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In 2019, Bitcoin was able to maintain leadership among cryptocurrencies. The technical committee of Libra is created. Ethereum 2.0 test network is in demand among validators.
A study by CoinMetrics showed that in 2019, the total turnover of Bitcoin network amounted to $ 2.5 trillion. During the periods of peak growth, it reached $ 20 billion per day, and on average, it was about $ 5 billion. The average size of one transaction amounted to $ 23,000. Moreover, experts report an extremely low commission. Including all fees, this figure does not exceed $ 250 per transaction.
A significant contribution in Bitcoin turnover for 2019 was made by Litecoin. It accounts for a volume of $ 100 billion. Here, the transaction cost is much lower, namely about $ 50 per transaction. However, the size of the operations is also less, i.e. about $ 5,000. It is expected that the share of Lightning Network will significantly increase in the near future due to new developments. Thus, the developers of electronic wallets will be able to implement support for integration with Bitcoin network into their products.
A study by The Block showed that the first cryptocurrency miners were able to earn about $ 5 billion in 2019; $ 146 million of these was earned as a commission when conducting transactions and the rest was a reward for mining blocks. As of today, one block brings 12.5 BTC, or about $ 100,000. However, the profit indicator of bitcoin miners in 2019 does not reach the figures of 2018, when they were able to get about $ 5.26 billion in total.
These figures are approximate and they do not reflect the true picture. The fact is that researchers cannot name the exact moment of cryptocurrency sale. They proceeded from the assumption that the received bitcoins were immediately exchanged for fiat money.
In May 2020, the block reward halving is expected. However, Meltem Demirors from Coinshares is confident that this will not affect the value of cryptocurrency. The calculation based on the analysis of spot markets shows that now the turnover of derivatives has cardinally increased. Therefore, the real amount of bitcoin in circulation does not exert pressure on its value. As a result, mining may become less profitable.
Despite all the obstacles, the work on launching the Libra project is progressing. The next step forward was the creation of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). It will consist of five elected independent experts who will oversee the creation of individual groups and teams, manage the development of specific areas and create a common concept of technical development.
Publication of project documentation is expected over the next three months. It should set out a detailed development plan for Libra, including evaluation criteria for each step. It is emphasized that the TSC committee, directing the technical part of the project, is a completely independent body. This approach was originally created by organizers in their conception.
Meanwhile, it became known that the British Vodafone company decided to withdraw from Libra Association. It plans to direct the resources reserved for participation in the project to the development of its own payment service named M-Pesa. Currently, it is actively used in African countries, but now the company wants to expand its presence. Besides, Vodafone does not exclude the possibility of future cooperation with Libra. Now more than 20 companies are participating in its work. In total, more than one and a half thousand applications were submitted from companies all over the world.
However, eight large organizations for one reason or another ceased membership. It is worth recognizing that aggressive pressure of the regulators managed to slow down the project development. It is the reaction of the authorities that experts call the main issue for Facebook initiative. According to The Block, 72 of 106 respondents don’t believe in launching Libra in 2020. Despite the gradual development, the regulators managed to slow down the project progress.
Over the next six months, Ethereum 2.0 blockchain will work at its full capacity. In the first half of January, Prysmatic Labs launched a test network, which has already gained serious popularity. In two weeks, it managed to attract 22,000 validators and up to 10 individual operators. Now 70 nodes are actively working, and the developers consider this situation to be a great success.
Validators are network members who select blocks based on the results of vote. A new block is added from the participant who scored more than 66% of the vote. They are the main actors in blockchain based on proof-of-stake. There is no need to mine hash here, as validators take the responsibility of generating new blocks.
The benefits of updated Ethereum are obvious and have been discussed more than once on the net. They are as follows: reduced power consumption, ability to scale and more efficient virtual machine. As a result, the speed of operations will significantly increase. However, there is the technical details issue. The launch of Prysmatic Labs test should help with the final completion of the project. Prysmatic Labs team called on hackers to crack Ethereum 2.0 blockchain and thus identify all possible vulnerabilities.
There are also some questions about maintaining the previous platform. Ethereum team has not yet agreed on whether it is worth ensuring the coexistence of two blockchains. However, the launch of test network and the interest shown by the users clearly indicate the high potential of the new system. It’s already known that Istanbul, St. Petersburg and Constantinople hard forks were the last ones for Ethereum of the first version. Despite its stability, the effectiveness of Ethereum 2.0 makes it necessary to concentrate resources on its development.