The cryptocurrency economy is growing, that's a fact, in addition 2020 is by many viewed as the adoption breaking point due to convergence of many positive trends. We can observe growing cryptocurrency adoption and the attention of governments and central banks. It seems that digital currencies are no longer perceived as a short-lasting seasonal craze, but instead are here to stay and change our reality. The year just started but we have already a solid portion of news to start a new Decade of Cryptocurrency. Enjoy!
1. Bitcoin - we observed best January close in since 2013 after 30% price increase
For crypto enthusiast one of the most pressing questions is always “how will Bitcoin price shape”. It’s customary to say that Bitcoin is the benchmark of the whole cryptocurrency market. In January we noticed Bitcoin's convincing breakout above the 200-day average which has opened the doors for a move to $10,000 as many trading experts confirmed.
Bitcoin noted its best January price gain since 2013 and there is a possibility that we entered new bullish season and BTC will rise into $10k territory relatively soon. The top cryptocurrency by market capitalization is now trading at $9,370 and its more than 30% gain from the starting price of $7,160 we observed at the beginning of the year. We certainly need to focus on the fact that this price gain is the second-best January gaining on record. Also, what is worth mentioning the price liftoff happened after the U.S. and Iran near-war situation emerged. It only strengthened the community’s belief that the Bitcoin has a safe-haven asset. Since then, we have coronavirus outbreak in Chine which only added fuel to the bull trend and from that time we observe a steady uptrend with regular low-volume pullbacks.
When we look further on the current market chart and compare the data to the historical price movements, we can clearly assume the recent price rise of the cryptocurrency market indicates a new market cycle. And when we look back to history, a further rise of the price before the May 2020 halving is expected, and we only have less than 100 days left to this Bitcoin supply-cutting event.
2. Twitter introduces new Bitcoin emoji – pushing adoption further
Rejoice Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Twitter just added Bitcoin emoji. Many of you will think: “So what? It’s not that big of a deal”. I will disagree, you see for the first time ever, a social media platform is including a crypto’s special symbol in its list of emojis, this occurrence set precedent. It’s only natural that everyone is now crazy about it. We have seen extreme examples of happiness and immediately after the emoji was unveiled, members of the crypto community went all-in on its use. This event didn’t just make an impact in the Bitcoin community but moved people not linked to cryptocurrencies and mainstream media. Twitter is already on fire as numerous users make use of the new BTC emoji. As of now, the new symbol has been used well over 40k times by users across the world.
The introduction of the Bitcoin emoji on twitter sends a powerful signal that Bitcoin is not only a niche technology but, on the contrary, it’s getting more popular day by day, also it’s not a secret that Jack Dorsey a CEO of Twitter is Bitcoin lover and proponent. When we triangulate all recent pieces and link it with the bullish sentiments we may observe: mainly the upcoming Bitcoin halving and recent global turmoil linked to uncertain Middle East situation and epidemic event in China – it’s likely that the adoption of BTC and therefore market capitalization of the oldest cryptocurrency will grow bigger soon.
3. Whole cryptocurrency market bouncing after Iran and coronavirus outbreak
Due to imminent Bitcoin halving and constant growth of crypto adoption, we’re hearing voices that the 2020s will be the decade of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. But the second half of 2019 certainly wasn’t that optimistic for Bitcoin enthusiasts, as we had entered a mild bear market with a downward trend dominating the charts. Bitcoin even dropped below the psychological barrier of $7k on Bitstamp at some point. But despite bearish outlook Bitcoin was up 90% in 2019 (for example Apple stock noted only 85% price rise) and was a top-performing asset of 2019.
Leaving past behind, the Bitcoin bearish market sentiment changed rapidly following news the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani, has been killed by U.S. forces in Iraq on January 3. This even up-shifted Bitcoin prices by 4% in a matter of hours, also oil prices noted a 3% spike. It’s too much of a coincidence that Bitcoin price spiked at this time – the events started in Iraq must have something to do with it. Most data and market analysts are fairly certain that Bitcoin has begun moving in reaction to geopolitical risk. On top of that, we see turmoil in global economic markets linked to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s possible that if this situation will continue a global GDP will be lowered. At this point, we can see a correlation between fiat-based economy and cryptocurrency – when standard investment options are losing, Bitcoin and crypto economy is gaining.
4. Blockchain live use cases by major corporations - Starbucks & Mercedes
Starbucks was known for experimenting with various technologies in the past. This time the coffee giant is trying to use blockchain to its advantage. There are currently two projects linked to blockchain in motion – Starbucks wants to be more transparent with its supply chains and give consumers more information on its coffee products using a blockchain system that will track beans from farm to cup.
Because of that Starbucks partnered with Microsoft to get access to its Azure Blockchain service, which will help in tracking coffee shipments from across the world, with blockchain technology Starbucks is aiming to reach digital, real-time traceability of its supply chains. The next step would be adding this information to the mobile app, giving Starbucks’ customers details on where the coffee was sourced and roasted. That is not all, as Starbucks is reportedly working with the Bakkt digital assets and bitcoin futures platform to develop an application which will allow customers to convert digital assets to U.S. dollars’ – in short, we may soon see cryptocurrency massive adoption surge as paying with cryptocurrency will be available in Starbucks.
Mercedes; according to a press release issued on January 30 by Daimler North America, Mercedes-Benz has established cooperation with a startup specializing in a blockchain - Circulor. As part of it, a pilot program is being carried out, which aims to increase transparency in the cobalt supply chains - used in the construction of lithium-ion batteries.
Mercedes will benefit from the potential of blockchain technology to track climate-relevant gas emissions, as well as the number of secondary materials in the complex supply chains of battery cell manufacturers. Great emphasis is also placed on compliance with sustainable development standards- everything to help keep climate changes in check.
5. China is developing digital Yuan, others to follow
Digital yuan is a bit of an obscure project. On the one hand, the Chinese authorities from the central bank admitted that work on it has been ongoing for a long time, and they accelerated after the announcement regarding the issue of Libra. On the other hand, we don't know much about how the project should work.
Recent news sheds a bit more light on this case. We now know that the currency will be controlled by the Chinese central bank, but the issuing of digital yuan will be conducted by a few selected commercial banks. There will be three centers responsible for managing data related to digital currency. One center will manage the use of the currency itself, the other will register every person who wants to use it. The third will analyze financial data generated by the whole system.
According to the news privacy of users won’t be neglected. Although the central bank will be able to see all the transactions and see who made them, other companies will not be able to know this data. Third parties will also have access to information about the transaction, but - as is the case with most cryptocurrencies - they will not necessarily be able to link the transaction to a specific person.
Apparently the digital yuan is expected to see the light of day in 2020 similar to Facebook Libra and according to some experts, 2020 will be a year of the war between digital currencies issued by corporations.
6. LinkedIn Report - Blockchain is top sought skill for 2020
According to a new survey conducted by LinkedIn, employees with blockchain skills will be top tier-searched specialists on the platform. Blockchain is becoming more popular with every passing day. The latest data from LinkedIn indicated blockchain is even more than popular that cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Interestingly, the 2019 LinkedIn Report of the most sought set of skills didn’t include blockchain technology at all. Other skills sought by companies are artificial intelligence, people management, and UX design. The report emphasized that many well-known brands, such as IBM, Oracle, JPMorgan, Amazon, as well as the parent company LinkedIn, Microsoft, are actively working with blockchain and it’s the technology of the future. This paradigm shift towards blockchain technology is amazing, it shows that global adoption and acceptance of new promising technology is growing day by day and key business figures are starting to notice is as well.
7. South Korea considers simplifying taxes on cryptocurrency income
Cryptocurrency is gaining more and more recognition, but technological progress is perhaps too fast, the laws haven't caught up with this type of technology yet. One is certain, we need full clarity of crypto tax and simple rules, and we need it fast. It's apparent that countries are working on crypto related lawes. Most notable is the case of South Korea. And while it’s not yet quite certain how South Korea will simplify crypto taxes but we know that they are drafting a tax regime for profits made from trading cryptocurrencies. There are quite a few speculations on how this new form of profit gain will be categorized, most tax specialists agree that this kind of income should not be included as capital gains. Why the situation in South Korea is important? Because we see a similar trend in other countries as well, U.S. and European Union, as well as other countries, are started to notice that cryptocurrency is here to stay and they’re working hard to create a tax law which won’t hinder crypto adoption.
8. Indian Central Bank clarifies stance - there is no ban on cryptocurrency
Until now situation of cryptocurrencies was uncertain in India. Some sources suggested that India was considering banning cryptocurrencies. Informers were claiming that the Indian government worked on a bill 'Ban on cryptocurrencies and regulation of official digital currencies', which would ban all 'unofficial' cryptocurrencies. Their use would risk up to 10 years in prison. If this type of law entered into force, India would become a place where the strictest regulations regarding the new digital currencies market would be enacted. In January we received confirmation from India that there won’t be any cryptocurrency ban. Apparently, the Indian government realized that hampering progress and banning cryptocurrencies won’t be a good move. Recently cryptocurrencies are compared to early Internet growth, and we all can imagine a situation where some countries would ban the Internet. The technological progress in such a country would be immensely slowed. The situation evolved to the point that the Indian government is talking about the development of a new national digital currency called Digital Rupee.
9. Deutsche Bank Report – Cryptocurrencies could be mainstream in 2 years
Deutsche Bank shared a new report and we can read that cryptocurrencies could see widespread adoption within the next few years. The report said that cryptocurrencies – despite being young technology have already been shown to have the "potential to radically change payments, banking, central banking and the balance of economic power."
"We believe a new digital currency could become mainstream within the next two years," – there are currently two big cryptocurrency-related project – Chinese yuan and Facebook Libra - both expected to launch this year- these two alone can bring cryptocurrency exposure to over half world’s population.
The report also mentioned that the adoption of cryptocurrencies is eerily similar to the internet during its early years. If the trend won’t suddenly dwindle we can expect to have more than 200 million blockchain wallets by 2030, up from an estimated 50 million in we have now.
Deutsche Bank researchers also pointed out that digital currencies could combine the practicality of electronic payments with the privacy of cash payments. Additionally, Deutsche Bank surveyed 3,600 bank clients and the report noted a huge difference in attitudes between older and younger respondents. The majority of the older generation had never held cryptocurrencies or understood how they worked, in contrast to Millennials who had already traded cryptocurrencies and believe crypto will fulfill a great role in the future.
10. Staking marketcap is now worth over $8 billion
In Proof-of-Stake based crypto holders of proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies are choosing to stake their coins to support the network, and validate transactions in exchange for income. 2020 is starting to be a cryptocurrency PoS friendly year. Data shows that more and more cryptocurrency is being staked than ever before, the amount of staked cryptocurrency has reached over $8 billion.
StakingRewards, staking info provider shared recent data which shows some interesting info. The highest value of staked crypto assets is EOS, which represents almost a quarter of the total amount at $1.8 billion. The second one staked crypto is Tezos, and next, we have Cosmos. Right below EOS, Tezos, and Cosmos, is Algorand, the first pure proof of stake blockchain platform, with $515 million staked. The last on this list most staked coin is one of the first proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies, Dash, with $307 million. All in all, these numbers show that staking PoS coins has tremendous potential and this crypto niche will rapidly continue to grow in the coming years.
It's only begining of a year, but we noted some significant events, from rapid price gain of Bitcoin, to begining of global economic downtrend. As for the strenghts of crypto economy, it's safe to assume it will be only better the closer we will be to the Bitcoin halving - as this event has potential to influence cryptosphere. Brace yourself, as cryptocurrency is here to pave the road to sustainable public finances and economic growth.
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