We can mark the end of the “winter period” in the cryptocurrency market, which began in 2018. The value of assets on the exchanges is starting to move steadily upward, and the level of $4,000 for Bitcoin may be the last significant resistance before the take-off. News in recent months, as well as the willingness of big capital and tech corporations of world renown, such as IBM and J.P. Morgan, to apply their accumulated experience with the blockchain and create their own cryptocurrencies, are contributing to this. At the same time, official representatives recognize the inevitability of Bitcoin adoption. DeCenter analyzed how these and other events of the past week influenced cryptocurrency rates.

The Hard Fork of Ethereum Became the First Accelerator

After the successful hard fork of Constantinople in late February, Ether could take an “information leave” until after the next upgrade called Istanbul is activated, the final date of which will be set during the May meeting of the project’s leaders. But the technical adviser and creator of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin decided to share his vision, which is striking in its ambitiousness. On March 20, during a live stream interview, he noted that the Ethereum network has all the possibilities of switching to a bandwidth of 100,000 transactions per second. Currently, the blockchain throughput capacity of the second-largest cryptocurrency by capitalization is 15 transactions per second. Achieving this goal will allow for sharding, involving the division of the transaction among a group of randomly selected nodes, which will increase the network bandwidth. In addition to finding a solution to the problem of scalability, the project’s technical team, according to Buterin, also focuses on increasing privacy and usability.

The Launch of Lightning Loop

Another issue to simplify the process of accepting cryptocurrency got the experts of the company Lightning Labs very interested. The other day, they presented an alpha version of the long-awaited Lightning Loop solution to crypto enthusiasts. In the future, it will simplify the process of accepting Bitcoins to wallets and unloading the cryptocurrency network itself. The idea is that there will be a direct dependence on the volume of payments made. If they arrive in large numbers, the channel will expand, processing more transactions, and vice versa: decrease with their reduction. Bitcoins received for goods purchased at the store can be withdrawn to an external wallet or immediately sold for fiat funds.

U.S. Tech Giants Are Serious in Their Crypto Intentions

Last week, one of the world’s largest technology companies, IBM, announced it was ready to create its own stablecoin for the banking segment as part of World Wire, a payment solution developed jointly with Stellar last fall. Last year, IBM, together with Stellar, began work on creating products for the financial segment that would compete with existing ones in terms of speed and commission value for the sender of a cross-border payment. It was decided to develop a stablecoin tied to fiat funds based on the IBM blockchain. To date, six banks have already declared an interest in the project to launch their own stablecoins, which can be linked not only to the U.S. dollar but also the euro, the Indian rupee, and a number of other national currencies. At the time of writing, no official information was received from IBM representatives. They promise to “open the cards” as early as this week, telling about the advantages of the new product. It is worth noting that, even though SWIFT is now more familiar to banks, the management of the well-known international payment system is also considering options for working with the blockchain consortium R3 to launch a new payment standard.

Another American corporation, Avnet from the Fortune 500 list, which is engaged in the creation of technological solutions for businesses, announced its readiness to accept payment in cryptocurrencies for its software. The BitPay processing service, which is also used by the company that supports the work of Wikipedia, will help Avnet accept funds in Bitcoins without distracting from the core business.

The Idea of Stablecoins Is Capturing the Imagination of Bankers. And the SEC

Continuing the topic of ​​stablecoins, it is also necessary to note the amount of news received last week. The SEC, one of the leading world regulators that is vigilantly following the situation in the cryptocurrency market, gave an unexpected comment on stablecoins after a recent decision to not recognize Ether and Bitcoin as securities under the relevant U.S. legislation. Spokesperson Valerie Szczepanik during a high tech conference in Australia noted that some stablecoins could be more closely considered by the Commissioners at meetings of the regulator due to their mechanisms used for maintaining price stability. It is still unclear how the process of regulating the work of stablecoins by the SEC will take place, and it is also unclear what consequences this will have for Tether and other ongoing projects.

The official representatives of J.P. Morgan Chase, who previously announced information about their readiness to create their own stablecoin, told CNBC about the prevailing vision of the cryptocurrency market in their organization not as a competitor for traditional banks but as a “partner.” Such words are no surprise to anyone after a lot of information about the readiness of this bank and other representatives of Wall Street to begin conquering the crypto market. In the interview, an interesting thought was noted about the impossibility of modern businesses to pay commissions for making a payment. Therefore, as the experts noted, it is necessary to look for new ways of reducing the cost, as well as increasing the speed of the transactions. The innovative technology of the blockchain, where JPMorgan is ready to become a leader, can help in this.

Mining Can Again Become the #1 Earning Idea

Pleasant news came not only from banks and exchanges, where the price of cryptocurrencies is rising but also from analytical services. Thus, due to the positive sentiment among investors, stopped mining pools on Bitcoin were once again launched into operation, and new ones were put into service. The total computing power of the Bitcoin network has risen to 53 EH/s, approaching the maximum values ​​reached in August last year at 62 EH/s.

Bitcoin’s hashrate has again reached its highs. Source.

It seems that experts from the NVIDIA technology corporation, one of the divisions of which was entirely focused on the creation and release of new video cards and other devices for mining during the boom in 2017, have familiarized themselves with these statistics. But the subsequent disappointment and a multi-fold decrease in the price of cryptocurrencies last year led to the closure of the division due to its unprofitability. There are, however, a lot of processors left in the warehouses that were not sold out. And they will be ready to “warm their hands” and break their jackpot again on the expected jump in prices of Bitcoin and altcoins, as well as on the growth of the hashrate.

Chicago Mayor Advocates for Cryptocurrency Legalization

It seems that the recent political events in Venezuela and the imposition of sanctions on Iran by the United States gave grounds to the mayor of Chicago, Rama Emanuel, who during the reign of Barack Obama led the White House administration, to speculate on the possibility of faster adoption and the general use of cryptocurrencies. He noted the tenfold opportunities for global growth if the inhabitants of the planet just start thinking about the introduction of innovative technologies, especially in regions remote from the capitals.

As we can see, more and more news is coming lately, which is pointing to the possibility of more intensive use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies by big capital, as well as simplifying the ways of using them for the inhabitants of the planet. All this affects the price of crypto assets, which can also head toward the long-awaited “to the moon” in the coming months.