Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

This day might be remembered in the history books as a major milestone for cryptocurrency diversification or as another colossal indicator of the altcoin bubble. There are now three cryptocurrencies with over a $100 billion market cap each. Bitcoin, ethereum (ETH) and ripple (XRP) are worth today a combined total of about half a trillion USD.

Also Read: bitcoin-price-reaches-another-peak-crossing-15000Untitled-design-2-1068x1068

$100 Billion Club

Ethereum long term investors and short term speculators are celebrating alike today as the smart contracts altcoin has broken through the $1,000 per coin psychological barrier. Standing at about $1,040 at the time of writing, the overall value of all ETH in circulation is now over $100 billion. It is the third cryptocurrency in this exclusive club, behind only bitcoin and ripple.

And despite all the warnings about ripple being centralized and freezable speculators keep pouring in to XRP. After rising about 160% from just a week ago and 28% in the last 24 hours alone, its market cap is now well over $140 billion. With a price of just under $4 per coin, part of this movement has to be due to penny stock mentality of new traders seeking a “cheap bitcoin” to bet on.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low Altogether, with bitcoin over $250 billion market cap, the three top cryptocurrencies are now worth just shy of $500 billion. Putting this mind boggling number into perspective, its just about 10% below the combined stock value of Visa (NYSE:V $265 billion), Mastercard (NYSE: MA $166 billion), American (NYSE: AXP $87 billion), and Discover (NYSE: DFS $28 billion).

Entering a Multi-Polar World?

Bitcoin has been able to maintain an impressive price level at $15,000 and a quarter trillion USD market cap in the face of this altcoin onslaught, but its market share has suffered. The BTC Dominance Index is now just above 32%, a new all time low, which means that bitcoin is for first time worth less than a third of the crypto market.

While some of ripple’s staunch supporters, as well as fans that heard about it a week ago, are cheering on for “The Rippening” maybe its time to forget about the term and any other Flippening. It is possible that we are simply seeing a paradigm shift in the market, from one leading cryptocurrency and a thousand copy cats to a top heavy, multi-polar landscape. This can probably only be validated in the next big correction, when all the short term speculators will scatter away and either bitcoin will remain alone at the top or not.

Ethereum Over $1000 and $100B Market Cap, BTC Dominance at 32% Record Low

Do you think that bitcoin will continue to lose its market dominance to altcoins in 2018? Share your predictions in the comments section below!

Pakistan Set to Become a Major Bitcoin Hub

Pakistan is currently the seventh most populous country in the world with approximately 202 million residents. Today, the country exhibits many traits ripe for accelerated bitcoin adoption. Bitcoin.com discussed bitcoin trends in Pakistan with Danyal Manzar, the co-founder of Pakistan’s first and largest bitcoin trading platform, Urdubit.

 

Huge Freelance Market, but Payment Solutions Lacking

Despite having no access to Paypal, Pakistan still ranks among the top countries for freelance outsource workers. In fact, “Pakistan is ranked 3rd on freelance websites,”paypal According to the New York Times10,000 IT graduates in Pakistan are estimated to enter the Pakistan job market every year.

Remittances are also a “very big market” in Pakistan, . “We see about 20 billion USD coming in annually,” . “Since there are not enough jobs, the major remittance is seen from the UAE and Saudi Arabia followed by western countries.”

Despite the lack of jobs, however, life in Pakistan has been modernizing in recent years. Rapid lifestyle change, technological innovations, and increasing broadband access in Pakistan have all accelerated the number of Pakistani freelancers. However, “the payments are always a problem,” adding that:

Since the job market is also limited we see many freelancers turning to bitcoin, there is no Paypal in the country and no proper payment processor which could aid payments.

High Broadband Subscription Growth

Mobile broadband use is growing very fast in the country. The World Bank describes Pakistan as “leading the way in South Asia in digital finance” with 6% of adults having mobile accounts, compared to South Asia’s average of less than 2.6%.world bank

Last June, the number of 3G/4G subscribers in the country had reached 29.53 million, up from 14.6 million in July 2015. Total broadband subscribers grew 92% to 32.41 million from 16.88 million, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The World Bank also notes that about 100 million adults in Pakistan are unbanked, without access to formal and regulated financial services. Only 13 percent of adults there have a formal account and 27.5 million adults said the distance to a financial institution is a barrier to opening a financial account.

With so many unbanked, no access to Paypal, a huge freelancing industry, a major remittance destination, and so many subscribed to a high-speed mobile account, Bitcoin could find a huge home market in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Bitcoin Market

Admittedly, the bitcoin market in Pakistan “is still very new,” but it is fast growing. Citing low banking penetration and “very limited POS terminals in the country,”Pakistan-flag-1068x712

Bitcoin provides a cross-board payments system, as well as local payment solution at a much cheaper cost.

www.easypaypakistan.com is a real-time bitcoin exchange using the blinktrade engine. According to Coinhills, www.easypaypakistan.com trading volume has been growing steadily in the last few weeks, and the exchange has the largest bitcoin trading volume in the country, twice  in a 24-hour period. “I would say our market share is 1/3 of the total market,” he explained. If he’s correct, that indicates Pakistan trades around 40 bitcoins each day, putting it somewhere around 27th place among all currencies in volume rankings.

However, he also admitted that there are still not many shops accepting bitcoin. Online, the situation is a bit better, since many websites in the country have started accepting bitcoin as a payment “due to quicker payment times and no charge backs.”

We believe it’s only a matter of time before we see Pakistan follow India and become a major user of bitcoin.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government “hasn’t taken any stance on bitcoin as of yet,” blog.Easypaypakistan.com added. This company will soon be approved by the State Bank Of Pakistan. “They believe that bitcoin is a commodity and not a currency,”

Do you think Pakistan is ripe for bitcoin adoption? Let us know in the comments section below.

New York Regulator Reports on Cryptocurrency Licensing, Inspects Businesses

An annual report by the New York State Department of Financial services reiterates the importance of regulating digital currency businesses. The report was released on June 15, and it summarizes the departments activities with regards to its Bitlicense regulation for crypto-companies. 

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It said cryptocurrencies provide new New York Regulator Reports on Cryptocurrency Licensing, Inspects Businesseschallenges for regulators, because of their transaction speed and anonymous movement of funds. The report said, “Blockchain technologies present both opportunities and challenges for industry as well as regulators. Building innovative platforms for conducting commerce can help improve the efficiency of financial transactions, record-keeping and clearing.”

The report went on to say the technology allows for too many risks, because regulation can simply be bypassed by people or organizations. The speed of transactions and relative anonymity tend to deter oversight and control. The New York Agency said they want to protect customers and investors from fraud and other illegal behavior.

Easier facilitation of payments and anonymous movements of funds can be dangerous without the compliance and oversight designed to safeguard consumers, and to prevent money laundering and funding illegal activities

The regulation agency has already applied its licensing regulation requirements to several companies, which were mentioned in the report. It determined the Gemini Trust Company LLC could trade in ether. Recently it approved XRP II LLC, an affiliate of Ripple Labs, Inc. In total, 5 companies are registered with Bitlicense, and they are currently receiving periodic inspections and examinations via direct oversight from the agency.

The History of Bitlicense; Great Crypto-Company Exodus

The regulatory agency originally initiated the Bitlicense back in 2015 with the help of Ben Lawsky. The document was 44 pages and it outlined all the necessary requirements for businesses who want to trade in cryptocurrencies. To this day, it is mandatory that companies submit an application to manage and use digital currencies.

Jamie Redman covered it atNew York Regulator Reports on Cryptocurrency Licensing, Inspects Businessesbitcoin.com. He mentioned how many businesses criticized the licensing requirements. He said, “Executives and investors have been very concerned that the Bitlicense would hurt New York innovation and starting businesses. With KYC and AML rules and quite an extensive guideline to give the state private information many companies are unsatisfied with this law.”

The executives warnings rang true. When Bitlicense was put into place, it caused several popular companies to discontinue services in the State. Many of them made statements about how Bitlicense negatively impacted their ability to serve their customer base. They included Xapo, Shapeshift, Poloniex, Bitfinex, and Kraken among others.

Kraken’s response to Bitlicense was most pointed. The company said, “Today Kraken discontinues service to New York Residents. Regrettably, the abominable Bitlicense has awakened. It is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth. It’s at least a 40-man, bro.”

Do you think Bitlicense has been success or failure? Share your thoughts below!

Bitpay’s Bitcoin Prepaid Card Now Available to 131 Countries

On May 22, Bitpay’s chief commercial officer, Sonny Singh, revealed its prepaid bitcoin debit card product will now be available in 131 countries. Initially, the card was only available for U.S. residents but due to the expansion users worldwide can now convert bitcoin into spendable euros, pounds, and many other fiat currencies.

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Bitpay’s Bitcoin Visa Debit Card Goes Global

Bitpay's Bitcoin Prepaid Card Now Available to 131 Countries
Bitpay’s chief commercial officer Sonny Singh.

Bitpay’s recent announcement will mark the company’s pre-paid Visa card as the first cryptocurrency tethered debit card that’s available to over 130 countries worldwide. The Atlanta-based firm believes the improved accessibility of the Bitpay card will enable global citizens the ability to utilize the tool with their digital currency savings.

“Today’s news makes the Bitpay Card the first prepaid Visa debit card available for bitcoin users in both the United States and in major bitcoin-using countries such as the UK, Germany, China, Japan, Argentina, and Brazil, along with 125 other nations,” explains Bitpay.

With a growing bitcoin user base and a bitcoin market cap of $36 billion, the Bitpay Card is poised to become a powerful spending tool for bitcoin users around the world.

‘More Convenient Than Online Exchange Methods’

Bitpay's Bitcoin Prepaid Card Now Available to 131 CountriesAccording to Bitpay, the company has issued over 15,000 cards since revealing the bitcoin debit card in May 2016 and has a waiting list of applicants as well. The card available for bitcoin users was the first to offer conversion ability in all 50 U.S. states.

“The card is significantly more convenient, more affordable, and faster — by an order of days — than many online exchange methods for bitcoin today,” Bitpay’s announcement states. “The Bitpay Card’s recent integration with Bitpay’s bitcoin wallet allows users to convert bitcoin funds to dollars, euros, or pounds on the card in one in-app swipe.”

What do you think of the Bitpay bitcoin card being available to 131 countries? Have you tried Bitpay’s Visa card? Let us know about your experiences and what you think about the bitcoin card in the comments below.

Why Michigan’s Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Stores Goes Bitcoin

As bitcoin grows in value, more merchants every day are accepting the digital currency to stay ahead of the times. This week one of Michigan’s largest and oldest lawn equipment and power sports stores — Ball Equipment is now accepting bitcoin.

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73 Year Old Business Thinks Outside the Box

Michigan's Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Store Goes BitcoinThe fourth generation family owned superstore, Ball Equipment, is one of Eastern Michigan’s largest and oldest outdoor power equipment dealerships operating for over 73 years. The store has two locations that sell heavy duty lawn equipment and power sports gear from brands like Polaris, Honda, Can-Am, Cub Cadet, and Husqvarna. This week the business decided to accept bitcoin allowing any of their customers to purchase rideable lawnmowers, ATVs, snowmobiles, dirt bikes and more.

Bitcoin.com talked to Chris Ball, one of the owners of the Michigan state superstores to see why the business decided to start accepting bitcoin. Mr. Ball says that even though they are an old and well-established company the team has always had the corporate philosophy of “getting ourselves outside the ‘we have always done it this way’ box.”

“The quickly evolving world of cryptocurrencies and the media attention it has received is something that attracted our interest. Even before fully understanding it, we knew it was something we should work towards adopting immediately,” explains Mr. Ball.

Bitcoin: ‘Very Appealing from a Profitability Standpoint’

Mr. Ball tells us there are other reasons why the company decided to accept the digital currency.

“For instance, many of the larger ticket items Ball Equipment sells like the ATV’s, and Motorcycles, are typically very low margin products to retail to consumers,” the Ball Equipment executive details.

The transaction fees and potential fraud that exists with traditional payment methods when compared to the ease of secure low-cost payments on high-value transactions made bitcoin very appealing from a profitability standpoint.

“In addition, becoming an early adopter in our very ’old school’ industry gives us the potential to do business on a local and even national level that we would otherwise not have the opportunity. Considering we have found very few of our competitors anywhere accepting bitcoin currently, we do not see much if any downside other than accepting the risk of short term bitcoin value fluctuations.”

A New Customer Base, and Being Prepared for the Future

Michigan's Oldest Lawn & Power Sports Store Goes BitcoinAs of today, Mr. Ball says customers can stop in one of the Ball Equipment showrooms or visit the website, browse the selection of vehicles and products, and then fill out a request quote form to let the company know you are interested in a purchase with bitcoin as a payment method.

“A member of our sales team will follow up to provide a quote and once a final decision is made an invoice will be provided with a QR code from our wallet to send coins for payment,” Mr. Ball explains.

As Bitcoin.com explained last week, as the digital currency continues to see more popularity the trend also follows with people purchasing luxury goods, real estate, and high ticket items. Merchants like Ball Equipment are starting to see the value in opening up sales to a new customer base, a currency that appeals to profitability and allowing their business model to stay on course with the future of payments.

Do you think merchant acceptance is growing as bitcoin becomes more valuable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.