First Mover: Bitcoin Steady as Trump Tweets and Neo Takes on Ethereum

Trump's back-and-forth tweets over U.S. stimulus whipsaw bitcoin prices along with traditional markets, and Neo ratchets up competition with Ethereum.

AccessTimeIconOct 7, 2020 at 12:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:05 a.m. UTC

Chinese tech companies were once seen as copycats of their Western peers: Alibaba was a knockoff of eBay and Baidu imitated Google. More recently, Chinese firms like TikTok and Huawei have established such dominant international positions that U.S. authorities have tried to hold them back. 

Now, the technological arms race is playing out in the cryptocurrency industry, where one Chinese company is taking on Ethereum, the world’s second-largest blockchain, which U.S.-based developers have used to build semi-automated trading and lending networks under the rubric of decentralized finance, or DeFi.   

Neo took aim at DeFi in late September with its launch of a new platform called Flamingo. Da Hongfei, a Neo co-founder, told CoinDesk in an interview the protocol will eventually provide users with features found on popular Ethereum-based projects like Uniswap, Curve Finance, and Synthetix. 

Flamingo is not simply a product of “copy and paste,” the co-founder said in an interview. “It’s like rebuilding a parallel universe.”

- Muyao Shen

Prices for the NEO tokens have slipped since the mint rush in late September.
Prices for the NEO tokens have slipped since the mint rush in late September.

Bitcoin Watch

Bitcoin daily price chart.
Bitcoin daily price chart.

Bitcoin defended the psychological support of $10,500 early Wednesday as Asian stocks shrugged off overnight weakness on Wall Street, reducing haven demand for the U.S. dollar. 

European stocks, too, are trading higher at press time alongside gains in the S&P 500 futures. 

Risk sentiment, which weakened Tuesday following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to abort the fiscal stimulus negotiations, was restored earlier today after he reversed course and urged Congress to approve a series of coronavirus relief measures, including a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks. 

That said, a large-scale stimulus is unlikely to come through any time soon. As such, both bitcoin and stocks may have a tough time scoring significant gains. 

Indeed, minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due at 18:00 GMT, are expected to reiterate tolerance for high inflation. That dovish message, however, has already been priced in by markets. 

For now, the cryptocurrency remains trapped in a narrowing price range. Contracting triangles usually end with violent moves on either side.  

Growth in the new bitcoin addresses has recently picked up. According to blockchain analyst Cole Garner, that has bullish implications for price. However, according to Alex Melikhov, CEO and founder of Equilibrium & EOSDT stablecoin, the address growth has been fueled, at least in part, by the recent mass exodus of bitcoins from controversial crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX to other major exchanges like Kraken, Binance, and Gemini. 

- Omkar Godbole

Token Watch

XRP (XRP): With Ripple executives threatening relocation from the U.S., volatility could be expected for the world's fourth-largest crypto by market cap.

Uniswap (UNI): Uniswap's big correction from Oct. 1 heights of $4.46 has some investors worried, but that hasn't fazed users of the Ethereum-based wallet MetaMask as it registered 1 million active users per month hinting at continual growth in the DeFi sector.

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Top 10 blockchain universities, from CoinDesk 2020 rankings.
Top 10 blockchain universities, from CoinDesk 2020 rankings.


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