TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Telegram Drops TON project. BTC hashrate falls after halving. Federal Reserve starts to buy bonds and ETFs. Stablecoin market cap goes over the $10 billion mark. Privacy coins to struggle on Japanese exchanges, and Africa keeps breaking P2P trading volume records.
Telegram Drops TON Project
Telegram decided to abandon the Telegram Open Network project (known as TON), its crypto network, due to regulatory issues after a standoff with US courts. Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, criticized the idea of a US court having the ability to rule about the distribution of a token at a worldwide level. Durov warned that while there might other projects using the TON name, these would not be affiliated with Telegram. TON was one of the biggest ICOs, managing to raise $1.7 billion in 2018 through two private sales.
BTC Hashrate Dropping After Halving
The hashrate (the amount of work securing the network) of the BTC network has fallen by 15% shortly after the halving, according to numbers from Blockchain.com. The reduction of the block reward has made mining unprofitable for certain miners, who can adjust equipment to mine currencies other than BTC or turn them off altogether. This capitulation could be gradual, as miners are still expecting a price increase that would return profitability to ASICS like Bitmain S9s.
Federal Reserve Greenlights Bonds and ETF Buyout
The Federal Reserve made history in the financial world: for the first time the US central bank purchased corporate bonds and ETFs, financial instruments that would be outside of their reach in normal economic situations. The move is directed to help markets obtain the necessary liquidity to sustain their growth even amidst the current coronavirus pandemic. The program includes the investment of $75 billion with a 10x leverage on different ETFs, anticipating possible direct investments into equity in the near future.
Stablecoins Market Cap Goes Over the $10 Billion Mark
Stablecoins seems to have benefited of the relative instability of the cryptocurrency market in the last few months, with the total market cap of all stablecoins surpassing the $10 billion number. Tether, the most popular stablecoin, continues to dominate more than 85% of the stablecoin market, with its TRON version growing to $1.7 billion. USDC, the regulated stablecoin issued by a joint alliance between Coinbase and Circle, sits second with 7.2% of the stablecoin market.
Privacy Coins Struggle on Japan Regulated Exchanges
Privacy Coins, such as Zcash, Monero, and Zcash, which obfuscate certain key aspects of payments, could struggle to remain listed on Japan regulated exchanges after statements from the Japanese crypto watchdog, FSA. An FSA representative stated the organization “expects prudent consideration of appropriateness of crypto-assets and which crypto-assets exchanges business operators deal with.” Privacy coins were delisted from certain exchanges in Japan last year, but no official statement was made against them.
Africa Keeps Breaking Trading Records in P2P Markets
Africa again broke P2P exchange volume records with Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Central Africa seeing new weekly highs. For Nigeria, it was the first record in 20 months! Will volumes settle down now that the halvening has passed? Stay tuned for next week!https://t.co/IZzHqwcpRS pic.twitter.com/Aa6kH9DYFY
— Matt Ahlborg [UsefulTulips.org] (@MattAhlborg) May 12, 2020
The African region posted very high trading records in P2P markets again (Paxful and LocalBitcoins), after having a record-breaking period just last week. This increase was caused by the rise of the P2P trading volumes in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana. While the African market is still a low volume target, it is starting to see more action as the new emerging market in crypto with some territories in Latin America having a high percentage of crypto penetration derived from inflation and other problems in places like Argentina and Venezuela.
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