Last week was off to a rough start for the cryptocurrency market: with BTC falling below $3500, most altcoins changed their course as well. Analysts are pessimistic: CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole predicts that the Bitcoin will continue to fall until it hits $2970. The current bear market is one of the most extended in history: the BTC collapse has been going on for 411 days. The previous “record” was registered in 2013-2015 and lasted 410 days. In percentage points, the worst collapse happened in 2011, with the currency dropping a full 93%.

News Digest 28.01–03.02

BitTorrent ICO completed with great success

BitTorrent is a P2P protocol for online file exchange. In simple terms, it’s a decentralized file-sharing site. The platform released its own token, dubbed the BitToken. During early stages, the BitTorrent platform will work based on TRON blockchain. User activity will be rewarded with TRX tokens.

The platform raised $7.2 mln in just 18 minutes. Binance Coin owners received 23.76 bln BTT tokens, while TRX owners received 25.64 bln BTT tokens. Participants experienced a large number of technical difficulties. The crowdsale was hosted by popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance on their Launchpad ICO platform. Due to high demand, many participants did not manage to purchase their tokens during the crowdsale, which BitTorrent later compensated by giving out an additional 5000 BTT via Airdrop. Some lucky buyers have already profited from the sale: tokens traded at 4 times their sale price on February 1st.

TRON increased by 107%

BTT success has had a positive impact on TRON price. Despite market downfall, TRON has recovered from $0.0127 to $0.0264 per token. TRON investors believe that BitTorrent’s launch could mark the start of a new era of cryptocurrency growth and development. At present, none of the other decentralized applications have managed to attract a million active users to their platform.

Lightning Network continues growth

Lightning Network capacity now exceeds 600 BTC. The network currently has 22 618 payment channels, interconnected by 5791 nodes. Lightning Network is a crucial solution to the BTC scalability challenge, offering decreased commission rates and increased confidentiality.

Is NEM facing bankruptcy?

Last week, there was a lot of talk about NEM Foundation. New information has surfaced, confirming that the company is on the brink of bankruptcy. NEM Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on promoting the NEM blockchain. 150 employees will be laid off to compensate for the foundation’s financial troubles. According to newly elected president Alex Tinsman, former leadership made several mistakes that proved to be fatal for the company. As a result, the foundation runs the risk of losing additional funding, threatening them with potential termination. Alex Tinsman has submitted a funding request for 160 mln XEM tokens (approximately $7.5 mln), which should save the company from bankruptcy. Uncontrollable marketing spending has been cited as the main reason for bankruptcy, with expenses totaling 80 mln XEM (around $3.5 mln) in the period from December 2017 to January 2019.

Furthermore, several sources accuse the former director of promoting suspicious ICOs, undermining the community’s trust in the organization. In 2019, the company vows to avoid repeating this scenario by strictly following the defined roadmap, with the director insisting on complete transparency on all expenses.

Several media sources believe that NEM Foundation’s financial troubles could have a significant impact on the NEM cryptocurrency project, however these two organizations are not connected. The foundation was created with the sole purpose of promoting the NEM cryptocurrency.

Iran to launch a national cryptocurrency

CryptoGlobe reports the launch of a new gold-backed cryptocurrency intended to bypass sanctions. The cryptocurrency is called PayMon – the Persian word for ‘covenant’. It was launched in cooperation with four banks: Parsian Bank, Bank Pasargad, Bank Melli Iran and Bank Mellat, together with the company Ghoghnoos. The cryptocurrency is currently available on the over-the-counter Iranian platform Fara Bourse. According to the director of Ghoghnoos, the crypto will also be used to tokenize financial institutions’ assets. The government hopes that PayMon will allow them to bypass international sanctions and resolve problems related to SWIFT’s refusal to cooperate with local financial institutions.

Decentralized exchange trading volumes have reached a record low

According to research conducted by Diar, decentralized exchange trading volumes have reached an all-time low.

News Digest 28.01–03.02

Trading volumes for all decentralized exchanges combined have plummeted to $49 mln in January 2019. This is less than 1/10 of trading volume calculated only on the Binance exchange platform.