As Bitcoin edges ever closer to the financial mainstream, it moves further away from the original vision of a frictionless global currency.
The surge in demand for Bitcoin has led to ever-increasing transaction costs, while the ballooning size of the blockchain leads to ever-slower transaction times. The meteoric rise in Bitcoin’s value means people now laugh at early attempts to use it as a legitimate form of currency, such as the notorious 10,000 BTC payment for two Papa John’s pizzas that would today be worth $117 million.
Those two pepperoni pizzas become even more ludicrously expensive if you’re living outside the United States.
Severe economic crises and hyperinflation have made Venezuela and Zimbabwe interesting test cases for mass adoption of cryptocurrency, with the result so far being a localized premium on cryptocurrency investment.
South Korea is the world’s largest per-capita cryptocurrency marketplace, but high demand has led to what local investors unaffectionately term the Kimchi Premium on cryptocurrency exchange values.
Anyone who’s purchased cryptocurrency using a relatively smaller currency than US Dollars – for example, British Pound Sterling – knows that lower liquidity in the local cryptocurrency marketplace leads to higher prices.
And while US investors typically enjoy the lowest prices, they’re barred from many ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges due to fears surrounding regulation from the SEC.
QUOINE: Adding Liquidity to the Global Cryptocurrency Marketplace
The Japanese fintech firm QUOINE (pronounced ‘coin’) has an appropriately revolutionary approach to the problem of the regional splintering of the cryptocurrency marketplace. They aim to make transactions between all currencies equal.
QUOINE’s QUOINEX platform proclaims itself the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency exchange. It allows trading from any fiat currency to any cryptocurrency without fees.
QUOINE aren’t the first entity to identify the potential benefits of blockchain-enabled frictionless currency transfers. Ripple have already made a lot of headway by offering instant international transfers to major financial institutions. But while Ripple is essentially a B2B platform servicing transactions between established financial heavyweights, QUOINE aims to fully democratize the global cryptocurrency marketplace and offer a similarly fluid experience to the masses.
The potential marketplace for QUOINEX is huge. If it can capture even a fraction of those affected by regional variations in the cryptocurrency marketplace, the potential for growth is enormous.
QASH: The First Government-Approved ICO
QUOINE’s ambitions extend to issuing its own token for facilitating frictionless international financial transactions. The Japanese government has taken a progressive stance on cryptocurrency and the QASH token is the first initial coin offering (ICO) to be fully regulated by a national government.
The initial offering of 350 million tokens at a cost of 0.001 ETH a piece raised $100 million, with the total supply snapped up in just three days. QASH is now being rolled out across a variety of currency exchanges. It is already available on Bitfinex, with Binance and CEX trading coming soon.
A lot of those who got in on the ICO have already tuned a healthy profit. The ICO’s ETH value was the equivalent of around 29 US cents per token, which immediately rose to around 50 cents upon hitting the first cryptocurrency exchanges on November 21. Prices peaked at $1.48 when QASH was added to Bitfinex on November 29. The mass sell-off from early investors looking to turn a quick profit has since seen the price fall to around 96.5 cents.
QASH’s Long-Term Potential Value
QUOINEX undoubtedly has enormous potential to be a major cryptocurrency exchange. It has a slick and well-designed interface that inspires confidence in the team behind the project, but the heralded full fiat currency support has yet to be realized. While anyone can make exchanges on QUOINEX using most major cryptocurrencies, fiat support is currently limited to Japanese Yen, US Dollars, Australian Dollars, and Indonesian Rupiah. The potential is there but the userbase is small and long-term viability has yet to be proven.
As for the QASH token itself, it’s important to note that the fates of QASH and QUOINEX are not necessarily intertwined. There are many similar emerging examples within the cryptocurrency space of potentially revolutionary uses of blockchain technology that are attached to a coin without being dependent on it. The major financial institutions making Ripple-powered transactions don’t necessarily guarantee success for XRP, just as the Neo team’s Onchain project could bring largescale blockchain functionality to Chinese regional governance without affecting the fortunes of the Neo coin.
But association with a heavily-hyped product and an established fintech team have so far proven good indicators of a cryptocurrency’s future success. QASH is getting a lot of people excited with its bold vision for future growth. There is big talk of QASH aiming to be a top five or even top three cryptocurrency.
For a coin that’s just launched and has yet to hit many cryptocurrency exchanges, QASH is making a lot of headway. With 350 million coins in circulation following the ICO and a current valuation of around 96.5 cents per coin, it has an approximate market cap of $338 million.
An additional 450 million coins will be released over the next 5 years, meaning 80% of QASH’s total 1 billion coins will be on the market while 20% remain locked away. Five years is of course an incredibly long time in a field as new and volatile as cryptocurrency and it is impossible to predict whether QASH will still be well-regarded that far into the future. But QASH is currently a new coin with a huge buzz developing around it.