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Current State of The Crypto Market (April 21st, 2019)

Hackers:   An intelligence branch of the Russian government used bitcoin to fund its cyberwarfare efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Mueller Report claims.  The culmination of a two-year investigation, the “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election” details the findings that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team uncovered during their inquiry into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to hamper Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for the presidency. United States Attorney General William Barr claimed in late March that the investigation found no evidence of such collusion, and the U.S. Department of Justice released a redacted version of the full report on April 18, 2019.  Within the mammoth write-up, a small section details bitcoin’s role in bankrolling the Russian government’s cyberwarfare endeavors.

Bullish Key Players:   According to Chris Burniske a prominent investor, author, and partner at crypto venture firm, Placeholder VC, Bitcoin could reach a market cap of $1 trillion in the next bull run.  This tantalizing bit of bullish sentiment was conveyed through Burniske’s Twitter. Alongside a chart of the top 10 crypto assets market caps year to year since 2013 the investor noted that this continued year growth meant that BTC was bound to hit the trillion dollar mark sooner or later; and in Burniske’s opinion, during the next bull run.  With Bitcoin’s current Market cap teetering around $93 billion, $1 trillion feels like a lifetime away.  Interestingly, the entire crypto market cap almost teased this seemingly insurmountable figure back during the last bull run in 2017/18, when the total crypto market cap reached a peak of around 835.69 billion. could BTC breach this on its own?  Burniske is not alone in his thinking, many prominent propagators of crypto have noted that Bitcoin has the potential to reach a valuation of $1 trillion.

Banks & Institutions:  India’s central bank is setting up a fintech sandbox that may include blockchain startups and tools – but notably, explicitly excludes any cryptocurrency-related projects.  The Reserve Bank of India published its draft framework for a regulatory sandbox on Thursday, a move that comes nearly three years after it first formed a working group to look into fintech solutions.  “The proposed financial service to be launched under the RS should include new or emerging technology or use of existing technology in an innovative way and should address a problem, or bring benefits to consumers,” the draft says.  Operating a sandbox helps regulators such as the bank of India to better understand new technologies, while still spurring innovation, according to the document.  “Applications under block chain technologies” is listed as a form of “innovative technology” that may fall within the sandbox’s parameters, the draft says, as do applications related to smart contracts.  However, the sandbox will not entertain any crypto-related projects. These include cryptocurrency or crypto asset services; crypto trading, investing or settling; or initial coin offerings, as well as a few more traditional financial services, according to the document.

Adoption:   With the on-boarding of two of the largest networks in the world – Facebook and Telegram, the crypto economy is likely to grow a great deal in the coming few years. Regardless of whether these platforms are integrating Bitcoin directly, all cryptos will be in higher demand as a result. Further, more people than ever will be familiar with the ability to send money quickly and cheaply using blockchain technology.  While the Telegram Open Network token and Facebook cryptocurrency are likely to be the “gateway drug” for many people, once they get exposed to crypto, they’ll have the ability to trade these tokens for more established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Cardano, depending on what they’re interested in doing in the blockchain world.

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