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Just two months after May’s Bitcoin halving event, both hash rate and difficulty have shrugged off post halving dips to hit new all-time highs.

Following last week’s record-high Bitcoin hash rate, the latest difficulty adjustment saw a change of +9.89%, bringing the level to a new all-time high of over 17.3 trillion on July 13.

Despite a lack of recent significant Bitcoin (BTC) price action, the fundamentals securing the network are as healthy as they’ve ever been. This is more positive news for investors concerned about a previous drop in hash rate and difficulty after May’s third reward halving event.

Concerns over halving unsubstantiated

Some analysts predicted that the reward halving earlier this year would lead to mass capitulation from unprofitable miners.

There was a significant drop in hash rate immediately after the halving, followed by two reductions in the mining difficulty. But an upwards difficulty adjustment of 14.95% last month almost reversed the previous two falls on its own.

With both hash rate and difficulty now at historic highs, any concerns around the impact of the halving now seem to have been proven unfounded.

Keeping Bitcoin ticking along at 1 block per 10 minutes

The mining difficulty gets automatically adjusted every 2016 blocks (or approximately 14 days), in order to ensure that new blocks are produced every 10 minutes on average.

It generally fluctuates with the hash rate (increasing hash power means quicker blocks so difficulty must also be increased), although the overarching trend tends to be upwards.

Higher difficulty can also have an impact on mining profitability, which causes some miners to sell up. When this happens, it can potentially force the hash rate back down again.

Author: Jack Martin

Source: Coin Telegraph: Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits Record High of 17.3 Trillion

Kraken CEO Jesse Powell told Bloomberg in a recent interview that Bitcoin would surpass gold as a store of value in the long term.

In an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell claimed that layer-two solutions will in time make Bitcoin (BTC) as easy to use as the United States dollar.

In addition to improvements in Bitcoin’s utilitarian nature, Powell suggested that the eventual timing of institutional investors getting on board would rely on a herd mentality, and recommended Bitcoin as a hedge against the U.S. Federal Reserve’s current manipulation of the dollar.

Bitcoin utility will improve to match store of value

Powell trumpeted Bitcoin’s success as a store of value. The predictable nature of issuance has seen many flock to BTC as a hedge against traditional asset classes, and Powell suggested that long term, he believed it would surpass gold.

However, just like gold and even cash, he said that people will not need to transfer “physical” Bitcoin on the blockchain. Cash apps such as PayPal and Venmo allow movement of fiat currencies in non-physical form, and layer-two solutions will, in time, provide easy-to-use tools to similarly interact with Bitcoin:

“Pretty soon all of the technology behind Bitcoin will just disappear and it’ll be just like the U.S. dollar where no one really understands how it works but everyone uses it.”

Institutional investors like to follow the herd

Powell continued that the past three months had seen a massive influx of new accounts from all investor types: hedge funds, wealth managers, retail investors and day traders. However, the long-promised flood of institutional investment will rely on a herd mentality, he said.

The revelations of respected fund managers, such as Paul Tudor Jones who said that up to 2% of his portfolio was in Bitcoin, will encourage others to come on board, eventually building to a critical mass of institutional players.

Regarding the potential manipulation of cryptocurrency markets by whales, Powell pointed out that traditional markets were also being manipulated:

“Look at the Fed buying junk bonds from failed United States corporations. It’s a joke. The market is manipulated. They’re printing trillions of dollars to pump up the value of publicly traded stocks. You can’t price anything in dollars any more. Inflation is going to be out of control very soon here. Personally I would be buying bitcoin as a hedge against that inflation.”

Author: Jack Martin

Source: Coin Telegraph: Layer 2 Will Make Bitcoin as Easy to Use as the Dollar, Says Kraken CEO

Blockfyre’s co-founder believes a bull market will return, seeing Bitcoin’s price rise 1,400% to hit $150,000 and Ether and other solid altcoins making even more impressive gains.

The co-founder of cryptocurrency analysis company Blockfyre believes that a bull run will return, propelling Bitcoin (BTC) to a price of $150,000.

In a tweet on Thursday, Simon Dedic suggested that these gains will not be reflected across the entire cryptocurrency market, although the more solid altcoins should also see impressive price action.

No return to the cryptomania of 2017

Bitcoin’s dizzying ascent to its current all-time high of almost $20,000 in December 2017 came complete with a media frenzy around all things crypto.

Coupled with a boom in initial coin offerings and fuelled by investor FOMO — the fear of missing out — money was thrown at literally any project in the hope that it would mirror the gains of Bitcoin.

This became a self-fulfilling prophecy and pretty much every altcoin posted a significant price increase during 2017.

The cream rises to the top

While Dedic warned that he believes this won’t happen again, he does envision a Bitcoin bull run returning and “pumping the few solid alts out there.”

He even went as far as to make a number of price predictions, such as Bitcoin gaining over 1,400% from its current price of around $9,750 to reach his target of $150,000.

Ether (ETH) is set to fare even better according to Dedic, increasing more than 3,570% from current levels around $245 to a price of $9,000. And Binance Coin (BNB) is predicted to see a 2,750% rise to $500.

Bigger increases still are forecast for Chainlink (LINK) and Tezos (XTZ), both with a target price of $200, representing 4,450% and 6,800% gains, respectively.

But this all fades into insignificance compared with Dedic’s prediction for VeChain (VET), with a seemingly modest target price of $1. However, this marks a massive 14,100% increase on its current price of $0.007.

VeChain has recently partnered with fresh meat suppliers in China to improve traceability and Walmart’s Chinese subsidiary to track food products.

Author: Jack Martin

Source: Coin Telegraph: Analyst Predicts Next Bull Run Will Send Bitcoin to $150K and Ether to $9K

After United States President Donald Trump first mooted a $1 trillion stimulus package for the U.S. economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, people were shocked at what seemed like a gargantuan amount.

As Cointelegraph reported a few days later on March 25, a bipartisan deal has been agreed for twice that figure and it suddenly seems far more tangible. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao even tweeted that the new financial dialogue meant a $2 trillion market cap for Bitcoin could be considered “modest”.

Will a devaluing U.S. Dollar push Bitcoin to $100K?

The Federal Reserve and central banks around the world have started churning out fiat money in an attempt to prevent a deeper COVID-19-driven financial crash through quantitative easing.

Trillions are on the table, and Bitcoin has already seen price gains following the Fed’s suggestion that it could print an infinite amount of cash. According to Zhao, Bitcoin ride this wave all the way to $100,000:

“As we get used to talk about Trillions, a modest $2 trillion market cap of#bitcoin will put 1 BTC at $100,000. Not such a hard to imagine number now, right?”

Bitcoin price appreciation boosted by HODLers

Zhao went on to explain that, because most Bitcoin is in the hands of HODLers and not for sale, only a small percentage of the $2 trillion U.S. stimulus package would need to flow into Bitcoin in order to achieve an equivalent market cap.

Of course, Zhao’s bullishness for Bitcoin is swiftly becoming a meme, and many of his Twitter followers responded that such a prediction could only be a sell signal. However, with more dollars being printed by the day, Bitcoin’s limited supply may well be in its favor.

Author: Jack Martin

Source: Coin Telegraph: As Trump Talks Trillions, Binance CEO Predicts $2T Bitcoin Market Cap

With May’s Bitcoin halving event drawing ever closer, Coinbase recently took to pushing the “Bitcoin as digital gold” narrative. In a tweet-storm to promote an accompanying blog-post published Feb. 7, it covered the key reasons why the halving and subsequent supply rate reduction will further cement that link.

Scarcity creates value

Since the gold standard was broken in 1971, the dollar’s value has declined and gold’s value, in dollar terms, has risen over 4000%. Gold has more value than similar metals such as copper due to its relative scarcity and difficulty to acquire.

Bitcoin has been designed to be scarce like gold and is artificially difficult to acquire through the Proof-of-Work process of mining. However, it also has an advantage over gold in being transferable through a communications channel.

Coinbase concluded:

“Armed with a myriad of technological advantages, accelerating development, and maturing global market, Bitcoin is a store of value to rival gold in the digital age.”

Halving increases scarcity

The supply of Bitcoin is limited by design, with new tokens being minted as a reward every time a block of transactions is mined. The initial reward level of 50 BTC per block has already undergone two halving events, bringing it down to the current 12.5 BTC per block.

After the May 2020 halving, mining rewards for each new block, mined approximately every ten minutes, will reduce to 6.25 BTC. This will bring the supply issuance of Bitcoin to a rate of around 1.7% per annum.

Stock-to-flow (S2F) is a measure of new supply rate over total supply, and post-halving, Bitcoin’s S2F scarcity will be on a par with gold’s.

“Gold’s stock to flow is higher than any other metal commodity, and bitcoin is set to soon follow,” notes Coinbase.

No value without demand

S2F forecasts for the price will fail if there is no demand, and this holds true for fiat money, as much as any other commodity. As central banks increase the money supply, economies can sometimes prosper. However, if money supply overwhelms demand then hyperinflation events can occur.

Such events drive demand for safe havens such as gold and Bitcoin, and recent economic fear is reaching all-time highs, according to the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index.

This, along with Bitcoin’s myriad of technological advances and accelerating development, justifies Bitcoin’s title as digital gold, according to Coinbase.

As Cointelegraph reported, senior employees of Coinbase and Ripple recently formed a working group to advise United States regulators on policies to encourage innovation in the sector.

Author: Jack Martin

Source: Coin Telegraph: Coinbase Says Bitcoin Will Become Closer to Digital Gold in 93 Days

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