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Markets

Nasdaq composite falls after setting new high

For the first time in three weeks, the S&P 500 finished the day in the red, putting an end to the stock market’s steady ascent.

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Trading and Investment for beginners: How to prepare for the stock market

A day after setting a new high, the Nasdaq Composite fell 48.56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 14090.22. The S&P 500 index fell 0.9 point or less than 0.1 percent to 4186.72 from record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average barely moved, ending the day at 33984.93, up 3.36 points or less than 0.1 percent.

For the first time in three weeks, the S&P 500 finished the day in the red, putting an end to the stock market’s steady ascent. Tesla shares weighed on the broad index after investors were underwhelmed by the electric carmaker’s latest quarterly report, highlighting the market’s strong expectations for stocks this earnings season.

Tesla shares plummeted $33.46 or 4.5 percent to $704.74 in the trading session, after the company posted a record profit. The stock of the electric carmaker has struggled this year, rising just 0.1 percent since the end of December; beset with a slew of problems including an investigation into a Model S sedan accident in Texas earlier this month. Over the last year, the stock has increased by more than 300 percent.

After exceeding Wall Street earnings expectations, Microsoft shares dropped more than 3% in after-hours trading.

Investors became more positive about Alphabet’s earnings report after it smashed sales records in the first quarter. Google’s parent company reported a $4.75 billion net gain on equity assets in its first-quarter earnings report on Tuesday, accounting for 22 percent of Alphabet’s pre-tax revenue. Net profits increased by more than 160 percent to $17.9 billion, surpassing the previous high of $15.2 billion set in the fourth quarter.

As markets await the results of the Fed conference, bonds have weakened, pushing 10-year Treasury yields past 1.6 percent. Inflation projections for the next ten years have reached an eight-year peak, according to a market indicator.

Before the economy and labour market completely rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fed has indicated that it has no concrete intentions to tighten monetary policy. Hence, investors will be paying careful attention to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference after the Fed’s new policy meeting on Wednesday. Investors will be watching for signs that the Fed’s stance on interest rates has shifted in light of recent economic evidence, some of which shows that inflation is returning.

Ubah,Jeremiah ifeanyi is a PhD candidate of Economics in Covenant university. He has held positions as the financial manager in Opera and is also a research ambassador in M&S research Hub. Ifeanyi is currently the financial market analyst for Nairametrics. Follow Ifeanyi on Twitter @ubahjc

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency market bearish as ICP and SHIBA make top 20 entry

ICP and SHIB made entries into the top 20 coins by market capitalization, taking the #5 and #17 spot respectively.

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In the last 24hrs, the cryptocurrency market space took a hit amidst a decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Index, S&P500 and NASDAQ composite index. Although there is no known reason for the current decline, it is important to know that the cryptocurrency space is known for its volatility, and these types of dumps are expected.

With the decline in certain major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance, it is important to also note that 2 coins, Internet Computer (ICP) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) made entries into the top 20 coins by market capitalization, calculated by coinmarketcap, taking the #5 and #17 spot respectively.

Internet Computer (ICP)

ICP was listed yesterday on coinmarketcap with the price currently trading $459.24 which represents 213.58% gain from its all-time low. It has a market cap of $56,830,052,964 and a circulating supply of 123,747,068 units.

Internet Computer is the world’s first blockchain that runs at web speed with unbounded capacity. It also represents the third major blockchain innovation, alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum. It is a blockchain computer that scales smart contract computation and data, runs them at web speed, processes and stores data efficiently, and provides powerful software frameworks to developers. By making this possible, the Internet Computer enables the complete reimagination of software, providing a revolutionary new way to build tokenized internet services, pan-industry platforms, decentralized financial systems, and even traditional enterprise systems and websites.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

The Shiba Inu is currently trading at $0.000032. The coin is up 108.12% in the last 24 hours as a result of its listing on the Binance exchange. It has a market capitalization of $12,527,102,361 and a circulating supply of 394,796,000,000,000 units.

Shiba Inu coin is a cryptocurrency meme token and allows users to hold trillions of them, according to its website. These tokens are listed and incentivized on the ShibaSwap, its decentralized exchange. Its website claims to have locked 50% of its total supply to Uniswap, while the remaining have been burned to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. The tokens feature the same Shiba Inu dog as Dogecoin, which has rocketed in popularity recently. The Shiba token is nicknamed the “Dogecoin Killer” as it aims to replicate and surpass the success of Dogecoin.

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Cryptocurrency

Here is why investors are flocking into this $617 billion cryptocurrency sector

3 coins have become the pioneers of the smart contract ecosystem, leading innovation and growth as the crypto world advances.

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Number of contract calls on Ethereum rises by 300%

Over the past week, the $617 billion market cap cryptocurrency sector, smart contract, has been breaking barriers, trading at astronomical prices. It begs the question, why this space is doing so well amongst other spaces such as the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) and DeFi (Decentralized Finance).

What are smart contracts?

A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties or government regulatory authority. You can compare smart contracts to vending machines.

Naturally, before going into a contract, you would need lawyers to draft up the agreement for the parties to sign before the contract becomes legally binding. Smart contracts, however, take away the need for lawyers to help in drafting documents. They help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman.

READ: Ethereum Miners earn a staggering $1 million in 1 hour

Top 3 smart contracts

Based on market capitalization, the top 3 smart contract cryptocurrencies are:

  • Ethereum (ETHER)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)

Benefits of smart contracts

The smart contract space or “Industry” is growing at an exponential rate because of the various use cases available. Jerry Cuomo, the vice president for blockchain technologies at IBM, believes smart contracts can be used across the chain from financial services to healthcare and insurance. Here are some examples:

Government: Smart contracts can be used to conduct free and fair elections, particularly in developing nations where there is high prevalence of election rigging and voter fraud; because decoding the system requires a significant amount of computing power that may not be easy to amass.

READ: DeFi crypto market value gains over 1000% from June

Management: Naturally, business operations have a lot of back-and-forths which includes waiting for approvals and for internal or external issues to sort themselves out. Smart contract-based systems provide a single ledger as a source of trust and shaves possible communication and workflow issues because of their accuracy, transparency, and automation. They cut out discrepancies that typically occur with independent processing.

Real Estate: Smart contracts remove the need for middlemen such as advertisers and agents, thus, saving costs. All you do is pay via a cryptocurrency and encode your contract on the ledger for everyone to see.

Healthcare: Personal health records could be encoded and stored on the blockchain with a private key that would grant access only to specific individuals. If you have a health challenge while you are in another country, the healthcare professionals in the said country can access your medical records and this is particularly handy if a patient in unconscious.

READ: Cardano suffers spiral fall amid record profit taking

Also, with smart contracts receipts of surgeries can be stored on a blockchain and automatically sent to insurance providers as “proof-of-delivery.” The ledger, too, could be used for general healthcare management, such as supervising drugs, regulation compliance, testing results, and managing healthcare supplies.

Ethereum

Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain system that features its cryptocurrency, Ether. ETH works as a platform for numerous other cryptocurrencies, as well as for the execution of decentralized smart contracts.

ETH is ranked as #2 in the cryptocurrency space and #1 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $454,912,432,116 (currently trading $3,912.33). It has a circulating supply of 115,824,963 units.

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It recently broke to a new all-time high of $4,165.06 with returns of 419.41% YTD.

 

Although in recent times, the Ethereum network has been facing a lot of congestions which is causing a significant increase in gas fees (transaction fees), the “EIP 1159 London Hard Fork Upgrade” which will launch in July 2021 is expected to solve these challenges. This news has made the coin bullish. Ether broke all-time high 9 days in a roll last week.

Cardano

Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that says its goal is to allow “changemakers, innovators and visionaries” to bring about positive global change. The open-source project also aims to “redistribute power from unaccountable structures to the margins to individuals” helping to create a society that is more secure, transparent and fair. ADA token, which is the currency of the Cardano blockchain, is designed to ensure that owners can participate in the operation of the network. Because of this, those who hold the cryptocurrency have the right to vote on any proposed changes to the software.

ADA is ranked as #7 in the cryptocurrency space and #2 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $52,173,030,872 (currently trading $1.63). It has a circulating supply of 31,948,309,441 units and a maximum supply of 45,000,000,000 units.

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ADA also recently broke to a new all-time high of $1.83 with returns of 750.10% representing the largest return on investment of the top 3 smart contract coins YTD.

The recent spike in the price of ADA is in anticipation of the “Alonzo Testnet” that is expected to launch in May 2021. The long-awaited smart contract launch has promised lesser congestions, little to no service downtime and significantly reduced gas fees. It is expected that people will move from the Ethereum network to the Cardano network which would mean fierce competition for Ethereum.

Chainlink

Chainlink is a blockchain abstraction layer that enables universally connected smart contracts. Through a decentralized oracle network, Chainlink allows blockchains to securely interact with external data feeds, events and payment methods, providing the critical off-chain information needed by complex smart contracts to become the dominant form of digital agreement. The Chainlink Network is driven by a large open-source community of data providers, node operators, smart contract developers, researchers, security auditors and more. The company focuses on ensuring that decentralized participation is guaranteed for all node operators and users looking to contribute to the network.

LINK is ranked as #12 in the cryptocurrency space and #3 in the smart contract industry with a market capitalization of $19,321,512,696 (currently trading $45.66). It has a circulating supply of 419,009,556 units and a maximum supply of 1,000,000,000 units.

LINK broke to a new all-time high of $52.88 with returns of 268.62% representing the lowest return of the top 3 smart contract coins YTD.

It is May madness for LINK as it has a series of updates and events this month. There are 9 updates and events according to coinmarketcal. The most significant of all is the “AMA with Cardstack” where a major partnership is expected to be announced.

The smart contract space is still in its infancy and more exponential growth is expected. The 3 coins have become the pioneers of the smart contract ecosystem, adapting and inventing as the world progresses.

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