Bitcoin Usage is 'Really High At the Moment', eToro's Senior Analyst Reveals

Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, a leading social trading platform, has revealed that Google searches for bitcoin (BTC), have increased due to the current rally which appears to have run out of steam.

Greenspan pointed out that cryptocurrency trading volumes have started to pick up, however both trading activity and online searches about cryptocurrencies are “nowhere near” what they were when digital asset prices recorded record-level highs in late 2017.

Greenspan, a licensed portfolio manager, noted that “volumes across” digital asset exchanges (during the last 3 months) are “at their highest levels” since April 2018. Bitcoin usage is “also really high at the moment”, the former financial investments advisor at Ava FX mentioned. In fact, bitcoin usage is “near the highest it’s ever been at 3.87 transactions per second (TPS)”, Greenspan wrote.

Moreover, the experienced market analyst said that BTC usage rates had been “rising steadily throughout the bear market” as bitcoin adoption continued to increase even when crypto prices were down considerably from their record level highs.

"Emerging Markets" Experienced Greatest Increase In Bitcoin Usage

As many other researchers have observed, Greenspan tweeted:

Bitcoin usage is especially high in emerging markets where the local economy is less stable.

Indeed, countries experiencing hyperinflation such as Venezuela have seen bitcoin trading volumes explode to all-time highs. Venezuelans seem to increasingly be turning to cryptoassets, in order to preserve their wealth as the Bolivar (the nation’s fiat currency) has become practically worthless due to extreme inflation.

Notably, volumes on the popular peer-to-peer (P2P) LocalBitcoins exchange were 157x greater (on February 11th, 2019) than Venezuela’s largest stock exchange. Today (February 21st, 2019), Greenspan pointed out that global trading volumes on LocalBitcoins “have been rising lately” when compared to the “noticeable dip” during the prolonged bear market (which is still not over).

Most Millennials More Confident In Crypto Than Traditional Stocks

On February 19th, eToro published the results of its survey which shows that most millennials appear to be more confident in cryptocurrencies, instead of buying traditional stocks. Interestingly, most or 71% of the young investors responding to the survey said they “would invest in crypto if it was offered by traditional financial institutions.”

Over 90% of millennial crypto traders that participated in eToro’s survey said “they would invest more money in [digital assets] if [they] were offered by traditional financial institutions such as TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or Charles Schwab.”

Senate Banking Hearing on Facebook’s Libra; 0.25% of Algorand Tokens Sell for $60 Million

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • The Senate Banking Committee books hearing on Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin developers to get 50 bitcoin (BTC) in funding.
  • 0.25% of Algorand's ALGO tokens sell for $60 million.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $9,294.1 (+1.5%) and $269.5 (+0.6%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 4,314.6 (-0.2%).

 

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Senate Banking Committee Books Hearing on Facebook

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee announced it will hold a hearing on July 16 in order to question witnesses over Facebook’s new cryptocurrency and blockchain project, Libra. As of press time, it has not yet been publicly disclosed which individuals will testify before the Committee.

The hearing – entitled ‘Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations’ – was scheduled just days after the social media giant officially revealed its plans regarding Libra and its new Calibra subsidiary.

Fund to Support Bitcoin Developers with 50 BTC

Primitive Ventures’ Dovey Wan has gathered 50 BTC – roughly $450,000 – on behalf of non-profit organization Hard Core Fund in an effort to sustainably fund Bitcoin developers.

When discussing why she decided to pursue the initiative, Wan told CoinDesk, “right now, you wouldn’t believe it, there are less than 10 full-time bitcoin developers... We want to fund full-time independent bitcoin developers.”

Established in 2018, the Hard Core Fund is managed by Pan Zhibiao, a former Bitmain employee. Wan – who serves as the executive director for the fund – is the only other team member listed on its website.

0.25% of Algorand’s ALGO Tokens Sell for $60 Million

Algorand – a scalable, secure and decentralized digital currency and transactions platform – closed its first Dutch auction with a clearing price of $2.40 per Algo (ALGO) token, the native token of the Algorand blockchain platform.

The auction was administered by the Algorand Foundation, which, in a blog post on Wednesday, said that it now stands as “the first organization to conduct a fully transparent global auction on its own blockchain.”

In total, a paltry 0.25 percent of ALGO’s total supply was sold to successful bidders for $60.4 million. Notably, the Algorand Foundation will – in exactly one year’s time – offer redemptions on tokens at 90 percent of the $2.40 clearing price.

The completion of the inaugural ALGO auction signalled the mainnet launch of the Algorand, also. It was first unveiled by MIT professor and Turing Award winner, Silvio Micali, in early 2017.