Not so many, really?
How many people own cryptocurrency
This Week in Crypto: XLM now Fully Available on Coinbase, ADA Records Impressive Growth, Report Suggests That Almost 90% Of Exchange’s Volume Could Be Manipulated, XRP en route to Massive Adoption and more
The following is a summarized collection of the most interesting crypto news stories in the week. The week was quite adventurous with many new developments and no single project dominating the happenings in the industry. Also, crypto projects which are not usually in the news have made it this time, making the news truly “decentralized”. Stellar XLM XLM now available on Coinbase.com Coinbase had listed Stellar XLM on its trading platform about a week ago but announced that the asset would not yet be available on Coinbase.com. Well this week, the company announced that XLM is now available on Coinbase.com and available for Android and iOS users to trade, send, receive and store on their wallets. XLM Soars as IBM picks it for cross-border payment IBM launched its cross-border payment system known as IBM World Wire within the week. The big deal is that XLM which renders cross-border payments similar to Ripple’s has been selected as the token for the World Wire remittance services. This led to a surge for XLM in the market rising over 4% following the announcement. Many have speculated that XLM may be on its way to replacing Ripple in cross-border payments with this new development. Cardano (ADA) ADA records impressive growth, Gets an “A” Rating Cardano (ADA) during the week made a significant leap in price defying the bearish grip some assets were struggling with including Bitcoin. This has earned the asset an “A” rating from FCAS which rates cryptocurrencies based on User Activity, Developer Behavior, and Asset Maturity. This makes ADA a smart investment choice as the rating goes beyond price behavior to rank based on other factors that make the asset suitable for investment. Cardano CEO says an ETF will be approved once the bad actors are out In another story, the CEO of Cardano Charles Hoskinson mentioned in a recent interview that an ETF will be approved once some bad actors in the space are removed. Hoskinson expressed confidence that an ETF approval is not a matter of if, but when it will happen, adding that market stability is the biggest challenge and the approval will be granted once the bad actors causing this are flushed out. Report Suggests That Almost 90% Of Exchange’s Volume Could Be Manipulated Probably the most interesting story of the week, a Bitcoin ETF applicant Bitwise in its analysis has revealed that 90% of reported exchange volumes for Bitcoin are fake. According to their analysis report, exchanges like Coinbene, BW, ZBG, BitMax were reporting volumes 10 times higher volume than expected. Some have expressed concern that this may only contribute to delaying the approval of an ETF and nothing more. Bitcoin (BTC) Bitcoin predicted to hit 6k in coming weeks No one has predicted the future of Bitcoin in a while, a trader Cryptocurrency analyst, trader, and organizer of the upcoming Understanding Bitcoin Conference Tone Vays is optimistic that Bitcoin has a great future ahead, adding that the asset may hit 6k in the next few weeks to come if it crosses $4200. Although he admits that the bear market is not completely over and Bitcoin could still crash to $3,000, he is also optimistic that it could go in the opposite direction to record significant highs. BitMEX CEO: Bitcoin Will Hit $10k This Year Despite The Current Heavy Lull Another bullish Bitcoin price prediction was given by the CEO of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes. Hayes has expressed confidence that Bitcoin could end the year with a value of $10,000 per coin despite the current uncertain trends. He is also positive that a recovery all the way to the all-time high of 20k is possible as he sees more funds flowing into the cryptocurrency as the year progresses. Ripple XRP Adoption: You Can Now Book 550,000+ Hotels in Over 200 Countries with XRP Ripple’s XRP has been aggressively pursuing mass adoption and it seems this dream is coming true, with the latest development being that over 550,000 hotels in 200 countries can now be booked using XRP. Travala, a hotel booking platform that provides services globally recently announced the addition of XRP as a payment option, which exposes XRP to adoption by millions of potential customers. IBM Blockchain World Wire Vs Ripple and XRP Ripple being the leader in remittance services has been threatened by many new crypto and blockchain projects. Stablecoins, JPM Coin, SWIFT, all have been perceived as potential threats to Ripple’s cross-border payments business. However, for some reason, the project always seems to get ahead of any potential competition. IBM has arrived with its World Wire remittance system with XLM as its token of choice. Although it is too early to tell, the new IBM tool is not likely to be a threat to Ripple either, judging from past events. XRPL Labs Explores More Ways to Increase XRP Adoption Following Woocommerce Integration In pursuit of even more adoption for XRP, XRPL Labs which recently facilitated the integration of XRP with Woocommerce, potentially bringing it to over 3 million stores around the world, has announced a bounty for innovative ideas that could further the mass adoption of the asset. XRPL Labs Founder and CEO Wietse Wind announced this within the week that ideas from the XRP community will be scrutinized and funded by to ensure that XRP gets the widest possible adoption. Crypto Legal Expert: Don’t Expect Ripple’s XRP Security Ruling This Year One of the major criticisms that Ripple has suffered is that XRP is a security and not a cryptocurrency as the company claims. This issue has been in court and although XRP listing on Coinbase was a bit of evidence that the argument was invalid, it hasn’t gone away and for those who are eagerly waiting to hear the conclusion of the matter, the sad news is that the ruling may not happen this year. A prominent law firm Kobre & Kim’s Jake Chervinsky announced in a tweet that the case is still in its initial stage and only a little progress will be made within the year but the ruling is bound to take much longer. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hunts for crypto engineers The CEO of Twitter and strong Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey is recruiting crypto engineers to build a cryptocurrency ecosystem with Square. The Bitcoin enthusiast believes Bitcoin will soon become the money of the internet and pursuing its mass adoption is a worthy venture and he is willing to pay people to build an ecosystem that will push this cause further. Dorsey is calling on Bitcoin Core developers and other engineers to work full time with his company, Square. Adoption: Customers can now pay with IOTA in Stores that Accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, following Zeux Integration Good news for IOTA holders, you can now pay for goods and services at local retail stores in your area if they accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. This has been made possible through the integration of the cryptocurrency with Zeux, the UK app for payments. The service enables free payment to merchants that is safe and secure as well as store and manages funds on Zeux. more details can be found here. The post This Week in Crypto: XLM now Fully Available on Coinbase, ADA Records Impressive Growth, Report Suggests That Almost 90% Of Exchange’s Volume Could Be Manipulated, XRP en route to Massive Adoption and more appeared first on ZyCrypto.
A recent Hootsuite study revealed that South Africa ranks first in the world for the highest percentage of internet users who own cryptocurrencies. The social media management firm conducted the global survey in partnership with London-based WeAreSocial. According to the report, 10.7 percent of internet users in South Africa own cryptos. This was the highest ratio globally, with Thailand and Indonesia following suit at 9.7 and 9.3 percent respectively. South Africa ranked above some of the renowned crypto powerhouses including Switzerland at 7 percent, South Korea at 6.3 percent, the U.S at 5.3 percent and Japan at 4.3 percent. The country’s ratio was also twice the global average – which stood at 5.5 percent, the report further revealed. The survey results may come as a shock to many who thought cryptos were the preserve of more ‘developed’ nations. And yet, for those who have been involved in the South African crypto market, this was just a confirmation of what they already knew. In a recent chat with Eugene Madondo, I learned that the South African crypto market has been expanding rapidly, even during the crypto winter. Madondo is the digital marketing strategist at Coindirect, a Cape Town, South Africa-based crypto exchange. Coindirect is one of the more well-established exchanges in the country, offering both a mainstream crypto trading platform and a peer-to-peer trading solution. It also has operations in other African and European countries, with Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria being the other main markets. According to its website, it offers its services in 132 countries globally, encompassing the six continents. Bitcoin’s South African Dominance In South Africa, just like in most other nations, bitcoin reigns supreme. The currency’s dominance globally stands at 51 percent, but in South Africa, it’s even higher than that. “So bitcoin is dominant, yes but there is a lot of interest in altcoins in South Africa and we fill the gap for an easy way to trade altcoins without using international exchanges” said Madondo. One of those altcoins is XRP, a crypto loved and loathed in equal measure, according to Madondo. The crypto has been gaining a cult-like following in the past year. Yet another trend that Coindirect has observed is a rising interest in stablecoins. “They garner a lot of interest as well. You will often find many debates on our social media platforms whenever we publish anything about USDT or stablecoins.” Just last month, one stablecoin project invested in Coindirect. MakerDAO, of which Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin is a big fan, participated in the €1 million funding round for the project. Blockchain.com and Concentric were the other investors. Madondo revealed that as part of the deal, the two firms will partner more in future projects. Coindirect will also be adding Maker’s DAI stablecoin to its platform. Mirroring Global Trends The crypto industry in South Africa may have idiosyncrasies, but in some fundamental ways it mirrors global trends. It’s different in that interest in cryptos has been steadily increasing even during the bear markets. This is different from Western and European countries in which interest has dipped significantly. However, there are some trends that it replicates from the global market. The first is the use of bitcoin as a speculative asset rather than a currency, Madondo suggested. This came as a surprise, given the widespread narrative that cryptos in Africa are looked at for transactions. But Coindirect observes users selling their cryptos when the prices go up slightly, buying when the prices dip. This suggests that they are leveraging the crypto volatility to make money. Even as a speculative asset, bitcoin is giving a much-needed solution in the country. South Africa is one of the continent’s biggest economies, only second to Nigeria. Unfortunately, it also has the highest income inequality in the world according to a World Bank 2018 report. The country gained independence from a heavily racist regime two and a half decades ago. However, the damage that apartheid had on the country is far from corrected. A very small minority of elites controls the vast majority of resources. This makes it crucial for the country’s majority, which lives in poverty, to find an alternative financial system that doesn’t oppress the many for the gain of the few. The Role of Regulation The country has been making strides in crypto regulation. Initially, as with almost every other African nation, the government stayed out. But as the people’s interest grew, the government had to step in. However, the regulations are far from comprehensive, with the country’s central bank working with various stakeholders to formulate and implement favorable regulations. Stephen Young, Coindirect’s chief procurement officer said that the exchange is in full support of regulations. In an interview in January, he stated: “Coindirect welcomes the recent amendments to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations. Having clear regulation that helps protect consumers while allowing the development and growth of this nascent industry is a positive step that will help speed adoption and foster responsible innovation.” Support for regulations in the crypto market has come from many other stakeholders in the crypto industry. Luno’s general manager for Africa, Marius Leitz also recently reiterated Luno’s support for regulations. Luno is a major player in the African crypto scene, offering both wallet and exchange functionalities. Leitz stated in a press release: “We are very much in favor of regulation and we are actively working with a number of central banks and financial regulators, including the SA Reserve Bank, to drive regulation for cryptocurrency. Regulation will provide consumers or potential consumers with the comfort that the service they are dealing with is held to defined regulatory standards. Imposing regulations will, in turn, enhance general trust in and stability of the market.” According to Madondo, regulation in the country has not had much of an impact yet. A majority of the traders invest in bitcoin without the slightest knowledge of what the law requires of them. However, it puts people’s mind at ease knowing that the government is pro-bitcoin and that it doesn’t intend on banning the asset class – as some other African nations have done. The author is not invested in any digital asset mentioned in this article. Join the conversation on Telegram and Twitter! The post South Africa Proudly Leads The World In Crypto Adoption appeared first on Crypto Briefing.