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USDC’s ‘real volume’ flips Tether on Ethereum as total supply hits 55.9B

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USD Coin (USDC) is taking a run at the title of the top stablecoin in crypto after its daily ‘real volume’ on the Ethereum network doubled that of Tether’s (USDT) on Tuesday. 

According to crypto market data tool Messari, Circle’s USDC posted $1.1 billion in daily real volume on the Ethereum network on Tuesday, which was double USDT’s real volume of $579 million.

Messari’s real volume metric is calculated by compiling data only from exchanges that it believes have “significant and legitimate crypto trading volumes” and thus differs from the more commonly seen “total volume” metric.

Exchanges included in Messari’s Real Volume metric include Binance, Bitfinex, Bitflyer, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Coinbase Pro, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, Poloniex and those tracked on OnChainFX.

24 hr Real Volume for USDT on Ethereum. Messari

USDC supply gaining ground

Tether’s circulating supply has continued to fall since its all-time high on May 11, dropping nearly 20% from 83.1 billion coins in circulation to an eight-month low of 67.9 billion as of the time of writing.

USDC, on the other hand, has seen its supply increase by 13% since May 11 to 55.9 billion. If the trends continue, it could spell the end of Tether’s dominance in the stablecoin space.

The collapse of layer-1 blockchain Terra and possible contagion from the fall of crypto lending platform Celsius have caused doubt among investors, made worse by a market crash in recent weeks. Redemptions in Tether have increased significantly in the aftermath, leading to a drop in supply.

Tether has been attempting to shore up confidence in its stablecoin — including stating on June 13 that the ongoing calamities in the crypto market involving Terra and Celsius will not have any impact on its reserves. Despite this, investors appear to be migrating to USDC.

USDC supply is catching up to USDT. CoinGecko

Messari’s real volume metric does not tell the whole story, of course. Across all blockchains and exchanges, CoinGecko shows USDT daily volume still tops the charts at $44 billion compared to USDC’s $5 billion. 

However, it is not known how much of the volume is due to USDT being employed in wash trading to either inflate the numbers for coins or exchanges, which is why the imperfect real volume metric was developed.

Related: Record stablecoin market share points to crypto upside: JPMorgan

In an effort to combat the ongoing redemptions and doubts about the composition of its reserves, Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino told Euromoney on June 15 that his firm plans on getting a proper audit from a top-12 auditing firm. While he would like to have one of the top four firms perform the audit, Ardoino said, “The big four are a bit more cautious about providing a full suit when the rules are not clear,” around stablecoins.



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Ethereum

How low can Ethereum price drop versus Bitcoin amid the DeFi contagion?

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Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) has declined by more than 35% against Bitcoin (BTC) since December 2021 with a potential to decline further in the coming months.

ETH/BTC weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

ETH/BTC dynamics

The ETH/BTC pair’s bullish trends typically suggest an increasing risk appetite among crypto traders, where speculation is more focused on Ether’s future valuations versus keeping their capital long-term in BTC. 

Conversely, a bearish ETH/BTC cycle is typically accompanied by a plunge in altcoins and Ethereum’s decline in market share. As a result, traders seek safety in BTC, showcasing their risk-off sentiment within the crypto industry.

Ethereum TVL wipe-out

Interest in the Ethereum blockchain soared during the pandemic as developers started turning to it to create a wave of so-called decentralized finance projects, including peer-to-peer exchange and lending platforms.

That resulted in a boom in the total value locked (TVL) inside the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem, rising from $465 million in March 2020 to as high as $159 billion in November 2021, up more than 34,000%, according to data from DeFi Llama.

Ethereum TVL performance since 2019. Source: DeFi Llama

Interestingly, ETH/BTC surged 345% to 0.08, a 2021 peak, in the same period, given an increase in demand for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the pair has since dropped over 35% and was trading for 0.057 BTC on June 26.

ETH/BTC’s drop coincides with a massive plunge in Ethereum TVL, from $159 billion in November 2021 to $48.81 billion in June 2022, led by a contagion fears in the DeFi industry.

Also, institutions have withdrawn $458 million this year from Ethereum-based investment funds as of June 17, suggesting that interest in Ethereum’s DeFi boom has been waning.

Bitcoin struggling but stronger than Ether

Bitcoin has faced smaller downsides compared to Ether in the ongoing bear market.

BTC’s price has dropped nearly 70% to around $21,500 since November 2021, versus Ether’s 75% drop in the same period.

Also, unlike Ethereum, Bitcoin-focused investment funds have seen inflows of $480 million year-to-date, showing that BTC’s drop has done little to curb its demand among institutional investors.

Investment flows into/out of crypto funds by assets. Source: CoinShares

ETH/BTC downside targets

Capital flows, coupled with an increasing distrust in the DeFi sector, could keep benefiting Bitcoin over Ethereum in 2022, resulting in more downside for ETH/BTC.

Related: Swan Bitcoin CEO against crypto lenders: Users are way under-compensated for the risk

From a technical perspective, the pair has been holding above a support confluence defined by a rising trendline, a Fibonacci retracement level at 0.048 BTC, and its 200-week exponential moving average (200-week EMA; the blue wave in the chart below) near 0.049 BTC.

ETH/BTC weekly price chart. Source: TradingView

In a rebound, ETH/BTC could test the 0.5 Fib line next near 0.062. Conversely, a decisive break below the support confluence could mean a decline toward the 0.786 Fib line at 0.027 in 2022, down more than 50% from today’s price.

The ETH/BTC breakdown might coincide with an extended ETH/USD market decline, primarily due to the Federal Reserve’s quantitative tightenig that has recently pressured crypto prices lower against the U.S. dollar. 

Conversely, weaker economic data could prompt the Fed to cool down on its tightening spree. This could limit Ether and the other crypto assets’ downside bias in the dollar market, per Informa Global Markets.

The firm noted:

“Macroeconomic conditions need to improve and the Fed’s aggressive approach to monetary policy has to subside before crypto markets see a bottom.”

But given Ethereum has never reclaimed its all-time high against Bitcoin since June 2017 despite a strong adoption rate, the ETH/BTC pair could remain under pressure with the 0.027-target in sight.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.



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Ethereum price breaks out as ‘bad news is good news’ for stocks

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Ethereum’s native token, Ether (ETH), gained alongside riskier assets as investors assessed weak U.S. economic data and its potential to cool down rate hike fears.

Ether mirrors risk-on recovery

ETH’s price climbed up to 8.31% on June 24 to $1,225, six days after falling below $880, its lowest level since January 2021.

Overall, the upside retracement brought bulls 40% in gains, raising anticipation about an extended recovery in the future while alleviating fears of a “clean fakeout.”

For instance, independent market analyst “PostyXBT” projected ETH’s price to close above $1,300 by the end of June. 

In contrast, analyst “Wolf” feared that bears would attempt to “push price back to $1,047,” albeit anticipating a run-up toward $1,250 if ETH holds above its diagonal trendline support, as shown below.

Ether has come under pressure from the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy in 2022. But those fears appear to be subsiding after the latest U.S. composite purchasing managers report, which shows the manufacturing activity fell to a five-month-low.

“Growth is coming down, maybe even sooner than expected,” Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at FlowBank, told the Wall Street Journal, adding:

“That should allow the Fed to soften at some point.”

ETH/USD daily chart versus Nasdaq and S&P 500. Source: TradingView

Still, Greg Peters, co-chief investment officer at PGIM Fixed Income, warned that the current rally in the risk-on markets might not last. He is unconvinced that “the central banks will stop tightening if economies slow.”

Classic bullish reversal setup in play

Ether’s rebound on June 24 also had it break above a falling resistance trendline that constitutes an “inverse head-and-shoulders” pattern (IH&S).

In detail, Ether has formed the IH&S pattern after forming three troughs below a common support level, called the neckline. Also, the middle trough comes out to be deeper than the other two, which are more or less of the same height.

Related: ‘Foolish’ to deny Bitcoin price can go under $10K — Analysis

Traditional analysts see IH&S as a bullish reversal setup, i.e., they resolve after the price breaks above their neckline support. As a rule, the price could rise by as much as the IH&S’s maximum height after the breakout.

ETH/USD four-hour price chart featuring IH&S setup. Source: TradingView

As a result, Ether eyes an extended upside retracement toward $1,560 after breaking above its IH&S neckline, up nearly 33% from the current price. Interestingly, the IH&S profit target coincides with ETH’s 200-4H exponential moving average (200-4H EMA; the blue wave) near $1,537.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.



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What is StrongBlock (STRONG) and how does it work?

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The digital financial environment continues to develop almost every second, which is no surprise to those in the crypto sector. Among such technological advancements, a new project called StrongBlock has popularized the concept of the node as a service (NaaS) on the blockchain. NaaS is an alternative to running entire blockchain nodes on your own; it provides developer infrastructure and tools for setting up and managing blockchain nodes.

Connected blockchain nodes relay, transmit and store decentralized blockchain data. But, what is a blockchain node? A node, also known as a Full Node, is a device that stores the blockchain’s whole transaction history. But, who is behind the creation of the StrongBlock ecosystem?

The StrongBlock team includes CEO David Moss and chief technology officer Brian Abramson, who are enterprise software and blockchain veterans. Corey Lederer, chief product officer, is also among the StrongBlock founders’ team and has extensive experience in managing technology products.

Related: Dangers of hosting your own Ethereum 2.0 node, explained

StrongBlock sees the blockchain as the way of the future, but unless you’re well-versed with this technological breakthrough, it can be a risky place to enter. As a result, StrongBlocks’ objective is to make it easier for anyone to support and participate in blockchains.

This article will deep dive into the NaaS concept and explore what makes StrongBlock unique, how to make money through StrongBlock and how to buy the STRONG token.

StrongBlock explained

StrongBlock is a blockchain platform aimed at revolutionizing the way blockchain networks operate. The reason for its simplification is the simple NaaS tool, which allows users who aren’t well-versed in blockchain to build a blockchain-compliant node quickly while compensating them for running it.

Before StrongBlock’s NaaS, running Ethereum nodes required an extensive understanding of blockchain as well as the ability to code and a server capable of running the node throughout the day. In summary, diving into nodes before StrongBlock required either a lot of effort or a high level of knowledge to make it simple.

In addition, rewards were reserved for miners that solved complex mathematical problems, whereas no such monetary rewards were distributed to nodes. There is no way to assess the performance of nodes.

To address the above issues, StrongBlock automated all of the processes, allowing everyone to participate in the blockchain revolution. Users can create a node in seconds using the StrongBlock platform. They can also add their node to obtain daily STRONG token rewards. STRONG is StrongBlock’s governance token, which developers use to enable token holders to contribute to determining the protocol’s future.

What are Strong nodes?

A Strong node is a node that supports the Ethereum network. It rewards node operators a “Node Universal Basic Income” (NUBI) based on the number of Ethereum blocks they contribute to the network’s upkeep. However, the number of nodes, token price, node revenue and nonfungible token (NFT) ownership are all factors that influence rewards; they are variable and not guaranteed.

Related: Nonfungible tokens: How to get started using NFTs

Strong nodes are run as a service; therefore, they do not require hardware and this allows anyone, even non-technical people, to build a blockchain-compliant node in seconds and get paid for running it.

How does StrongBlock work?

The StrongBlock protocol is designed to give NUBI continually. NUBI rewards are currently paid in STRONG, and in the future, the company will be paying them as NFTs. The protocol is then governed by those who have obtained STRONG in this manner. Potential reward shortfalls can be rectified by the community in a variety of ways as the protocol grows.

The rewards are measured based on ongoing contributions per node, burning STRONG for NFTs, renewal fees, lowering NUBI and creating different NUBI classes. Furthermore, there are two methods for using nodes within the StrongBlock protocol. Bringing your own Node (BYoN) offers additional flexibility and the ability to further personalize your node, whereas StrongBlock NaaS is faster and easier to set up.

Both approaches offer the same base NUBI incentives, but future additions may give BYoN nodes more opportunities than NaaS nodes. Also, the monthly fee for NaaS is $14.95 (paid in ETH), whereas it varies in the case of BYoN.

What is a STRONG token?

The STRONG token (now referred to as STRNGR) is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token that runs on the Ethereum network. The coin is a governance token that will eventually lead to StrongBlock’s decentralized system.

While the team generated 10 million STRONG tokens, they burned roughly 95% to develop a correct tokenomics for the system. The system continues to burn extra STRONG tokens with each new node deployed to maintain a deflationary token supply.

How to launch a blockchain node using StrongBlock

To launch a blockchain node using StrongBlock, ensure that you have a digital wallet. StrongBlock’s NaaS platform is compatible with MetaMask and does not support multisig wallets.

To cover the transaction’s gas fees, you’ll need to buy some ETH. Connect your wallet to your preferred crypto exchange and purchase 10 STRNGR tokens. MetaMask can be downloaded as a browser extension from the MetaMask website. Customers can choose Chrome, Brave, or Firefox browsers.

Check the gas fees by connecting your wallet containing 10 STRNGR to the app.strongblock.com website. The Etherscan Gas Tracker can be used to check gas fees, which vary based on the crypto-economy.

Setting up or launching a node costs 10 STRONG tokens plus gas fees. Each node is then rewarded with 0.091 STRONG tokens, which can serve as a source of passive income. To create blockchain nodes using StrongBlock, follow the steps below:

You’ll be able to pay node fees, see your accrued awards, and claim rewards after your node is created. The first monthly node fee is included when you create your node. After that, you’ll have to manually pay the node charge every 30 days. However, the node fee payment structure has a 90-day prepaid restriction.

If you are not able to see the created node, check for the approved, pending or canceled transactions to speed up the process.

What are the tax implications of StrongBlock?

Because of the nature of StrongBlock and the impossibility of selling the asset, Ethereum node services cannot be classified as an asset in the crypto and tax worlds; instead, they will be classified as an expense.

As a result, when you buy StrongBlock, the first purchase will be considered a business expense, and everything you earn from it will be considered a taxable income or earning. The taxable rate will depend upon the country of your residence and can be determined by your present income level. To understand your taxable obligations, you may consider reading Cointelegraph’s guide to filing cryptocurrency taxes in the US, UK, and Germany.

Is StrongBlock a good investment?

If you are a blockchain lover, you may find StrongBlock a promising project with which to launch Ethereum nodes and earn passive income. However, considering the sky-high gas fees and crypto market volatility, you should always conduct due diligence before putting money into any project.

That said, if you think that your financial objectives, the organization’s vision and the return on investment are aligned, then you may become an active participant in the project and get rewarded with STRONG tokens. Nonetheless, do not forget the risk exposure you are willing to take.

The platform intends to support other protocols like Ethereum’s consensus layer upgrade (previously ETH 2.0) soon. It also plans to introduce features such as NFT gamification and a marketplace, which may encourage blockchain enthusiasts to participate in the blockchain revolution led by StrongBlock.



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