This is the 8th Edition of our Crypto Roundup, brought to you by HEAT. Let's get straight to it.
Coins and Exchanges
First, let's get a clueless tweet from a smart man:
It reads "Litecoin has been added to @GDAX! You've been asking for it for years, but not many are using it yet. What's keeping you on other exchanges?"
First, let's look at Litecoin's trading volume. This is from Coinmarketcap:
The total volume on GDAX is less than 2% of the total Litecoin trading volume. Firstly, go see the page on Coinmarketcap that tracks the different exchanges trading Litecoin. There are 94 fee-based exchanges listed there!
The exchange environment has moved on. What Charlie Lee is referring to was something people really asked for a long time ago. If you don't time things right, this is what you get. A note to Coinbase and GDAX: You got the first-mover advantage, and a shit load of money. That doesn't make you an automatic winner by any means. You need to earn your keep in this business. Rebranding, picking fights with your core-community and having overall terrible customer service does no one any favors. The community benefits from this, to be sure. Lots of options to choose from.
Just don't leave your long-term coins on an exchange. We've seen that movie before.
Exchanges are playing a more and more dominant role in the ecosystem. There are some decentralized exchanges like Bitshares and CCEDK that uses Bitshares to run its ICOs/exchanges. Otherwise, the power is centralized in one giant elephant - Poloniex. Note: HEAT also runs a decentralized exchange on it. Seriously folks, check out HEAT!
And it isn't without controversy how Poloniex adds new coins to its exchange. There doesn't seem to be any objective criteria. Some coins there have very low volumes, while some higher volume ones don't get added there. Recent ICOs are tricky too. Stratis, for example just trades on Bittrex and not Poloniex.
Poloniex has a huge lead, even giants like GDAX with their hundreds of millions of dollars will struggle against it. GDAX seems to be making a push away from only Bitcoin/Ethereum to trying to add more cryptocurrencies. Competition is good.
Monero Overtakes Litecoin
Speaking of Litecoin/Charlie Lee/Coinbase's woes, that's Monero's ascent. And today, Monero has overtaken Litecoin in terms of marketcap. That's a huge milestone for Monero and another sad milestone for Litecoin.
It has been nothing short of remarkable. Beginning of this year, Monero was priced around 0.001 BTC. Today, it is 0.025 BTC. That's a 25x return year-to-date. It's pretty huge for a cryptocurrency that is as big as Monero.
Most of the reason for this rapid rise comes with the use of Monero in the dark markets. It provides much better anonymity than Bitcoin, so it is becoming a currency of choice for the darknets, as Bitcoin moves mainstream. We'll see how this works out for Monero. Right now, this seems like such a huge pump, it is hard to know if this price level is sustainable for Monero or not.
In its wake, Monero is bringing an increased focus on privacy of transactions. Here's Shadowcash in its wake.
Bitcoin gets a lot of hate in the mainstream media, and still, to this day, references to drugs, scams, etc. It has a strong ideological central base that isn't too friendly or welcoming to new people in the space (remember Dogecoin and its community at one point in time?) Still, Bitcoin leads the rooster when it comes to marketcaps, but not necessarily when it comes to mainstream mentions.
Many other projects are working on various problems, and people seem friendlier to them, even though at the core the all inherit from Bitcoin. These "appcoins" are a good way to move the space forward.
Here was one such moment yesterday - here is LBRY Credits on the front-page of Reddit (not Reddit's subreddits, the main Reddit homepage). It's on the #2 spot. Really something. I can't remember when a Bitcoin story was that high on Reddit front page, if ever.
And it goes without saying, the project is getting some serious attention. Here's the price action for the last 7 days:
These moments help the whole space get more people interested in the projects being worked on. Win-win people, we are not competing amongst ourselves, but with the 99.9% people who have no idea what crypto even means.
The Red Headed Stepchild Steps Out
Ethereum Classic (ETC) is making some independent decisions from its parent, Ethereum (ETH). For starters, here is their website. And fortunately or unfortunately, ETC is adopting some of the positions of BTC.
Take monetary inflation for instance. It is a cornerstone of Bitcoin and Bitcoin politics to have the hard cap limit on the total monetary supply. Ethereum currently has none. So the folks at ETC are planning to change that.
But then there are proposals that could arguably make this less decentralized, like integrating third-party APIs (it's good for overall progress on projects, but makes it less decentralized).
We'll see how ETC evolves independent of its parent ETH.
That's it for this week folks. We'll make this roundup fortnightly (once every two weeks for you Yanks) going forward, instead of weekly. Stay tuned.