Market Update for January 24th

Friday, January 24th 2020

Recent Headlines

Why 2020 Will Be a Big Year for Crypto

According to crypto market strategist, Peter Johnson, 2020 is going to be a big year for crypto. Johnson belives the “Crypto Winter” of 2018/2019 flushed out much (but certainly not all) of short-term market participants, and that the market has significantly matured over the last few years.

In 2020, he expects to see accelerating crypto asset adoption, and for key building blocks to come into place for crypto to achieve its long-term potential of revolutionizing how value is stored and transferred around the world. This includes increased capital inflows from both retail and institutional investors (traditional and untraditional), market consolidation for brokers vs exchanges and changing regulations around the taxation of digital currencies. Johnson expands in detail on the 15 themes he thinks will most impact the crypto markets this year here.

Crypto Themes to Watch as World Economic Forum 2020 Gets Underway

Blockchain is more prominent on the WEF 2020 agenda than in years past. Amongst the major developments of 2019 which impacted governments were: The spectre of Facebook’s Libra project, which became a catalytic event among the world’s central bankers, and expedited efforts from the People’s Bank of China to develop the digital yuan raised geopolitical eyebrows. As a result, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are likely to dominate the conversation in 2020 (starting with the ECB in Europe). CBDCs are government-administered, digital versions of sovereign currencies which are not necessarily decentralized. Adoption of a widely used supranational stablecoin (like Libra) has been a real concern of central bankers, since this would undermine their ability to influence economies through monetary policy. Read more...

Bitcoin Miners Made an Estimated 5 Billion in Revenue in 2019

The world's bitcoin miners brought in an estimated $5 billion in revenue during 2019. Of that figure, $4.89 billion was in the form of block rewards – that is, the 12.5 BTC generated every time a new transaction block is created. The rest – some $146 million – was made via transaction fees. The $5 billion figure represents a decline from 2018's revenue level, when miners made an estimated $5.26 billion. By comparison, 2017's estimated revenue came in at $3.19 billion. Read more...

Crypto Derivatives Market Saw its Busiest Trading Day of 2020 on Tuesday, January 14th

According to data obtained by Skew, crypto derivatives trading struck its highest trading volumes of 2020 on Tuesday January 14th, with total trading volumes of futures and options jumping 9% for bitcoin and 16% for Ethereum. Roughly $25 billion worth of bitcoin futures contracts traded hands during the single day, making Jan. 14 the busiest trading session since Oct. 26, 2019. The heightened interest in crypto derivatives is likely a combined effect of Chicago Mercantile Exchanges rollout of Bitcoin options trading last Monday and the market becoming more institutionalized, several market observers contended. Read more...

Montreal Teen Charged with 50 Million Cryptocurrency Theft

An 18 year old hacker, Samy Bensaci, has been accused by Canadian authorities of being part of a ring that stole millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from American and Canadian holders. Bensaci is facing four criminal charges connected to a $50 million SIM-swapping scam targeting cryptocurrency holders, reported by Infosecurity Magazine on Jan. 17. A SIM-swapping attack occurs when the hackers are able to trick the telecom company to transfer the victim’s phone number to the attacker’s SIM card. Telecom companies are sometimes plagued by insiders who can use their data access to facilitate this type of crime with external syndicates. With a SIM-swap, attackers can bypass most authentication and password recovery mechanisms that rely on phone numbers. Read more...

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