Current State of The Crypto Market (July 25th, 2019)

Hackers:  A multi-million-dollar case involving stolen cryptocurrency filed against AT&T is moving forward.  A federal judge in Los Angeles, California rejected the telecommunications giant’s request to dismiss all of the claims in a suit filed by Michael Terpin last year for enabling the theft of $24 million worth of cryptocurrency. Terpin is seeking $200 million in punitive damages and $24 million of compensatory damages from AT&T.  “The evidence will show that AT&T not once, but twice allowed hackers posing as Michael to obtain his SIM card,” Terpin’s lead counsel Pierce O’Donnell, a partner with Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger in Los Angeles, said in a press release.  The judge tossed out 13 of the 16 claims, finding that Terpin did not adequately show how the theft of his cell phone number was connected to the cryptocurrency claims. AT&T said in a statement that the company was “pleased the court dismissed most of the claims” and “the plaintiff will have the opportunity to re-plead but we will continue to vigorously contest his claims.”

Bullish Key Players:   John Meyer, a managing partner at Starship Capital, provided some commentary on the evolving value proposition narrative in the emerging altcoin landscape stating:  “Most altcoins provide little-to-no tangible value or real-world use. Expect these altcoins to evaporate in short order. However, there is tremendous user-driven momentum in cryptocurrencies that are providing real-world utility on blockchains with tangible value on key industries around the world.”  For crypto bulls like John McAfee, the altcoin market isn’t dead in the water and the current price slide only represents an opportunity for savvy investors to reap the rewards of another altcoin boom having earned returns from Bitcoin’s bullish advance.  McAfee’s bullish altcoin forecasts appear tilted toward privacy coins and medical coins. In multiple tweets published in 2019 alone, the cybersecurity expert and crypto loudmouth has predicted a coming resurgence in the price of these altcoin variants before the end of 2019.

Banks & Institutions:  The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies and blockchain next week.  The committee said in a press release that it would hold an open session titled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” on July 30, though it is unclear if this would be a fact-finding mission or if any specific pieces of legislation would be discussed.   Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, representing the Blockchain Association; Rebecca Nelson, a member of the Congressional Research Service specializing in international trade and finance; and Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law will testify as expert witnesses.

Adoption: Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has registered eight million new users, according to data revealed by Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur Alistair Milne in a tweet on July 22. 

Based on the chart above, the rate of new users sign ups has slowed compared to the second half of 2017, in particular, right before Bitcoin price hit its all-time high of $20,000. Nevertheless, Coinbase added about 8 million new users in the past year despite the bear market.   According to the Coinbase website, the number of users on the crypto exchange is now over 30 million to date with over $150 billion traded in cryptocurrency.