Čvc 06

New Bitcoin Tax Rules To Boost Crypto Market Growth

According to the Wall Street Journal, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is expected to update its guidance on Bitcoin tax treatment within weeks. In the meantime, members of the U.S. Congress fear that the U.S. is falling behind other nations in the crypto industry. This fear is prompting them to consider bills to clarify legal issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and thus propel the development of the crypto industry.


Is a Bitcoin Tax Exception Within The Realm of Possibility?

Under pressure from lawmakers, the IRS is expected to update its 2014 guidance on cryptocurrencies within the next few weeks, according to the WSJ.

Presently, the IRS refers to Bitcoin and other crypto assets as “virtual currencies.” And it considers them to be an asset or property.

According to the IRS Notice 2014-21, Bitcoin is a convertible virtual currency. However, contrary to real currencies, virtual currencies have no legal tender status.

This is about to change, depending on how the IRS updates its Bitcoin-related guidance. In a letter addressed to Rep. Tom Emmer (R., Minn.) the IRS indicated that the guidance update, “would address methods for calculating taxes ‘and other’ issues,” the WSJ reports.

Some Lawmakers Are Acting To Level Bitcoin Playing Field

The U.S. is lagging behind in the global crypto industry race, as regulatory burdens and the lack of legal clarity are stifling innovation. As a result, some U.S. lawmakers are getting worried and pushing for legislation that would stimulate the growth of the crypto industry.

These lawmakers are aware that other countries are ahead of the U.S in the industry. For example, Japan and Switzerland already have in place regulatory frameworks to attract new projects and investments. Thus, Facebook preferred to incorporate the Libra group in Switzerland instead of the U.S.

Bitcoin supporters expect that U.S. legislation will avoid classifying cryptocurrencies as securities in order to facilitate the advancement of Bitcoin-friendly rules.

In effect, in April 2019, the 116th Congress (2019-2020) introduced The Token Taxonomy Act of 2019 that would require the SEC to amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to exclude crypto assets from the definition of a security. The change of the definition is a prerequisite,

“To adjust taxation of virtual currencies held in individual retirement accounts, to create a tax exemption for exchanges of one virtual currency for another, to create a de minimis exemption from taxation for gains realized from the sale or exchange.”

The IRS defines a de minimis as follows: “In general, a de minimis benefit is one for which, considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical.”

Additionally, Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, and Science, and Transportation introduced the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019, on February 26, 2019.

One of the purposes of the Blockchain Promotion Act is to exempt nonfinancial businesses using blockchain from being classified as money transmitters.

The Blockchain Promotion Act would also direct the Secretary of Commerce to set up a working group to study blockchain technology and subsequently determine a consensus-based definition of blockchain technology. At the introduction of the Bill, Senator Young said,

“Blockchain has the potential to be a catalyst for sustained economic growth across all industries in America. If America leads in its development, we can ensure that its benefits will be shared far and wide. Blockchain has the potential to not only provide financial and economic benefits at home, but humanitarian and social support in developing countries will benefit from American leadership.”

How do you think the IRS guidance update, the Token Taxonomy Act of 2019, and the Blockchain Promotion Act will impact Bitcoin’s value? Let us know in the comments below!


Image via Shutterstock

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Čvn 22

The Federal Reserve Could Be Helping Bitcoin to $100K

Many factors are contributing to Bitcoin’s renewed trajectory towards its USD 100,000 target. One of them is increasingly gaining prominence: The U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed Interest Rate Cuts to Weaken Dollar and to Strengthen Bitcoin

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest moves might be unintentionally propelling Bitcoin to new 2019 highs with renewed impetus. On Jun 19, 2019, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Fed announced the decision to maintain the benchmark for the federal funds interest rate within the target range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

Bitcoin federal reserve

However, upon review of the statement, financial experts noticed that The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) made several changes to its policy statement. Most relevant, the term “patient” was replaced by a policy language promising to “closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook.”

For many, this is a hint that inflation and geopolitical risks are putting pressure on Federal Reserve officials to advance the case for an interest rate cut.

As a result, investors on the trading floors are already betting that the Fed will lower the rates as soon as July, putting the dollar under pressure.

In contrast, investors believe that a Fed rate cut would propel Bitcoin and gold to higher values. For example, according to CNN digital correspondent Paul La Monica,

That has been viewed as a positive for bitcoin as well as gold, which are looked at as alternative currencies that should rally when central banks take actions that reduce the value of government-backed currencies.

Moreover, Central Bankers perspective about Bitcoin might be shifting from a negative to a more positive outlook.

Last week, both Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and his counterpart Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, reportedly advised that central banks “should look at bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with an open mind,” writes La Monica.

Moreover, Carney has made it clear that he favors imposing strict controls. At a conference organized by the European Central Bank in Portugal, referring to cryptocurrencies, Carney pointed out, “Anything that works in this world, will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulations,”

More regulations, according to La Monica, would bring benefits to the crypto markets, by smoothing Bitcoin’s volatility and helping to further validate Bitcoin’s legitimacy in global financial markets.

Gold And Bitcoin Solidify Their Safe-Haven Status

In addition to a Fed rate cut in July and a weak dollar, another key factor affecting the financial markets and Bitcoin, in particular, is, as the Fed statement put it, “uncertainty.”

Given the ongoing Brexit upheaval, China/U.S. trade war, Hong Kong demonstrations, and the Middle East rising tensions, gold and Bitcoin are moving to the foreground as safe-haven assets.

Thus, as of this writing, gold reaches a five year high, hovering on the USD 1,400 per pound. And Bitcoin just smashed through the USD 11,000 mark, within 24 hours of having surpassed the USD 10,000 price barrier.

What are your thoughts on the possible Fed rate cuts and recent Bitcoin’s price surge? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Images via Twitter/@PeterLBrandt, Reddit

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Čvn 15

Hong Kong Protests Could Boost Bitcoin as Wealthy Move Assets Offshore

Bitcoin could be boosted by the current political unrest Hong Kong as the upper and middle classes are reportedly starting to move their assets offshore.


Hong Kong Begins Moving Wealth Offshore

Fears over the hated extradition bill, whose introduction the Hong Kong government has only suspended but declined to withdraw, are causing the wealthy to start moving their capital from Hong Kong to offshore.

People in Hong Kong vehemently oppose a proposed bill, which would give authorities the power to deport those suspected of crimes to mainland China.

hong kong

In protest, Hongkongers have been staging massive street demonstrations for several days, with varying degrees of violence. These demonstrations have caused widespread alarm, particularly for both government and business.

On June 10, 2019, the US State Department warned that “the amendments could damage Hong Kong’s business environment and subject our citizens residing in or visiting Hong Kong to China’s capricious judicial system.”

Moreover, the city is already suffering from liquidity problems, fueled in part by the China-U.S. trade war. Many now fear that if the extradition bill passes, it will increase capital outflows, thus further reducing liquidity.

As a consequence, rich people are now focusing on how to move their wealth offshore. According to Reuters,

Some Hong Kong tycoons have started moving personal wealth offshore as concern deepens over a local government plan to allow extraditions of suspects to face trial in China for the first time, according to financial advisers, bankers and lawyers familiar with such transactions.

In addition, many middle-class Hongkongers are withdrawing their money from Chinese banks in protest.

For many, these events explain in part Bitcoin’s present trajectory towards the $9,000 USD price mark.

Hong Kong authorities are now backing down. However, they are not withdrawing the bill.
On June 14, 2019, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she was suspending the extradition bill she was trying to push through the Hong Kong Legislative Council.

But the mere suspension of the bill does not satisfy protesters. Therefore, they will go ahead with another massive demonstration on Sunday, June 16.

Thus, Lam’s latest move will not remove uncertainty from the political and business environment for a long time because she has not set a date for the next step forward.

Earlier this week Bitcoinist reported that Hong Kong is already seeing an uptick in Bitcoin trading volume on LocalBitcoins platform.

hong kong

If the political unrest continues, it will likely further encourage the rich and the middle-class to protect their assets by moving it elsewhere from the former British colony.

Hong Kongers, therefore, may already be eyeing the world’s first apolitical and borderless store of wealth, i.e. Bitcoin, to prevent the government from tracking their private data and confiscating their wealth. In fact, China is no stranger to paying a premium for cryptocurrencies to not only trade and invest but also as a means to circumvent capital controls.

In October 2018, a Chinese court issued a ruling saying there is no prohibition on owning and transferring bitcoin in China.

Will some wealthy Hong Kongers choose Bitcoin to protect their wealth? Let us know in the comments below!


Images via Twitter/@xinwenxiaojie, Shutterstock

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Dub 25

New Poll Reveals Italy As The Most Bullish European Country For Bitcoin

A new bitFlyer poll that sampled the opinions of 10,000 respondents across ten countries in Europe revealed a high percentage of Europeans, particularly in Italy and Norway, who say cryptocurrencies aren’t a fad.


Europeans Are Bullish On Cryptocurrencies

According to the details of the Google Survey carried out by bitFlyer, 63 percent (more than two-thirds) of Europeans believe cryptocurrencies will still exist by 2029.

Of the ten countries covered in the poll, participants from Norway showed the highest level of confidence in cryptocurrencies as 73 percent believe virtual currencies will still be around in ten years’ time.

French responders had the least confidence of the lot with only 55 percent expressing the belief that cryptos will last the next decade.

But Many Don’t Think Bitcoin Will Last

While the survey suggests Europeans are generally bullish on cryptocurrency as a whole, that enthusiasm didn’t extend towards Bitcoin. According to bitFlyer, the survey involved seven possible responses to the question “do you think Bitcoin will still exist in 10 years’ time.”

Only 49 percent of participants said that believed Bitcoin would last the decade. Italy had the highest percentage of Bitcoin believers with 55 percent while France once again occupied the rear with 40 percent.

Furthermore, only seven percent of the participants said Bitcoin will exist as a security or investment tool. Commenting on the patterns observed in the result, Andy Bryant, the COO of bitFlyer said:

The fact that Bitcoin is not generating as much support as other cryptocurrencies is in part a symptom of the market’s volatility but is also a direct impact of the constant media attention that is associated to its volatility.

Poll results aside, Bitcoin continues to outperform the rest of the cryptocurrency market combined. Recent upward gains in April have dampened most of the ground accumulated by altcoins during so-called ‘altseason.’

On the technical side, Bitcoin continues to process greater value transactions that all altcoins combined and even those with lower transaction fees. Security and network effect reign supreme.

From Hype to Legitimate Asset Class

On the whole, the results of bitFlyer’s Euro Poll are in line with the emerging sentiment of cryptocurrencies moving from hype to legitimate asset class. Earlier in April, an IMF Twitter poll showed more than half of responders saying that cryptos will become mainstream within the next five years.

Since 2018, there has been a considerable uptick in institutional involvement in the cryptocurrency market. From endowment funds taking investment positions to multinational conglomerates looking to establish vital crypto-based services.

The growing consensus among analysts is that the next crypto bull run will emerge on the back of a strengthened asset class as against the hype-driven speculative play that characterized the 2017 bull market.

These analysts point to the emergence of a robust Bitcoin market and technical fundamentals, as well as the decline of the ICO market.

Do you think Bitcoin will continue to be king of crypto? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images via bitFlyer, Shutterstock

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Dub 13

Uber IPO: Cryptocurrency Will Be a ‘Huge Beneficiary’

Uber Technologies Inc. expects a valuation of about USD 100 billion when listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Large IPOs such as Uber’s and others could bring spectacular benefits to the crypto industry. At the same time, business solutions allowing Uber users to pay with Bitcoin are now moving to center stage.


Uber IPO: Bigger Than Bitcoin’s Market Cap

On April 11, 2019, Uber filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to offer shares of its common stock. In its recently released prospectus, Uber does not mention the magnitude of the IPO, which could be one of the biggest ever.

However, according to The Financial Times,

The company is aiming to raise $10bn from its IPO and recently told some of its investors that it could be valued at $90bn to $100bn, according to people familiar with the matter. The company was last valued at $76bn in a private fundraising in August.

Thus, the estimated valuation would surpass today’s Bitcoin market capitalization of about $89 billion.

The transportation company bases its projections on its leading technology, expertise, and massive network, which comprises millions of drivers, users, shippers, and other participants around the globe.

Moreover, Uber details in its prospectus financial data as follows:

  • Revenue derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $3.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2018.
  • Gross Bookings derived from our Ridesharing products grew from $18.8 billion in 2016 to $41.5 billion in 2018.
  • Consumers traveled approximately 26 billion miles on our platform in 2018.

Uber has become omnipresent. Its global ridesharing footprint covers 63 countries, encompassing a population of over 4 billion people, as shown in the graph below:

Digital Currency Group CEO, Barry Silbert adds that billions of dollars in private company stock will be unleashed from IPOs this year.

“The crypto asset class is going to be a huge beneficiary,” he says

You Can Already Use Bitcoin

Uber’s direct acceptance of payments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may still be a long way off, however.

In the meantime though, some Uber drivers around the world are unofficially accepting BTC instead of their local fiat currency.

Some users in Argentina, for example, have expressed interest in paying for Uber with bitcoin while some drivers wouldn’t mind receiving some bits instead of the depreciating peso.

For instance, an Uber driver, under the Reddit username bjandrus, wrote that he was already accepting bitcoin off the books for rides. However, he complains, the process is problematic because the Uber app does not support BTC payments.

It remains to be seen which ride-sharing company will officially begin accepting bitcoin first.

However, paying for Uber in bitcoin indirectly is already possible. For example, there’s the gift card option from Bitrefill and others, including the Coinbase e-gift card supported in select EU countries and Australia.

There are also third-party services as well as cryptocurrency debit cards that allow you to pay for anything, including Uber, Lyft etc. using bitcoin.

https://twitter.com/VenditExchange/status/1088929593577357313

How do you think IPOs such the one expected from Uber could benefit the crypto industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Uber Technologies Inc., Shutterstock

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Bře 09

US Regulators Should Give Bitcoin Some Breathing Space

The voices of a growing number of influential politicians and innovators are more loudly proclaiming the importance of preserving the United States’ supposed lead in the cryptocurrency industry. 


‘The US Cannot Afford to Lose Its Place as the Front-Runner in Crypto’

The importance of maintaining world technological supremacy is gaining momentum. In the United States, defenders of innovation and job creation are pushing for giving Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies some breathing space.

In this regard, Thomas W. Hodge, Senior Associate Attorney at Brock & Scott PLLC and founder of Crypto and Policy, argues that the US has always nurtured the growth of new technologies entering the market. “We foster its growth rather than stifle it with burdensome regulations,” he said, adding:

Today there are many new technologies on the horizon: artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and perhaps most importantly, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, which will change the way we conduct our lives — from banking to voting […] Simply put, the United States cannot afford to lose its place as the front-runner in crypto.

To this end, Hodge joins the congressman for Minnesota, Tom Emmer, in asking to not stifle free market competition and have government regulatory bodies to provide transparency on their regulatory intentions.

Hodge hopes for renewed leadership in the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and changes at the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Hodge, these developments will encourage cryptocurrency companies “to continue to drive innovations in ‘fintech’ around the world.”

‘The SEC Must Open Its Doors to Innovation’

At the SEC, key officials are moving towards improving the treatment of crypto technologies. For some time, Commissioner Hester Peirce has been proposing to open the SEC to innovation and free enterprise. She complains:

[W]e regulate an industry that is a key gatekeeper for progress and productivity in the rest of the economy.

Specifically, Pierce calls for an innovative and improved regulatory framework that is more adaptable to the cryptocurrency industry.

As the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches, crypto enthusiasts are eager to spot Bitcoin-friendly candidates and to know how their policies will foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Already, one candidate has declared he will be accepting campaign donations in cryptocurrencies. Andrew Yang is a presidential candidate and proponent of a universal basic income. He recently announced that he accepts donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and any other cryptocurrency complying with the ERC20 standard, as well as Venmo payments.

Do you think the US government should foster the growth of the crypto industry to maintain technological supremacy? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of  Twitter/@RepTomEmmer, Shutterstock.

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Úno 26

Swiss Bank Julius Baer Launching Crypto Services to Meet ‘Increasing Demand’

The Swiss private bank industry is stepping up its efforts to become a formidable world player in the crypto industry. Now, Julius Baer, one of the largest and oldest Swiss private banks, and SEBA Crypto AG are joining forces to offer their clients a range of digital asset services, in a fully regulated environment.


Major Swiss Banks Embracing Cryptocurrencies

The Julius Baer group is partnering with SEBA to respond to its clients’ growing demands for crypto asset services. According to the announcement on February 26, 2019,

Julius Baer will enter into a partnership with SEBA to take advantage of their innovative platform and capabilities in order to provide Julius Baer clients with leading-edge solutions in the area of digital assets to meet an increasing demand.

At the announcement, Peter Gerlach, Head Markets at Julius Baer, remarked,

At Julius Baer, we are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate, sustainable asset class of an investor’s portfolio. The investment into SEBA as well as our strong partnership is proof of Julius Baer’s engagement in the area of digital assets and our dedication to make pioneering innovation available to the benefit of our clients.

Julius Baer’s move follows the trend set by other Swiss private banks. In August 2017, Maerki Baumann Private Bank announced that it would be accepting cryptocurrencies. And, Falcon bank already allows direct crypto transfers, while its blockchain facilitates investments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin.

Moreover, Switzerland’s stock exchange Six has been offering a Bitcoin-heavy cryptocurrency ETP for some time now and planning its own security token offering (STO) later this year.

Bridging the Gap Between Fiat and Cryptocurrencies

SEBA, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, aims “to build a FINMA supervised and progressive technological bridge between the traditional and the crypto worlds.”

SEBA is currently petitioning The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for a banking license.

Swiss Regulators Engage Banks to Prevent Exodus of Cryptocurrency Ventures

The partnership with Julius Baer will take effect when SEBA obtains a securities dealer and banking license from FINMA.

Thus, besides providing a platform for storage, transaction and trading solutions for digital assets, SEBA will ensure that these services will be delivered within the FINMA regulatory framework. In this regard, Guido Buehler, CEO SEBA, underlines,

We are very proud to have Julius Baer as an investor. SEBA will enable easy and safe access to the crypto world in a fully regulated environment. The cooperation between SEBA and Julius Baer will undoubtedly create value for the mutual benefit and to the clients.

How do you think Julius Bair and other major Swiss banks’ ventures into the crypto space will impact Bitcoin’s value? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of  Twitter/@Juliusbaier, Shutterstock

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Led 26

Indiana, New Hampshire May Be Next to Accept Cryptocurrencies for Taxes

A house bill for amending the currently existing taxation Code of Indiana has been filed January 24 seeking acceptance of cryptocurrencies for paying taxes. Another bill requiring the state treasurer of New Hampshire to develop an implementation plan for accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments has also been filed. 


Pay Taxes With Cryptocurrencies in Indiana

House bill number 1683 filed January 24th, asks the General Assembly of the State of Indiana to amend the current taxation Code of Indiana.

Be it enacted, the bill may approve the usage of one or more virtual currencies to pay taxes, penalties, interests, costs, special assessments, or any other liabilities which are imposed under the bill.

According to the document, a county treasurer

shall determine the value of the payment in United States dollars at the time the payment is made by using the applicable exchange rate.

If the bill is approved by the General Assembly of Indiana, it will be in effect from July 1st, 2019.

New Hampshire on a Similar Path

In the state of New Hampshire, House bill number 470-FN, filed January 5th, 2019, seeks the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and fees by state agencies.

New Hampshire License Plate

If the bill is enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court, it will require the state treasurer, in consultation with other state officials, to develop an implementation plan for the state to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payments for fees and taxes starting July 1st, 2020.

The plan is also supposed to identify an appropriate third party payment processor. As per the documents, the payment processor should facilitate transactions at no cost to the state.

The plan should be submitted by the state treasurer on or before November 1st.

The bill will allow the state agencies to accept cryptocurrency payments but it doesn’t obligate them to do so, inferring that approval might be necessary.

Florida’s Seminole County became the first US locality to accept Bitcoin for taxes in May 2018. Later in November, Ohia also began accepting Bitcoin for taxes.

What do you think of paying taxes with cryptocurrencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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Led 26

Davos: IMF’s Lagarde Says Fintech Will Shake The System

International Monetary Fund Head, Christine Lagarde, told the World Economic Forum in Davos, “fintech is going to shake the system.” She also urged against relying on central banks in the next financial crisis, at the CNBC-hosted panel.


Central Banks Have Very Limited Ammunition

Her comments followed UBS CEO, Sergio Ermotti, saying that he hoped “we don’t rely on central banks to resolve the issues,” in the wake of another crash. He suggested that some central banks have “very limited ammunition,” while others perhaps had a bit more flexibility.

Lagarde concurred that,

It would be very nice if the economies at large didn’t have to rely on the central banks yet again in order to resist the next shock.

She singled out Mark Carney of the Bank of England, and Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve, as two of the very few central bankers who have a little bit of space to maneuver in the wake of the next downturn.

Complete Reforms While The Going Is Good

Both Lagarde and Ermotti suggested that it was important to complete reforms while the economic environment is good. Central Banks took unprecedented measures to stimulate lending and economic growth after the 2008 crash (by printing a record amount of money).

However, a belief that this fallback will always be there, can lead to complacency, meaning critical reforms are never implemented.

Ermotti said that countries must “take the bitter medicine” and implement changes that would benefit their citizens. Lagarde urged policymakers to “take the right course of action” on reforms. Although work had begun, this in some cases barely scratched the surface. It is essential to complete these critical reforms and that they go deep enough.

Fintech Is Going To Shake The System

Lagarde concluded by saying that banks needed “purpose” beyond just the single-minded pursuit of profit. She warned against complacency regarding fintech, which includes virtual currencies and bitcoin, that she said would “shake the system.”

Repeating her view that a regulated fintech with AML measures and consumer protections was a positive force, she continued to say that many large banks realized this, and were either incorporating fintech companies or moving in the same direction themselves.

Of course, Bitcoin didn’t exist at the time of the last financial crisis. In fact, it was ‘spawned’ as a direct response to it, according to ECB Executive Board member Benoît Cœuré.

Meanwhile, adoption is always accelerated by national economic failures and unrest. The next global financial crash could provide a key momentum swing, leading to the eventual collapse of banks that have indeed become complacent with their monopoly over money creation.

Do you agree with Lagarde in the disruptive power of fintech? Share your thoughts below!


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Pro 15

3 Cryptocurrencies Decoupling From Bitcoin into 2019 (PAL, TRX, WAVES)

2018 was underwhelming compared to 2017. The bear market went into full swing and most cryptocurrencies lost over eighty percent. Bitcoin has begun decoupling from many cryptocurrencies including those having some of the biggest developments of 2018. WAVES, TRX, and PAL are three cryptocurrencies that have persevered through the bear market. These three projects exceeded expectations and even demonstrated an important decoupling from BTC.


Cryptocurrencies PAL, WAVES, and TRX Decouple

Even during the bear market, there were major events in many cryptocurrency projects. PAL, TRON, and WAVES all had major developments as many cryptocurrency projects were imploding.

TRX (Tron) which as of December 31, 2017, was not in the Top 15 cryptocurrencies had a very important year regarding development. The TRX team burned 1 billion tokens and launched their mainnet in May. The mainnet was further developed the following month with the release of Odyssey 2.0.

Odyssey 2.0 is intended to be a public blockchain that supports decentralized applications. TRX also announced a $100 million gaming fund to increase the development and use of TRX in games. These developments during the height of the bear market speak volumes about TRON’s team and their dedication. Their founder Justin Sun is an outspoken, well-educated, blockchain advocate who has been a great leader for the TRX project.

WAVES (Waves) has been the most notable cryptocurrency regarding decoupling from BTC. Bitcoin price 00 has struggled the prior few months having corrected over forty percent this month alone. WAVES is the self-proclaimed fastest blockchain platform with real-world solutions for trading on a decentralized exchange (DEX) and running smart contracts.

Instead of correcting with the majority of the market following BTC lower, WAVES has actually increased from $1.45 November 14, to $2.35 per coin as of December 14. What is more impressive is not the dollar value increase, but WAVES going from 25250 Satoshis to 72138 Satoshis during that same period. Increasing almost two hundred percent against Bitcoin even though BTC fell almost fifty percent.

PAL (PAL Network) would be considered the cryptocurrency “moonshot” on this list due to their tiny market cap. WAVES is ranked #22 with TRX being ranked #9 by market capitalization. PAL’s market cap at just under $2 million is less than 1/100th of WAVES and 1/400th of TRX’s. The multiple aspects that make PAL noteworthy.

They were selected from over 60 entrants to be a part of the PayPal Incubator. Their mainnet launch was moved up to the end of December, three months ahead of schedule. PAL partnered with major projects such as NEM, QTUM, DGX, and MEDX. Their CEO and Founder Val Ji-hsuan Yapwas was featured in Forbes Asia 30 under 30. Having under a $2 million market cap was interesting, but beating deadlines by months with a top tier CEO is noteworthy.

The cryptocurrency markets were miserable to watch if you were long on blockchain projects, ICOs, and BTC in 2018. Those who were shorting the market enjoyed a nice ride but all tides turn eventually. As 2019 approaches projects that disregarded market conditions and continued to persevere should be one’s HODL focus.

PAL (PAL Network) 

With a market cap under $2 million and impressive volume, PAL seems fairly intriguing at 00. Earlier this year the PAL team was selected among three others to be a part of the PayPal Incubator Singapore. This prestigious award and notoriety by PayPal demonstrate PAL’s long-term connections in the Asia region. PayPal was impressed enough to place them in their incubator program, but why?

PAL’s CEO and Founder, Val Ji-Hsuan Yapwas was awarded Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 award. This award by Forbes further compliments the notoriety provided to this cryptocurrency by PayPal. It seems the technology and notoriety behind PAL is primarily in Asia, even as their blockchain model tends to focus on the United States. Both Forbes and PayPal have taken an interest into PAL and their Founder/CEO.

Beating deadlines in a bear market means the team is very committed. Originally PAL’s mainnet was scheduled to go live in quarter one of 2019. This date has been moved up to the end of December. If history repeats, cryptocurrencies have a tendency to trend North in value as their mainnet approaches. Releasing PAL’s mainnet months early demonstrates the team’s confidence in their platform.

Partnerships create utility and project awareness in the blockchain space. PAL not surprisingly has partnered with many major key projects. The most notable ones include NEM, QTUM, DGX, and MEDX. The importance of PAL’s partnerships will be determined following their mainnet launch depending on the partners’ utilization of the PAL network.

With notable partners, an exceptionally important Founder and CEO, a team dedicated to beating deadlines, an early mainnet release, being selected by PayPal and Forbes, and having a market cap under $2 million makes PAL a noteworthy acquisition target for 2019.

TRX (TRON)

TRX recently re-entered the Top 10 Cryptocurrencies by market cap with some impressive bear market news. TRX Company recently announced a $100 million gaming fund. Providing this much financial support to develop dApps on your Odyssey 2.0 blockchain demonstrates your company’s commitment to the platform. This amount of financial support will clearly drive adoption and development on the platform. It is very surprising that TRX is able to commit this amount of money during the height of the bear market. It seems they are poised for dApp development in 2019 and possibly major adoption.

Justin sun

In May, Tron launched their mainnet. Odyssey 2.0 went live in June as TRX burned 1 billion tokens. These 1 billion tokens were valued at $50 million at the time of the token burn.  The most important developments for TRX this entire year was the combination of the mainnet and Odyssey 2.0. TRX stayed true to their roadmap even with the markets providing difficult conditions to stay positive about.

The CEO of TRX Company, Justin Sun, is a very impressive figure in the cryptocurrency space. He is the founder of TRX and has led his community and project on a well-planned journey thus far. Recently he stated he would “rescue” ETH and EOS developers from their failing platform. This is likely part of what he had in mind when they announced a $100 million development fund.

With a very progressive and active founder combined with a team that has met and exceeded deadlines all year, TRX is worth keeping an eye on.

With a market cap in excess of $800 million, TRX has the highest market cap on this list. Their price per cryptocurrency currently is 00. However, with an $800 million market cap comes very impressive technological developments. Their TPS (transactions per second) are far greater than Ethereum’s at 2000 TPS.

WAVES

The most noteworthy aspects about WAVES the past month has been their decoupling from BTC’s price movement. It has been commonplace for the majority of cryptocurrencies to trend north or south with BTC. However, more recent projects have become more independent of Bitcoin price movement. WAVES has been one of the market leaders in this decoupling.

The price of each WAVES cryptocurrency has increased from $1.45 to 00 the prior thirty days. The Satoshi increase is even more exciting haven gone from 25,250 Satoshis to 72,138 satoshis during that same period. The price of BTC and the majority of altcoins in the cryptocurrency market collapsed the prior month. However, WAVES trended upwards in dollar value and more importantly, BTC value.

WAVES is both a decentralized exchange and smart contracts platform. They pride themselves on their speed but what intrigues me most is their multifaceted platform. Many cryptocurrencies are created for a sole purpose. The WAVES platform has developed into something far more than just a decentralized exchange or just a smart contracts platform. Being multifaceted as a cryptocurrency has allowed WAVES to trend north while the majority of smart contract platforms have underperformed BTC as it went south in recent weeks.

Why Waves is the Best Option for Airdrops

WAVES has a market cap of $252 million and is poised for a strong 2019 following their decoupling from BTC the prior few months. Being multifaceted, WAVES can pivot when one business (ICOs) are undergoing regulatory changes to focus on their DEX. WAVES has a market cap that is over one hundred times larger than PAL’s as their platforms are much more developed.

Looking to 2019

Cryptocurrency bear markets have a tendency to last one to two years. The bull markets have statistically lasted under 3 months. This means the bear market is not necessarily over. However, the cryptocurrency markets as a whole have generally pumped as the halving approaches and passes. The BTC halving is under 540 days away.

The markets may not turn bullish tomorrow, this week, or even this year. However, it is very likely when the public least expects it, that they turn the most bullish.

The cryptocurrencies that focused on BUIDLing during this bear market period will likely be the ones to continue to exist and thrive through the next bull-run.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist and should not be taken as financial advice.]

To read the Crypto King’s prior articles or to get in contact directly with him, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit. The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.


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