The bear seems to have gone berserk in the crypto space as the markets have been moving sideways without a bull run since quite a while. Altcoins like Ethereum [ETH], Litecoin [LTC], XRP, and Stellar Lumens [XLM] have faced the same fate and are hoping for a Hail Mary.
Interstellar, the result of a merger between Chain and Lightyear, announces the preview launch of Starlight, that implements bidirectional payments channel for transactions on Stellar. Transactions on the payment channel are relatively private, secure and happen in an instant.
The normal transactions on the blockchain usually take time for the blocks to reach a consensus, which then allows the payments to proceed further by publishing the data of transactions to all observers while paying a small fee. This method of payment is obviously not private as it discloses the information of the transaction and is also time-consuming.
A payment network, on the other hand, would have a separate pathway set up between transacting parties, thus making the transaction happen in an instant, as they do not need the blocks to reach a consensus. These transactions, however, would not be published on the blockchain. When the channel is closed, the network takes into account the history of payments and shares the balance to their respective accounts and only the final balance is then added to the blockchain.
Interstellar is essentially taking a good thing and making it better as it has plans to extend the starlight project to Stellar’s built-in multi-hop payments across the newly developed payment channels. Starlight also has plans for making their payment channels compatible with other payments networks, such as Interledger.
Protocol Architect, Daniel Robinson said,
“Starlight payment channels are analogous to the Bitcoin payment channels used in the Lightning Network.”
For now, the review release only supports bilateral channels, i.e., channels with exactly two individuals and has an in-built wallet and a Starlight payment software as well. Starlight, for now, is released on the testnet until all the bugs are worked out.
Robinson further talked about the Starlight, saying,
“It allows transacting in lumens only (the native asset of the Stellar network). Future versions will support any asset issued on the Stellar network.”
A Twitterati @georgewnaylor quoted the use-case of the Starlight project saying:
“Privacy, and multi-chain interoperability, to name two. Laying the groundwork for CBDC/bank issuance on the network.”
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Fall in Bitcoin’s market dominance may be correlated to the fortunes of the altcoin market
The trends set by virtual assets have always highlighted the cryptocurrency market’s inherent volatility and spontaneity. Prices lack symmetry and rarely exhibit consistent growth as different factors come into play to dictate an asset’s valuation.
At press time, the world’s largest crypto, Bitcoin, had stormed past the $11,000 mark and was consolidating to push for a surge over $12,000. The rest of the altcoin market however, apart from one or two minor hikes here and there, has been relatively quiet after collectively surging in the early part of the year.
At the beginning of 2019, a significant number of crypto-assets performed significantly well in a group, wherein most assets demonstrated a prominent hike in their values with little to minor price corrections.
A majority of tokens doubled their valuation until Bitcoin breached the $6,600 resistance. Subsequently, altcoins failed to keep pace as Bitcoin continued to test more resistance limits in the market.
At present time, Bitcoin enjoyed an unprecedented 62 percent dominance in the cryptocurrency market. As its dominance primes itself to climb over the 63 percent mark, many in the community speculate this could be red flags for the altcoin market.
Major cryptocurrency enthusiasts and analysts have stated that altcoins could significantly capitulate if it so happens. However, past events offer a sliver of hope for the altcoin market.
According to CoinMarketCap, the altcoin market has been significantly affected whenever BTC’s dominance has fallen. During the bull run of 2017, Bitcoin enjoyed a dominance of 65 percent and the global market cap hit a value of $402 billion. However, in January 2018, when BTC dominance plummeted, the global market cap peaked at around $710 billion. The dominance was down by half, whereas the global market cap had almost doubled.
A major reason for the same was money funneling into other altcoins after witnessing a shift in momentum from Bitcoin to the rest of the crypto-market. The present market situation may take a similar path once BTC’s dominance falls, opening the door for other virtual assets to take advantage of the scenario.
However, the present rise of BTC is backed by much more certainty than the bull run of 2017. Hence, a repeat of the January 2018 period may be unlikely, and will happen if and only the market sentiment shifts gears drastically towards altcoins.
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