For the first time ever Bitcoin is almost touching US $2400, Ethereum has surpassed US $200, and the combined market capitalization of all digital currencies hits an all-time high of almost US $87 billion. Bitcoin is up some 5%, Ripple is up 13% and Ethereum is also up 11% as of the time of writing.
Indeed, the first two-quarters of the year 2017 have seen the crypto industry experience a massive growth in awareness and adoption. The growing Blockchain partnerships offer an explanation for the significant increase in market capitalization of various cryptocurrencies and the consequent surge in Bitcoin price and several top altcoins.
Ripple Consortium stronger than before
Recently, Ripple experienced a significant surge in value and market capitalization. This is perceived to be as a result of the establishment of a collaborative project amongst banks in the Japanese Consortium for cross-border and domestic payments.
In fact, India-based Axis Bank will use Ripple’s network for cross-border transactions. The solution’s underlying technology will enable real-time settlement for cross-border payments – an area the bank is targeting for future growth.
Moreover, Axis partnered with Kotak Mahindra Bank, another Indian banking institution, to test blockchain for new client-facing services. Fellow Indian banking institution Yes Bank earlier this year announced that it had developed a blockchain-based vendor financing solution, leveraging the open-source Hyperledger code as a basis.
Ethereum Alliance expanding
Another example of partnerships that have significantly impacted on the market capitalization and overall value of the Blockchain technology is the implementation of a partnership-based strategy by Ethereum with the launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) earlier this year. A partnership which attracts large-scale conglomerates like JPMorgan.
Furthermore, the EEA expands dramatically announcing 86 new members including Broadridge, DTCC, Deloitte, Infosys, Merck KGaA, MUFG, National Bank of Canada, Rabobank, Samsung SDS, State Street, Toyota and many of the most innovative startups in the Ethereum Ecosystem.
Bitcoin adoption increasing
Bitcoin is becoming widely known as a strong hedge against the turbulent global economy that continues to sink further every day. Many citizens from all around the world are clearly choosing Bitcoin to hedge their wealth from deteriorating and to move their money, however they see fit. This can be seen in countries like China, Japan, India, Venezuela, Russia, and more.
In addition, Bitcoin is surging in Japan in regards to popularity and trade volume, since the country legitimised the digital currency as a legal form of payment this past April. Now one of Japan’s largest discount airline providers Peach Aviation Ltd. has announced it will be the first Japanese service to accept Bitcoin for airline tickets.
The Japanese Peach Aviation will join other global airline services that accept bitcoin for flight tickets like the Latvian airline, Airbaltic, LOT Polish Airlines, and more. Alongside this, Bitcoin businesses like Coincheck and Bitflyer aim to sign up thousands of more Japanese merchants this summer.
As bitcoin fever takes hold in the country, Japanese residents from the region and international travellers will be pleased to know they can fly to over 22 destinations across Asia utilising bitcoin as a form of payment.
Bitcoin and Ethereum in the media
Bitcoin has made the top five Google search requests last Monday, according to data from Google Trends. The results from the US indicate that ‘Bitcoin’ received over 200,000 searches, making it the fifth most popular term. Ethereum made the top 20 results, coming in at number 18.
Ethereum’s entry into Google’s top 20 meanwhile is just as remarkable. Having remained de facto unknown until the launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance earlier this year, mainstream media are now describing the altcoin as the “new Bitcoin” and its “major rival.”
Should you buy and hold Bitcoin?
Currently, analysts and researchers at mainstream media outlets such as CNBC and Bloomberg are attributing Bitcoin’s recent upward momentum to the economic uncertainty and instability of the US. This is a rational conclusion considering that the US replaced the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market for the first time in the past 12 months to become the largest Bitcoin exchange market.
The demand for Bitcoin in the US is rapidly increasing due to the wide regard of Bitcoin as a safe haven asset, alongside gold. In fact, prominent gold investors including Mike Maloney have urged investor and traders to hold Bitcoin in their portfolios as a mandatory asset to avoid market turbulence and economic certainty.
Speaking of Bitcoin’s high liquidity, transportability and decentralized nature, Maloney stated:
“I do not own a lot of cryptocurrencies but I think it is something that is necessary to be prepared, because if the monetary system fails, you’ll be able to do transactions right away with other people and you can do them over long distances. You can do them over the Internet just like you pay with your credit card today.”
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