Welcome to the 21st crypto roundup brought to you by HEAT.
If you've not been living under a crypto-rock, you probably have seen the huge pumps in many cryptocurrencies. Yes, I call them pumps and fairly confidently at that. It is pure speculation that is driving the market now, not a fundamental belief in the future of crypto.
How do we know? Well, look at the coins that are being pumped! Do you really think people all of a sudden believed in the utility of Dogecoin to the wide world?
At the time of this writing, the great altcoin pump of 2017 is still raging strong. The 'Bitcoin dominance index' (the total market capitalization of Bitcoin compared to all other cryptos) stands at an all-time low of 53%, compared to around 80% at the beginning of the year. And this is after Bitcoin has risen over 50% in this time period!
This cycle isn't news or information driven, it is speculation driven. And like every speculative bubble, it will burst sometime, and there will be winners and losers. Be careful not to get too caught up in the speculation mania.
With Speculation Comes Scalability
The flip side of this speculation bubble, is that blockchains are being forced to handle a lot more transactions than they normally would. The scalability problems that Bitcoin is facing are fairly well known. Still, the list of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network has topped tens of thousands, and brings attention back to that problem.
Even the likes of Ethereum are not immune. Fees are rising really fast on Ethereum, reaching, for the first time, fees of over 10 cents over the last couple of days.
Blockchain scalability isn't as glamourous to talk about as price. However, it is one of the limiting factors that can severely hamper progress in this chain. There are projects that are relentlessly working on trying to solve this problem, like HEAT. We hope other blockchains take a leaf out of HEAT's page and address the issue of scalability for blockchains at an early enough stage, so that the entire industry can benefit down the road.
On this topic, Dan Larimer, the infamous developer of controversial projects Bitshares and Steemit, announced he's launching a third (controversial?) project EON that supposedly addresses scalability. Proof of stake systems like DPOS in Bitshares already scale much better than proof of work systems like Bitcoin, although at the cost of other parameters and issues (like voter apathy). We are excited to see other prominent teams tackle these blockchain scaling issues along with HEAT.
ICOs Roll On
We'll end this roundup with a quick update and word of caution. The ICO market remains hot, as it always has this year. However, we're seeing a higher instance of projects raising ICO money without even a basic whitepaper! In fact, many projects are converting their 'marketing plan' to whitepaper. A rising tide lifts all boats, but investors can get burned badly with some of these. We won't name names, but caution investors to do their due-diligence before investing in ICOs that are raising millions of dollars without an MVP, product roadmap, or even a whitepaper.