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Touching $200

Published May 24, 2017

What a month it’s been… The irrational exuberance in me is desperate to rattle off a hundred reasons why Ethereum, Bitcoin and others are going to change the world, but now is not the time. We are seeing a bubble that dwarfs the Bitcoin rally and subsequent crash of 2013…

But the famous last words – “this time it’s different” – may actually have some merit, as for the first time ever, a number of cryptoassets are demonstrating value beyond simple speculation.

This week was awash with major industry conferences in the United States; including Ethereal 2017, Consensus 2017 and Token Summit (New York – May 25th). These conferences, combined with recent global developments seem to have fuelled the latest explosion in cryptoasset and Ethereum adoption. Ethereum’s price and “market cap” has near quadrupled in weeks. Here’s my take on a handful of the latest developments:

1. Enterprise Ethereum Alliance
This week started as it was meant to go on. The EEA, which held a summit earlier this year, announced that they had added a handful of new founding members to their board, including Credit Suisse, ING and BP among others. The EEA sets out to collaborate on blockchain use-cases in a private (“consortium”) setting, however new innovations and technologies are openly shared with the public blockchain (and vice versa).

2. ShapeShift announces Prism
Popular cryptoasset exchange ShapeShift – which allows frictionless trading of tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin – announced earlier this week that it had launched its Prism exchange (currently in beta). Prism is a cryptoasset portfolio platform which operates on a network of smart contracts with no counter-party risk (smart contracts are – in theory – highly secure). The base currency of this new platform is Ethereum, which is used as collateral for making trades on the platform. Bitcoin is also expected to be integrated following the live release of Rootstock (expected later this year) which enables smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain.

3. Token sale hype
Those looking to invest in blockchain startups and platforms are able to do so through a “token sale”, often referred to as an “initial coin offering” (ICO). Access to these investments require that the investor sends Ether (or Bitcoin) to a specific address in return for tokens of the business or platform. A number of hugely successful token sales from the likes of Gnosis, TAAS, Aragon and has attracted new investors and in-turn increased demand for Ether and Bitcoin. Note, these platforms have yet to generate any “real” return beyond trader speculation.

4. Update May 25th: Mystery “mainstream” initiative revealed
Chat service Kik announced its plans for launching a new token built on the Ethereum blockchain. Kik’s token – “Kin” – will be launched as an ICO in summer 2017 in an effort to generate a new “ecosystem of digital services” for its millions of users. The full story can be found on the Kik blog.

As we touched upon earlier in May – there are plenty of other stories to be excited about. Here are a couple more noteworthy mentions:

How to buy Ethereum
Over the last few weeks I’ve received several emails per day requesting details on how best to purchase Ethereum. Unfortunately, it really is not straightforward. For that reason, I am currently working on some short documentation that will provide information on purchasing and securing this cryptoasset. The docs will also provide high level insight into the basics of Ethereum, why it has value and the protocol’s development roadmap for the months ahead.

To sum up the exciting future in front of us, I’d like to share this quote from Erik Vorhees – ShapeShift Founder and CEO…

Some day, we imagine, nearly all financial infrastructure will be built upon open, objective, non-discretionary code. The ability of a human to decide not to fulfill a transactional obligation (either by mistake or malice), will seem quaint. Inevitably, an economy is more efficient, honest, productive and fair to the extent it is built upon the laws of code and mathematics, instead of the laws of men. Pre-blockchain, that was impossible. Upon products like Prism (itself built upon the pioneering work of blockchain protocol engineers), it is our hope that some day it won’t merely be possible, but indeed the expectation, that finance itself becomes provably fair; not by the decree of politicians, but by the demanded security and supplied innovation of a marketplace set free. Society deserves nothing less.

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BTC and XRP Coins Added

Published May 16, 2017

By popular demand we have added Bitcoin and Ripple XRP to! The new coins can be found in the menu at the top right of this page.

The website will continue to stay focused on Ethereum and popular ERC20 token prices. However, by expanding into other coins we can cover more of the market for those who have diverse portfolios. At this early stage we have listed Bitcoin and Ripple alongside Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. We will continue to add other coins to the website as demand grows.

With regards to the price of Ripple, we have calculated market cap using the total supply of 100bn coins. This differs from other websites that provide market cap data based on “circulating supply” (coins not frozen for X period of time). Given the long-term “hodling” nature of many crypto-investors, it made sense to steer clear of the short term circulating supply metric. The impact that this has is stark – our calculation using the 100bn fixed supply limit puts Ripple higher than Bitcoin in terms of market cap. For consistency, we apply this approach to all of our capitalization calculations, including the Ethereum token Gnosis.

Data for these new crypto-assets is now being recorded from today. Historical data for the BTC/GBP price of Bitcoin is available in the preferences menu on its page.

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A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Published May 11, 2017

Bitcoin, Ethereum and a dozen or more altcoins have all had dramatic price increases in recent weeks. Volatility is as high as ever, but the general direction for a huge number of these coins has been upwards. This increase in market capitalization across multiple cryptocurrencies hasn’t been seen before, and could be indicative of a large stream of “new money” funnelling into the ecosystem. In the past few weeks, there have been a series of positive news stories and developments in the blockchain industry as a whole including:

  • SEC gives Bitcoin ETF a possible second shot
  • Japan legalises Bitcoin; causing massive demand in the country
  • Ethereum ENS launches, attracting $10M in auction bids
  • Japan’s largest bank partners with the consortium blockchain, Ripple (XRP)
  • Russia plans to legitimize Bitcoin; with the country’s largest retailer Ulmart, announcing they will accept the cryptocurrency
  • Australia to treat Bitcoin “like money” from June 1st 2017, dramatically improving its position with regards to taxation
  • Litecoin successfully activates Segregated Witness (a scaling fix which can be applied to Bitcoin)
  • announces its plans to become a smart-contract driven decentralized exchange (full details not yet known, but anticipated to be operating on the Ethereum blockchain)

Investors have always been nervous of cryptocurrency competition, often speculating that one’s rise may lead to another’s decimation. What has transpired in 2017 so far is that an increase in cryptocurrency adoption as whole has tremendous effects on the price of each coin, and that a price rise of one does not come at the expense of another. This year is showing itself to be the year of the blockchain ecosystem (Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins), and I only anticipate that this will get stronger as interoperability between chains takes hold in 2018.

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Gnosis (GNO) Tokens Added

Published May 2, 2017

Following the successful launch of the Gnosis ICO on April 24th – which valued the platform at roughly $300M – we have added the price of GNO tokens to this website. Data is currently sourced from Poloniex and Kraken, which includes 4 currency pairs: GNO/ETH, GNO/BTC, GNO/USD, GNO/EUR. We will continue to add other major exchanges as GNO becomes listed.

GNO and other Ethereum coins and tokens can be accessed from the preferences icon at the top right of the page.

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Gnosis $300M ICO Valuation

Published April 24, 2017

Last week we wrote on the Ethereum ICO ecosystem in the lead up to the Gnosis token sale. Gnosis, which aims to revolutionise prediction markets using the Ethereum blockchain and the “wisdom of the crowd”, opted for a reverse Dutch auction for their ICO. To put it simply, this style of auction meant that the faster Gnosis tokens (GNO) sold, the higher the proportion of total token supply would remain with the developers and the higher the price per token – investors were therefore incentivised to wait for a lower price as time went on.

In the previous article, I conservatively anticipated that the ICO would last no longer than a week. Embarrassingly, the ICO lasted no more than 12 minutes, exhausting the full 250,000 ETH target in record time. The result? Thanks to the reverse Dutch auction format, investors now hold just 4.2% of the total GNO supply, with the remaining amount set aside for the Gnosis developers. The total valuation of the Gnosis platform now stands at – quite obscenely – $313M.

To put this into perspective; Facebook with 5.5 million active users in 2005 was valued at $87.5M. More closely related, the competing prediction market Augur, with an established beta platform and an existing userbase, was valued at $130M ahead of the ICO. Interestingly, Augur’s price increased by nearly 40% in the hours following the end of the Gnosis ICO.

With the upmost respect for blockchain investors, this latest ICO has highlighted a craze that may well indicate the beginnings of a “Dot Com” style bubble. Whilst it would be fair to anticipate that this may be some years off (investing and securing coins/tokens eludes the vast majority of traditional investors), such a high valuation of a company with no working product is unprecedented.

Now that the ICO has completed, we are very excited to feature GNO on this site once it hits the exchanges. Stay tuned.

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