning BAT is the Uphold wallet. It isn’t all that “open” considering the wallet requires KYC for withdrawals. Earning BAT is open, but you cannot withdraw it unless you give your personal data to a wallet. Of course, Brave is required to comply with laws so they have no choice but to choose a provider that does this, however, removing this will encourage more people to partake in the system.

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