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Cryptocurrencies

Crypto Briefing: EOS Becomes Fifth Largest Altcoin

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EOS broke into the top five cryptocurrencies earlier today as its price surged ahead of an airdrop. On April 15th holders of 100 EOS or more will be given an equivalent amount of eosDAC tokens. This is the first step for EOS becoming a fully fledged Decentralised Autonomous Community. The impending airdrop, a giveaway of tokens, has driven the market cap of EOS above that of Litecoin. Sitting at over $6.6bn, it represents a jump of over 50% in the value of the coin. While the current price is high, coins typically experience a drop after an airdrop has taken place – once people have got their free coins they tend to cash out.

Following news last week that more and more Japanese companies were investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Venrock, the investment vehicle of the Rockefeller family, announced that it was partnering with Coinfund. This move from the western institutional investor comes after Soros Fund Management got into the crypto-game too. The old guard of the financial world getting into the cryptomarket is set to be the theme of 2018, and with Soros, often publically dismissive of cryptocurrencies, making moves in the market it marks a change in perceptions of the possibilities of the technology.

The European Union is looking to get into the game as well. It celebrated Digital Day on the 10th of April and had several announcements relating to the blockchain. After the launch of the $300m EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum initiative, a wider European Blockchain Partnership was announced at the celebration. The Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, opined that in the future all government services will use blockchain and that it will help EU governments implement tenets of the Tallinn Declaration, which bound them to improve the development and delivery of public services using digital means.

JP Morgan suffered some ironic blowback from the crypto community earlier this week. The US investment bank was hit with a class-action lawsuit after levying fees on cryptocurrency purchases. ChaseBank, owned by JP Morgan, had banned the purchase of cryptos using its credit cards earlier this year, but customers could still use their debit cards and accounts to buy coins on exchanges. These purchases were treated as ‘cash advances’, which are subject to higher fees than regular transactions. The bank is being accused of breaking the US Truth and Lending Act, a bill designed to protect individuals from ‘unfair credit billing and credit card practices’.

Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship crypto coin, opened at $6,759. For the first time in a while, it closed higher than its start, at $6,914. It briefly broke the $7,000 mark over the past seven days, hitting a high of $7,176, with its low being $6,582. Fears of a further clampdown on crypto advertising on platforms such as Twitter were increased when @Bitcoin, a twitter account which often rubbishes Bitcoin core while praising Bitcoin Cash, was suspended briefly. No further action has been taken though, and it looks like it was just an isolated incident.

Ether (ETH) followed Bitcoin’s trajectory closely. It gained over $40 in its valuation over the course of the week, going from $380 at the beginning to $422 by the end of the seven day period. A high of $429 was recorded, and it bottomed out at $267. It was not all good news for Ether though, as it experienced a death cross (when the short-term average of an asset falls below its long-term average.) It generally signifies that sentiment has moved decisively against investing in a product. The good news of rising prices, though, may make this only a momentary situation.

Ripple (XRP) announced that it was putting $25m worth of XRP into Blockchain Capital. The venture capital fund is the oldest of its type in the cryptomarket and has raised $250m in four rounds of fundraising. Ripple looks like it will be investing in more blockchain VC funds in the future, with aims to become a major player in the market. XRP racked up modest gains over the past week – starting at $0.496 it grew to finish at $0.509. Its closing price was very close to the seven day high, $0.511, and well away from its low of $0.470.

EOS, as previously mentioned, experienced the most significant changes. Opening at $5.72, it fell soon after to its low of $5.69, before soaring to a high of $8.90. It finished its very strong week at $8.34, taking Litecoin’s place as the fifth largest altcoin by market cap.

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