Diar — the institutional publication and digital asset resource platform — recently released their latest report covering a variety of recent developments in the cryptocurrency realm. Diar releases a publication every week, and this week’s edition offers some intriguing developments.
Ethereum Whales Holding More ETH
Using metrics provided by TokenAnalyst, Diar determined that whale Ethereum holdings have been increasing steadily throughout 2018 despite the extended bear market. Holdings of the top 500 whales are equivalent to 20 million ETH, slightly less than 20 percent of the total circulating supply and equaling approximately $2.3 billion.
The whales have increased their relative holdings by 80 percent since the beginning of the year, with speculation that ICO projects are exiting their native token positions as the primary driver. Analysis by both TokenAnalyst and BitMEX Research confirms that many ICOs have exited their positions, with the majority of projects selling as much ETH as they raised in USD.
As the market decline continues and Ethereum’s current price sitting at ~ $110, increasing downward pressure on ICO project runways is likely. Total whale addresses have also dropped by 30 percent since the beginning of the year. Despite this, active whales seem to be consolidating their positions as Q4 is shaping up at a 270 percent increase in net balance growth compared to Q3. An important qualifier is that 90 percent of the total $1 billion in net balance additions of 2018 came in Q1, at the height of the ICO frenzy.
Coinbase Lists ZCash
Coinbase officially listed ZCash — the zk-SNARK-based privacy cryptocurrency — last week in another addition to its offering. Coinbase’s recent listings have come under scrutiny from outside observers as it has close relationships with the 0X project (also recently listed) and Digital Currency Group — their investment portfolio includes ZCash — who also backs Coinbase.
Naturally, the price surged following the listing before returning to the broader market downtrend. Coinbase also does not support shielded transactions with ZCash — its primary feature — which was most likely part of the process of gaining support from New York’s notoriously strict Department of Financial Services for listing the asset.
Diar notes that competition between Coinbase and Circle — who now owns cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex — is ramping up following the flood of new stable coins and listing of assets by Circle.
Stellar’s Struggle With Money Issuance
Stellar continues to seek methods for distributing its XLM token during the bear market. According to Diar, Stellar has only distributed 8 percent of the token supply over the last 4 years despite a mandate to allocate 95 percent of the XLM.
Diluting the money supply in a bear market will have direct downward effects on the price of XLM, which The Stellar Foundation seems keen on avoiding. However, their policy of a slow rollout and airdropping tokens to Blockchain.com wallet users are indicative of a centrally issued currency supply, an endemic issue in fiat models that Bitcoin avoids with its elegant supply issuance and is one of the more exceptional components of its sustainability.
The Stellar Foundation currently holds 82 percent of the remaining supply, with 80 percent of that to be distributed.