Crypto Market Update for 12 May 2020: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Chainlink

Siamak Masnavi

This article provides an overview of how Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Chainlink (LINK) have been doing over the past 24-hour period, covers recent news that might have affected their prices (or might do so in the future), and looks at interesting tweets about these cryptoassets from prominent members of the crypto community.

To give you a rough idea of how well the crypto markets are doing today, all of the top 20 cryptoassets (by market cap), with the exception of stablecoin Tether, are currently in the green (against the dollar).

All market data used in this article was taken from CryptoCompare around 09:10 BST (UTC + 01:00) on 12 May 2020. Please note that all time information in this article is in the British Summer Time (BST) unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is currently trading at $8,794, which means that it is up 2.37%% in the past 24-hour period:

BTC-USD 24 Hour Chart 2 on 12 May 2020.png

Yesterday (May 11) was Halving Day, the day that Bitcoin's block mining reward (i.e. Bitcoin's inflation rate) got halved to 6.25 BTC per block (and it will stay at this level for the next four years until the next/fourth halving event reduces it again).

According to data from CryptoCompare, at 00:00 on May 11, Bitcoin was trading at $8,735; the price reached an intraday high of $9,149 by 13:25 and an intraday low of $8,288 by 19:15 (which is roughly one hour before the halving took place); and Bitcoin ended the day trading at $8,568.

Bitcoin's third halving event automatically got triggered once the 630,000th block got mined, which happened at 19:23 UTC. This block was mined by Antpool, for which it got reward with 6.25 BTC.

Interestingly, the f2pool, which mined the last block before the halving (i.e. block 629,999) embedded the following reference to the current financial crisis: "NYTimes 09/Apr/2020 With $2.3T Injection, Fed’s Plan Far Exceeds 2008 Rescue".

What this third having event means for miners is that the total block mining reward per day, i.e. the amount of new bitcoin minted each day, will now be 900 BTC rather than 1800 BTC, which could result in miners using inefficient hardware or not having access to super cheap electricity being forced to stop their mining operations, something that would result in a reduction in Bitcoin's hash rate. If this scenario plays out, it would mean an increase in Bitcoin's mining difficulty (which is programmatically/automatically adjusted every 2,016 blocks, i.e. roughly every two weeks).

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is currently trading at $190.51, which means that it is up 3.10% in the past 24-hour period:

ETH-USD 24 Hour Chart 2 on 12 May 2020.png

Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, has had a pretty good year so far, with the price up 47.78% (against USD) in the year-to-date period.

Yesterday (May 11), as part of this year's virtual/distributed Consensus conference ("Consensus: Distributed"), which is organized by Coindesk, Vitalik Buterin said that he felt confident that Ethereum 2.0, which uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, would be able to launch sometime in July 2020:

"Ethereum 2.0 has testnets already. So, there's the Topaz Testnet and the Schelsi Testnet... There's also rollups that are adding scalability. The Optimism team recently announced a demo with Synthetix... There's also a lot of work on cryptography and privacy... It's moving forward on all fronts."

Here's how Prysmatic Labs introduced the Topaz Test Network on April 14:

"The Topaz test network is unique as it represents the full Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0 mainnet configuration. In the previous testnet, Sapphire, we targeted mainnet scale but used smaller 3.2 ETH deposits.

"For Topaz, validators are going to have to deposit the full 32 ETH on the Goerli ETH1 testnet to participate. To remain true to our original vision, Diamond represents the mainnet release of Prysm in Ethereum 2.0."

As for the Schelsi Testnet, which is first multi-client testnet for the ETH 2.0 Beacon Chain, Afri Schoeden, one of the lead developers at Parity Technologies, confirmed on April 27 that it had been launched and that two teams are validating the network:

Chainlink (LINK)

Chainlink is currently trading at $3.678, which means that it is up 1.03% in the past 24-hour period:

LINK-USD 24 Hour Chart 2 on 12 May 2020.png

In the year-to-date period, Chainlink, the 12th most valuable cryptoasset by market cap, has gone up an incredible 112.500% (against USD).

In an interview with Coindesk yesterday, Sergey Nazarov, the CEO of Chainlink, said that Chainlink is launching its Verifiable Random Function (VRF) service, and a blog post by Chainlink published by Chainlink earlier today provided the details about this new service.

Chainlink VRF "utilizes verifiable random functions to generate randomness that is verifiable on-chain,"and Chainlink "sees great smart contracts benefiting from Chainlink VRF, specifically those that would like to provide proof that they are indeed using a tamper-proof source of randomness beyond their control."

Chainlink also says that the CRF service "helps enable and accelerate the development of smart contracts focused on blockchain gaming, security, layer-two protocols and various other use cases."