07/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Cryptocurrency Finally Rising Again

After weeks of falls, with some claiming the Bitcoin bubble has burst, cryptocurrencies are finally regaining their position. Earlier today, the top 10 cryptocurrencies all had double digits gains. Later in the day, the top 100 all managed to be in the green. The total market capitalisation rose to $352 billion, a 25% growth. Considering that yesterday it was at a low of $276 billion, this is considerable. However, the figures are still down compared to last week’s $500 billion, and January’s record of $830 billion. Focusing on Bitcoin, despite being down 20% compared to last week, it is still up 655% compared to one year ago. The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, but the variety of coins may help to stabilise it.

2. Japan’s Peach Aviation: Bitcoin Payment System Still Under Development

Japan’s largest low-cost airline Peach Aviation has assured the public that the Bitcoin payment system is still under development. Many feared the project’s delay would be followed by a cancellation announcement. The service was first announced in May of last year, with crypto exchange BITPoint Japan as a partner. Furthermore, Japan’s recognition of Bitcoin as legal payment means the company will be able to plan the creation of ATMs around the country’s airports. Many were worried that an attack on the country’s largest crypto exchange would mean plans would just be scrapped. However, the company gave the fluctuation in price as the cause for the delay.

3. Chinese Payments Provider Joins Ripple

Ripple has just announced on its website that LianLian International, a Chinese payments provider, has joined RippleNet. Its role is as a third-party payment tool customers can use to make purchases online. The Chinese online retail industry is currently growing at a steady rate, amounting to $672 billion in 2017. China is the largest contributor to the global $1.32 trillion market size (2018 projection). The company will use RippleNet, the payment network backed by Ripple’s blockchain technology, for its payment services. LianLian’s CEO Arthur Zhu said that xCurrent will enable them to improve the customer experience and cut the payment transactions times.

4. Taiwan’s Vice Premier: The Government Shouldn’t Miscalculate Cryptocurrency Impact

Taiwan’s Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji released a report calling for the government not to miscalculate cryptocurrencies’ financial impact on the country. In the piece, the rising popularity of cryptocurrency in Taiwan was discussed. Jun-ji is calling for the government to assess the phenomenon, and give a regulatory response. The Vice Premier made comparisons to quantify the total size of cryptocurrency. At a certain point, Bitcoin market capitalisation amounted to $170 billion (trading at $10,000). This is almost equal to the total assets of all of the banks in Taiwan, and is double the government’s financial budget.

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