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The crypto market posted gains on Tuesday, with Bitcoin rising to as high as $30,069 while Ether went just past $1,870. However, since then, as selling pressure rose, the downtrend can now be witnessed on Wednesday.
At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $29,818, and ETH is exchanging hands at $1,860. However, the total crypto market cap is still up by 1.8% to $1.23 trillion. Meanwhile, the Crypto and Fear Index continues to remain in the neutral zone with a score of 50 out of 100.
It's actually Bitcoin's first foray above $30,000 in the past more than two weeks, besides a very brief move above that level on Aug. 3. 30k is a critical threshold for Bitcoin, with 40k as the next significant level. If the largest cryptocurrency continues to move around its present range, it could create a solid base for future positive rallies.
As Bitcoin's volatility continues to be at a record low, market attention is on the upcoming halving next year, along with industry-transforming events. Another big positive catalyst for this rally could be BlackRock's highly anticipated spot Bitcoin ETF.
Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz said during his company's earnings conference call on Tuesday that it's not a question of “if” but “when” one of the eight currently outstanding applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF will receive regulatory approval, citing sources at BlackRock and Invesco. He further said the window for this approval is about six months.
Cathie Wood, the CEO of Ark Invest meanwhile, believes that if the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is “going to approve a bitcoin ETF, (it) will approve more than one at once.”
As for this week's upward movement, it came after payments giant PayPal (PYPL) announced plans to issue a stablecoin in the coming days, marking the first time a major financial company is issuing its own stablecoin. As a result, users will be able to transfer PYUSD between PayPal and supported external digital wallets, use it to pay for goods and services, and convert any of PayPal's supported cryptos to and from PYUSD.
Amidst this, the Fed announced it is starting a new program for overseeing banks' crypto activity. This doesn't change any rules for crypto banking, rather just defines how it intends to handle its oversight. The Fed has put dealings with the crypto sector under the new “novel activities supervision program,” in which specialized experts in digital assets will work alongside the regulator's regular supervisors.
“The level and intensity of supervision will vary based on the level of engagement in novel activities by each supervised banking organization,” stated the regulator.
Additionally, long-dated government bond yields lowered sharply across the globe — the US 10-year Treasury yield is currently at 3.98%, down from the 2023 high of just shy of 4.20% last week — following far weaker-than-expected Chinese trade numbers for July.
In other economic news, Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker said that barring “alarming” new data, he's fine with the central bank not hiking rates any further. However, the idea of considering any rate cuts is still a long way off.
On the macro front, Moody's also downgraded the ratings of several small to mid-sized US banks and said it may also revise the credit ratings of some of the nation's biggest lenders. This sparked concerns about the health of banks and initiated a slide in banks' stocks.
HNT's Strong Performance in August
While the broad crypto market turned green, HNT turned red. Down 4.2% in the past 24 hours, HNT is trading at $2.04 while managing $1.94 million in volume, a decrease of 0.30% from a day ago.
However, these losses for the $293.6 million market cap token are expected after it rallied about 43% in the first week of August. HNT's price is also up 36% in the past two weeks and 55.2% in the past 30 days.
2023, however, hasn't really been a stellar year for HNT, but rather just decent. The token did jump 130% in the first three weeks of January as the price went from about $1.50 to $3.45. The next two months remained volatile for HNT as the price dumped hard, 67%, from nearly $3.4 to $1.12. Then between late March and late June, the price traded in the range of $2 and $1.10 and has since been gradually trending upwards.
In the past year, HNT's performance meanwhile has been negative 76.7%, and the coin is also down 96.3% from its $54.88 peak hit in Nov. 2021.
HNT is the native token of Helium, which was founded in 2012 by Amir Haleem, Shawn Fanning, and Sean Care. The project raised $38.8 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).
Helium is a decentralized blockchain-powered platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), which aims to not only make it easier to build connected devices but also incentivize the creation of physical and decentralized wireless networks.
For this, the project has developed the Helium Hotspot, a combination of a wireless gateway and a physical blockchain node that network participants can deploy to receive HNT rewards.
Currently, there are a total of 937,324 hotspots, and they are rewarded based on the quality of their coverage and the amount of LongFi sensor data they transport for devices on the network. The platform burns HNT tokens to create Data Credits, which are used to pay for transaction fees on the network as well as to send sensor data and assert Hotspot location.
According to its official explorer, the token has a maximum supply of just over 213.45 million, out of which 153.78 are circulating in the market. A good 23.22% of it is currently staked.
The biggest news for the token has been its second halving on Aug. 1, as part of the community proposal HIP20 which was approved in Nov. 2020. The proposal introduced halving to reduce the issuance of HNT to 2.5 million per month starting Aug. 1, 2021, which marked the 2nd anniversary of the Helium Network genesis block.
The proposal capped HNT max supply at 223M to ensure HNT scarcity — enabled by halvings to HNT issuance every two years.
There are two other tokens in the Helium ecosystem; IOT, which is rewarded to Helium LoRaWAN Hotspots, and MOBILE, which is rewarded to 5G Hotspots primarily used by cellular devices and is redeemable to HNT.
Another development that contributed to HNT's upward momentum has been the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US, Coinbase (COIN), announcing a listing for HNT. It gave a big boost to the HNT adoption and the Helium ecosystem when last month, the publicly traded company said it would add support for the Helium crypto on the Solana network.
In addition, this year, the Helium community also successfully implemented two important HIPs that substantially improved the network's performance. HIP 83 has been related to the PoC Link Layer Upgrades, which augments the network's efficiency and reliability by enhancing the link layer protocol used by PoC devices. HIP 89 meanwhile rectified the Mobile Onboarding Fee and Location Assert Fee to ensure that the fees charged are consistent and equitable for all users.
Helium Network's Growth
When it comes to Hotspots, participants must submit proof of coverage (PoC) in a cryptographically verified location and time to receive rewards. Once the Helium Hotspot is deployed, any sensor using its wireless protocol can connect to the network.
PoC is an integral element of Helium as it allows the network to leverage the specific properties provided by the radio frequency. Proof of location is another element that utilizes WHIP to prove the physical geolocation of a device but without needing expensive and power-consuming satellite location hardware.
WHIP is a standards-compliant and open-source wireless network protocol that works on existing commodity radio chips and is created for low-power devices over large areas. Helium DWN meanwhile enables wireless access to the internet for devices and specifies the network and WHIP specifications that participants must conform to.
Then there's the Helium Consensus Mechanism, which employs HoneyBadgerBFT, a variant of BFT, to ensure that a distributed network will continue to operate even when some of the nodes in the network fail to respond or function maliciously. It further allows hotspots to work in line with the network's consensus rules as well as specifications for independent participation. Besides not providing any incentives for leveraging factors like cheap energy cost or deploying additional hardware in the same place, the mechanism ensures hotspots cannot censor transactions to be included on the block.
A few months ago, the protocol made a big move when it migrated to the Solana blockchain and, as a result, has been seeing significant performance and scalability benefits.
This migration has enhanced the Network's capacity to handle large-scale IoT and mobile networks and facilitated the implementation of more advanced PoC algorithms. Not to mention, the composability of existing Solana programs brings in new tools, services, and features to the Helium Network.
As a result of this shift, users now require SOL tokens to operate Hotspots on the network, but not to be a Sensor or 5G Phone user of the network. SOL tokens are necessary to complete transactions on the Solana blockchain, including sending tokens, making payments, swapping tokens, staking tokens, minting NFTs, claiming rewards from your Hotspots, and all on-chain Helium transactions.
The layer 1 blockchain boasts extremely low fees of about 0.00005 SOL, equivalent to a fraction of a cent, much less than the 35-cent fee in Data Credits.
The Helium network successfully completed the upgrade from its own blockchain to a faster and cheaper Solana blockchain in April this year, establishing a new era of scalability, expansion, and reliability for the world's largest decentralized wireless network.
Not having to maintain a layer-1 blockchain means the Helium Foundation can direct more resources toward accelerating the growth of decentralized wireless networks and bringing new apps that create economic efficiencies.
This further allows HNT, IOT, and MOBILE token holders to access Solana's highly liquid and diverse DeFi ecosystem. Also, migrating HNT to the Solana Program Library (SPL) standard has made HNT natively compatible with other platforms within Solana's ecosystem.
This move also resulted in the Helium governance model pivoting from purely HNT-weighted voting to a weighted voting model, shifting power to those with a long view of network health and delivering yield for delegating HNT tokens.
As the world's largest LoRaWAN network, Helium currently provides coverage in more than 77,000 locations globally. Its 5G network is also experiencing rapid growth, having deployed over 8,000 5G radios. About 100K devices are using Helium Network for connectivity. The network has four major LoRaWAN roaming partners, over 25 approved Hotspot manufacturers, and a partnership with T-Mobile, a nationally recognized carrier, for 5G coverage.
While the crypto market is seeing greens this week, the broad trend remains subdued, with trading volume and volatility low. Among the recent crypto market movement, small gaming and metaverse protocols like Yield Guild Games (YGG) and HighStreet (HIGH) made a huge impression. But while different pockets of the space are seeing pumps, there is a lack of users and continued bullish momentum.
However, the crypto sector's development has continued with traditional giants making an entry and working on projects. Helium network is also focused on development with OPOS Hackathon, HIPs, and a growing number of hotspots. The token HNT has also been recording an uptrend though nowhere near its ATH. However, over time, as market sentiments get better and narrative shifts, we can see the token and ecosystem can gain traction in the coming months.
Gaurav started trading cryptocurrencies in 2017 and has fallen in love with the crypto space ever since. His interest in everything crypto turned him into a writer specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Soon he found himself working with crypto companies and media outlets. He is also a big-time Batman fan.