Another interesting week on the crypto markets is ahead of us. In fact, there is so much going on this week that it was next to impossible to pick just 3 coins to watch. Therefore our this week’s selection exclusively includes 4 coins. The additional coin makes the article a bit lengthier, so let’s take a dive right into it.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Although we believe Bitcoin does not need much introduction and that all eyes would be on it even if it were not featured on our list, here is a short summary of the history and key characteristics of the first truly decentralized digital currency. The world’s pioneer cryptocurrency was launched by pseudonymous figure named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 and has a capped supply of 21 million coins. The decreasing miner block rewards makes the cryptocurrency scarcer with time, ensuring a deflationary nature. Lately, increased interest from institutional investors has been driving the price further up.
BTC is Less than 10% Away from Setting a new ATH Price
After roughly one and a half month of rallying Bitcoin is now less than 9% away from setting its new ATH. An interesting coincidence is that Bitcoin, often referred to as the digital gold, is about as far from its all-time high price as the physical precious metal, which is currently priced at $1840 per ounce and has an ATH of $2047.5 per ounce.
Although the bull market is slowly running out of steam, we believe that a new ATH price is well within reach, especially as the total market capitalization of Bitcoin is already at an ATH due to a higher number of circulating coins than in 2017 – and market capitalization ATH surpasses the price per unit ATH in terms of economic significance.
In addition, several other metrics, including the number of Bitcoin addresses with balance of over $10 and the interest in CME Bitcoin futures are already at their respective all-time highs.
There are also a few key differences between the ongoing Bitcoin rally and the legendary bull run of 2017, which leads us to believe that this time around the high prices could sustained for a longer period. While the 2017 market performance was fuelled by FOMO among individual investors, institutions appear to be the key players this year, as google trends for keyword “Bitcoin” are staying low. Nevertheless, with PayPal’s launch of a crypto buying, selling and holding feature, more individuals will gain an easy way to access crypto too. Furthermore, investors are not so blindsided as in 2017, when almost everyone was endeavoured by the hype and thought Bitcoin would continue to surge. According to Bitcoin funding futures data, many traders have actually been shorting Bitcoin throughout its latest bull run, meaning that the general market sentiment is only slightly bullish.
2. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a crypto platform that is designed to enable fast, secure, and low-cost multi-currency and cross-border money transfers. The Stellar network, which is aimed at both individuals as well as enterprises, has an average transaction confirmation time of 2-5 seconds. At the same time, the base fee for sending a transaction currently stands at only 0.0001 XLM.
Stellar Validators are Voting on the Protocol 15 Upgrade
The Stellar team has opened the voting concerning the Stellar Protocol 15 public mainnet upgrade on November 23 at 16:00 UTC. The team decided to skip Protocol 14 due to a discovered issue in the protocol, so the Protocol 15 will bring quite a few improvements. Tu summarize, Protocol 15 will incorporate new features such as Claimable Balances and Sponsored Reserves on top of addressing the transaction bug that could cause validators to crash. A full list of Protocol 15 features can be found here. The developers are urging all validators to upgrade their software as soon as possible to either Stellar Core v15.0.0 or Horizon v1.11.0.
3. Horizen (ZEN)
Horizen’s First Block Reward Halving to Take place on December 2
Last week the project upgraded its network to ZEN 2.0.21 and now everything is already set for a Mainnet Hard Fork, which will be triggered by Block 835968. In the process ZEN 2.0.22 upgrade will launch as a new chain, while the old one will deprecate. The hard fork, whose purpose is security hardening, general maintenance and preparation for reward halving is estimated to occur on November 24/25. All exchanges, mining pools, node operators, and full node wallet users need to upgrade to ZEN 2.0.22 as soon as possible if they want to remain in sync with the network or access their funds.
The Hard Fork will be followed by Horizen’s first ever a Block Reward Halving. The event will be triggered at Block 840000, which is estimated to be mined around December 2. Block rewards will be cut in half, dropping from current 12.5 ZEN per block to 6.25 ZEN per block. Nevertheless, the reward distribution will 60% of it going to the miners, 20% to the Zen Blockchain Foundation, 10% to secure nodes, and another 10% to the super node operators. For more information regarding the halving, please refer to the official blog post.
4. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform, and its native asset ETH is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum features the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which is capable of executing Turing-complete scripts. This gives Ethereum immense flexibility, allowing users to deploy a wide variety of smart contracts and decentralized applications that operate in a trustless manner.
Stakers are getting closer to the Beacon Chain launch
Ethereum is currently on its way to Ethereum 2.0, which will entail a transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. The first step in this transition will be Phase 0, which will commence with the launch of the Beacon Chain. The role of the beacon chain will be to coordinate shards and stakers on Ethereum 2.0.
However, 524,288 ETH needs to be staked in the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract for the Beacon Chain to launch. With over 375,000 ETH staked at the moment, stakers are about 72% of the way there. Once the 524,288 ETH threshold is reached, the beacon chain will be launched after a 7-day period. You can check the current progress on the official Ethereum Launch Pad website. The launch of the Beacon Chain should help improve sentiment surrounding Ethereum 2.0 and show that the project is making concrete progress.
Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.