does that seem familiar

Your daily newsletter for August 17, 2018
As familiar as yesterday
"A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
- Max Planck
Have I seen you before?
Another Friday has descended upon us! And today marks the second weekend (well, Friday) that we'll be spending with you on this newsletter. We appreciate you a lot for that 😇

As always, feel free to send me any thoughts or feedback you have for us by replying to this email or writing it in the survey!
Rub of the green
For a third day in a row, the markets are seeing green! 😮 BTC is up 1.49% to ~$6,526, with ETH rallying behind with a stronger 4.58% gain to ~$303 (wow, it's a 3! 😱)

Ahem, not to dampen your spirits, but technical analysis indicates that we are still in a downtrend for the short term. Even so, we also see many of the other cryptocurrencies recovering nicely again today following the flash crash on Monday, with BTC dominance has falling approximately 2% from 54% (Monday) to 52% now 👏

Notable mention today is VET, which is experiencing a ~40% price spike – likely because of their “Economic Node Maturity Period Waive Event” announcement 🎙 advising VET holders to load up their current bags 💰 to capitalize on node rewards. (ONT is also having a good day, seeing close to a 34% gain.)

Popping up amidst familiarity
As requested, here's our first-ever crypto deep dive on coins other than BTC and ETH! We will roll these out once a week as promised 🤙
  • Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Market Capitalization Rank: 4th
  • Consensus: Proof-of-work
  • Notable Supporters: Jihan Wu (and Bitmain), John McAfee, Roger Ver, Gavin Andresen... and Craig Wright aka Faketoshi 😎
How it happened ⚙️
  • A divisive community fight over BTC’s scaling plans (e.g SegWit) and rising transactional fees led to a hard fork ⚔️ 8 MB blocks were proposed and used for quicker processing of on-chain transactions and to reduce fees.
Why people love it 😘
  • The "Bitcoin as e-cash" argument: Potentially more viable transactional currency (vs BTC) due to reduced fees and confirmation times. There has also been an increase in the block size from 8 to 32 MB. 
  • Its smart contract functionality has been attracting a host of applications to build on the chain ⛓ It can also issue tokens soon, meaning they might become a serious competitor to ETH, given their community size.
  • There is a growing community, with support from major exchanges and increasing number of BCH meetups globally.
Why people doubt it 🤔
  • Improvements to BTC scaling solutions could reduce its market share as a transactional currency.
  • Currently, the number of BCH transactions only averages about 10% of BTC’s. Even ETC and DOGE each has more average daily transactions than BCH 😅
  • More competitors are joining as serious contenders in the infrastructure coin space, such as EOS, ICON, Tezos and more.
  • Centralization concerns abound as the computer power needed to process larger blocks might price out smaller miners, leading to a more centralized ecosystem that’s prone to 51% attacks 💣

We just met yesterday
Coinbase hits our newsletter again. This time, it made headlines for publishing a new patent to make Bitcoin purchases more secure 🔑 for their customers by allowing users to securely pay in Bitcoin directly from their digital wallet on the portal.

It describes a system whereby a “key ceremony” 🎊 creates bundles of encrypted key shares, which are then combined to store an operational master key, that encrypts private keys at checkout.

The system also includes a “freeze logic” option that would allow users to halt a transaction. This portal would include an API key, allowing other merchants to launch their own version of it 🛒

What's new
The California Fair Political Practices Commission is thinking about letting California’s public office candidates accept cryptocurrencies as donations. It was unable to take to a definitive stance though 😕

The general sentiment was that an outright ban might not be the most effective solution as it could shut the door to the future benefits of blockchain technology, but they are worried it might open the floodgates to fraudulent activity 😶 As a middling solution, a temporary agreement will allow up to $100 per donation in cryptocurrency for this year's midterm elections. Oh, that's a third of an ETH today 🤐

Extrapolating from the past
Computing giant NVIDIA reported declining sales of cryptocurrency miners in their Q2 earnings announcement. Even though gaming, professional visualization and datacenter services gained ground, the increased sales in these product lines were offset by substantial decline in the sale of GPUs for crypto mining 🌫

Initially, NVIDIA's Q2 projected revenue for cryptocurrency-specific products was approximately $100 million, but actual figures turned out to be $18 million. They are expecting “no contribution” from crypto-related sales for the rest of 2018 🌪

Same old brand new you
  • UPS is looking to blockchain to streamline delivery logistics in their global supply chain involving multiple carriers, with a patent that uses distributed ledger technology.
  • Another OTC-type Bitcoin ETF has appeared bearing the ticker CXBTF, originally hailing from Sweden, but now targeting US investors.
  • Pantera Capital is looking to raise another $175 million for its third venture fund.
  • Bank of China has partnered with UnionPay to look into using blockchain for cross-border mobile payments.
  • Ripple is partnering Bittrex, Bitso and Coins.ph to offer payment settlement solutions under the XRapid product.
Poll of the Day
What are the chances BCH will overtake BTC as the key infrastructure coin and ecosystem one day? 🎲
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This is a timely poll, what with the leak of the pre-IPO documents from Bitmain this week depicting their massive BCH holdings 💰

Also, give us your feedback on our new crypto deep dive section!
What you said
People were super positive about the future of blockchain identity systems: 8.2. Wow, that's the highest number I've seen in our polls so far! 😮 Security was the key reason (~50%), followed by user choice over data (27%), decentralization (16%) and user monetization (7%).

However, almost 3/4 of all respondents are not actively using, or have used, a blockchain identity product today. That just shows that there is a lot of unfulfilled promise and potential that I'm sure we will tap into as the space develops 😎

About whether is the a killer feature of blockchain, some believe that it definitely is, because it is true to the original goal to give power and control back to individuals 👐 With centralized companies being targeted in hacks, leading to security breaches and data leaks, it is getting harder for users to trust centralized data repositories. There is also the concern that each user's personal data is being used indiscriminately by the companies, who can then betray this trust with little oversight

A major concern is the fact that centralized data monopolies are unlikely to willingly cede control back to the users as it will impair their profit-making abilities 👿 They will be unlikely to accept blockchain identity systems with open arms. Others are worried that governments may control the system too much, in their pursuit of AML/KYC practices, defeating the purpose.

Of course, there is much optimism as those who have used the technology find it safe and easy to use (as compared to those who tried DEXes, surprisingly). Good to know! 💪

(The person who said you liked my sense of humor: an extra ✋ for you! 😉)
See you next week!
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