We all know that our beloved miners are the ones that keep the Bitcoin network spinning. Using complex computers to mine a block on which the transactions are made. According to data collected from blockchain.info, the value of transaction fees paid to miners has gone as high as $2.3 million. Woah!
Miners solve complicated mathematical equations to mine a block. As a reward, they get 12.5 bitcoins for unlocking the block. Along with that, they are let to keep the transaction fees users pay when the payment is made with the cryptocurrency.
Back in the days, miners only got a couple of dollars in Bitcoin transaction fees, however, on Wednesday, miners received an enormous $2.3 million.
“That’s on top of the millions of dollars they received in their bitcoin rewards,” said Aaron Lasher, the chief marketing officer at Breadwallet. He made an estimation that miners were rewarded a total of 1,800 bitcoins or $7 million.
Transaction fees dropped from $1.7 million on June 6 to $205,000 on July 31st. Aaron explained that the reason behind the dip was likely dude to a decline in bitcoin transactions nearing the fork date.
Nowadays, ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are among the most contentious fundraising techniques. Though, based on market figures, it looks like there’s no halt in raising money with ICOs anytime soon.
ICO Market Analysis
The very first successful ICO event took place in 2014 by Ethereum. However, the year 2017 saw some of the biggest ICOs, such as Filecoin and Hdac, that raised more than $250 million only with their token sales. But the trend seemed to slow down by the end of the year, with a huge number of failed ICOs.
According to a report, out of 169 projects, only 69 managed to raise money through token sales, effectively. As the trend started to fade away, it grabbed the attention of protruding figures of the blockchain sector.
By the end of 2017, the failure of ICO trends rebounded with force and achieved a whole new level in the starting of 2018. More than $1 billion worth token sales were registered back in December. However, in a mere three months of 2018, the blockchain firms raised more than $5 billion by selling tokens.
The number of ICOs are skyrocketing. Plus, 50 ICOs are now being registered every month, whereas in 2017, not a single month saw ICOs more than 26, except the month of December.
People with dubious business models saw a huge opportunity in the unregulated ICOs market. Major projects such as Bitconnect, was shut down after it reached a $2.5 billion market cap. Furthermore, the intense funds on digital platforms turn out to be an easy target for hackers and according to a report, 450 ICO projects were attacked in 2017.
Problems Faced by Regulators
ICOs are gaining huge popularity and have become a huge concern for regulatory authorities around the world for two main reasons:
The vulnerability of the investors.
The cash-flow to an unregulated sector.
Though, the complex decentralized architecture of the blockchain has made it quite hard to execute any regulations on the wild-market, the largest ICO market, US, has recently become the centre of the regulatory discussion on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Deprived of any real plan, numerous US agencies, like SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) are trying their best to explain the rules according to their own partial understanding.
Is there any solution?
Well, it’s quite clear that the ICO market is far-off from coming to a “full-stop.” Though, on the other hand, this also means that more projects are going to target investors. However, in an attempt to regulate the market, the SEC keeps on banning legit ICOs.
Bitcoin’s price has been soaring sky high the past few months. It takes everyone by surprise how well the cryptocurrency has been doing.
On April 24th, Erik Voorhees had made a prediction of $300 billion market capitalization on Twitter: “Tokens as an asset class have surpassed $30 billion. I predict over $300 billion within 4 years.”
So, what could be the factors contributing to driving Bitcoin up to new heights?
Through estimates and statistics, it still shows that 85% of the Global Bitcoin trading comes from China. Remaining countries have had a lesser impact. Obviously, due to a large amount of data flowing in from all sides, it’s hard to keep track of the accuracy of everything.
Economists, market analysts and financial experts, like CFA Prableen Bajpaiare, report current fears in China and Asia that the yuan could deflate due to the increased investments in bitcoin.
Other analysts have agreed to this as well: “Signs indicate Bitcoin’s price has become linked to a number of macroeconomic factors in China,” said Vijay Michalik, a research analyst for digital transformation at consultancy Frost & Sullivan.
“It highlights growing concerns about yuan currency deflation, as bitcoin’s appeal has grown as an alternative asset class for a population deprived of many investment choices.”
“The most likely explanation appears to be linked to market confidence in the Asia region, with low confidence in local currencies providing a major boost to bitcoin demand,” said James Lynn, U.K. managing director at investment company Billon Group, in a 2016 CNBC interview.
There has also been a big devaluation of currencies in other emerging markets such as India and Russia. For example, the Indian Rupee had gone down by 20 percent in 2017 compared to the US Dollar.
Even if the USD is rising compared to other currencies, people around the world are still looking for alternatives to it and Bitcoin has seemed to won that competition.
In 2016, Russians were exchanging their depreciating rubles to bitcoins by a large number. Due to tumbling of the ruble, the Russian Ministry of Finance came up with statements regarding money laundering and the possibility of taxing and regulating Bitcoin as an asset. Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told Bloomberg in an interview in April 2017. He also added that “The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain”.
Blockchain companies funding
Bitcoin start-ups that attracted large investments in Bitcoin and blockchain companies, with total funding of $550 million are now increasing the demand for bitcoin in 2017. This had a huge impact on the Bitcoin’s value, causing it to shoot up.
Back to China
Due to the deflation of the yuan currency, Bitcoin value has been very appealing to Monetary policies, Chinese companies, and rich individuals. Also, several big investors are being tempted by Bitcoin. They are all demanding for Bitcoin in China since it is much more stable right now.
Japan, important growth
Things have started to get very interesting in Japan as well. In the last 6 months, what happened to be just 0.91 percent of the total bitcoin trading volume has surprisingly risen to 6 percent in just 30 days. Based on unofficial estimates and data provided by coinmarketcap.com and data.bitcoinity.org. There has been a sudden increase in the demand of Bitcoin in Japan.
Can anything wreck the path Bitcoin is on?
Anything, such as the increase in the price of gold would cause a drop in the value of bitcoin, but this won’t be happening anytime soon. Gold is down 4.58 percent in the last 30 days, which is in favor of Bitcoin.
Also, the altcoins have been grabbing a lot of attention the past few months, but they’re still risky and unstable investments. Whereas, Bitcoin is in a much better shape than most and will be reaching new heights in the near future.
According to some financial observers the future of cryptocurrency hedge fund could face a harsh and violent transformation during 2018. It has also been predicted that 10 percent of these hedge funds could shutdown during the next few months. Even Bloomberg reported recently that the continuous decrease in the prices of cryptocurrency assets have played a critical role in the slowdown of hedge funds. This prediction seems to be true as far as the ratio of crypto hedge funds opening is concerned which decreased continuously during the current year as compared to their launch rate in 2017 which was over 170. The situation has totally changed now as during the first three months of 2018 only 20 new players showed their existence on the scenario and shutting down of previous funds also continues.
Reasons For This Downfall
According to latest hedge fund news the main reason for all this downfall can be the significant reduction in price of cryptocurrency this year, this decrease in price of automatically affected the relative hedge funds resulting in losses and closings of their doors for 2018. The ultimate decrease in price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has not been good for the health of hedge fund business. Regulatory uncertainty has also played its role in all this scenario.
Alpha Protocol is one of the recently closed funds which directly cited “potential regulatory and market risks” as main reasons for its decision to refund deposits. A statement was issued by its co-founder that new capital rate had slowed down and it was getting difficult to survive even for a high profile fund like Alpha Protocol.
Which Crypto Funds Were Affected Most?
Among those companies which had to freeze their operations, Crowd Crypto Fund and Alpha Protocol are on the top of the list. It has been reported that a total of 9 hedge funds revolving around cryptocurrency were shut down since December 2017. In addition to the shutdown of various funds, some of the investors have reverted to their previous investment plans which proved to be more secure than the crypto based hedge funds.
Alongwith unsure market health, regulatory uncertainty was also responsible for this downfall. Rumours have been circulating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is fully prepared to check approximately 100 hedge funds in the near future while there are still more than 200 active hedge funds in operation.
Whatever the reason may be, all that discussion means that the cryptocurrency hedge fund business must evolve itself in order to compete with the regulatory uncertainty lying ahead.