September 2018 saw long bear runs for most major cryptocurrencies followed by reasonably long recovery periods. Ripple (XRP) saw a monthly increase of more than 50%, briefly unseating Ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value.
Bitcoin: The leading cryptocurrency traded below $6,600 from the 6th to 21st of September, leaving a string of lows in its wake. Its monthly low of $6,195.17 was recorded on the 9th of September while its monthly high of $7,7371.52 was recorded on the 4th of September. In total, Bitcoin saw a monthly decrease of 4.2% from a starting price of $7,013.03 to a current price of $6,713.41.
Ethereum: Just like last month, Ethereum saw a long string of bear runs, with a monthly low of $174.80 on the 12th of September and a monthly high of $267.60 on the 5th of September. Overall, ETH saw a 22.5% monthly decrease from a starting price of $285.46 to a current price of $220.51.
Ripple: Things started slow for XRP but quickly picked up the pace during the third week. It recorded a monthly high of $0.659019 on the 21st of September and a monthly low of $0.255407 on the 12th of September. Overall, XRP saw a monthly increase of 60.19% from a starting price of $0.334789 to a current price of $0.536312.
Domestic Cryptocurrency News:
Bitmain Technologies has recently signed a sponsorship deal with the Houston Rockets. The mining giant hopes to foster mainstream adoption by leveraging the popularity of the US basketball team. The sponsorship deal will be facilitated through Antpool, one of its mining subsidiaries but the financial details remain undisclosed at this time. According to the announcement, Bitmain will set up an exhibition within the Toyota Center, Houston, which is currently the Rockets’ home arena. This major move comes shortly after Bitmain announced its plans to expand its US operations by building a mining facility in Texas.
Representative Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, recently hosted a roundtable session termed "Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies." The event was held to address the growing concerns about ICO regulation in the cryptocurrency industry. According to Davidson, the meeting was a critical step towards preventing the creation of laws that would eventually kill the US ICO market. It was attended by representatives of large Wall Street companies and venture capitalists. Among those in attendance were Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity, Ripple, State Street, Coinbase, the Nasdaq, Union Square Ventures and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to Davidson, the input of these major players will go a long way in shaping the ICO regulation bill he is drafting for introduction this fall.
Republican Congressman to Propose “Groundbreaking” Legislation in Support of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain Technology
U.S. Representative Tom Emmer R-Minnesota is set to introduce bills that will aid cryptocurrency taxpayers and investors with a safer environment for forked cryptocurrencies. According to the press release, the bills are intended to support the development and operation of blockchain technology. The three bills are known as the “Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology,” the “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” and the “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act.” have not been approved. They will ensure that investors with forked cryptocurrencies are exempt from tax penalties until the Internal Reserve Service (IRS) provides formal reporting guidelines for them.
According to a recent survey by YouGov Omnibus, almost 50% of American millennials are interested in cryptocurrency. This may be a sign of a potentially high future adoption rate. The survey polled more than 1200 people and found that younger people are more enthusiastic about digital currencies than the older generation. 36% of the participants confirmed that they would be willing to move to cryptocurrency as a replacement for the US dollar. 57% were unwilling to make such a move, and in total, 50% of participants were disinterested in cryptocurrency while 48% showed interest. Unfortunately, 87% of interested participants have never interacted with a cryptocurrency.
The Gemini exchange, owned by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss is set to expand its operations to the UK. Other US-based exchanges like Coinbase have been able to expand to the UK successfully by acquiring e-money licenses from the FCA. These licenses are only issued to exchanges that have established systems for anti-money laundering procedures and customer checks. The company is currently in talks with legal advisors to file an application with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulatory body for cryptocurrency within the UK. However, UK politicians have urged the government to police the crypto asset market due to the risks it entails.
International Cryptocurrency News:
Smart Dubai Office, Dubai’s government initiative led by its Crown Prince, has announced the implementation of blockchain technology on DubaiPay, its payments smartphone app. The addition of this technology will allow users to perform real-time settlement and reconciliation transactions. The technology, labeled “blockchain-powered upgrade to its financial system’(Dubaipay),” was created in partnership with the Dubai Department of Finance (DoF).
The DubaiPay portal has been functioning at high capacity and currently hosts more than 40 entities. So far, the system has been tested by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Both have processed more than 5 million transactions on the platform.
Hsiao Hsin-Chen, a Taiwanese politician, recently became the first gubernatorial aspirant to accept a cryptocurrency donation. According to Taiwan News, Hsin-Chen received $325 (10,000 New Taiwan Dollars) worth of Bitcoin, which is currently the limit for non-cash donations according to local laws. This donation may have come as a result of Hsin-Chen’s announcement earlier in the year that he would be open to accepting cryptocurrency donations. He has also expressed interest in using this move to foster technological innovation in Taipei using digital assets, blockchain, and other emerging technologies.
Grupo XP, Brazil’s largest independent brokerage, is set to launch its cryptocurrency exchange known as XDEX. According to Guilherme Benchimol, CEO of Grupo XP, the company would rather not enter the crypto space but is forced to, due to the growing popularity of digital assets in Brazil. Investors within the region are now 5 times more exposed to Bitcoin than they are to traditional stocks. The XDEX platform will employ only 40 professionals and support the exchange of Bitcoin and Ethereum after its launch in the coming months. The company hopes to have $245 billion in custody by 2020.
To learn about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sent its officials on tours to other countries. The study tours spanned across the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). They allowed Indian officials to interact directly with these international regulatory bodies and gain knowledge of the digital asset landscape. India will use this knowledge to develop the numerous projects that it has planned within the industry, including the possible issuance of a Rupee-backed central bank digital asset.
Asia has seen an increase in blockchain startups, and as a result, the jobs market within the industry is skyrocketing. Blockchain jobs have reportedly become more appealing to professionals in other sectors. According to Robert Walters, a prominent recruitment firm, there has been a 50% rise in blockchain and cryptocurrency roles within the continent since 2017. Among the most highly sought after professionals are those with Python programming skills. According to Indeed.com, the main markets are Asian including Australia, Singapore, India, and Malaysia. Applicants have also shown great enthusiasm in these blockchain roles as well.