Weekly cryptocurrency review #14
Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) quietly do their job.
Ripple and XRP are often treated as identical and are often grouped together because what Ripple does ultimately affect the price of XRP.
Less than a month ago, Ripple has rebuilt its website to focus exclusively on RippleNet. RippleNet has just expanded its xRapid platform, which uses XRP as liquidity for financial institutions. While the xCurrent platform currently has more than 100 banks and financial institutions registered and testing the platform devoid of XRP, Ripple's goal is to finally transfer these institutions to RippleNet. Ripple argument this move, presenting the results of tests that show that pilot tests in the key transfer passage from the USA to Mexico using XRP as a digital resource, showed savings of 40-70% compared to traditional costs of transferring money. In addition, this transfer helped to shorten the settlement time from two, up to three days to just over two minutes. The benefits are therefore visible with the naked eye.
Since we are already in the thread of charges: managers of another cryptocurrency announced that the fees for transactions in Litecoin are to be reduced tenfold after the next core update. Currently, the average transaction fee from Litecoin is around 0.05 USD per KB, but the upcoming release of the new version of Litecoin Core 0.17 will reduce it almost tenfold. With new changes, the new fee should be 0.005 USD, or half a cent, so at this price transaction fees on Litecoin will be similar to the levels from 2015.
Ethereum update postponed to 2019
Constantinople, the hard fork of Ethereum's which was recently announced by the main programmers of Ethereum will be postponed to the beginning of 2019 after finding a few bugs in the code. Constantinople contains five changes, the most important of which is to reduce the number of new ETHs created for each block from 3 to 2. This code change was originally intended to be implemented on November, but the alleged "consensus problem" in testing the planned hard-fork resulted in that the testnet network is "unusable", according to a tweet from Ethereum Blockwall. This tweet also recommends programmers to use other test networks while the Ethereum programmers community is researching the problem.
The global investment giant Fidelity Investments launches custody and commercial services targeted at institutional investors.
Fidelity, the US investment company, which manages assets worth more than USD 7.2 trillion, announced the creation of its new company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which will offer digital asset storage and trading services targeted at institutional investors such as hedge funds, insurance funds, family companies or market intermediaries. The company does not intend to launch separate services for retail investors for now. According to press information, Fidelity Digital Assets will focus on providing a "secure, compatible and institutional business solution for storing bitcoins, ethers and other cryptocurrencies".
In a special press release, the granddaughter of the founder of Fidelity Investments and the current CEO of the corporation, Abigail Johnson, said:
"Our goal is to make digital assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible to investors. We expect to continue investing and experimenting on a long-term scale, along with ways to make this emerging asset class easier to understand and use. "
For this purpose, the newly created company will draw on its reputation as the main player on Wall Street and use technological solutions that have been implemented from other parts of its organization. In the case of cryptographic transactions, the press statement says that the company will use "secure, compliant, and institutional-grade omnibus storage solution for bitcoin, ether and other digital assets" that will "allow transactions in many places on the market".
In the end, Fidelity quotes Greenwich Associates research, which showed that 70% of institutional finance managers believe that cryptocurrencies will play a significant role in the future of the financial sector, but many of them are still “sitting on the sidelines” before they enter the market. The current number of Fidelity corporate clients varies around 13,000.
What's up in the cryptocurrency market?
The cryptocurrency markets calmed down after the last turbulent week, while Bitcoin fell by 1% and Ethereum by 1.6%. The best performers were BAT (increase by 55%), Qtum (increase by 24%) and 0x (increase by 23%). In addition, the value of Bitcoin futures on the Chicago CME exchange increased by 41% compared to the previous quarter. In this context, it is strange that the cryptocurrency markets did not respond enthusiastically to the very important news about the actions of Fidelity Investments.
The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrencies grew slightly last week and currently amounts to 210 530 761 844 USD. Bitcoin still dominates over the remaining cryptocurrencies and is currently at the level of 53.6%. This situation is illustrated by the following two charts: