Binance Coin, Stakecoin, and BlakeStar: The Top Performing Cryptocurrencies of March 2018
March 2018 continued to see the crypto markets correct. Even with a further correction and continued bearish trends in the crypto markets a few altcoins actually bucked the trend and saw positive returns in March; these coins included Binance Token, Stakecoin, and BlakeStar.
State of the Market
The beginning of March saw bitcoin (BTC) approach the $11,000 mark on March 1, 2018. However, exactly one month later BTC is trading at under $7,000 with a price of approximately $6,600. The start of March saw BTC more than 60 percent lower than its December high of almost $20,000 on December 17, 2018. The further market correction pushed BTC to retract another 40 percent in value to its current price point. With the entire markets suffering an enormous correction it seems a bull trend is around the corner, but the question remains: when?
February seemed to provide some catalysts that may allow for the crypto markets to break out of their two-month bearish trend. These catalysts turned out to be inefficient in reversing the bearish trend. A very interesting point to note from February was its Top Performing Cryptos. The top-performing coins for February all had major projects that intended to increase their utility during February dramatically. When utility is enhanced in the crypto community the underlying asset (coin or token) follows suit. Finding positive returns in a bearish market is difficult, but by finding utility and events, it is possible to ride hype waves.
March saw very few coins provide positive returns, but there was one noteworthy coin with a market cap over $100 million and a few smaller cap cryptos with market caps over $5 million that still managed to provide positive returns for investors.
Binance Token (BNB): Top Exchange by Volume
Binance Token (BNB) is valued at $12.22 per crypto with a market cap of over $1.4 billion. Of the cryptocurrencies with a market cap over $1 billion last month, BNB was the top performer having increased in value more than 23.5 percent during March. With the leading crypto in the market (BTC) having fallen more than 20 percent it is nice to see a major coin like BNB rally strongly.
BNB is the cryptocurrency of Binance and, by owning BNB, it halves the investor’s trading fees, while also providing a dividend. BNB is an ERC-20 token with a fixed supply of 200 million. 100 million BNB tokens were sold during their ICO in 2017. BNB is such a desirable token because of its utility, able to be utilized for: exchange fees, withdrawal fees, listing fees, and any other applicable fee on the site. Currently holding BNB reduces the trading fee from 0.1 to 0.05 percent. Other top exchanges like Bittrex offer insured platforms but charge 0.25 percent per trade. Compared to holding BNB and trading on Binance, the trader saves 80 percent in fees on every trade. BNB is a fantastic token for those looking to get a strong dividend or have their fees on their trading platform greatly reduced.
Binance is well aware of how supply and demand work adding a third bonus beyond the reduction of fees and a hefty dividend. Binance intends to buy back 20 percent of BNB tokens every quarter and burn them until the total supply returns back to 100 million from the 200 million total tokens allocated for distribution. By reducing supply while maintaining the utility of the BNB token, it is likely BNB will continue to rise in value reversing the trend of the overall market.
BNB is not a high-risk, high-reward play. However, they are one of the safest cryptocurrencies in the market with an already established utility, the highest volume of any exchange, and on the shortlist as one of the few respectable names in the exchange business.
BlakeStar (ERA): Rebranding to ERA, Low Volume
BlakeStar’s (ERA) price movement this month was a combination of two things. Rebranding to “ERA” along with exceptionally low volume. When volume is around 1 BTC that means less than $10,000 of the underlying asset is traded daily. This means the price can be easily manipulated for less than $10,000. With such low volume, there is clearly nefarious reasons to push the price of a crypto higher. BlakeStar increased 93.5 percent during March to a market cap of over $23 million. In a month where the vast majority of alts continued their slide, gains of 90 percent seem to be an aspect of one’s dreams.
Blakestar is unique, according to their website, “BlakeStar is based on a peer-to-peer network protocol that allows people to store, place transaction, and earn substantial interest on investment (PoS) with a focus on high performance, longevity, and adoption by services. This means any user holding coins will receive interest on their balance in return for their help in the maintenance of the system.” BlakeStar seems to be an incentive-based program rewarding those maintaining the network with BlakeStar (ERA) tokens.
ERA’s main focus for 2018 includes being listed on more exchange while integrating with games. The team is constantly striving to be listed on as many exchanges as possible, according to their website. One of the best scenarios for utility of ERA is in the video game sector. BlakeStar is focused currently on space games where an entire community of individuals can partake in a game/project.
BlakeStar is partially derived from bitcoin but improves upon it by using the Blake2s hashing algorithm. Blake2s is a high-speed, optimized cryptographic hashing algorithm used for Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake hashes in BlakeStar. This allows for high performance with a low load. The main advantage of transitioning to PoS is to avoid the centralized mining pools that have begun to form in the BTC communities.
BlakeStar is a crypto in its infancy with very minimal volume. However, it seems the rebranding to ERA was successful as the price has appreciated almost 100 percent during March.
Stakecoin (STCN): Policy Shift Regarding Coin Supply
Stakecoin (STCN) has a market cap of $13.2 million with a crypto value of $2.20. The month of March saw STCN appreciate 58.75 percent. This was extremely curious as STCN seems to have ceased most of their operations on March 31, 2018. When visiting stakecoin.com a very concerning “Importance Announcement” is posted.
“We have stopped the coin supply by cycle program… From March 31, 2018 we have closed our cycle program. Due to the market capitalization crash, ICO Tokens promotion banned by Facebook Google Twitter and there is not any single token sold since the last four-month…Due to close the cycle program, from December 31, 2018, the price of STCN will be affected per the public market.” In crypto broken English does not automatically mean fraud/scam but it should raise red flags. Such a poorly written important announcement that states their cycle program stopped December 31, and their coin supply program will cease as of March 31, 2018, seems very concerning. Two positives that can be taken away from the announcement is that they seem to be still working on their future roadmap while developing exchange support.
The biggest concerns seem to be the lack of direction going forward from the team coupled with a press release that should have been written eloquently. Instead, it reads as if it was written in a hurried manner, skipping punctuation and using improper grammar. Regardless of STCN’s gains in March they should be approached with caution as there seem to be multiple red flags from this crypto.
Ceasing most operations, broken English, and missing punctuation are usually very negative signs in the crypto space. Having yielded such a higher percentage this prior month can be attributed to lack of volume and exchange support. Without many exchanges supporting STCN, the price can be easily manipulated to show 50 percent returns when less than $100,000 of STCN was traded all month (less than $3,000 daily). This crypto seems like one that should have actually corrected heavily this month but instead gained over 50 percent.
A Very Red Month
March was not a month crypto traders were happy to be holding during. Unless their main asset was BNB, it is likely most holders lost a large percentage of their portfolio unless they traded to USDT (which also has its issues!). BNB was really the only big winner this month with the other two smaller cap cryptos likely being top percentage gainers due to manipulation in their pricing by a third party. BNB maintains significant utility and continues to be a highly sought crypto as more individuals trade on the Binance platform. While the crypto markets continue to face bearish trends, it is unlikely they see a rebound until the bull sentiment begins to infiltrate the population again.
Bullish trends dominated the second half of 2017 while bearish trends have taken hold in quarter one of 2018. Blockchain technology is clearly here to stay as the most advanced and secure network technology that exists. The general population along with many businesses will start adopting this tech in their everyday practices which will provide a significant boost for the crypto space in the second half of 2017. This correction was healthy as it flushed out many weak hands while demonstrating that volatility does not mean solely 1000 percent returns a year, but can also result in 90 percent losses.
2017 should see a reverse of the bearish trends with a bull market taking over once the whales feel most weak hands have been shaken out. Utility impacts the value of the underlying asset more than anything in crypto. Finding where utility will be added in the following month is similar to finding the needle in a haystack in crypto.
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