Bearish: on October 15, Tether (USDT) has lost its USD-peg, crashing down on Kraken to $0.85 against physical USD, and as low as $0.51 on Poloniex, before recovering to $0.9. The crash resulted in a capital flight from the stablecoin to traditional crypto assets, so Bitcoin’s price moved above $7,000 on Tether-enabled platforms. Now USDT is trading around $0.97. Kucoin exchange has temporarily stopped USDT deposits and withdrawals due to “wallet system maintenance”. Tether’s instability might have a very positive long-term effect on a whole crypto ecosystem, because it will incentivize industry leaders to adopt other stablecoins with different approaches to fix volatility problem.
Stablecoins: Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx added support for 4 new stablecoins pegged to the U.S. dollar: GUSD, PAX, USDC, and TUSD. The world’s leading Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash payment processor BitPay launched stablecoin settlements in Gemini Dollars and USD Coin, so merchants will be able to receive settlements in BTC, BCH, a bank transfer, GUSD or USDC. Notably Tether (USDT) was not added as a settlement option.
Bullish: Boston-based multinational financial services corporation Fidelity Investments Inc. announced a new entity, Fidelity Digital Assets, which will provide brokerage solutions for institutions. Fidelity is managing $7.2 trillion in total assets, and is leading the U.S. in 401(k) retirement savings plans. The new platform is set to launch in 2019.
The consensus bug that chain-split Ethereum’s testnet, Ropsten, has been found and fixed within hours. However, developers didn’t give any comments about Constantinople release date. Reminder: Constantinople hard fork is aiming to make processing information more efficient, reduce mining rewards by 33% (from 3 ETH to 2 ETH per block), and delay “difficulty bomb” for ~12 months.
Cory Johnson, Ripple’s chief market strategist revealed that there have been regular talks between Ripple and high profile team from the White House, and the entire Trump administration is very positive about Ripple and XRP. As Johnson explained, the White House is very concerned that the majority of Bitcoin mining hash power comes from China, while XRP doesn’t have any mining and 60% of supply is owned by Ripple.