Bitcoin Reclaims Bulk of Crypto Market Cap
This week has been a good week for Bitcoin.
The world’s first digital currency smashed through barriers, increasing in value over 15% since Monday.
Today, we’re going to take a look at Bitcoin’s recent rise, as well as some of the other factors affecting the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, including the launch of a new billion-dollar blockchain fund and Coinbase’s new political action committee.
Bitcoin Reclaims Highest Portion of the Total Cryptocurrency Market Cap
Is it possible that Bitcoin could once again reign supreme?
The market certainly says so. On July 23rd, Bitcoin’s share of the digital currency market cap reached its highest since December 2017. At the time this article was written, Bitcoin's share of the market is more than 45%.
The last time Bitcoin’s share of the market was this high was when the token was trading for around $20,000.
This is good news for Bitcoin supporters and somewhat lackluster news for altcoin supporters. Many altcoin supporters believed Bitcoin had reached the end of the line at the end of 2017. In fact, Ethereum supporters were gearing up for an event they dubbed "the flippening," which is when Ethereum, the world's second-largest digital currency by market cap, would surpass Bitcoin.
That said, in the past, Bitcoin rallying has been good for the rest of the market. Bitcoin has a long history of pulling the rest of the digital currency market up with it.
This time, it seems this is not the case. As Bitcoin blew through multiple price barriers, the rest of the altcoin market seemed locked in place.
Gone are the days when Bitcoin could be relied on to provide a summary of the market's health. These days, it would appear the correlation between Bitcoin and other digital currencies is weakening.
Hubble Researcher Turns to Blockchain for Space Data Processing
Over the last year, blockchain has been batted around as a solution to many problems.
It’s been proposed as a tool to help fix our broken health care system. It’s been discussed as a new front in the ongoing fight for better cybersecurity.
And now, blockchain has made its way into space
On July 24, 2018, a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) researcher announced that he was testing a blockchain network for processing the vast amount of data produced during research.
The researcher, Josh Peek, told CoinDesk that space telescopes require “millions upon millions” of hours of computing power to process the data they collect.
And those hours of time end up being pretty expensive.
Plus the amount of data researchers like Peek are collecting isn’t slowing down.
In the past, researchers collected a small amount of data, which resulted in basic findings. These days, because of far better tools and advances in computer technology, researchers like Peek have the ability to collect far more data.
Peek hopes a blockchain-powered decentralized network will free researchers up to use resources more efficiently and from a much wider network.
And this idea isn’t unique to astronomy.
In theory, blockchain technology can be deployed in any situation that requires vast amounts of data processing, including health care and autonomous cars.
Another Billion-Dollar Blockchain Fund Is Launching in China
More blockchain news from China this week as another Chinese city launches a $10 billion blockchain fund.
This fund comes in the wake of a few other large funds, including a $1 billion blockchain fund in Hangzhou, China, and an $80 billion blockchain fund in Shenzhen.
This new $10 billion fund is being launched by the district government of the Jiangbei new area in Nanjing city. The project will also receive funding through a public-private partnership.
The Nanjing government will provide 30% of the fund’s money, with the other 70% coming from the private sector.
But what will this new multibillion-dollar blockchain fund focus on?
So far, it looks like 30% of the funds will be allocated to early-stage blockchain startups. These funds will also be given to innovations from academic institutions within China.
More traditional industrial companies working with blockchain technology will receive 40% of the funds.
According to CoinDesk, the remaining 30% of the funds will be used to fund cryptocurrency projects.
The new fund has received vocal support from both the State Council and President Xi Jinping. Xi has applauded blockchain as an economic "breakthrough."
Coinbase Forms a Political Task Force
On July 20th, it was announced that the world's leading digital currency exchange, Coinbase, has formed a political action committee (PAC).
The news came through a disclosure published by the U.S. Federal Election Commission.
This disclosure states that Coinbase's Political Action Committee was formed back in June 2018. At this point, it has not been heavily involved with government or raised any money. Coinbase's communications director Elliott Suthers has confirmed that the news is true while providing no other details.
So why would Coinbase form a PAC?
In the United States, PACs are normally used to raise funds on behalf of candidates who are running for public office.
In this way, PACs allow a company to put its money where its mouth is, supporting candidates who represent the company's ideological or business interests through their platform.
Currently, Coinbase is the only company in the cryptocurrency space that has formed a PAC, and that PAC is not attached to any candidate running for office.
Outside of the PAC, Coinbase has already donated over $81,000 to political causes, including a $78,000 donation to congressional candidate Brian Forde. Previously, he was the Office of Science and Technology Policy advisor to Barack Obama.
As the digital currency market grows, it's likely we will see PACs from other digital currency companies. Soon, candidates may have a few choice words about the digital currency market, and companies are going to want to make sure their interests are represented.
That's it for this week's digital currency feature.
Stay tuned for more updates, and make sure to check out our recent spotlight on 0x, a decentralized protocol that can be used to trade ERC20 tokens.
0x is one of the tokens being considered by Coinbase, and it has managed to drum up a lot of investor interest. You can find this new feature in the Coin Index segment of the Token Authority website.