CoinMetrics recently released the 25th issue of its weekly State of the Network series, a report that analyzes network data to produce insights into the cryptocurrency space. The report stated that while XRP’s daily average transaction value surged past ETH last week, XRP and BCH’s transfer values dropped significantly this time around.
The report also observed that Litecoin‘s adjusted transfer value had shot up by over 89%. However, its low transfers and transaction count signified that a relatively small number of addresses had been moving large amounts of Litecoin.
BTC daily fees were reported to have increased by 10% for the second week in a row, as Bitcoin continued to climb ahead of ETH in that regard, with BTC averaging $346,900 compared to ETH’s $91,800. Additionally, XRP fees were reported to have grown by over 100% over the last week.
The report further found that both the Litecoin hash rate and difficulty have been in free-fall since July, and are now on the verge of reaching lows not seen since early-2018. Bitcoin’s difficulty was also reported to have been adjusted downward on 7 November, since the reported drop in hash rate last week.
Among large-capitalization assets, Stellar was reported to have recorded the largest gains over the past week, gaining 19% after the Stellar Development Foundation effectively burned 55 million tokens by sending them to an account that cannot sign transactions. Among smaller capitalization assets, Cosmos showed a 24% increase without the appearance of any specific catalyst, while Tezos gained by 41% after Coinbase announced that it would be offering staking rewards on the platform.
CoinMetrics also reported that short-term measures of correlation earlier this year between Bitcoin and gold returns had reached one of the highest levels in history.
Additionally, CoinMetrics claimed that gold’s recent large sell-off and negative 30-day correlation with Bitcoin suggests that the digital asset’s reaction function to macroeconomic and geopolitical developments is complex and inconsistent.
The CM Bletchley Mid-Cap and Small-Cap indices were also reported to have outperformed the larger cap indices, largely due to the performance of Tezos, which made up 10% of the index. Also, since Bitcoin is a major component of both the Bletchley 10 and Bletchley Total indices, their performance relies heavily on returns of Bitcoin over the period, which was reported to be one of the weaker performing large-cap assets of the week.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $8,822 on the cryptocurrency charts, having recorded an insignificant growth of 0.34% over the past 24 hours.
SEC Votes On Faster Review Process
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it would be streamlining the application process for investment companies, potentially resulting in expedited crypto and blockchain firms operating in a “more efficient and less costly manner.” In a July 6 announcement on the SEC website, the Commission said it had voted to adopt rule amendments for an expedited review process for companies under the Investment Company Act. In addition, the SEC referred to a “new informal internal procedure” for any other applications that did not qualify for this expedited process.
The announcement said it made the changes for a “more efficient” application process, and to provide “additional certainty and transparency.” The SEC said granting such exemptions could provide “important economic benefits to funds and their shareholders.” “The application process under the Investment Company Act is an important component of our regulatory structure,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “The changes approved today will modernize and streamline this process, resulting in improved transparency, reduced costs, and a more efficient use of our staff’s resources.” As part of the rules under the Investment Company Act of 1940, any company applying for a listing with the SEC faces a number of challenges to operate legally. The SEC said these changes would be effective 270 days following their publication in the Federal Register.
The Commission has been very hesitant to sign off on Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including that of New York-based WisdomTree. Arca Labs, running its ArCoin on the Ethereum blockchain, speculated that no platform will be available to trade its fund through any major securities exchange registered with the SEC. According to the new amendments, funds including EFTs that have required an exemption from the SEC in order to operate could qualify for an expedited review. The fund would need to file a third application “substantially identical” to others granted relief within three years. The SEC stated that in this case, the Commission will provide notice to an applicant within 45 days of the date of filing provided the company responds within 30 days. Reportedly, the review process for a typical IPO application with the SEC comprises three rounds of inquiries and lasts between one and two months. In January, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust became the first digital assets vehicle reporting to SEC standards following its application in November.
Expedia Working With Crypto Service Travala.com For Crypto Bookings
Expedia now allows its over 700,000 accommodations to be booked with cryptocurrency through crypto travel platform Travala.com. According to an announcement by Travala.com on July 6, the firm added over 700,000 accommodations to its crypto-powered travel platform’s already over 2 million options available in 230 countries. Senior Vice President at Expedia Group Alfonso Paredes said that the company aims to scale up Travala.com’s business faster than it did expand so far. Furthermore, he said that the firm also recognizes innovation and the importance of allowing users to choose their preferred payment method.
This is the result of a collaboration with a subsidiary of travel giant Expedia, dubbed Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS). EPS allowed Travala.com to access its Rapid application programming interface, which allows the firm to offer Expedia’s accommodations to its users.
In November 2019, Travala.com struck a similar deal with Booking.com and added its over 90,000 accommodations to its platform. Data shared by the firm in January revealed that the firm saw its revenue increase by 33% after the partnership. Furthermore, crypto accommodation booking Travala.com also merged with cryptocurrency flight booking service TravelByBit in late May. This merger is meant to scale up the platform to give a more thorough service to travelers wishing to spend crypto-assets.
Huobi Is Now The First Major Exchange to Run a Chainlink Node
Major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi will integrate their price data with Chainlink’s ecosystem in an effort to improve its own data integrity and provide more accurate price information. While Binance was the first major exchange to provide their data to Chainlink oracles in October 2019, Huobi has gone one step further by running its own node on the system through Huobi Wallet. This allows the exchange to sign its own price data allowing users to confirm that any exchange data coming from the Huobi Node is authentic and direct from the source. Huobi Wallet CEO Will Huang stated:
“DeFi offers a unique value proposition of providing financial products that are transparent, open, and programmable. We are very excited to accelerate our involvement in this emerging trend by providing Chainlink users access to Huobi Global exchange data, as well as running our own Chainlink Node.”
The first batch of price pairs will include BTC/ETH, BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, and LINK/ETH, with more to follow.
Huobi appears to be on a mission to improve its credibility following concerns around volume inflation last year. By running a node, the exchange’s reputation will be on the line should any of the data shared through Chainlink prove to be inaccurate. As one of Gibraltar’s largest crypto firms, the integration comes in the wake of the country’s continued efforts in reducing market manipulation by crypto firms over the last few months. Last year Huobi partnered with Global Digital Finance (GDF), co-chairing the Market Integrity Working Group with Solidus Labs.
In 2019 a Bitwise report implied that Huobi was reporting inflated trading volume, causing an internal investigation to weed out any potential wash trading strategies by market makers. Huobi Global CEO Livio Weng admitted wash trading may have occurred:
“We did identify a few of our market makers conducting what we suspect may have been wash trading for the sake of performance and marketing purposes. We have already communicated with these market makers and they have discontinued the strategies in question.”
Huobi has since moved to the top 10 exchanges in Messari’s ‘Real Volume’ list.