Crypto Markets See Green as Bitcoin Nears $3,900 and Ethereum Touches $160

Saturday, Jan. 5 — the crypto markets are mainly in the green today, as Bitcoin (BTC) moves closer to the $3,900 mark, data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization by Coin360

Bitcoin has shown slight growth today, up by around 3 percent and trading at about $3,899 at press time. Over the month, Bitcoin is up almost 1 percent and almost 7 percent over the week.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Ethereum (ETH) is currently trading at around $159, up more than 6 percent on the day at press time. The second-largest cryptocurrency is seeing around 35 percent gains over the week, and 47 percent gains over the month.

This week, developers from Ethereum discussed the possibility of implementing a new proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm that would raise the efficiency of GPU-based — rather than ASIC-based — mining on the network. The debate over whether to go forward with the implementation comes ahead of the upcoming Ethereum Constantinople hard fork.

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Ethereum Price Index

Third-largest cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) is up over 2 percent at press time, trading at around $0.36. Over the week, the coin has seen more than 7 percent growth, and almost 5 percent gains over the month.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Ripple Price Index.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies is currently around $133 billion at press time, up from its weekly low of about $125 billion.

7-day chart of total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Of the top ten cryptocurrencies, Litecoin (LTC) and TRON are showing the biggest growth, up over 12 and 15 percent respectively.

Earlier this week, the Gemini crypto exchange — founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2014 — released a series of ads calling for better regulation of the crypto space. The ads, which read “Crypto needs rules,” were received with mixed reactions from the crypto community, as some believe the space suffers from the intervention of regulators.

Also this week, five more crypto exchanges — including Coincheck — joined Japan’s self-regulatory association of cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Crypto Markets Are Mostly in Green, Ethereum Regains Top Altcoin Position

Wednesday, Jan. 2 — The main cryptocurrencies have mostly been in the green for two days now, according to data from Coin360. Bitcoin (BTC) is still over $3,800 mark, while Ethereum (ETH) has regained the top altcoin position.

Market visualization from Coin360

Proof of Keys — a celebration when BTC holders temporarily withdraw their funds from all exchanges and mediators  — is coming in just a few hours, and BTC has gained about 3 percent in price since the beginning of Jan. 2. The coin is traded at approximately $3,900 as of press time.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin Price Index

ETH has yet again beaten Ripple (XRP) as the world’s major altcoin by market capitalization after spending several weeks on the third place. The altcoin’s market cap reached almost $15.8 billion at press time, surpassing XRP’s market cap by almost $1 billion. ETH is now traded around $150, gaining more than 13 percent in price in comparison to yesterday’s charts.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum Price Index

Meanwhile, XRP, the third-top altcoin, is trading at $0.36, seeing a slight growth in price during the day. The coin’s market cap is around $14.9 billion.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple Price Index

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has climbed up to $132 billion, $2 billion away from its weekly high of $134.3 billion reached on Sunday, Dec. 30.

7-day total market capitalization chart

7-day total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

All of the other altcoins from the top 20 are in the green today, with EOS (EOS), Cardano (ADA) and IOTA (MIOTA) having the most visible price increases with 5.1, 5.5 and 7.2 percent on the day respectively.

In the meantime, the crypto community is discussing the accusations against crypto exchange HitBTC, which allegedly froze the accounts of several of its users in the wake of the Proof of Keys campaign.

The firm itself has not yet responded to the accusations of Twitter and Reddit users, some of whom claim that BTC withdrawal was not available for them for the last few days. The connection between the blocked withdrawals and the Proof of Keys is not confirmed.

Meanwhile, major Japanese e-commerce conglomerate DMM.com Ltd. has announced the closure of its crypto mining services due to their deteriorating profitability. The news comes shortly after similar announcements made by Japanese internet giant GMO Internet Group, which has ceased the development and selling of BTC miners.

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Ripple, Monero, NEM See Solid Growth Amid Calm, Mostly Green Markets

Monday, Nov. 12: crypto markets are seeing a wave of stability, with most major assets seeing low-level fluctuations both red and green, with just a few exceptions, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is up around 0.85 percent, trading around $6,354 at press time. After a period of protracted stability, the top coin saw a recent spate of downwards momentum and has been trading beneath $6,400 for the past several days. After an intra-week low of $6,307 yesterday, Nov. 11, Bitcoin has stemmed its losses and pushed back above the $6,350 mark.

On the week, the top cryptocurrency is just a little down from the start of its weekly chart, in the red by a slight 0.4 percent. On the month, Bitcoin is up around one percent.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

The market’s leading altcoin Ethereum (ETH) has also seen a fractional gain, up around three quarters of a percent to trade at $210 at press time. Correlating with Bitcoin, the altcoin saw an intra-week peak at around $220 Nov. 7, declining in the following days to trade as low as $207 Nov. 11 before recovering ground today.

On the week, the asset is just under one percent in the green, but monthly growth is a healthy 8.5 percent.

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Ripple (XRP) has outstripped all of the top ten coins on CoinMarketCap, sealing almost six percent growth to trade at around $0.53 at press time. While still below its weekly peak at over $0.55 Nov. 6, Ripple saw a strong surge during the hours before press time, having traded sideways at a lower price point around $0.51 in recent days.

On the week, Ripple’s growth is now a solid 5.2 percent, with monthly gains at 25.6 percent.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ripple Price Index

Most of the remaining top ten coins on CoinMarketCap are in the green, seeing growth capped below a two percent range, with the exception of anonymity-oriented altcoin Monero (XMR), which has seen solid a 3.35 percent gain to trade at around $107.03.

After a period of heated controversies ahead of its forthcoming hard fork Nov. 15, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has tipped slightly into the red, down around 0.8 percent to trade at $527.74 at press time.

Mati Greenspan, an eToro senior analyst, has today pointed out on Twitter that despite “all this drama in BCH [Bitcoin Cash] and still Google searches aren’t even coming close to BTC [Bitcoin]. Tell me again, which is the real Bitcoin?”

Greenspan provided a screenshot of Google Trend analytics for the past 30 days, which show that Bitcoin — sometimes dubbed Bitcoin Core — continues to significantly outflank Bitcoin Cash in terms of Internet searches.

Comparison of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Google searches over the past 30 days. Source: Google Trends

The top twenty coins by market cap are seeing more mixed red and green, with the 15th highest-ranked crypto NEM (XEM) a significant outlier, up 16.3 percent to trade at about $0.108 at press time. NEM saw a sudden, steep uptick during earlier trading hours to peak at $0.114, before correcting just slightly downwards ahead of press time.

NEM 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Altcoins DASH (DASH) and IOTA (MIOTA) have both seen above-average growth over a 24 hour period, up 3.3 and 4.5 percent at $165.07 and $0.50 respectively.

Tezos (XTZ) and privacy-focused altcoin ZCash (ZEC), ranked 18th and 19th largest by market cap, are each down just a little over 2 percent on the day, trading at about $1.29 and $127.44 respectively.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $212.9 billion as of press time, down from an intra-week high of around $220.7 billion Nov. 7.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies: Souce: CoinMarketCap

Today, Japanese IT giant GMO Internet published its third quarter (3Q) report, revealing a “historical performance” of its crypto-related business segments despite “the harsh external environment.”

Meanwhile in China, a new blockchain alliance has been formed by the Guangzhou City Blockchain Industry Association, the Hong Kong Blockchain Industry Association, and the Macau University Innovation Center to collaborate on four new finance-oriented blockchain platforms.

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Almost All Top 100 Cryptocurrencies Solidly in Green, Dogecoin Skyrockets Over 40%

Saturday, September 1: crypto markets are multiplying recent gains today, with 97 out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap solidly in the green, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to climb steadily over the $7,000 mark, seeing 2.52 percent gains over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin is trading at about $7,216 at press time, up 7.2 percent over the past week. 

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap broke the $7,000 point for the second time this week amidst news from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reporting a decline in bearish positions for non-commercial Bitcoin futures contracts.

Btc

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is grazing the $300 price point, trading just under it at $299.66, up almost 6 percent over the 24 hour period. The largest altcoin has, like Bitcoin, also seen about 7 percent growth on the week, though it is still facing 28.7 percent losses on the month. 

Eth

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has reached $238.4 billion point for the first time since August 8 and is continuing to grow, seeing a slight spike during the hours to press time.

Global

Total market capitalization 1-month chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Of the top 25 cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin (DOGE) has seen the most notable growth, up a whopping 41 percent over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. Altcoin Dogecoin has seen a significant upswing since August 30, up a stunning 135 percent in the past three days.

DOGE is currently ranked in 21st place on CoinMarketCap, trading at $0.0061 and with a market capitalization of $708 million.

To explain DOGE’s massive growth this week, commentators on Twitter point to an impending infrastructure development for the project dubbed Dogethereum, the demo for which is set to take place Sept. 5. The protocol refers to a smart contract that will act as a so-called bridge letting people move Dogecoins to and from the Ethereum blockchain.

In the top ten coins, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) have seen the most growth, up 14.7 and 8 percent respectively.

The wave of green across crypto markets has increased as the reports surfaced that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is planning to launch Ethereum futures by the end of 2018.

Also this week, the central bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), confirmed its plans to set up an inter-departmental group to evaluate the feasibility of issuing a rupee-backed central bank digital currency.

Earlier this week on August 29, Cointelegraph reported announced that Yahoo Finance was displaying buy and sell options for several major cryptocurrencies on its website. The company then confirmed to Cointelegraph that the new service will be only available on its iOS app and will let users trade cryptos including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dogecoin on their preferred exchanges via an integrated third party service.

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Op Ed: Is Green Crypto (Necessarily) an Oxymoron?

Cryptocurrencies are not exactly bathed in the light of righteousness right now when it comes to the environment. Despite not having a physical form, they are ultimately responsible for a substantial amount of environmental impact. This has stemmed from news stories detailing how, in Iceland, more electricity is being used to mine Bitcoin than is used to power its homes, or that Bitcoin mining now uses as much energy as all of Ireland consumes. Sensationalist as these headlines might be, there is no denying that Bitcoin, Ethereum and the myriad of minable altcoins are responsible for significant power consumption today.

These headlines are why people are more aware of the perceived negative impacts of cryptocurrency mining than they are of the process of mining itself. To grossly oversimplify the process, every 10 minutes a bundle of transactions are encrypted in a block, which is added to the blockchain. Bitcoin miners bundle said transactions into blocks by hashing the transactions together in a Merkle tree, then solving a so-called “proof-of-work” puzzle. This puzzle takes the form of a series of mathematical equations used one after another until the “winning” equation is solved. At this point, the block is verified and added to the blockchain. In return, the miner (or consortium) receive the transaction fees and a predetermined allocation of coins for their efforts. For Bitcoin, this reward currently amounts to roughly $14 million per day.

Critically, the difficulty of the mining task adjusts automatically every two weeks in order to maintain a block creation rate of roughly one every 10 minutes. This means that increasing computing power will not result in more coins being created. Instead, the computation task just consumes more computing power to maintain the status quo of production. This system makes existing mining hardware less profitable and drives up the amount of energy consumed per bitcoin earned.

According to Digiconomist, the Bitcoin network currently consumes about 71 TWh of electricity per year, with the Ethereum network a distant second consuming about 21 TWh. Together, they account for energy consumption on par with the United Arab Emirates (~96 TWh per year). Economist Alex de Vries boldly predicted currency mining could consume 0.5 percent of the world’s energy in 2018, something that has put cryptocurrencies — and bitcoin in particular — in the firing line of multiple environmental groups.

Obviously, this would be a moot point if all mining was being powered by renewable sources like solar, wind or hydroelectric power (Iceland is powered entirely by geothermal and hydro power for example). However, an estimated 60 percent of the mining hash power originates from China. Furthermore, 70 percent of the electricity in China is generated by non-renewable sources, particularly coal. It shows that Iceland’s sustainable cryptomining is the exception rather than the rule. Put simply, cryptomining is not all powered by coal, but it mostly is.

Common environmental criticisms of cryptocurrencies often neglect to put the issue in the context of the wider financial sector’s impact. The devastating physical mining of metals to create obsolete coins is a key example. Also, the big banks are fundamentally unable to wean themselves off the massive energy consumption required to keep every headquarters, branch and ATM operating.

That said, if the crypto community really believes itself to be the future, it needs to do better than finger-pointing and petty whataboutism when it comes to environmental issues. How, therefore, do we rehabilitate crypto and blockchain technology to be greener?

The idea of “green crypto” is not a misnomer. There are initiatives out there that encourage more responsible cryptomining. The Canadian province of Québec has actively courted cryptocurrency companies to use its spare hydropower capacity. Recently, actor William Shatner threw his significant weight behind Solar Alliance, a Canadian company building a three-megawatt solar farm that can be rented out to cryptocurrency miners.

The emergence of similar projects is a positive sign for greater investment in crypto’s greener side. While most of these projects receive the bulk of their funding through the ICO route, more traditional investments and partnerships have been effective in driving mainstream visibility of the solutions they provide. Electrify Asia is one such project, raising $29 million through an ICO and going on to secure the backing of one of Ethereum’s original founding team members Wendell Davis, along with prominent Japanese VC group Global Brain.

Another example of mainstream investment in green crypto projects is Climate Coin, which has the backing of tech specialist PAL Capital. Climate Coin operates as a crypto-based carbon credit that can be purchased by anyone worldwide to offset their carbon footprint. On a macro level, energy-focused blockchain startups like this raised over $300 million between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018 alone, most of which came through ICOs. This level of investment, in what would have been a technological fantasy only a short time ago, is a sign that blockchain technology is being taken seriously by energy companies.

From an economic standpoint, increased investment from existing utility companies is inevitable. Blockchains’ penchant for decentralization blends well with existing energy-saving practices. In small scale use cases, the technology is enabling smaller companies to enter markets long monopolized by big energy companies.

Various initiatives are using a peer-to-peer exchange model to trade cheap renewable energy, circumventing the need and cost of buying energy from established suppliers. By motivating small renewable energy producers to sell directly to energy users, and using smart contracts to earn credits in the form of fungible crypto assets from any excess power produced, there is an opportunity to make the existing energy ecosystem cheaper, more efficient and consumer friendly.

While less common, there are still many crypto- and blockchain-based companies directly addressing environmental unsustainability. One blockchain-based initiative is the Plastic Bank, run with the support of partners including IBM. It is issuing tokens earned from collecting plastic waste to help impoverished communities. These tokens can then be converted into cash, exchanged for cooking fuel or education vouchers, demonstrating the good that this technology can do for the less fortunate.

Energi Mine is using a similar system, providing the cryptocurrency EnergiTokens (ETK) to consumers when they engage in energy-saving activities such as using public transport or buying energy-efficient appliances to reduce energy consumption. The ultimate goal of this is to cut global energy demand and carbon emissions by creating a system of financial incentives, which will subtlety shift positive energy decisions to become unconscious reflexes.

In this way, some blockchain and cryptocurrency companies are taking a holistic approach to tackling the established “rebound effect” — where the reduction in energy consumption created by new technologies and new efficiencies gets cancelled out by negative behavioral or other systemic responses. This is something that happens often without people realizing it. For instance, a 5 percent improvement in vehicle fuel efficiency may result in only a 3 percent drop in fuel use because 2 percent more fuel is consumed by people being able to afford to drive faster or further than before.

This is a well-documented phenomenon in the conservation space, and cryptominers are especially guilty of this. Every advancement in processor efficiency or cooling is negated by the gradual upward creep in mining power consumption needed to stay competitive.

This very phenomenon, however, could provide an opportunity for the industry to contribute to energy-saving technology in a huge way. The power/efficiency ratio demanded by cryptominers has given rise to an arms race in specialized hardware that can be used to mine cryptocurrencies more efficiently. A meaningful investment in green tech here would have an impact not only on the crypto community, but on the green hardware sector as a whole, especially if some of the breakthroughs can be extrapolated to other uses, which would go a long way toward creating a “good citizen” reputation for the crypto space.

Whether it is making sure that the energy for cryptomining comes from renewable sources, or simply investing in green-minded initiatives pioneered by the crypto and blockchain community, everyone in the sector can do something to reduce or offset its environmental impact. If crypto truly is the future of money, then the crypto community should feel obliged to do more to change the world for the better. Not just from a financial standpoint but from an environmental one as well.

This is a guest post by Omar Rahim, CEO of Energi Mine. Views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

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