Welcome back to GDA’s official industry newsletter. After last week’s partnership announcement with MYNTD, we have begun to roll out a global portfolio of financial, consulting and advisory services. Now, we have a new partnership to announce with Aquifer, a financial consultancy.
Aquifer Partnership Announcement
To perform these tasks to the best of our abilities, objectivity is always required. That is why this week we will be formalizing an agreement to work with one of Canada’s leading financial consultants, Aquifer Services. This engagement allows GDA to provide clients with objective corporate due diligence from a non-biased third-party.
Aquifer is a part-time/fractional CFO consulting firm catering only to startups and SMB’s. The firm offers to set up accounting processes and systems, VC standard financial modeling while also providing 24/7 support for any CFO related questions regarding operations and capital fundraising.
To date, the Aquifer team has over +15 years of financial experience, has raised $60M of Venture Capital, and executed several M&A transactions. Assisting small and medium-sized businesses across a spectrum of industries, including fin-tech, blockchain, payments and many more, Aquifer understands the fluid nature of tech businesses in today’s economy and works with them to scale or reposition their resources in a lean and efficient manner.
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Welcome back to eighth edition of ‘The Digital Asset Digest’. Last week, we provided our network with an exclusive post-halvening analysis, ensuring all of our readers can follow the market in the days following the historic update to bitcoin’s consensus protocol. As we progress toward the end of May, we will be providing an overview of the markets and how they look as we prepare for June.
Overview of the Markets
Digital Assets – Bitcoin closed at $9,110 on Friday morning, cooling off after almost crossing the $10,000 again on Tuesday. This represented a fall of 4.46%, driven by rumours that Satoshi Nakamoto may finally be cashing out after forty early-mined Bitcoins traded hands for the first time last Wednesday. The crypto market as a whole was relatively unmoved, with Ether sitting just above the $200 mark rising 1.3% while XRP trailed Bitcoin down 1.0%.
Commodities – Another stellar week for oil as WTI futures rose 12.6% with Brent trailing slightly behind at 8.1% on improved investor sentiment and optimism around storage and demand shortages. For precious metals, bullish sentiment is brewing around silver as futures rose 3.6% while gold was down 1.1%.
“Crypto Twitter was ablaze Wednesday after the sale of some Bitcoin was reportedly linked to the account of the token’s mystery founder. The price of the largest digital token plummeted on speculation its anonymous creator, who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was moving coins mined in early 2009, an act perceived by some as a near-sacrilegious offense. Twitter account @whale_alert, which posts real-time transaction data, was among the first to report of the sale, tweeting that the coins in the transaction were mined in the first month of Bitcoin’s existence.”
“The bitcoin network just fine-tuned a key parameter to coax back miners who quit after last week’s halving hammered their profits. More than 20 exahashes per second (EH/s) of computing power – the equivalent of around 1.5 million older-generation mining machines – has been switched off from Bitcoin since the network’s halving. The seven-day rolling average of bitcoin’s hashrate has dropped over 20% from around 122 EH/s just prior to the halving on May 11 to now 97 EH/s. The once-in-four-years event reduced miners’ block rewards from 12.5 to 6.25 bitcoin (BTC) per block.”
“National People’s Congress, China’s parliament and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the most powerful political advisory body in the country, have recently begun their annual sessions. These are widely referred to as the “Two Sessions” or “lianghui” meetings. These meetings have been ongoing since May 22. The National People’s Congress, or NPC, is China’s top legislative body. Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the country meet once a year to submit proposals during the meetings. According to a Beijing News’ report on May 23, Jieqing Tan, deputy to the NPC, suggested setting up a special fund for blockchain industry development. If accepted, this fund would be led by the government.”
“Bitcoin (BTC) miners earned 44% more in transaction fees in the nine days since the halving than they did for the whole of April. If this continues miners will have more than doubled their income from transaction fees going forward. According to data from Coinmetrics, miners have collected the equivalent of 1,176 BTC in transaction fees since Bitcoin’s third supply cut on May 11. That compares with 818 BTC earned as fees in April and 1,251 BTC in March, the figures show. Miners reap fewer bitcoin with each halving. The latest event slashed rewards paid to miners by 50% to 6.25 BTC, leaving some operators on the brink of collapse. The bonuses are a major revenue source for mining companies.”
OmiseGO is a network built on speed. With transaction speeds of up to 4,000 TPS, OmiseGO’s P2P network is one of the fastest networks on the market today. The company’s eWalletSuite is an open-source, complete digital asset management tool built for institutional use that allows businesses to manage their digital assets. By engineering the infrastructure in advance, OmiseGO focuses on UI/UX, allowing businesses to integrate seamlessly and get set up nearly instantaneously. OmiseGO also boasts lower operational costs, claiming that users pay up to 90% lower fees than Ethereum, but uses Ethereum-level security to guarantee the safety of users’ assets. Clients already on the platform include Burger King Thailand, Shinhancard, and Hoard Exchange.
The company is run by CEO Vansa Chatikavanj, a former consultant at the World Bank and a graduate of Columbia University. On Thursday, OmiseGO officially launched on Coinbase, and on its first day of trading saw significant premiums over Binance before crashing, sparking accusations of insider trading. OmiseGO officially launched in June 2017 and trades at $1.75 with a market capitalization of $245.8 million.
“A big difference between Silicon Valley and Wall Street is that Silicon Valley actually encourages failure. The idea is that if no one is failing, then the pace of innovation is not being pushed fast enough. This is a mindset throughout the technology industry. It is also built into the business models of the financial backers. Venture capital funds are predicated on the idea that majority of the companies they invest in will likely lose their money, but the select few that end up working out will create enormous economic value that makes up for the losses.”
On the technical side, indicators are neutral for Bitcoin coming into the week. RSI, which we treat as one of BTC’s most important indicators, as at an unmoved 50, which indicates that the trend is weakening slightly. Our eyes are on the $8,500 level this week as a clear double top has formed over the last two weeks. If BTC manages to close below support, we will change to a more bearish stance, although for now we are on the sidelines. Indicators are not giving a clear signal this week, which is why we have opted for a neutral position.
As the halvening eliminated the profitability of several small mining groups, it wasn’t a surprise that the price of bitcoin went down. However, the next few weeks are critical for the health of the bitcoin network as investors will carefully be awaiting to see if the network can surpass the notorious $10,000 marker.
Yes, after much hype, the infamous bitcoin halvening has come and gone. The next 210,000 blocks will now yield 6.25 bitcoins per block reward.
Does this call for a hooray? Not Yet. Before we get too excited, we need to see how this will impact the market, and only time will tell.
Our analysts will be glued to their monitors sifting through the candlesticks to find new trends to bring to you. So make sure you tune in next week for our post-halvening analysis. Until then, enjoy this week’s volume 6 of ‘The Digital Asset Digest’. As always, we will be touching on all things crypto. Enjoy!
Bitcoin – Bitcoin closed at $9,895 on Friday morning, up 12.4% for the week just days before the third halving. The surge seemed to have been constrained to Bitcoin alone as opposed to the cryptocurrency market as a whole. Ether was completely unmoved for the week and XRP closed down 0.18%.
Indices – The S&P 500 was up 3.5% for the week as increased optimism surrounding the coronavirus and U.S. – China trade relations drove returns. These returns were largely driven by gains in energy and information technology, with WTI futures rebounding a stellar 25.1%.
Commodities – Gold was up slightly, again crossing the $1,700/oz mark. Silver, on the other hand, boasted an impressive 5.9% return.
Bonds – Treasury yields were more or less unmoved for the weekend, with the 10-year yield rising 5 bps for the week. Despite the rally in equity markets, fear continues to be the prevalent sentiment, and the market will be watching coronavirus figures closely as the U.S. and countries in the EU begin to lift lockdown restrictions.
“Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones made a prescient call on bullion in 2019; now he’s saying that bitcoin, the controversial digital currency, reminds him of gold in the 1970s, and may be the best hedge against inflation in the age of coronavirus. The famed hedge-fund investor, writing in a recent research note, cited unprecedented money-printing and stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government amid the COVID-19 pandemic as key reasons behind his newfound appetite for the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency.”
“Bitcoin mining is feverishly hot these days, especially just before the great Bitcoin reward halving that will take place on or around May 12, 2020. During the last six months, there’s only a handful of ASIC mining rig manufacturers and all of them stem from China. This includes companies like Bitmain, Ebang, Strongu, Innosilicon, Microbt, and Canaan. There are a few other manufacturers, but the firms are not nearly as sizable as these six businesses. Just recently, the company Ebang filed for a $100 million initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. and the company will await a decision from the SEC. Although, the firm’s prospectus shows that Ebang suffered from some losses in 2019, and it may reflect the IPO’s initial raise.”
“Bitcoin’s third halving is less than a day away and the cryptocurrency community remains divided on whether the price will rise or drop after the event. Interestingly, on-chain data from previous halvings suggests that after the halving Bitcoin price may not see an immediate drop. Google Trends data shows that searches for the halving have already surpassed previous all-time highs, and the crypto community has been issuing a variety of price estimates for the post halving price.
ExtStock is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the U.K. founded in 2018. The company boasts over 20,000 traders and claims that its API can process up to 1,000 applications per second, making it a useful platform for high-frequency traders and scalpers. XT is ExtStock’s proprietary cryptocurrency that fuels the exchange. It’s an ERC-20 token whose main use is to pay for trading commissions on ExtStock. ExtStock also pays 100XT for every trader that registers through a referral link after passing KYC verification.
XT went through the first stage of its IEO on January 15, where it sold 100 million XT tokens in less than a minute. The token went through the second stage of its IEO in March, although they were unable to offload all of its tokens (92% of tokens offered were sold). The company claims that this was caused by a sharp collapse of quotes. A third and final stage is in the works, although for the time being, it has been postponed indefinitely.
Despite the success of its token, the company suffers from several allegations of fraudulent activity. No record of a founder can be found on its website, nor can any employees be traced on LinkedIn. Lisk reported in a tweet that several of its users had issues withdrawing funds from the exchange and cautioned users to be cautious. ExtStock has also been accused of inflating volume by quoting a higher price on BTC to induce transfers from users. In May, Cointelligence reviewed the exchange and rated it a scam.
XT currently trades at $0.27 with a market cap of $164.9 million. Please note that these token highlights are not a recommendation. We highly encourage readers to engage in their own due diligence before purchasing tokens.
“The imminent halving of the “block subsidy” exposes a fundamental threat to Bitcoin. Whenever a new block is added to the blockchain, a quantum of new bitcoins is created and paid to the miner adding the block. As miners compete for this subsidy, they drive up the system’s difficulty, making it harder for so-called 51% attacks to succeed. But the subsidy is set to diminish over time, halving very soon to 6.25 bitcoins per block, so that the total supply of coins will eventually reach 21 million. And as the subsidy shrinks, Bitcoin could fall victim to 51% attacks, just as smaller cryptocurrencies already have.”
Technical Review and Market Summary
Indicators are pointing towards a bearish continuation this week. During last week’s Technical Review, we forecasted that indicators were pointing towards a bearish reversal and cautioned traders to watch for when BTC’s RSI crossed below 70. On Saturday, RSI finally crossed, triggering our prediction. Optimism surrounding the halving was clearly short-lived, as traders pushed BTC down from 9.5K to almost 8K in the span of a single day. Now that Bitcoin is in freefall, we predict that it’ll be a while before BTC finds support. In the meantime, we are bearish and will be sitting on the sidelines until a more positive signal starts to emerge.
Finally, a week of sustained gains in the non-crypto markets! Last week we said it was comfortable to see traders adjusting to operating in a COVID-19 world. Now, after last week’s market performance, I think they might be getting more than comfortable. However, the bearish sentiment towards Bitcoin, even in the midst of the halvening is troubling. Is the market truly disinterested, or are retailers just slow to react?
Make sure to check out our post-halvening analysis next week to find out!
Welcome back to GDA’s official industry newsletter. Today we’re going to be talking about the GDA ecosystem, but if you didn’t get the chance to read the latest edition of our financial-focused newsletter, The Digital Asset Digest, we encourage you to. You can also sign up to receive your own weekly market insights here.
Our goal as North America’s first blockchain-focused merchant bank is to provide projects with the financial, technical and strategic resources they need to address real-world problems through blockchain, and ultimately bring their tech to the market at scale.
To do this, we have been expanding the GDA ecosystem by consistently adding to our partnership network. This gives us a full suite of technical and financial capabilities across all key geographies. This week we will be summarizing all of these key partnerships and explaining how we plan to leverage these relationships as we move into the month of May.
In this era of misinformation, some of our client’s most critical needs are reliable media channels. Scarce media regulation has caused a lot of for-profit entities to jump into the crypto space, completely disregarding factual reporting and journalistic integrity.
Originally GDA planned to circumvent this by cultivating strong relationships with ethical publications. However, it organically blossomed into so much more. With the singular goal of bringing objectivity to crypto, Timestamp Magazine was born. As an online-only publication, Timestamp Magazine is a blockchain-agnostic magazine that reports on all blockchains and decentralized projects.
Timestamp in no way receives any direction or oversight from the rest of GDA, it operates as a completely separate entity. What Timestamp provides GDA, is the same thing it provides every other company in the industry; peace of mind. From now on, GDA no longer needs to spend hours on discovery and due diligence on new media partners. We are now working with the industry’s most reliable publication.
If you are interested in exploring any media opportunities with Timestamp Magazine, kindly reach out to the editor here.
In early May, GDA and Accubits Technologies launched a joint venture. Accubits is a blockchain and artificial intelligence systems integration firm, specializing in enterprise and large-scale businesses. Based in the United States, this joint venture greatly expedites the speed at which Accutbits can bring their technology to new markets such as Canada and Europe. Moreover, this joint venture creates a phenomenal opportunity for GDA clients to get access to some of the industry’s best integration services.
If you have a decentralized application or blockchain project that needs third-party expertise, let’s get in touch here.
Back in April, we announced a partnership with MarkChain. A France-based marketing firm focusing on blockchain and decentralized application projects in Europe.
The partnership creates natural synergies as each firm can tap into each other’s investor network and expand their respective operating regions. With the combined capabilities, GDA can provide a global umbrella of marketing, capital markets, and product development services.
If you are interested in how we can help your project from the ground up, let’s get in touch here.
DigitalBits is a protocol layer blockchain built to support consumer digital assets, specifically branded currencies. As technology continues to innovate the way brands interact with users, GDA thinks it is critical that blockchain is at the forefront of this disruption.
Considered the 2nd generation of stablecoins, XBD’s branded currencies create a new form of engagement between brands and consumers, improving market intelligence, allowing companies to create more targeted marketing campaigns and develop stronger insights into consumer needs.
We are particularly proud to circle back to this announcement because DigitalBits has just secured funding from Alpha Sigma Capital (ASC) to help increase the institutional adoption of branded cryptocurrencies, a huge milestone on their strategic roadmap.
Although COVID-19 has been a tumultuous time for everyone around the world, we have taken this time to buckle down and work on our business. We now boast the internal capabilities, and external relationships to work with founders from any part of the world to help them realize their decentralized dreams.
If you or anyone you know is ready to take their project to that next level, let’s get in touch.
Welcome back to the fifth edition of ‘The Digital Asset Digest’. Last week, we provided our network with an exclusive halvening analysis, ensuring all of our readers have the information they need to make educated decisions about the upcoming halvening and how it relates to their portfolio. As we jump into a new month, our focus today will be to provide a complete market assessment and look into how various asset classes have performed over the past few months.
Digital Assets – Bitcoin closed at $8,800 Friday morning, surging 17.6% for the week and reaching a two-month high after a month of consolidation. Much of the week’s gains were driven by a steep rally Wednesday where the coin rose 12.7%. Ether trailed slightly, posting gains of 13.0% while XRP rose 11.8% over the same period.
Indices – The S&P 500 closed down 0.21% for the week following the biggest monthly gain in more than 30 years in April, driven by tech earnings and the reemergence of trade tensions between the US and China. This is somewhat contrasted by the S&P/TSX Composite, who managed to scrape by with a 1.4% return over the same period.
Commodities – WTI crude jumped 16.8% in one of its most volatile periods in history as the recent agreement between major oil producers to cut production officially came into play. Gold fell slightly as investors sold risk-off assets to catch the rally in the equity markets.
“Global Digital Assets (GDA), the first merchant bank in North America with a specific focus on blockchain and digital assets, announced today that it will be joining the DigitalBits ecosystem to further enterprise adoption for branded cryptocurrencies. GDA, in collaboration with other ecosystem participants, will provide the infrastructure necessary for consumers, merchants, brands and payment providers to benefit from branded cryptocurrencies, inclusive of the emerging subcategory of branded stablecoins.
“Argo Blockchain, a bitcoin mining firm listed on the London Stock Exchange, reported stellar 2019 earnings Wednesday. The company attributed its success to cutting off its consumer-facing arm and focusing on mining some 1,330 bitcoin (BTC) on the year. In its full-year results, Argo said 2019 revenue was up 11-fold from the year before, a dramatic spike from $948,000 to $10.7 million. Argo’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came to $1.74 million, compared to a $4.56 million loss in 2018.”
“China’s Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (OCCAC) has announced its third round of blockchain projects to receive approval from the country’s regulators. 224 distributed ledger technology (DLT) ventures have been added to the commission’s registry, which includes major tech firms Alibaba, Baidu and China Mobile. The news appears to have been broken by Twitter user ‘AliceolaCrypto’, who posted a screenshot of the OCCAC’s announcement on April 27. She wrote that of the 224 approved projects, approximately 40% hail from Beijing. Roughly one-quarter of projects will target the fintech sector.”
“With bitcoin’s price jumping to a two-month high above $9,000, even mining equipment thought obsolete is becoming profitable again, at least for a short time. According to the miner profitability index, tracked by mining pools PoolIn and F2Pool, older mining rigs, such as Bitmain’s AntMiner S9 or Canaan’s Avalon A851, can now generate a 10% to 20% gross margin at an average electricity cost of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For those that have adopted miner efficiency improvement methods, such as merging two S9s into one or lowering voltage to boost efficiency, gross margin could increase to as much as 30% to 40% at bitcoin’s current price.”
“Ethereum 2.0 has dragged its feet. But when it does finally ship, it could provide the “largest economic shift in society” — or so it’s believed. The launch of ETH 2.0 is tentatively penned for July, transforming Ethereum from a no-frills proof-of-work protocol to a fully-fledged staking platform. After that, instead of competing against each other to solve puzzles, users who accrue the most wealth, or stake, will be in charge of validating transactions. It’s this fundamental development that some experts believe could catalyze a bull run for Ether (ETH).”
DigitalBits™ is an open-source project supporting the adoption of blockchain technology by enterprises. The technology (commonly known as branded cryptocurrencies) enable enterprises to tokenize assets on the decentralized DigitalBits blockchain; transfer & trade those tokenized assets on-chain; and enable fast payments & remittances.
Considered the 2nd generation of stablecoins, branded currencies create a new form of engagement between brands and consumers, improving market intelligence, allowing companies to create more targeted marketing campaigns and develop stronger insights into consumer needs.
Forked from the Stellar Protocol in 2017, DigitalBits introduces key modifications to support brand and enterprise adoption and currently trades at $0.02 with a market capitalization of $7.8 million.
“It is only a matter of time before there exists a cryptocurrency that serves the interests of business. In early 2019, Facebook announced that it will be deploying a cryptocurrency called Libra. The mission statement of libra is to “Provide people everywhere access to safe and affordable financial services”. This is a noble goal, with 25% of the world living without reliable access to financial services. The problem though, is who has control over the financial system, and what sort of implications that has.”
Indicators on Bitcoin are signalling a bearish reversal over the upcoming week. In our Technical Review two weeks ago, we correctly forecasted that there was slight upwards potential as BTC traded between an ascending channel. Since the rally on Wednesday, BTC broke out and closed above the upper channel line. Along with the breakout, RSI closed above 70, indicating that BTC rallied too much too soon and that it may be overbought. Traders will be watching RSI closely given that the last time BTC crossed under 70 in February, the coin dropped 53%. We caution traders to trade diligently this week as the upcoming halving may skew the applicability of technical analysis.
It’s clear that COVID-19 is a long-term economic event. Its distress on the economy is clear, but markets can’t bleed forever. This week we saw some capital crawl back into the market and fight against the fear and uncertainty that plagued commodities and other key sectors in weeks past. Although we still have a long way to go, it is comfortable to see that traders and institutions alike are getting used to operating in a COVID-19-impacted economic environment.
TORONTO, CANADA, May 1, 2020 — Global Digital Assets (GDA), the first merchant bank in North America to focus on blockchain and digital assets, announced today that it will be joining the DigitalBits ecosystem to further enterprise adoption for branded cryptocurrencies. GDA, in collaboration with other ecosystem participants, will provide the infrastructure necessary for consumers, merchants, brands and payment providers to benefit from branded cryptocurrencies, inclusive of the emerging subcategory of branded stablecoins.
GDA and its subsidiaries have worked with fortune 500 companies, such as Toronto Dominion Bank, governments in North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, as well as some of the world’s largest digital ecosystems, such as TRX and the ONT networks. Founded through the combination of MLG Blockchain and Secure Digital Markets, GDA bridges enterprise solutions with digital markets to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology within mainstream society. GDA will facilitate and support select enterprises focused on the generation and deployment of branded cryptocurrency solutions, inclusive of capital for the procurement of DigitalBits’ XDB tokens.
Sharing a common vision with DigitalBits to introduce blockchain to the average user, GDA seeks to introduce the skew of branded cryptocurrencies to existing clients and enterprises alike, generating further support for the emerging asset category of branded stablecoins.
“Brands and corporations may spur the next wave for banking the unbanked, and we believe that branded currencies may be the first glimpse of achieving this.” said Michael Gord, GDA CEO. “With DigitalBits, we intend to bring this emerging asset category together with today’s digital banking solutions.”
Global Digital Assets
Global Digital Assets (GDA) is a global blockchain & digital assets focused merchant bank based in Toronto & New York City founded during the combination of MLG Blockchain and Secure Digital Markets. GDA offers a full-suite of services spanning from ventures and capital to markets and liquidity in order to provide end-to-end solutions to disruptive and cutting-edge blockchain projects.
Global Digital Assets and its experienced management team has experience that spans the entire blockchain industry. This includes venture capital, capital markets, trading, blockchain technology, token development and issuance. Our team has played a significant role in taking dozens of tokens to market for clients around the world; having led million dollar marketing and activation campaigns, and completing over three billion dollars of private placement or OTC transactions. We have worked with a variety of firms ranging from family offices and HNWI, Fortune 100 enterprises, startups and global governments looking to accelerate their countries’ adoption of the blockchain.
DigitalBits is a blockchain protocol and network layer designed for consumer digital assets, specifically branded currencies. DigitalBits is focused on supporting innovators with driving enterprise adoption of cryptocurrency and its use in enhancing the consumer experience and corporate social responsibility initiatives. For more information, please visit www.digitalbits.io.
If you have been following our previous DAD issues or just regularly follow the crypto market, you’ve probably heard of “the halvening” and its supposed impact on the price of Bitcoin starting in May. This is a unique event that happens every four years, and barring extreme circumstances, Bitcoin’s halvening is scheduled to occur on May 11th-12th of this year. Today, we want to give an overview of the halvening and offer an evidence-based view of its impact on Bitcoin’s trading economics.
An unfortunate amount of online commentary centered around the halvening borders on lies, speculation and pure myth. Our goal in this edition of The Digital Asset Digest is to separate the facts from fiction, so you can make an educated decision in your own portfolio.
Before we jump into the halvening, we need to talk about mining. Mining is the process by which cryptocurrency transactions are anonymously verified, and new cryptocurrency enters circulation. Mining follows the verification protocol known as Proof-of-Work (POW).
Every day, hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin transactions are performed and broadcasted to the Bitcoin Network. These transactions are bundled together into what we call blocks. Bitcoin is effectively thousands of blocks linked together in a chain, which is where the term blockchain comes from.
For a block to be accepted by the rest of the network, each miner must submit a proof-of-work along with the block. To generate a proof-of-work, a miner must input the block’s contents into a hash function and generate a hash that is smaller than a target set by the network. Miners do this by adding a number to the block (called a nonce) that changes the block’s hash. Since miners are competing against each other to submit a proof-of-work and earn the block reward, they will spend substantial amounts of capital on equipment and electricity, so they can have a faster throughput and be the first to submit the proof-of-work. If/when a miner successfully accomplishes this, the miner announces it to the network, who verifies this by trying the nonce themselves. If the nonce is valid, the miner is rewarded with Bitcoin, which is how new Bitcoin is put into circulation.
The elegance of the proof-of-work protocol speaks to the elegance of bitcoin and decentralization. Proof-of-work creates a dollar value on the securitization of the network. To compromise a blockchain you need to control 51% of the miners hashing power. So, based on how much each miner spends on electricity and equipment to mine, you can determine what the dollar cost attached to their hashing power is. From this, you can calculate how much it would cost to control 51% of the network’s hashing power. For advanced networks such as Bitcoin though, this is a near-unimaginable sum.
An important figure with respect to mining is Bitcoin’s hash rate. In short, the hash rate measures how many hashes are being performed over a set period. The higher the hash rate, the higher the mining activity across the Bitcoin network. Currently, the standard unit for measuring hash rate is terahash per second, or TH/s. One terahash is equal to a billion hashes, so if the hash rate on a certain date is 20 TH/s, there are 20 billion hashes being performed on the Bitcoin network every second. As expected, given the lower reward for mining, the hash rate tumbles as miners’ incentives drop. As such, there is a direct correlation between the hash rate and price and the hash rate is often used as a key indicator for market performance.
What does any of this have to do with the halvening? When we talk about the halvening, we really mean that the number of Bitcoins a miner receives for submitting a proof-of-work is going to be halved. Bitcoin was designed so that a halvening would occur every 210,000 blocks. Since a block is mined approximately every 10 minutes, a halvening should occur every four years. The halvening this May will be the third halvening in Bitcoin’s history. Currently, miners are rewarded 12.5 BTC for successfully mining a block. Post-halvening, this reward will drop to 6.25 BTC.
The reason for instituting a halvening mechanism is to limit the total number of circulating Bitcoins, creating artificial limits on supply, and preventing miners from owning a disproportionate percentage of all Bitcoins. As you may be aware, Bitcoin’s supply is capped at 21 million, and as of today, over 18.3 million Bitcoins have already been mined. This means more than 87% of all Bitcoins have been mined into existence. With over 620,000 blocks mined, had there been no halvening mechanism in place, we would have surpassed Bitcoin’s supply cap by 10 million.
The impact of Bitcoin’s halvening this May is highly contentious. We have two prior halvening’s to analyze, but the crypto landscape has changed significantly over the last four years and it’s debatable whether we should expect the same to occur this time around.
The traditional argument is that Bitcoin’s price should rise as the halvening approaches. Proponents of this argue that while the demand for Bitcoin remains the same, the incoming supply will shrink, boosting Bitcoin’s price. They point to rallies before previous halvening’s as evidence of this.
“Imperium Investments is a Private equity fund focused on monetizing energy. We use Bitcoin, via one of the largest mining operations in North America, as the arbitrage vehicle to convert energy to cash. We maximize results by being the lowest cost Bitcoin producer. We achieve this through our expertise in international capital markets, financial products, and large scale industrial operational excellence.
Imperium Investments believes Bitcoin miner capitulation is likely to occur given the current macroeconomic backdrop (COVID-19). We believe it is unlikely that retail investors prop up Bitcoin’s price, in the form of speculation, as free cash flow is contracting for the global consumer. The majority of the middle class no longer has the ability to put more money to work in the form of financial investments and this free cash flow is being used to pay monthly expenses. Instead, the driver for future Bitcoin price increases will be from real supply-side shock both from the guaranteed 50% decrease in block rewards as a result of the halvening (12.5 to 6.25 Bitcoin per block), as well as the intentional decision of industrial-scale miners with strong cash balance sheet positions not to sell.
Imperium Investments believes there will be a multi-month capitulation effect that will come into play post-halving as the majority of Bitcoin mining businesses are forced to liquidate their holdings to weather the storm of depressed prices. Therefore It is the opinion of Imperium Investments that there is a high likelihood of bankruptcies and consolidation to occur across the global landscape of Bitcoin mining. However, after this large consolidation event occurs our team believes that we will be seeing Bitcoin reach all-time highs 6-18 months after the end of the capitulation event. This will result in significant opportunities for well-positioned mining firms to capitalize on in the form of distressed asset purchases.”
The sheer existence of the halvening will undoubtedly have a psychological impact on the market. The irreversible decrease in block-rewards has attracted corporate and retail entities to Bitcoin, and we expect those adoption trends to continue in the wake of the third halvening.
Moreover, the halvening is an event that creates a lot of attention around bitcoin. No matter the spin, this is a positive for the asset. Like in any industry, promotional/marketing activities are key for growth so the more focus the news-cycle puts on the halvening, the larger the audience and the greater the chance someone will hear about bitcoin and decentralization for the first time, so we view the upcoming halvening as an excellent growth opportunity for Bitcoin.
We expect this year to be no different, forecasting that hash rates will tumble post-halvening. However, we expect the 2020 halvening to be notable as the mining landscape has become increasingly competitive. Hobbyist miners have long been pushed out and large-scale operations have had mixed results due to Bitcoin’s volatile performance over the last year. At current levels, transaction fees make it difficult for miners to scale their operations and compete with the larger firms, so post halvening we expect the consolidation of the mining industry to continue.
There are some experts that think the market has already accounted for retail excitement and that this anticipated influx in trading volume is already priced into current figures.
All this being said, we are still bullish on Bitcoin as the halvening approaches, albeit cautiously and with a skeptical eye. We expect increased volatility similar to prior halvening’s and warn against letting fear dictate trading decisions. Since the halvening is a catalyst for Bitcoin alone as opposed to the broader cryptocurrency market, we expect Bitcoin’s dominance in the market to improve (as of today, BTC accounts for 64% according to CoinMarketCap).
For investors with a higher tolerance for volatility, increasing exposure to Bitcoin over the next few weeks is a sensible manoeuvre in our view. However, with the crypto markets ubiquity and accessibility, bull & bear runs happen quickly. Therefore, we encourage readers to find a reliable liquidity on-ramp ahead of the halvening.
With just under 2-weeks left until the halvening, GDA will be focusing its resources on analyzing the market to make sure our readers are as well-positioned as they can be. Make sure to tune in next week and to follow our twitter to stay updated on all halvening news and analysis!
Global Digital Assets, a leading blockchain focused capital markets firm in North America, and Markchain, a leading blockchain advisory & marketing firm in France, have announced a partnership to collaborate on capital syndication and distribution for digital asset offerings through mutual portfolio and investor networks. The partnership between the two firms brings together complementary networks and geographic synergies in an attempt to provide disruptive blockchain technology companies with broader access to North American and European capital markets.
Global Digital Assets was founded last year as a joint venture between MLG Blockchain and Secure Digital Markets, to amalgamate two of the leading blockchain firms in Canada and streamline their operations to provide additional value and added services to the clients of both companies. GDA works with companies looking to access capital through blockchain markets through issuing digital assets and building blockchain ecosystems or public markets through mergers and acquisitions and bridges the gap for hedge funds and institutional investors to access top quality blockchain investment opportunities.
Markchain provides innovative marketing solutions for early-stage blockchain projects (including IEOs, ICOs, and STOs) all the way to established cryptocurrencies and blockchain events. The core services include bringing projects to market, community management, communications, investment strategy, and high-level consulting services. By offering clients a high level of availability and bringing in years of consulting and a high degree of expertise in the blockchain space, Markchain has been able to stand out and offer their clients superior service. As a result, Markchain has a 100% customer satisfaction rate.
CEO of Markchain, Quentin Herbrecht commented on the partnership by saying: “We are also very excited to start our collaboration with Global Digital Assets. This will allow our customers to reach the North American capital markets more easily with local experts such as Michael Gord and the entire team at GDA. On our side, we are now fortunate to be able to introduce North American based projects to our investor networks in Europe and specifically, France”.
The partnership provides more international geographical coverage to both firms. GDA’s global headquarters are in Toronto and NYC which is complementary to Markchain, whose global headquarters are located in Rennes, France. Both firms will now be able to access more global information, dealflow and successful project implementations from their combined business development efforts around the world.
“We are excited to partner with Quentin and the Markchain team who are leaders in the blockchain ecosystem in Europe to provide our clients with wider exposure for digital asset offerings. Quentin has a great track record of bringing innovative projects to market that we are excited to introduce in North America”, said Michael Gord, CEO of Global Digital Assets.
Global Digital Assets
Global Digital Assets (GDA Capital) is a global blockchain & digital assets focused merchant bank based in Toronto & New York City. GDA offers a full-suite of services spanning from ventures and capital to markets and liquidity in order to provide end-to-end solutions to disruptive and cutting-edge blockchain projects.
Global Digital Assets and its experienced management team has experience that spans the entire blockchain industry. This includes venture capital, capital markets, trading, blockchain technology, token development and issuance. The team has played a significant role in taking dozens of tokens to market for clients around the world; having led million dollar marketing and activation campaigns, and completing over three billion dollars of private placement and OTC transactions. GDA’s work with a variety of firms ranging from family offices and HNWI, Fortune 100 enterprises, startups and global governments looking to accelerate their countries adoption of the blockchain.
As a premier firm based in France, Markchain focuses on providing expert consulting services to a range of blockchain companies who are in need of funding and growth. This fits closely with GDA’s service offerings and the crossover will help them assist each other in giving their clients more coverage.
CEO Quentin Herbrecht founded Markchain in late 2019 and has been consulting in the blockchain sector for much longer than that. A passion for new technologies is what guided Herbrecht’s to the world of cryptocurrencies. Last year, Forbes interviewed the French native about his ICO advisory work success during a bear market and mentioned him as the best ICO advisor in France. At only 24 years old, his career is remarkable. He is an independent Blockchain Expert and evaluator for the European Commission, professor of fintech/ Blockchain in business school and regularly appear in summit or in the media to discuss about his favourite subject, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Welcome to Volume #3 of The Digital Asset Digest. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for crypto and if you did not get a chance to read last week’s edition of the Digital Asset Digest feel free to get caught up here.
This week both the fiat and digital asset markets underwent extremely volatile trading periods, hopefully creating some lucrative opportunities in the market which we address below:
Digital Assets – Bitcoin closed at $7,110 on Friday, seeing low levels of activity as it continued its consolidation within the $6,500 to $7,500 range for the third week in a row. Ether saw comparatively higher levels of growth, closing up 8.4% for the week at $172. XRP trailed Bitcoin, ending up 1.3% over the same period.
Commodities –WTI crude closed at a staggering -$13.10 on Monday. On the heels of OPEC’s announcement that demand for crude will fall to its lowest level since 1989, coupled with the lack of storage cause from this demand drop-off, the market spoke volumes about current consumer sentiment. In other commodities news, Gold rallied earlier in the week before selling-off on Friday, closing down 1.2%.
Indices – The S&P 500 continued its rally this past week, rising 3.0% for the week as President Trump unveiled a three-stage process for states to end the coronavirus shutdown. Conversely, U.S. jobless claims rose to over 22 million for the month and China’s Q1 GDP contracted 6.8%, the first decline since the country began publishing quarterly data in 1992.
NEWS OF THE WEEK
Binance Chain releases white paper for a smart contract-enabled blockchain Source: CoinTelegraph “Binance Chain developers have proposed specifications for a new blockchain that would enable complex smart contract functionality within the Binance Coin (BNB) ecosystem. The specifications are available in its white paper, released on April 17… The Smart Chain will thus allow projects in the Binance ecosystem to build complex DApps based on Ethereum’s Virtual Machine. The team said that this was an often requested feature from projects in its ecosystem.”
Facebook-backed association revamps Libra following regulatory concerns Source: TechCrunch “The Libra Association, the consortium created by Facebook to oversee all things Libra, has updated its white paper to make some changes. The association is abandoning its original plan to create a global stablecoin directly tied to a basket of fiat currencies and securities. The Libra Association now plans to release several stablecoins — each of them will be backed by a fiat currency, such as USD, EUR, GBP or SGD. There will be a multi-currency Libra “coin,” but it won’t be a cryptocurrency per se — it’ll be a digital composite of those single-currency stablecoins.”
Grayscale now holds 1.7% of Bitcoin supply after record $500M quarter Source: CoinTelegraph “Almost 2% of the world’s Bitcoin (BTC) supply is now under the control of a single company: Grayscale and its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). In its latest quarterly report on April 16, Grayscale revealed that GBTC now contains 1.7% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin. In terms of assets under management as a proportion of the total cryptocurrency market cap, Grayscale controls 1.2% of the world’s crypto… Overall, Grayscale’s ten crypto funds attracted over $500 million in investments, making it its best quarter on record.”
TOKEN HIGHLIGHT: ENIGMA (ENG)
Enigma is a decentralized, open-source protocol specializing in privacy for DApp development. Smart contracts on traditional blockchains are public and cannot use data that must remain confidential. Enigma circumvents this issue by introducing the concept of a secret contract. The Enigma protocol does this by breaking up encrypted sensitive data and distributing it across “secret nodes” on the network. This way, nodes perform computations on seemingly random pieces of data, but never the data in its entirety, so the raw data is never exposed.
The concept behind Enigma was first described in 2015 by CEO Guy Zyskind’s MIT thesis. The firm has an ongoing R&D partnership with Intel to improve privacy preserving computation technologies using Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions). As of today, ENG trades for $0.16 with a market capitalization of $11.7 million.
BITCOIN ANNUAL PERFORMANCE
INDICES & COMMODITIES
WEEKEND READING: OPINION
First mover: Coronavirus trillions get Bitcoiners wondering if halving still matters Source: CoinDesk “Before the coronavirus hit, bitcoiners were looking forward to next month’s “halving” – a once-every-four-years reduction in new supplies of the cryptocurrency – as the primary factor that would drive prices higher, potentially even a 13-fold increase from current levels. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, however, the market’s focus has shifted instead to the trillions of dollars of emergency aid and money injections pledged by the world’s governments and central banks. Those are seen as enhancing bitcoin’s appeal as a hedge against inflation, similar to the traditional arguments for buying gold.”
Indicators on Bitcoin are neutral for the upcoming week as the cryptocurrency continues to consolidate within the $6,500 to $7,500 range. An ascending channel has clearly formed and as Bitcoin trades near the lower bound, this may be an indicator of some upwards potential. However, with the ADX near its low YTD, we find this trade uncompelling. A breakdown in the lower end of the channel may indicate a reversal and confirm our bearish sentiment from last week.
“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.” –Tim Berners-Lee
The market seems to be going green, red and everywhere in between. What is happening across commodities borders on unprecedented. However, we have never been in a situation where a natural disaster has prevented mass amounts of people from being on the road for this long, so the sell-off was expected. Like everything else, once we start to see normalcy in our lives, so to will we see it on the balance sheets and trading dashboards.
Want us to cover a specific market or digital asset? Reach out to us here.
Welcome back to the second volume of ‘The Digital Asset Digest’, Global Digital Asset’s official market newsletter.
Last week we narrowed our focus onto COVID-19 and its impact on the equities and crypto markets. If you missed the release you can catch up here. This week, we will be broadening our scope and taking a glimpse into the crypto & equity markets at large.
Digital Assets – Bitcoin closed at $6,470 Friday, up 4.4% for the week after Congress passed a historic $2.2 trillion stimulus package to fight the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19. Ether was relatively unmoved, rising 0.90% while XRP closed up 12.3% over the same week.
Equities – The S&P 500 rose 12.1% last week, driven by gains in real estate, materials, and financials as new COVID-19 cases in the US and key European regions have seemed to level off. Treasury yields rose slightly in response.
Commodities – WTI Crude dropped 19.7% for the week as analysts debated whether Saudi Arabia and Russia’s deal to cut oil production would sufficiently offset the lack in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Gold is up 6.5% as deflationary fears linger.
“Bitcoin Cash (BCH) went through with its first block reward halving this past Wednesday, with the coin price gaining 11.2% on the day. Those gains were exceeded by Bitcoin SV (BSV), which gained 19.4% over the same period. Bitcoin SV scheduled its own block reward halving on Friday, April 10th, the excitement around this protocol change was most likely the catalyst for the coin’s price surge last week.
Both Bitcoin forks were the only cryptocurrencies in the green as the market came to a close this past week. However, those gains look to be short-lived, as the market is already trading a few points below Friday’s price.
“India, the world’s second-most populous country, is increasingly embracing cryptocurrencies amid domestic economic issues and the nationwide coronavirus-related lockdown. It started on March 4 when the country’s highest court quashed a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) order dated April 6, 2018, which prohibited banks from providing services to entities dealing with cryptocurrencies. Activity on exchanges immediately picked up… Crypto banking services platform Cashaa noted a spike of 800 percent in trading volumes in the 48 hours following the decision. “The platform also registered a volume of 600+ BTC in the first 24 hours,” said Cashaa CEO Kumar Gaurav.”
“A group of investors sued four cryptocurrency exchanges and seven issuers claiming they sold billions of dollars of unregistered digital tokens and other securities in violation of U.S. securities laws. The lawsuits name exchanges Binance, Bibox, BitMEX and KuCoin, and issuers Block.one, Tron, Bancor, Civic, Kybercoin, Quantstamp and Status, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs. The suits, filed late Friday in Manhattan federal court, seek to represent classes of cryptocurrency investors.”
“China’s central bank has sent one of its strongest signals yet of a commitment to creating a digital version of the yuan. “The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) will undoubtedly further its research and development of the national digital currency with enhanced top-down design,” the bank said in an April 4 notice. The notice is a summary of the 2020 National Currency Gold Silver and Security Work Video and Telephone Conference, convened on Friday by Yifei Fan, the central bank’s vice governor. One of the annual meeting’s goals was to lay out top priorities for the bank in this coming year.”
Token Highlight: Seele (Seeletech)
Seele is a token developed by SeeleTech that describes itself as blockchain 4.0, building on top of previous advances in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the lightning network. The team’s priorities in building the token are scalability, security, and efficiency. To accomplish this, Seele developed a Matrix-Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, which forces miners to solve for determinants of matrices constructed with hashes rather than the brute-force hashing methods used by Bitcoin. The algorithm is designed to prevent ASICs and GPUs from dominating the entire network.
Seele completed their ICO in April 2018. Two weeks ago, the team released its Seele Stem subchain beta 1.0, which enables unlimited groups of users to build their own blockchain and interact with the Steele mainnet. As of April 10, SEELE traded at $0.065 with a market capitalization of $45.6 million.
“Had anyone presented the current situation to a crypto enthusiast in December, they likely would have said that they couldn’t have imagined a scenario more conducive to crypto’s macro narrative. That scenario may not be all sunshine and rainbows, though… We may be witnessing a fundamental shift in legacy market sentiment — specifically, the cozy relationship between the government and corporations. The stimulus package revealed that corporations were woefully unprepared for any type of supply/demand shock and had abused low-interest loan rates to buy back their own shares.”
Indicators on Bitcoin are bearish heading into the new week after a month-long rally, as BTC broke below the 50-day EMA on Friday. Though RSI seems to signal that there’s still room to rally, MACD convergence paints a bleaker picture, along with weakening momentum signaled by a tumbling ADX. A new high for the month was established at the $7,500 mark, so if resistance is confirmed, this would be a strong indicator of a potential reversal.
“The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.”
– H.L Mencken
Although the market sentiment is still somewhat bearish, the unprecedented levels of fear and uncertainty from previous weeks have subsided, and so too have the aggressive sell-offs. We hope that the continued perseverance we have seen on a global scale will continue as COVID-19’s economic uncertainty remains.