Bitcoin and Ether Market Update: February 1, 2019
The total crypto market cap is down with $1 billion since January 30, 2019, and now sits at $112.5 billion. Bitcoin is still hovering around $3,400, while the price of ether remains unchanged.
On January 30, bitcoin saw its first day of gains since January 26 when it last closed with a green candle on the daily chart. The most popular cryptocurrency managed to stabilize around $3,530 after series of good news coming from Fidelity and SWIFT.
The BTC/USD trading pair, however, could not extend gains and moved to $3,500 on January 31. The coin registered an eight percent loss for the 30-day period.
News continued to follow Iran’s plans to launch its cryptocurrency. The Financial Tribune reported on January 30 that the country has successfully created a gold-backed digital currency. The Peyman, which is the Persian word for covenant, is the result of a collaboration between four local banks (Parsian Bank, Bank Pasargad, Bank Melli Iran and Bank Mellat) and Ghoghnoos Company. Valiollah Fatemi, director of Ghoghnoos, informed that the Peyman will be used to issue the initial token based on gold and the company seeks to tokenize assets and excess properties of banks.
Russian news agency TASS reported on January 28 that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a political and economic union consisting of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, has prepared a report on digital assets. The four countries are aiming to establish their own financial market by 2025 with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a top priority. According to Tatyana Valovaya, the commission’s minister for integration and macroeconomics, the report will also promote regulation in the area.
New stablecoins are on the horizon. Hong Kong-based blockchain platform Bitspark announced the launch of Sparkdex.HKD, an HKD-pegged token. The stablecoin is tied to Bitspark’s reserves of physical cash in HKD and is listed on Bitspark’s decentralized exchange Sparkdex and Bitshares connected DEX.
In South Korea, the local fintech company BxB has launched the KRWb, a cryptocurrency fully backed by the won. As reported in the official press release the coin will be backed by the won at a 1:1 ratio and the team “will proceed with a live beta period over the next few weeks on AirSwap, a decentralized exchange, before proceeding with the anticipated Korean and Global exchange listings.”
Earlier this month, observers witnessed the launch of the first Singapore Dollar-backed stablecoin, the Singapore Dollar Rate (SGDR) and the Crypto Garage/Blockstream collaboration for the first Japanese Yen-backed digital currency.
Ethereum managed to avoid another catastrophe and a drop below the psychological level of $100 on January 30 and successfully closed the trading session with a green candle to $110. The ETH/USD pair made a step back on January 31 and lost $2 during the session, stopping at $108.
Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), an Ethereum-based token backed by bitcoin, launched on January 30. The new product is a joint collaboration between Kyber Network (KNC), Ren, and BitGo and is the first to make Bitcoin compatible with the Ethereum blockchain.
Initially announced on October 26, WBTC will offer users a series of use cases including “decentralized exchanges (DEXs), as collateral for stablecoins or lending, for payments and flexible smart contracts within the Ethereum ecosystem.” All WBTC smart contracts will be monitored by third-party firms and the coin itself will be backed by BTC in a 1:1 ratio.