The start of 2020 has seen considerable gains in the cryptocurrency market as a whole. Recently, Bitcoin (BTC) price reached a 2-month record high crossing above the $9,000 mark as well as other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin (LTC) reaching $62.80 which is the highest price seen since mid-November 2018.
Cryptocurrencies’ volatile behavior is one of the main concerns raised by researchers and it complicates the argument that Bitcoin should be classified as a traditional investment asset and that it is a reliable store of value. Amid those discussions, Bitcoin has been closely compared to gold, while Litecoin has been associated with being “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.”
New data suggests that the actual correlation between Bitcoin and gold is not significant, as well as gold’s explanatory power of Bitcoin returns. Nevertheless, Bitcoin is still frequently compared to gold, particularly as a potential safe-haven asset. Since October 2019, silver prices have approached new record-highs. But does the latest data support the argument that Litecoin is the silver of cryptocurrencies? Could Bitcoin instead of Litecoin be closer to silver than to gold?
Our data — from May 2013 until December 2019 — shows that Bitcoin and Litecoin returns are very positively correlated (0.67) with 1 implying a strong positive correlation and 0 meaning that the assets are not correlated. A reading of -1 shows that the assets are completely inversely correlated. Meanwhile, the correlation between silver and Litecoin returns is close to zero (0.026), which is similar to Bitcoin’s correlation with silver (0.0025). We further analyzed the correlation between the lagged silver returns and the two assets. In other words, the correlation between yesterday’s silver returns and today’s Litecoin and Bitcoin returns were compared. However, the results are even more discouraging, since both show negative correlations with the lagged silver returns. Bitcoin’s correlation was -0.03 while Litecoin’s was -0.05.
Analyzing the rolling correlations provides a wider view and each data point in the diagram above refers to the correlation of silver and Bitcoin returns (BTC/silver), and between silver and Litecoin returns (LTC/silver) over the last 30 days. One can see that the correlation between Bitcoin and silver, and Litecoin and silver, is very similar across time during both negative and positive periods.
Hence, both Bitcoin and Litecoin have a small correlation and similar relationship with silver. Thus, the Litecoin as “digital silver” narrative is challenged by these very low correlation values. Moreover, it’s no surprise that Bitcoin has surpassed both Litecoin and silver as the best investment option over the past ten years.
The data, however, suggests that silver returns may work as a predictor for future Litecoin returns. From the model employed, if silver’s return rose by 1% yesterday, we can expect that Litecoin returns may decrease by -0.232% today. This statistically significant result can lead investors to assume that silver returns may work as a predictor for future Litecoin returns in a negative way. Similar outcomes were not found in the case of Bitcoin, however. The ability to predict prices has been the holy grail of financial markets, hence the importance of this relationship between returns. Even though both crypto assets show a very low correlation with silver, the results for the lagged returns shed some light on the relationship between silver and future Litecoin returns.
Looking forward, investors may want to look at silver returns to draw strategies when buying/selling Litecoin based on this past silver return’s analysis. However, any strategy has to consider the fast-changing crypto market environment and careful analysis over different time periods, which can cause different conclusions. Nevertheless, these findings can help us to conclude that Litecoin as the digital equivalent of silver is far-fetched due to the low correlations. However, we do highlight the value of investigating the digital silver narrative by establishing a new connection between returns, which is crucial for investors.
Tron Community Angry Because Genesis Coins Used In Super Reps Vote
The Tron (TRX) community was beside itself on Wednesday, Feb. 19 after founder Justin Sun’s address was shown to have voted in two Tron Foundation apps as a Super Representative (SR). Both Tron-Ace and Tron-Bet were voted in as Super Representatives by the Zion address, the same account which received 99 billion TRX from the coin’s genesis block. Super Representatives are responsible for overseeing block production on Tron’s blockchain.
As such, they receive a sizable portion of the coin rewards from each block. In plain terms, this means that Tron’s community rules were bypassed, arguably to further enrich its own foundation. That’s despite Tron CEO Justin Sun’s insistence that he and his foundation have nothing to do with community voting.
The candidate addresses with 200 million and 310 million votes belong to Tron-Bet and Tron-Ace respectively. The address shown happens to be the Zion address, the same account that received 99 billion TRX following Tron’s mainnet launch in 2018. This equates to the entirety of the TRX coin supply at the time.
The use of an address so clearly affiliated with the Tron Foundation has upset many members of the coin’s community. One Tron Society member took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to demand an explanation from founder Justin Sun:
“The vote in of the Tron-Bet and Tron-Ace was done using the ZION account. Can we get an explanation please.”
The same user later added to the statement that the Zion account “ was used to vote in SRs which Justin is ‘invested’ in even after the statement from Justin [saying neither] he nor the foundation have participated in voting.” TronWalletMe marketing and communications director Misha Lederman later noticed a third SR voted for by the Zion account. Lederman pointed out that the Poloniex SR had also benefited from Tron’s Zion account. The Poloniex exchange was purchased by Tron founder Justin Sun in November 2019.
Tron dApp developer Rovak summed up the situation for non-technical users, noting: “It is not OK to use these tokens if the elections are supposed to be 100% community driven.” Tron documentation written by Justin Sun clearly states that neither he nor the Tron Foundation engage in community voting. According to Sun, all voting is carried out by TRX holders and the community at large, as stated in a Medium post by Justin Sun from early February. Last September, it was reported that Binance had become the number one Tron SR after it launched staking for TRX users. Those funds were then used to vote Binance in as lead Super Representative.
A Tron insider who wanted to remain anonymous noted at the time that “they have enough votes to vote in 20 SRs and basically start Binance Chain version two. The community is pretty pissed about it.” Nearly six months on and Binance remains the top Tron SR, controlling 53% of the network. In the wake of Wednesday’s revelations, Binance’s control of the Tron blockchain came up once again. Twitter user @GodOvCrypto predicted the worst for Tron in the long-term:
“I am surprised there are still community SR’s in the top 27. Give it a year and they will be way down as businesses will do what @binance did and just buy their way to the top. Only good thing will be that all TRX will be frozen.”
Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News Update 19th February 2020
India To Use Blockchain For Voting
India’s citizens will soon be able to cast votes from outside their city of registration thanks to a blockchain-based system. India’s Chief Election Commissioner said that the country hopes to increase voter turnout with a blockchain-based voting solution.
China Using Blockchain To Fight Coronavirus
With the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, China has turned to blockchain technology to manage medical data, track supply of virus prevention materials and consult the public. For the first two weeks of February, China saw the launch of as many as 20 blockchain-based applications designed to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. Most of the apps are used to manage citizens’ personal data as many people are returning to work this month.
IOTA Updates Trinity Wallet
Following an apparent hack of IOTA (MIOTA) official wallet on Feb. 12, the IOTA Foundation has released a safe desktop version of the Trinity wallet. According to a Feb. 17 update post, IOTA should update their Trinity apps to securely check their balances and transactions via Trinity 1.4.1, a new version that is designed to remove the recently detected vulnerability from the wallets. The new version of the wallet doesn’t apparently represent the full solution of the recent breach because the IOTA’s dedicated network Coordinator, is still on hold
BitcoinAnd Google Scandal
A new extortion scam targeting website owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program has begun circulating the Internet. The malicious scheme demands Bitcoin (BTC) in exchange for preventing an attack, which would purportedly lead to the users’ AdSense account suspension.
Binance Cloud Has Been Launched!
Binance cloud is here, According to the announcement from Binance, Binance Cloud will serve as an all-in-one infrastructure platform for customers and partners to launch digital asset exchanges based on Binance’s industry-leading technology, security, liquidity as well as custodial services. The solution also supports dashboard for managing funds, multilingual functionality, as well as a range of trading pairs and coin listings. The Binance’s new exchange-specific cloud solution will provide users with a method of setting up a crypto platform in their local markets. Binance Cloud’s features include crypto spot market and futures trading as well as local bank API integrations and peer-to-peer exchange services from fiat to crypto, the announcement notes. In the future, Binance Cloud plans to add more features like staking, over-the-counter trading services as well as token issuance with initial exchange offering platform.
TON Devs Worldwide Working Together To Intervene In SEC Case Against Telegram
A group of international Telegram Open Network (TON) contributors has submitted a court document criticizing United States regulators’ line of attack against the project. The group has formed a non-profit association, “The TON Community Foundation,” and collectively submitted the brief on Feb. 14 in the form of an amicus curiae.
An amicus curiae is a brief that offers expertise or insight into a given case on behalf of an entity that is not formally a party to the case itself — i.e. an entity that is neither a plaintiff, defendant, nor legal counsel for either side. The court can decide whether or not to take the brief into account at its discretion.
In their filing, the contributors state that the foundation has been formed to represent a “professional community of active participants in the TON project in whose interest it is to see the TON blockchain mainnet launched as soon as possible.” The foundation comprises 20 teams in the TON global community, designated as “independent specialists with extensive blockchain experience who are involved in the actual work on the TON blockchain and who write its code, protocol, smart contracts, tools, and applications.” These 20 teams ostensibly represent over 2,000 computer scientists, engineers, programmers, and entrepreneurs — based in China, Russia, France, and Spain, among other countries.
The foundation writes that the unanimous position of the TON dev community is that the TON blockchain is fully operational, has “state-of-the-art prelaunch security” and a developed suite of services. They contend it would, in its current state, be ready for launch as a mainnet in a “matter of seconds.” The brief focuses on particular arguments that were presented by Brown University Professor Maurice Herlihy in his review of TON for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Following Telegram’s wildly successful $1.7 billion initial coin offering for TON in 2018, the SEC had launched an investigation into the project in 2019, claiming the entity had not registered with the commission for its ICO and the network’s “Gram” tokens. The Herlihy report was submitted as evidence on behalf of the SEC in late December 2019. In its brief, the foundation argues that the court should decline the SEC’s impulse to place the industry under an “innovation-suffocating regime,” it contends. It argues that other successful blockchains — such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tezos — would never have launched had they been subjected to Professor Herlihy’s “academic scrutiny” and his “unrealistic standards of pre-launch performance, security, and maturity.” Moreover, despite Professor Herlihy serving as the SEC’s blockchain expert, the foundation claims he has mischaracterized the TON network in his report. It notes that he uses a blockchain definition from 2010 that has since become obsolete, which fails to account for smart contract functionality as one of the technology’s core parameters.
What makes the TON blockchain unique, the brief outlines, is that literally “everything in its network is based on interaction with smart contracts” and “all Grams will be located in smart contracts,” so that, “in a way, TON is a smart contract platform more than a cryptocurrency one.” The rest of the foundation’s arguments against Professor Herlihy’s report provide a detailed overview of the state of the network’s services, readiness for launch, protocol, code, and security audit results.
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