The Week in Crypto
The big news this week is Ethereum versus Ripple, according to Coincast TV reporter Tessa Dempster.
While ultimately relegated to second place, Ripple jumped 45% in less than 24 hours and briefly held superstar status in the crypto community.
“This all had a flow-on effect,” Ms. Dempster continued, adding that “Binance recorded its highest trading volume for BitcoinCash and Ripple.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission issued a warning earlier this week on dodgy initial coin offerings targeting retail investors.
In the United States, Coinbase announced a new coin listing policy which offers developers an easier route to getting their currency listed.
New York’s Attorney General released a report accusing Binance, Kraken and Gate of operating unlawfully in the city.
The Top Five Tussle
This week saw Ripple bounce up to second place in the markets, overtaking Ethereum and forcing it down.
Speaking with Coincast TV, Playchip Ltd.’s Luke Lombe described Ethereum like “a highway” where DApps operate like cars racing across the network.
And in this scenario, he believes traffic jams and car pileups are increasing. ”Ethereum can’t keep up. The highway doesn’t have enough lanes for all these cars, all these DApps.”
While Ethereum can process 15 transactions per second, Ripple can do 1500. The real winner though is VISA. Its conventional platform works through 24,000 transactions per second.
For Mr. Lombe, this is telling. ”The institutional money has been starting to shift out out of DApps and ICOs because there are too many.”
Instead of relying on recent crypto startups, the Playchip executive believes that traditional retailers and banks will lead the blockchain market.
Martin McGinty of BlockBoxx agrees.
In an interview with Coincast TV earlier this month, he said that “one of the things we’re interested in at the moment is [situations when] blockchain is added to an already operational and effective business.”
Digging for Dirt on Crypto Mining
If you spend a little while in the cryptocurrency space, you will undoubtedly hear about crypto mining. So what is it? And is it worth all the attention?
“Ultimately it is the search for new bitcoins,” explained BTC.com’s Alejandro de la Torre. ”There is a limited amount of bitcoins — 21 million — and every ten minutes a new bitcoin is found.”
That sounds like a lot of work. But crypto mining isn’t a pick and axe job.
”These computer machines called miners, which are basically very specialised computers, try to solve puzzles,” said Mr. de la Torre. The puzzles are very complex math equations and their equations unlock new blocks in Bitcoin.
The miner market is dominated by Bitmain and its subsidiary AntPool. The group recently made headlines after becoming sponsors of the Houston Rockets.
“Bitmain creates these super computers called land miners,” the BTC.com executive told Coincast TV. “Once you buy one of these, you connect to electricity and you connect to our pool. It takes a few lines of code and you’re in. That’s it.”
Bitcoin mining is now a multi-billion industry with a lucrative future.
However, there is a cost.
Crypto mining requires immense amounts of electricity to power these machines all day and all night. Nowadays most miners are located in China where electrical bills are generally quite cheap.
Emergence Asia Roadshow
Singapore recently hosted the Emergence Asia Roadshow — a meeting place for investors, startups and everyone interested in all things blockchain.
“The event brought together a wide range of industries to talk shop… and blockchain,” Tessa Dempster reported from the show.
She spoke with Steve Torso, a wholesale investor. “The theme for the event was where venture, blockchain and crypto unite,” Mr. Torso explained.
“We’ve got nanotech companies and crypto-based companies, blockchain projects, gaming projects…a whole mixture.”
This didn’t overwhelm traditional investors, who came to capitalise on blockchain’s booming popularity.
“The proof is in the pudding,” said Techemy’s Fran Strajner. “These events bring a lot of startups and grub stage companies that are raising capital to grow further. Investors are always interested.”
According to Mr. Strajner, he came to Emergence Asia to “get some skin in the game.”
That’s a sure win!
Crypto A to Z
Coincast TV realises that not all its viewers are up to speed on the latest in crypto speak. This week, they included a special segment to decode and demystify all the weird things crypto people say.
Did you know that ‘ATH’ stands for ‘All Time High’? Or that ‘bag holder’ means someone who bought high and missed their chance to profit?
Keep reading to learn all the ins and outs of crypto slang.
H is for hard fork, when developers make a big change to a blockchain protocol or software. There’s also a soft fork, but nobody cares about that because it’s only a small shift.
H is also for ‘HODL’, a term coined on a crypto forum in 2013 by a user who meant to type ‘hold’. They were talking about their plans to hold onto, or not sell, a cryptocurrency for awhile.
M is for mining, bitcoin mining! As explained earlier in this article, mining cryptocurrency means solving complicated equations to produce more coins.
M is for moon, which stands for a cryptocurrency with a seriously fluctuating price.
P is for pump and dump, a scam where some people inflate the price of a cheap currency. After the price soars, the pump-n-dumpers quickly sell off leaving investors in the lurch.
S is for shill, when people shamelessly promote the currency they have invested the most in.
W is for whale, but not the underwater kind. Whales are wealthy investors with enormous amounts of crypto in their portfolios.
Finally, there’s U for unicorn. This means a privately-held startup valued at more than $1 billion — think Uber, Airbnb or Pinterest.
Now that you know your ABC’s, get out there and practice at the next crypto meet-up or event nearby!
Tune in next week to hear about the latest in cryptocurrency news, blockchain updates and global fintech events at Coincast TV.
For a quick summary of the weekly updates, check out Bitcoin Australia to read our review of the next episode.
Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.