Last Week in Review: Bitcoin/Pound trading volumes soared, and Bitcoin may soon have some Ethereum qualities
The highlights from last week’s news, numbers and events from the crypto industry.
News from the block
Bitcoin and British pound trades reached new highs amid UK market volatility
Trading volumes of the British pound and Bitcoin trading pair reached new highs last week as the pound fell to record lows on Monday.
Transaction volumes of the trading pair across eight major exchanges globally spiked to £846 million on Monday compared to an average of £54.1 million per day in 2022, according to Kaiko Research.
Conor Ryder, research analyst at Kaiko, explained to Reuters that the spike was likely a reaction to the volatility in the pound. “Opportunistic investors rushed to crypto exchanges offering BTC-GBP to try and profit via arbitrage from any mispricing of Bitcoin across the major fiat currencies,” he said.
The extraordinary potential of cryptocurrency in sub-Saharan Africa
Many young investors in sub-Saharan Africa use cryptocurrency to preserve and build wealth, according to research by blockchain research firm Chainalysis. In more developed countries, investors generally use cryptocurrency to multiply existing wealth.
Transfers below $10,000 make up almost 7% of the entire region’s cryptocurrency transaction volume, more than any other region in the world. Small transfers under $1,000 between individuals account for 80% of transaction volume, also more than any other region.
This points to a lack of institutional investors in the space, but, says Chainalysis, deeper analysis reveals that Africa has some of the most developed crypto markets in the world, “with deep penetration and integration of cryptocurrency into everyday financial activity for many users.”
New software can give Bitcoin qualities of Ethereum
Lightning Labs has released a test version of new software that would enable developers to create, send and receive assets on the Bitcoin network.
Using the new software, called Taro, a stablecoin creator, for example, can issue the coin on the Bitcoin network, which users can send and receive on the ultra-fast Lightning Network, a payments layer built on top of Bitcoin. The Lightning Network is almost like a Payfast for Bitcoin.
Up until now, asset issuance, stablecoins and NFTs, for example, was the sole domain of smart contract platforms like Ethereum and newer platforms including Cardano and Solana.
Crypto volumes on exchanges jump for the first since May
Trading volumes on crypto exchanges in September were up 16% from the previous month, the first significant increase since the onset of crypto winter in May.
The Block’s Legitimate Index, which tracks spot trading volumes, showed that $733.9 billion of crypto was traded in September, up from $630.17 billion in the previous month. Trading volumes hit an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in May 2021, when Bitcoin was trading for around $50,000.
Smart contract platforms have a lot in common but if you look under the hood you will find some unique traits. For this week’s longer read, we look at the key differences between Cardano and Ethereum.
Crunching the numbers
£846 million – Trading volume on Monday last week between the Bitcoin/Pound trading pair
£54.1 million – The average transactions per day in 2022 between the Bitcoin/Pound pair
587 million – The number of financial messages sent on the SWIFT network in September this year. SWIFT recently announced a partnership with Chainlink to broaden its messaging reach to include blockchains
$720 million – The amount of capital Bitcoin investment firm NYDIG raised for its institutional Bitcoin Fund. Filings with the SEC show that 59 investors contributed $12 million each
The crypto time capsule
A young Vitalik about to change cryptocurrency forever.
What do New Balance and Cardano have in common?
In 2019, footwear giant New Balance and Cardano piloted a blockchain project in which customers and retailers could verify the authenticity of their shoes using the Cardano network. The project was called NB RealChain.
Worth a watch
The newer cryptocurrencies like Solana and Cardano are used for building decentralised applications (dApp), but what exactly is a dApp? Have a look.