Reasons to Be Bullish About Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies, According to Prominent Economics Professor

Panos Mourdoukoutas, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has argued that there are “a couple of signs” that the current cryptocurrency market rally could be “sustainable.”

Mourdoukoutas, who earned his Phd from the Stony Brook University, noted in a Forbes post (published on February 21st) that digital asset prices may continue to increase because the latest market rally “extended to the entire cryptocurrency chain.” Mourdoukoutas pointed out that the value of “only seven cryptocurrencies out of the top 100” depreciated in the past week.

Commenting on the recent surge in cryptoasset prices, Michael Noel, the CEO of Blockchain Consultants, remarked: 

Interestingly, it appears that the momentum behind the recent Bitcoin rise comes more from fiat and stablecoins than from other cryptocurrencies. This move from fiat currencies shows at least some consensus that BTC value, is better long term than in traditional currencies.

Bitcoin Usage Has Been "Really High Recently"

Noel added that the latest digital asset rally may also be partially attributed to increased enterprise interest in the crypto market. Established financial service providers and organizations including Western Union, the leading money transfer company, has been working closely with crypto firms such as American fintech Ripple Labs - in order to expedite cross-border payments.

Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange, recently introduced a new bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) tracking index. Meanwhile, Mastercard has been working with crypto payments solutions provider, Stellar - in order to make it easier to send money globally.

Bitcoin acceptance rates also appear to be increasing as Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, a leading social trading platform, revealed recently that BTC usage has been “really high recently.” Additionally, Greenspan mentioned that Google searches about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have picked up again.

JPMorgan Coin May Have Helped Legitimize Crypto Industry

Jeff Ramson, the founder and CEO of PCG Advisory, Inc., a company “dedicated to adding value in the small-cap, micro-cap and blockchain/cryptocurrency marketplace”, remarked:

Each day we are hearing of more well-known fiduciaries, banks, funds, etc. investing into crypto/blockchain infrastructure, and I believe Bitcoin is the proxy for most who want to have exposure to the crypto asset class, while these markets develop.

Ramson continued: “While not significant to the price of Bitcoin, in reality, [the introduction of JPMorgan’s own cryptocurrency or coin] has also given additional credibility to the space, which is helping with the price of Bitcoin; and I believe, this acceptance will help sustain the crypto asset class for the long run.”

Binance ‘Unknowingly’ Earns $775K via Staking, Set to Launch Huge XLM Giveaway

On Thursday (July 18), Binance, the world's largest cryptoasset exchange (by adjusted trading volume), made a rather interesting announcement: it had "unknowingly" earned 9.5 million Stellar Lumen (XLM) tokens through staking rewards, and it is going to give all of it away to all Binance users who maintain XLM balances between July 20 and September 1.

Binance explained via a blog post that in August 2018 the Binance team followed the advice of the Stellar Development Foundation "to change some parameters on both cold and hot wallets," which resulted in the exchange "unknowingly" earning staking rewards for its XLM holdings since 31 August 2018.

Then, this week, while the Binance team was considering the idea of adding support for XLM staking, it found out that Binance had earned around 9.5 million XLM tokens (each of which was worth approximately $0.08157 at the time). Binance notes that all "weekly staking rewards between then and now are documented on the blockchain." 

So, the team made two decisions:

  • add support for XLM staking to Binance.com; and
  • give away the aforementioned staking rewards to the Binance community (i.e. Binance users).

This is not the first time that Binance has added staking support to Binance.com. The exchange already "distributes NeoGas for NEO holders, Ontology Gas for Ontology holders, VTHO for VeChain holders, and BitTorrent tokens for TRON tokens."

Here is how this 9.5 million XLM giveaway is going to happen.

From July 20, Binance will support XLM staking. Between this date and September 1, Binance will take "daily snapshots" of XLM balances in Binance user accounts.

Then, on September 1, Binance will "tally average user XLM balances based on these snapshots," and process the distribution of staking rewards to these user accounts (that maintained XLM balances during the staking period). Furthermore, the roughly 9.5 million XLM tokens that Binance has unknowingly earned to date will be distributed as a bonus payment to all Binance users who jave maintained non-zero XLM balances since July 20. 

Binance says in its blog post that it estimates this "one-time distribution of 9,500,000 XLM shared proportionately among Binance users" to be worth "10 to 12 months of typical monthly rewards."

According to a support article published on July 18, here are the details of Binance's "Monthly XLM Staking Airdrop Program":

  • Binance will start these daily XLM balance snapshots at 00:00 (UTC) on 20 July 2019.
  • This is how Binance will calculate the XLM staking distribution:

XLM generated by each user = Total XLM staking rewards received by Binance * User XLM holdings ratio. User XLM holdings ratio = User XLM holdings / Total XLM staked by Binance.

  •  In order to qualify for XLM staking rewards, Binance users must have a balance of at least 10 XLM.
  • This initial distribution of XLM staking rewards will be calculated until 1 September 2019, "with the total amount distributed equal to the staking rewards accrued on holdings during the 43 day period."
  • These XLM staking rewards are calculated on a daily basis and are distributed monthly. 
  • XLM distrubutions will be "completed before the 5th of each month."

In other Binance news, another support article explained that Binance's Margin Trading platform has added support for two margin assets (EOS and LINK), three borrowable assets (BNB, EOS, and LINK), and three margin pairs (EOS/USDT, EOS/BTC, LINK/USDT, LINKBTC).

Binance's announcement about its 9.5 million XLM giveaway may have helped the XLM price. According to CryptoCompare, XLM is currently trading at $0.08914, up 7.96% in the past 24-hour period:

XLM-USD 24-Hour Chart on 18 July 2019.png

Featured Image Courtesy of Binance