The initial Ethereum team consisted of Vitalik Buterin, Anthony Di Iorio, Bitcoin Magazine co-founder Mihai Alisie, Amir Chetrit and Charles Hoskinson. The team printed black Ethereum t-shirts and started working on the Ethereum Blockchain in 2013. Later, they added three more co-founders Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, and Jeff Wilcke. They didn’t know each other very well or have a detail plan of what they would finally create. But they had a vision. They wanted to create a “world computer” that would transform not just money, but allow anyone to write smart contracts, decentralized applications and create their own arbitrary rules for asset ownership. Ethereum went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins minted. That was five years ago. Today, stablecoins and DeFi, have turned Ethererum into the most used blockchain.
When you look at Ethereum’s price and market cap, Ethereum has failed to reclaim much of its lost ground, as Bitcoin has taken over the broader cryptocurrency market. Ethereum’s market cap stands at $41 billion, only one-fifth that of Bitcoin.
But, since the 2017 ICO craze, when Ethereum exploded and hit an all-time high of $1,200 in January 2018, a lot has happened. Ethereum has made huge progress, powering more than 2,000 decentralized applications and dominating the fastest industry segments: Stablecoins and DeFi.
ETH price rising fast
The Ethereum price has surged this year, with Ether now trading around $400, up almost 200% from $130 in January. Bitcoin’s price is left in the dust by Ethereum, as its only up around 30% so far this year,
120,000 wallets ready for staking
As Ethereum is preparing for the transition ETH 2.0 (proof-of-stake consensus algorithm), the number of Ethereum wallets with 32 or more ETHs has reached a historic high. Almost 120,000 Ethereum wallets are ready for staking. Staking nodes, which will replace the miners, must own 32 ETHs to receive rewards as validators under the 2.0 system. However, holders who own less than the specified amount can still participate in staking via pools.
One million transactions a day
Ethereum transactions have set a 17-month high, by surpassing 1 million mark on June 28, according to etherscan.io. Ethereum’s all time high for daily transactions was 1.3 million set in January 2018. As we can see in the graph, the number of transactions has been on a consistent uptrend throughout 2020, despite slowing down in the second half of 2019.
Active addresses on Ethereum grow 160%
Data from analytics firm Messari shows a 128% increase in the number of active addresses in the Ethereum network. This is in comparison to the number of active BTC wallets, which also increased, but only by 38%. The data that counts all active addresses discounted the fact that some users have multiple Ethereum addresses. To find the number of unique users, website Bitinfocharts looked at transactions that go to and from unique ETH addresses. It found out that unique active ETH addresses rose by 160% since the beginning of the year.
Dollar value of ETH and its tokens overtake Bitcoin
Ethereum accounts for more than 65% of all stablecoins issued, and more than 85% of stablecoin transaction value. Stablecoin transactions have settled over $508 billion in transactions in 2020. Data from Messari shows that Ethereum has just surpassed Bitcoin, settling the most value every day. The dollar value on the transactions of both Ether and its tokens is now higher than that of Bitcoin.
Ethereum’s DeFi boom
DeFi is one of the biggest drivers of Ethereum growth. The rise of DeFi apps on Ethereum drove the blockchain’s total number of unique addresses to over 100 million in early June. DeFi applications account for over 97% of all decentralized app volume on Ethereum. In Q2 2020, Ethereum doubled its amount of active dApp users, from 637,278 in the first quarter to 1,258,527 (out of a total active dApp users 2,808,050). Over $4.3 billion is locked in Ethereum dApps. The transaction volume of ETH DeFi dApps reached $5.7 billion USD in June, and accounted for 97.5% of the whole dApp volume of the Ethereum network.
Bitcoin on Ethereum
Research by Dune Analytics showed that almost $60 million worth of Bitcoins moved to Ethereum during June. Wrapped Bitcoin, the oldest tokenized bitcoin protocol on Ethereum accounted for roughly 75% of that growth after moving more than 4,800 BTC to Ethereum. Currently $132 million worth of Bitcoin is on Ethereum.
Summing it up, since Ethereum’s initial launch in 2015, Ethereum has seen an incredible ride and sits at the center of the cryptocurrency world, right along with Bitcoin. The DeFi boom and anticipation for ETH2.0 has fueled its resurgence. Stablecoins and growth within the DeFi market will likely continue to drive transaction volume and settlement value on Ethereum.
Ethereum is great at creating tokens that represent fractional ownership shares, vested interests, controlling votes, access and permissions, the ability to share control over assets with people you may not trust. A couple of years ago, ICOs were the primary driver for Ethereum’s value. While regulators, pounded ICOs, Ethereum kept ticking. Governments, may put restrictions on cryptocurrencies, including Ether, but they they can’t stop a platform that provides tangible value and an opportunity to build financial infrastructure that is open to everybody. That’s why it did not take long for Ethereum to find its next killer apps. With DeFi and ETH2.0, the future only looks bright.
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Here’s how Nasdaq-listed MicroStrategy went about buying $175m in Bitcoin
MicroStrategy has become the poster child of mainstream Bitcoin adoption amongst corporations. It is the only publicly listed company to turn towards BTC as a reserve asset to store their capital in.
Their announcement last month regarding their decision to ditch the US Dollar in favor of BTC to store their capital was a big one, because it showed that the benchmark digital asset is gaining utility as a store of value.
For a company with hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, the decision makes sense, as the crypto’s scarcity allows them to avoid the massive losses that would otherwise be incurred due to inflation.
Acquiring this much BTC without going through over the counter (OTC) venues is no easy task, however, and the company’s CEO explained in a recent tweet how they went about doing this.
MicroStrategy now holds 38,250 Bitcoin
Earlier this week, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor announced that his company had doubled down on their Bitcoin bet, adding $175m worth of the digital asset to their holdings.
This massive purchase came about just weeks after the company had revealed its plans to switch to an alternative Bitcoin-focused financial strategy. They now intend to hold their entire capital reserves in BTC to avoid inflation and devaluation of the US Dollar, which is being printed at unprecedented rates.
This strategy is unprecedented and was kicked off by the purchase of a whopping $250m worth of the digital asset.
The company revealed on September 15th that they were buying even more BTC, conducting a $175 million purchase via the spot retail markets. This may have caused Bitcoin’s price to rally to $10,900 while the rest of the market trended lower.
Their total holdings now stack up to 38,250 Bitcoin, with an aggregated purchase price of $425 million.
Here’s how MicroStrategy market-bought 16,796 BTC
During their latest bout of purchasing, MicroStrategy used the retail market to acquire their crypto, with the company’s CEO explaining that they purchased 16,796 BTC throughout 74 hours of continuous trading.
“To acquire 16,796 BTC (disclosed 9/14/20), we traded continuously 74 hours, executing 88,617 trades ~0.19 BTC each 3 seconds. ~$39,414 in BTC per minute, but at all times we were ready to purchase $30-50 million in a few seconds if we got lucky with a 1-2% downward spike.”
The massive amount of capital that was introduced into the market as a result of these 74 hours of continuous trading likely had lasting impacts that may still be influencing Bitcoin.
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EU to see comprehensive crypto regulation by 2024
The European Union, or EU, plans to incorporate crypto and blockchain technology into its main processes by 2024.
Over the next four years, the economic union aims to firm up fresh regulations that will promote blockchain and digital asset usage for international money transfers, according to internal documents that Reuters reported on Friday.
The documents detailed:
“By 2024, the EU should put in place a comprehensive framework enabling the uptake of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-assets in the financial sector […] It should also address the risks associated with these technologies.”
Finding that almost 80% of its population transacts in paper money, the European Commission, the union’s governing entity, wants to see digital payments become more common, while aiming for immediate transaction times, Reuters explained.
The commission’s reported aims include a desire for increased data access, financial activities availability — all while aiming for increased efficiency. “By 2024, the principle of passporting and a one-stop shop licensing should apply in all areas which hold strong potential for digital finance,” the documents noted. Over the next year, fast transaction avenues will likely take over, Reuters added.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic may have expedited the desire for digital payments across the globe, blockchain and crypto assets have been the talk of the regulatory town, with many countries looking toward central bank digital currencies to streamline their payments infrastructures.
UPDATE Sept. 18, 21:00 UTC: This article has been updated.
Good business: Eco-friendly credit cards on the horizon
Share The plastic credit card consumers keep in their wallets may soon change. With more consumers demanding eco-friendly business practices, issuing banks could benefit from using more sustainable card materials, according to Aite Group’s report, “Eco-Friendly Card Material: Bringing Sustainability to Card Issuance.” “Not only is there approximately 150 million metric tons of plastic in …Read More
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