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Stellar Lumens: Analysis for a HODL (or Non-HODL)

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2018 is off to a fast start for many coins, with the past couple of days being a thorn in an otherwise positive trend. Stellar Lumens was a coin that I have always been curious about. XRP was a marketing unicorn. It was perfectly palatable for the government, and it was designed to do things that were government friendly. The co-founder of XRP went on to found Stellar Lumens, a company that has a very similar system to Ripple, but a different marketing plan altogether. Let’s go into it.

Leadership

Jed McCaleb is the brains of this company. He was also the brainchild of Mt. Gox, the exchange that was tragically hacked after his departure. If we are talking about big guys in the industry, I don’t think we are going to find many more like this guy. He’s an American success story that also builds government friendly cryptocurrencies. I am hoping this is our Rocky Balboa, because we certainly need one in 2018. I haven’t seen many people step up to the plate and talking on behalf of blockchain, so I do believe the void is certainly open for these folks to join in. Garlinghouse is already the darling of CNBC, there is room for more!

Purpose

There are three in my opinion. They are first trying to get into the micropayment space with a rapid settlement software and ledger system. They are focusing on “banking the unbanked”. The costs for using their services are low, no matter what the amount that is being transacted. Sounds like a fork in Ripple! Oh, because it is. The vision is that holding lumens could be a way for people to store their money in something that isn’t a closet anymore. There are roughly 2B “unbanked” that could be considered a target market.

Compliance-focused. These guys want the banks to be able to use them! This is the McCaleb special sauce in my opinion. He is making sure that all of his stuff is always working with the powers that be, not against them. The network is set up for banks to plug themselves in, put in a clients money, and Lumens will spit it out the other side to anyone, anywhere, in any currency. Great middleman! Ripple is the institutional version, Lumens is the use case version. I believe this is why Jed left.

Lumens also built an excellent platform for design. If you want Raiden’s take, I think Mr. McCaleb saw that a platform is going to be a hell of a lot more important than a instrument of exchange. He has built a platform that is incredibly easy to design your own tokens on, that are so transparent that it can help you toe the line of the law. When the USA is just ramping up for their own regulations on ICOs, and you have Mr. McCaleb on the sideline with a  straight edge token maker, I think there could be some sweet music. I am not a tech person, so I will yield to others in it’s comparison to Ethereum. It has been advertised as a more advanced version of what is available. AKA, a newly paved road with custom car dealerships.

Competitors

Depends on which purpose. Personally, banking the unbanked is being worked on (and touted) by every cryptocurrency out there. They have debit cards, QR codes, CELL PHONES for it. There is a huge market for it, but the reason swaths of humanity are unbanked is because it is difficult to access basic services, including the education on cryptocurrency account set-up, payment and management. This is an “eventually” problem that will be solved. If this was the only part of this coin, I would move on. I am going to be leaving “banking the unbanked” up at the top. This doesn’t excite me. I am going to be talking about their near sighted solution cases moving forward.

The platform for creation is something I like very very much. I love when things can be worked on by entrepreneurs. When things are developed on a platform, their work is as good as being nailed into the walls of the block chain. I want to attract the most amount of smart people to use the coins I own, as their ingenuity in various forms will create a desire for the coin. Ethereum and NEO are the platforms I would say compete with Lumens right now.

Ethereum, which does have a Silicon Valley presence, has been around for quite some time, and the prospect of lightning is anyone’s guess as to effectiveness. I personally never bet against Ethereum, regardless of competitors. I just bet on all platforms.

NEO, “Chinese Ethereum,” is also an advanced platform that currently boasts the most robust way for developers to create. They have the best paint brushes at the moment, in this author’s very humble opinion. I don’t believe the NEO team is going to be focusing on the US ACO market just this moment (I could be wrong). I think NEO could very well be the advanced Chinese Lumens. No real need to deviate from that market for them…

Target Market 

This is the best target market anyone can ask for, and it is the reason I am writing about this coin. Business. High quality businesses that can transact in tokens quickly and compliantly for uses with every day transactions.

Let’s do an example: With Lumens I can have my bank send them USD, Lumens then encrypts that USD on XLM, and sends it off to the bank across the world in China. The bank gets that payment in Yuan, deposited directly to my friend. This target market is not being drooled over like it should. Decentralists will do their own thing, but for me USD is what puts gas in the tank. It will be that way. I want someone to play nice with my USD, and the keepers of my USD. Strong points to Lumens here.

Weaknesses

All friends of Raiden know I hate large supplies. This coin is designed for a specific use, and that use is certainly not being a $30,000 coin. 103B. That means it’s going to take a massive wave of adoption before we start seeing some price appreciation.

I want their vision to be a little more geared toward beating Ethereum. I think banking the unbanked will take significant amounts of time, and will require a lot of all hands on deck to get going. If we could shelf this goal for after we figure out whats going on with primary offerings in America, we may have more resources to speed up the process of such a noble goal.

Strengths

This is an American company solving an American problem. There are no hurdles to jump here! We have a gigantic market of investors/businesses that need a platform that they can begin to toy around with. If they can successfully offer tokens that will require payment in XLM, this is now a very good investment. This is the Ethereum Model, and look how well its doing from way up there.

Jed McCaleb. I think this darn guy is the one who saw the bureaucratic needle in the haystack and decided to jump in. The government friendly cryptos will always win over the anti-government cryptos. I am not going to the bonfire with those people, I want to make money this year. I have said this before. Americans want something simple, at their doorstep. This is beginning to sound like just that.

Technical Jargon 

  • Current Price 1/15/18- $.63
  • Current Supply- 17,890,569,956 XLM
  • Total Supply- 103,590,302,054 XLM
  • Market Cap- 11,447,227,515 USD
  • Market Cap Rank- 9

Partnerships

IBM. This is the big one. You may not know this, but IBM essentially controls every single corporate office in America. Their software, wiring, and hardware is what keeps most places up and running. IBM has used them for settlement, while they clear the transactions that they are doing thousands and thousands (and thousands) of. Baby steps partnership right now. However, this is already a working relationship. IBM is not a company to discount in the new wave of technology. Their technical infrastructure in American professional society is second to absolutely none. This partnership alone can tell you many things about Stellar Lumens. It is quite interesting IBM is also hiring Ethereum Developers.

Overall

I sold off some of the portions I had before the sell-off a week ago. It performed well for me, but I was going to be migrating back to my ETH. Now that I have done some real digging here, I love what this is. It is Jed McCaleb. I trust that man. I have no idea of his coding experience, or overall involvement in the nuts and bolts of any currency he has worked on behalf of. However, this man is preparing an American Noah’s Ark. This is the boat that he thinks everyone will get on, AND B2C BUSINESS OFF OF. The most important thing is the business part, hence the caps. If we are talking about a warming up ICO/ACO market in the United States, there is no better place to be apart of than a mass customization shop that can give you a filled out form to hand into the government. That hasn’t been mastered yet, even on the exchange side. I just really hope they focus on the platform first. Business comes first to set up their store fronts. People go shopping second. Lumens is a coin with customers and a lonely target market. I can’t think of that being a bad thing.

 

I am not recommending you buy XLM, or any of the currencies I have listed. You must look into each and every investment, and analyze all angles based on your savings and risk tolerance. A lot of people ask me thoughts on currencies. No currency is made for everyone. I would have to know income, savings, investment background, risk tolerance, and the list goes on. This is the reason why no one can ever recommend something to you through a long term price prediction. I want you to make money. I wish you the best of luck.


A look at the mountain range.

Disclaimer: The author holds investment positions in the cryptocurrencies discussed in this article. 

Image courtesy of Pexels and Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 27 rated postsMythological God of Lightning. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain writer, evangelist, and friend. May the odds be ever in our favor.




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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Chainlink

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The blockchain industry is still very much in its early stages, and is seen as “the disruptor” to banks and many other industries. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be disruptors within the industry. Companies that pop up and begin to threaten incumbents in a certain space.

The last few days have shown that exact event occurring with a relative unknown called Chainlink. A few positive announcements have catapulted them up onto the map within the oracle space, and it is unclear where this will take them in the future.

What is a Blockchain Oracle?

Smart contracts are incredibly effective and novel ways of handling automation and decision-making, but they currently live inside the “walled garden” of their own ecosystem. We have discussed companies that connect different blockchains, as well as companies that use blockchain to connect real world assets, but there is also a need to connect data external to the blockchain.

The term oracle comes from Ancient Greek mythology where people didn’t have enough information to make decisions and would go to oracles for additional inputs. This is exactly what “oracles” aim to do. Connecting Dapps and APIs is just the beginning of the power of oracles.

Bitcoin and Ethereum operate in a form of isolation, with no connection to information outside of their respective chains. This makes validating conditions of smart contracts very difficult. Ideally, an oracle would be able to translate outside information into terms that Dapps could understand, thus triggering (or not triggering) the smart contract.

The idea is that much like Coinbase acts as a gateway for a large amount of the funds going into the blockchain ecosystem, one company would likely be able to become the gateway for much of the information flowing into the ecosystem.

Chainlink as a Competitor

Ever since people realized there was massive potential for whoever could figure out how to bring information like price changes, payments, or even something as innocent as temperature into the blockchain, more companies have been working on solving this problem. Oraclize has long been seen as the frontrunner within the industry, with other behemoths like IBM and Microsoft throwing their hats in the ring as well.

Chainlink was late to the game, but has made significant progress in the time they’ve been going after market share. With high profile partnerships including SWIFT payments, IC3, and Gartner, they are hardly an unknown anymore.

Their coin, LINK, is what is used to pay for an Oracle (or a node) to provide data. The services offered include certification, validation, and reputation services, all with the goals o f enforcing the overall integrity of the networks’ Oracles. Historically, Chainlink has been weak on the connection from and aims to let their technology do the talking. Right now, their mainnet is not yet live, and it still isn’t’t clear when it will be released. For this reason, the only way to really judge how they are doing is based on their partnerships and their listings.

Chainlink’s Recent Performance

In the last few weeks, we have seen Chainlink climb up the rankings to enter the top 20 ERC-20 tokens in terms of market capitalization. Up a wild 23.8% in just the last week, this is due to a combination of a few pieces of news. First, Bithumb announced that LINK would be listed on their exchange. Then, Chainlink announced a partnership with Gamedex where they would translate professional sports match results into the Dapp.

These few pieces of information alone don’t mean much, but there is often a momentum play that can be made as a company comes out of obscurity. Being in the top 20 of market capitalizations is a good tell.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Crypto Exchanges: Looking For Guaranteed Results

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The word guaranteed is never to be used anywhere investment advice is offered.  So please think of my use of the term as just one person’s opinion. But after doing some weekend reading, I think there should be a way to achieve extraordinary gains that are virtually assured for a very long time.

Back in the glory days of the dotcom period the wisdom of the time was simply stated: invest in the plumbing. That included names like Cisco and Intel.  These were the folks that facilitated high speed traffic on the Internet. Even after the dotcom bubble burst, the plumbers continued to rake in the dough.

Fast forward to 2018, why should we not follow the same logic? Please don’t ask why I didn’t ask this question long ago. Here is what caught my attention.

There is a new study out prepared by The Status Group that makes some incredible projections for the immediate future.  Here are their headline making forecasts.

  • We expect crypto trading volume growth of +50% through 2019, and a 9% CAGR through 2028
  • Crypto trading volume is set to overtake U.S. Corporate Debt trading volume this year, and is on track to be ~10% of U.S. Equity trading volume
  • We estimate exchange trading fee growth of 50%+ this year, from $2.1B last year to well over $3B in 2018
  • The top 20 exchanges account for over 75% of total crypto market trading volume
  • BTC is the base pair for ~1/3 of global crypto volume, USDT 22%, ETH 12%

Always Be Cautious of Forecasts

With no disrespect meant, are the forecasters at The Status Group really serious?  Well, 2019 isn’t that far off so we will know soon enough. But the point is, how do we get involved in the growth of trading rather than pure speculation on crypto prices?

Take the case of the two largest players: Bitmex and Binance.  Over the past 30 days, the two exchanges have traded over $125 billion in value.  That is just in the last month or $1.5 trillion annually. This is only the top two.  If the five largest were included, the monthly total rapidly approaches $200 billion.

Bitmex stands out from a recent article titled: Bitmex Co-Founder is the Youngest British Self-Made Billionaire. Brilliant ideas and hard work deserve and that is why Ben Delo, Samuel Reed and Arthur Hayes are billionaires. But try to buy into Bitmex, good luck.

But there is #2 Binance (BNB) whose token can be traded on the Binance exchange. According to ICOMarks, the market cap of BNB is just a little over $1.1 billion. Back in January, BNB reached $22 but has since tumbled to just $10 -marking a drop of roughly 60%.

Putting that into perspective, that is just a bit less than the average crypto has done this year. But before you doze off, consider this. Changpeng Zhao, BNB founder, just reported second quarter profits of $200 million.  That amounts to 2,757% over the $7.5 million earned in the first quarter.

In other words, BNB’s market cap is equal to just five times the profits in the first six months. If BNB were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and received an average valuation, it would sell for about 23 times earnings.  There may be many reasons why the value of BNB is so low but if it continues to generate such sizable profits, somebody is going to take notice.

As we noted, there are probably lots of reasons why the asset value has fallen nearly as much as the average crypto this year.  This is where I would love to hear from you. Just like back in the post dotcom days, the plumbing companies made the most money.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 107 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to RHOC

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In every industry, there is one company that tries to become so technologically superior that it can overcome all the other challenges posed by their competition. Whether the other competitors have first mover’s advantage or are just plain better marketers, one company can disrupt this by being so much more advanced where it matters.

Bitcoin is constantly criticized for its scaling ability. The speed and safety of the network has proven to be lacking, but the story and community behind it have allowed it to become massive. RChain was formulated with the core belief that by creating a solution that solved all the problems Bitcoin couldn’t, it could gain dominance.

RHOC’s Main Value Proposition

To sum up the entire goal of RChain (or RHOC), they aim to be the fastest and most efficient solution on the market. From there, it should be simple to take advantage of the core communities that have been built around media favourites like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

RChain gets its name from the mathematical innovations that are used to fuel it: Reflective High-Order Calculus. This calculus was invented by the founder, Greg Meredith, and it allows for concurrent calculations to be done in a way that will enable the continued scaling of the network.

There are 3 benefits that are constantly highlighted about RChain. Speed is first and foremost, since it is a key selling point for everyone. With the ability to process 40,000 transactions per second (and high hopes of scaling to 100,000 transactions per second), this puts it way ahead of the current capabilities of Bitcoin.

Then you have the tools provided for developers, which should greatly improve their ability to create apps and products that work well with the platform. But most of all, RChain has put a lot of work into creating their own RChain Collective. The collective is a public group composed of developers, investors, and users of RChain. By creating this inclusive collective, the RChain team has guaranteed that every member has some say in the future of the platform.

RHOC’s Recent Performance

2018 has seen a slow but consistent rollout of the features promised by the RChain Cooperative, and now many of the promises are starting to come to fruition. As more features are offered and the mainnet demonstrates its ability to handle a higher number of transactions, RChain will become much more appealing for investors and developers.

In situations like this, the first thing people usually say is that it is a pump n’ dump scheme, but there is one key reason why this doesn’t fit RChain. They are continually updating their development timeline, and have released consistent offerings along the way. Their testnet is planned to be released in September 2018, with the mainnet following sometime in Q1 2019.

Although RHOC is down 31.4% in the last month, it is well-positioned for a comeback. Its total market capitalization is $121 MM, which places it in the top 20 of ERC-20 tokens. Making a bet on RChain is really about making a bet on the team they have in place, and their ability to deliver on the massive promises they have made. Because if they do, then it could mean massive disruption in a sector that has mostly been focused on Bitcoin and Ethereum from the beginning.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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