- Cryptocurrency: Facebook to Unveil Libra On Tuesday
Facebook, the world’s biggest social media company, has joined the list of technology companies leveraging on blockchain technology to enhance products and safety.
The social media giant announced it would unveil a cryptocurrency on June 18th (tomorrow). The project internally known as Libra is expected to revolutionize global money given Facebook reach.
Facebook already has 2.4 billion monthly users to push its new virtual currency to, a key factor why experts called the move a success as no cryptocurrency, including the most dominant Bitcoin has that size of end users.
RBC analysts Mark Mahaney and Zachary Schwartzman said: “We believe this may prove to be one of the most important initiatives in the history of the company to unlock new engagement and revenue streams, and we plan to provide an analysis of the White Paper to help investors analyze the underlying cryptoeconomics of the token.”
Facebook shares jumped 3.3 percent on Monday to $187.33 as investors seem to be delighted at the prospect of a dominant global currency at a period when the world needs regulated internet money to facilitate transactions.
Investors King reports that Libra is a stablecoin tied to a basket of currencies to avoid the same issue presently hurting the credibility of Bitcoin and other unregulated cryptocurrencies.
The company has partnered with several financial institutions that would provide billions of dollars in capital and low-risk securities as collateral to stabilize the price of the currency and reduce or totally eliminate excessive control by a single player (including Facebook).
To avoid a future accusation of dominant edge, Facebook, according to Dow Jones Newswires, allowed other big tech companies, Google, Uber, Paypal etc as well as traditional payments companies like Visa and Mastercard to invest $10 million each in the project.
In April, following Facebook’s second-quarter earnings report, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said: “Over the long-term, if Payments becomes a really important part of what we do, we can – we’ll have some options and choices about how we choose to – how to have the revenue flow to us in the future.”
While this is a positive move, few experts warned of excessive power in the hands of few.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week said big tech companies are well positioned to disrupt global financial system given the size of data they have access to.
Christine Lagarde, who was attending the G20 Finance Ministers’ summit in Fukuoka, Japan, said: “A significant disruption to the financial landscape is likely to come from the big tech firms. They will use their enormous customer bases and deep pockets to offer financial products based on big data and artificial intelligence”.
“This presents a unique systemic challenge to financial stability and efficiency,” she added.
Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter, also agreed that universal currency for the internet era is a good idea. He, however, stated that “what is less clear is whether this currency should be in the hands of Facebook.”
Facebook’s cryptocurrency ‘white paper’ would be released tomorrow but the official launch is next year.
Paypal Commences Cryptocurrency Exchange Business
Paypal Expands Operation to Include Cryptocurrency Exchange
Paypal Holdings Inc, the world’s leading online payments solution, has finally expanded its operations to include cryptocurrency exchange following months of planning.
The company customers will now be able to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other crptocurrencies using the PayPal digital payment wallets.
PayPal move was after the company’s competitor, Square, expanded into cryptocurrency exchange space in 2018 and developed a wallet that support bitcoin transactions through its Cash app. However, PayPal took it a notch higher by developing wallet that support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The decision to venture into cryptocurrency exchange space would boost the attractiveness of the unregulated digital asset and further push it to the mainstream given the fact that PayPal present has 346 million active users accounts with 26 million merchants.
“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement. “Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange.”
Schulman says PayPal is “eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world” in supporting cryptocurrency.
Please note that PayPal users can only transact in cryptocurrency using fiat currency without ability to withdraw their purchased digital asset to a third party wallet or transfer from third party wallet into their PayPal powered wallet. Meaning PayPal users can only purchase PayPal cryptocurrencies and transact within the platform.
Ethereum Accounted for 96% DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020 as ETH Miner Fees Double Bitcoin’s
Ethereum Represents 96% of All DeFi Transactions in Q3 2020
According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, Ethereum’s transaction volume soared to $119.5 billion in Q3 2020. In comparison to the $10.2 billion volume posted in Q2 2020, that was a 1,200% increase.
Based on Coinmetrics’ data, Ethereum fees shot up during the same period, eclipsing Bitcoin’s fees for the first time on August 13, 2020. As of September 2020, ETH fees stood at $276 million, nearly double Bitcoin’s $146 million.
Ethereum Miners Made $113 Million from Fees in August, 38x Increase from April
The surge in transaction volume and fees on the Ethereum blockchain was linked to the recent Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hype. DApp Radar reveals that during the period, DeFi apps accounted for 99% of all transactions on the network.
The total DApp transaction volumes on all platforms in Q3 2020 reached $125 billion. There was an increase of $113 billion quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Most of the activities took place on Ethereum, TRON and EOS. From the total value created, Ethereum accounted for 96%. With 1,956 apps, it was the top DApp blockchain during the period.
Coinmetrics’ data reveals that Ethereum transaction fees surged from $21.98 million on June 1, 2020 to $77.77 million on July 31, 2020. In August, Ethereum miners made $113 million from transaction fees according to Glassnode. That marked a 38x increase from the $3 million recorded in April and a 1.8x increase from the January 2018 all-time high. In September, miners for the first time earned more from fees ($172M) than they did from block rewards ($150M).
According to Glassnode, Ethereum miners made a record on September 1, earning $500,000 in one hour. Daily earnings on that day doubled to $16.5 million from $8.1 million the previous day. On September 2, they made a new record with the average hourly revenue surging to $800,000. They broke this record on September 17, reaching $938,000.
Is Bitcoin Set to Have a 2017-style Mini Boom This Year?
Bitcoin to Surge Like in 2017 this Year
Bitcoin’s price is set to “surge before the end of 2020” with investors keen not to “sleepwalk” through a 2017-style mini-boom, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.
The prediction from Nigel Green, the deVere Group CEO and founder, which has $12bn under advisement, comes as Bitcoin – already one of the best-performing assets this year – appears to be on the brink of a bullish breakout.
In recent days, Square, which is owned by the billionaire founders of Twitter, has allocated 1% of its cash reserves to the cryptocurrency, whilst a former Goldman Sachs hedge fund chief says the price of Bitcoin will jump to $1m in five years.
Mr Green comments: “There’s been something of an avalanche of interest in Bitcoin in recent weeks from household-name investors.
“Investor activity is picking up considerably with various on-chain metrics and ongoing – and heightening – global political, economic and social turbulence suggesting that there will be a price surge before the end of the year.
“Like gold, Bitcoin can be expected to retain its value or even grow in value when other assets fall, therefore enabling investors to reduce their exposure to losses.
“Investors will increase exposure to decentralised, non-sovereign, secure digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, to help shield them from the potential issues in traditional markets”.
He continues: “There’s a growing sense that we’re set to experience a mini-boom similar to that at the end of 2017.
“Prices are yet to catch-up with investor interest – but this is only a matter of time as investors will not want to sleepwalk towards perhaps year-high prices in the run-up to the end of 2020.”
The late 2017 bull run saw the Bitcoin price reach its all-time high of $20,089.
The deVere CEO concludes: “There’s been a notable ramping-up of interest in Bitcoin amongst investors since the end of summer. Indeed, it has been the best performing week for one of the year’s best-performing assets since July.
“I can see no reason why this upward trajectory will not continue between now and the end of the year.”
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