It was a welcome return to growth for crypto last week, as markets added around $10 billion across the seven days and ending the week at $211 billion. The most pronounced movement occurred on Monday when markets jumped by almost $20 billion in the space of a couple of hours (before retreating) after the release of strongly bullish news from one of the world’s biggest asset managers…
Fidelity leaps into crypto
Asset management heavyweight Fidelity Investments made a decisive foray into cryptocurrencies when it announced the launch a separate company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, which will handle cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for institutional investors. Already managing over $7 billion in assets, the company is one of the world’s five largest financial services providers.
The company reportedly first decided to enter the crypto space in mid-2017. And now that the new company has been launched, Chairman and CEO Abigail Johnson has declared Fidelity’s goal as being “to make digitally native assets, such as bitcoin, more accessible to investors.” Johnson also expects “to continue investing and experimenting, over the long-term, with ways to make this emerging asset class easier for our clients to understand and use.” Meanwhile, Tom Jessup, who is heading up the new division, believes that the creation of Fidelity Digital Assets “is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets.”
Tether loses its peg
leading stablecoin Tether (USDT) faced sharp criticism last week after losing its 1:1 peg with the US dollar on Monday. The drop in value occurred soon after news of the insolvency of BitFinex – Tether’s partner exchange – went public, although these reports were later refuted. But speculation abounded that Tether did not have sufficient fiat dollars backing its supply of USDT tokens. On some echanges, the price of Tether dropped as low as $0.85, although have since rebounded to almost trade at $1.00 once more.
Some believe the price drop is a sign that Tether could eventually implode, as investor confidence over its ability to maintain parity with the dollar is being increasingly questioned. Noted crypto investor Mike Novogratz, for instance, chalked the decline up to Tether’s lack of transparency, although has since stated that he believes USDT to be fully-backed by physical dollars.
Coinbase adds 0x
Making the official announcement on its Medium account on Wednesday, Coinbase revealed the addition of 0x (ZRX) to its list of available cryptocurrencies. “Starting today, Coinbase supports ZRX at Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps. Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, send, receive, or store ZRX, along with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin,” according to the announcement.
0x itself is a protocol that enables the decentralized peer-to-peer exchange of ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum. Having been listed on Coinbase, the ZRX token price rallied by 30% within minutes of the listing before paring gains to the end of the week. Having ended the week only marginally higher than prior to the listing, therefore, the new listing does not seem to have had the same price-booting effect for 0x as it did for previous Coinbase additions such as Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.
Ethereum delays Constantinople hard fork until New Year
Originally slated for November, Ethereum’s planned hard fork dubbed “Constantinople” will be postponed until early-2019, developers confirmed on Friday. After several bugs found in the code, developers decided that a delay was the most suitable option, now expected late January or February. According to Ethereum developer Afri Schoeden, “I keep getting the feeling that we’re trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens.”
The hard fork itself contains five backward-incompatible changes to the network, ranging from minor code optimizations to more impactful changes such as one that will reduce the amount of ETH created for each new transaction block. It was first tested on Ethereum public testnet Ropsten on October 13th,, but soon faced problems with the fork stalling at a block for two hours prior to activation, and testnet miners failing to activate the transition.
Blockchain related vacancies in US surged 300%
According to a report from job search website Glassdoor, the number of vacancies in blockchain and crypto industries in the US has grown massively this year. Despite the market slump this year, there have been four times as many offers in the space compared to 2017, the report found. As of August 2018, 1,775 vacancies were published, while Glassdoor posted only 446 such offers in 2017 – equivalent to a 300% increase.
Unsurprisingly, tech cities New York City and San Francisco dominate the share of blockchain-related jobs at 24% and 21% of total job openings. Then it’s San Jose (6%), Chicago (4%) and Seattle (4%).
The most sought after blockchain roles from the employers’ perspective, meanwhile, are mainly technical and engineering ones. Software engineer accounts for 19% of total job listings, followed by front-end engineer and technology architect. Indeed, engineering, technology and science roles account for a hefty 55% of all job openings, thus indicating the need for technically skilled personnel to continue pushing for advancements in the technology.