With $3500 being widely seen as the new $6000, Bitcoin continues to lumber along with relative stability as the larger cryptocurrency market follows suit. Fearing a dramatic fall to a new bottom, calls of drops to $3000, $2500, and even the potential despair of a $1000 Bitcoin have been circulating.
Simultaneously, fundamentals in the development of Bitcoin hint at a glimmer of hope for the industry’s future. The Lightning Network continues its gradual growth and appears to be accelerating with more merchant acceptance and broader network support. A recent report about Bitrefill — a service specializing in selling mobile phone top-up plans and gift vouchers in exchange for crypto — notes that, since the business began accepting Lightning transactions, the payment method has seen more traffic than any of the other accepted altcoins on the platform.
This has spurred the question; if the Lightning Network allows users to transact Bitcoin at the speed of a text message and at a cost of less than a penny, what’s the point of the majority of altcoins on the market? Future privacy advantages enabled via the Lightning Network may cause the same existential crisis for the growing library of privacy coins.
ZIL, TRX & HOT make moves
In the broader crypto market, a few projects stand out from the crowd this week, with Zilliqa, Tron, and Holochain making significant market moves.
Zilliqa is approaching its mainnet launch, causing a “buy the rumour, sell the news” price speculation scenario as traders tend to load up weeks in advance and then dump their holdings as excitement fades. Launching on January 31, Zilliqa attempts to solve scaling problems faced by the likes of Ethereum primarily via a sharding protocol aimed at easing network congestion. Of course, Ethereum is also pursuing sharding as a potential solution to its own congestion problems, but is trailing competitors in terms of their development schedule.
Never shying away from the hype, Tron continues to tout itself as the be-all, end-all solution to all of crypto’s problems as it readies for the BitTorrent airdrop to Tron hodlers. BTT will initially be used as a token to pay for faster speeds on the BitTorrent network. The token can be directly traded for Tron and will launch on January 28, 2019. The plan is for future upgrades to enable the token to be used for “more general storage, computation, and resource availability, such as a distributed VPN (virtual private network) or content delivery network (CDN)” (source). A small percent of BTT’s supply will be gradually airdropped over years, beginning in February, to those who are holding Tron on supported exchanges and wallets.
Holochain (HOT) has seen a massive buying surge of more than 100% in market value over the past week. This alternative beyond-blockchain ledger solution has experienced a number of recent upgrades that have stirred up some buying excitement, along with the future ability to swap HOT for Holo Fuel, which has many speculating on significant price growth.
It should be noted that all of these observations are just that — observations I have made about the market over the past week. This is not professional financial advice and is intended only to act as a quick examination of some of the week’s events for you to enjoy. Please do your own research before doing any investing and never risk more than you can afford to lose