Bubble or a drop in the ocean? Putting Bitcoin’s $1 trillion milestone into perspective

Bubble or a drop in the ocean? Putting Bitcoin’s $1 trillion milestone into perspective

Bitcoin is relatively small compared to stocks and real estate, and those holders might reinvest dividends in other assets.

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On Feb. 19, Bitcoin’s (BTC) market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion for the first time. While this was an exciting moment for investors, it also concerned investors that the asset is in a bubble.

Although a handful of listed companies ever achieved this feat, unlike gold, silver, and Bitcoin, stocks potentially generate earnings, which in turn can be used for buybacks, dividends, or developing additional sources of revenue.

On the other hand, as Bitcoin adoption increases, those same companies will likely be forced to move some of their cash positions to non-inflatable assets, ensuring demand for gold, silver and Bitcoin.

In fact, data shows that diversification between Bitcoin and traditional assets provides better risk-adjusted performance for investors, which is getting increasingly difficult for companies to ignore.

Bitcoin continuing to push above the trillion-dollar mark is also easy to overlook until one compares it to the market cap of other significant global assets. To date, less than ten tradable assets have achieved this feat.

World’s 20 most profitable companies. Source: fortune.com

As depicted above, the world’s 44 most profitable companies combined generate more than $1 trillion in earnings per year. One must keep in mind that stockholders might as well reinvest their dividends into equities, but some of it might end up in Bitcoin.

$1 trillion is small compared to real estate markets

Corporate earnings are not the only flows that may trickle into scarce digital assets. Some analysts estimate that part of the real estate investment, especially those yielding less than inflation, will eventually migrate to riskier assets, including Bitcoin.

On the other hand, current holders of lucrative real estate assets might be willing to diversify. Considering the relatively scarce assets available, stocks, commodities, and Bitcoin are likely the beneficiaries of some of this inflow.

Global real estate markets. Source: visualcapitalist.com

According to the above chart, the global agricultural real estate is valued at $27 trillion. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates a return on farm equity at 4.2% for 2020. Albeit very raw data, considering there are multiple uses for agricultural real estate, it is quite feasible that the sector generates over $1 trillion per year.

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, there are 51.9 million individuals worldwide with $1 million or higher net worth, excluding debt. Despite representing only 1% of the adult population, they collectively hold $173.3 trillion. Even if those are unwilling to sell assets in exchange for BTC, an insignificant 0.6% annual return is enough to create $1 trillion.

If there’s a bubble, Bitcoin is not alone

These numbers confirm how a $1 trillion market capitalization for Bitcoin should not be immediately considered a bubble.

Maybe those Bitcoin maximalists are correct, and global assets are heavily inflated due to a lack of scarce and secure options to store wealth. In this case, which doesn’t seem obvious, a global-scale asset deflation would certainly limit BTC upside potential. Unless they somehow think a cryptocurrency can extrapolate global wealth, which seems odd.

Back to a more realistic worldview, the above comparison with equities, agricultural real estate, and global wealth also confirms how insignificant Ether’s (ETH) current $244 billion capitalization is, let alone the remaining $610 billion in altcoins.

Assuming none of the corporate profits or real estate yield will be allocated to cryptocurrencies seems unlikely. Meanwhile, a mere $100 billion annual inflow for Bitcoin is five times higher than the $20.3 billion newly-minted coins per year at the current $59,500 price.

For example, $100 billion flowing into Bitcoin would only be 5% of the $1 trillion yearly corporate dividends and 5% from global wealth or agricultural real estate returns. Even though the impact on gold’s $11 trillion market capitalization would be negligent, such allocations would certainly play a vital role in Bitcoin’s path to becoming a multi-trillion dollar asset.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.


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Bitcoin is relatively small compared to stocks and real estate, and those holders might reinvest dividends in other assets.

Unwrapping the Ocean Plastic Conundrum Via Blockchain

Unwrapping the Ocean Plastic Conundrum Via Blockchain

Every year 8 million tons of plastics get dumped in the oceans. Can blockchain help clean up the mess?

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In September, Cointelegraph reported on a Dutch company said to have created the world’s first collection of recycled fabrics made from ocean plastics and whose provenance can be traced via blockchain.The premise is that socially minded consumers want assurance that they are really wearing recycled materials fished out from oceans and coastal areas. 

The firm, Waste2Wear, deserves applause, but it is unlikely to make a dent in the world’s plastic problem. 

The problem is volume. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the planet’s oceans every year. That’s 2.1 pounds of ocean waste for every person on the planet. Of that, 90% comes from just 10 river systems, eight of them are in Asia — the Yangtze, Indus, Yellow, Hai He, Ganges, Pearl, Amur and Mekong — as well as the Nile and the Niger in Africa. Most plastic ocean waste, in other words, is dispersed by the world’s poorer countries.

Blockchain technology may still have an important role to play in alleviating the planet’s ocean waste problems.

In June, the Plastic Bank, a startup that collects and recycles ocean plastic, opened its ninth plastic recycling center in Indonesia in collaboration with American cleaning supplies company SC Johnson. Each center can handle up to 100 metric tons of plastic a year. When local waste collectors bring plastic to the centers, they are issued digital tokens via smart contracts accessed from their mobile devices. All transactions are tracked on Hyperledger Fabric, a permissioned, open-source blockchain platform. The Plastic Bank then sells its recycled plastic flakes or pellets to consumer packaged goods manufacturers as “social plastic” for a premium. 

In early December, Brooklyn blockchain enterprise Bounties Network tested cryptocurrency-based incentives in the Philippines, the world’s third-largest emitter of ocean plastic after China and Indonesia. During a coastal cleanup of the Manila Bay, local fishers collected 3 tons of trash — most of it plastic — and were paid for their labor with an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token. Coins.ph, a partner on the ground, helped to convert the crypto into fiat currency.

These efforts appear to offer an ingenious solution to two seemingly intractable problems: poverty in the developing world and ocean plastic waste. The Plastic Bank found that the digital wallets it uses were effective in guaranteeing security against theft for collectors — the fishers living on just a few dollars a day. In some cases, it even provided collectors with enough collateral to take out bank loans. The blockchain trial also facilitates the claims of corporate clients who want to improve their sustainability and corporate social responsibility scores. 

Marshall Kirkpatrick, vice president of influencer relations at social media marketing company Sprinklr commented on Twitter:

“Super interesting: @PlasticBank pays poor people above-market rates to collect plastic waste, then recycles it, certifies it as recovered Social Plastic using IBM’s blockchain, and then sells it to manufacturers at a premium. Super smart!”

According to Waste2Wear, which began collecting its plastic waste from a small island off Shanghai, consumers have been clamoring for the recycled materials used in its fabrics to be traceable. This is where Waste2Wear thinks a blockchain platform can help:

“The blockchain documents and records the journey of plastic waste, step-by-step, to become a finished textile product. This allows Waste2Wear to track recycled materials all the way back to their source, from the fishermen and pickers who collected the plastic up to the final product, and all steps in between. It enables the company to provide their customers with complete transparency, leaving no doubt that all fabrics and textile products are made out of post-consumer plastic waste collected from oceans, and saved from ending up on landfill.”

Michael Peshkam, executive in residence at European business school INSEAD, believes the Plastic Bank has developed a strong model. “Several more [startups] like it are coming on, too, all of them using blockchain technology,” he told Cointelegraph. Empower, a Norwegian startup, uses blockchain tokens to spur donation-based recycling. Blockchain technology, Peshkam argued, is valued for its ability to provide a trusted and open platform for moving data and value. He believes it can be pivotal in the struggle against plastic waste.

There remains the question of scale, however. Plastic Bank co-founder Shaun Frankson said the company doesn’t want to just do something small that sounds good. Cleaning a beach or wearing clothes made of recycled plastic is great, but it won’t erase the Great Pacific garbage patch. Can the startup really find enough buyers for its recycled plastic — manufacturers who are willing to pay a premium for “social plastic” — to make a dent in these global problems?

“I’m not sure if it’s scalable or could be applied globally,” Peshkam commented. “It really requires a global effort, in the emerging countries but also the developing world. One organization can’t do it on its own, and citizens have to be part of the solution.”

Momentum in this direction may be building among governments and corporations. Nestle, Pepsi, Walmart and Marks & Spencer are introducing products with reclaimed social plastics. Earlier this year, SC Johnson launched the industry’s first product that uses 100% recycled ocean plastic as part of its Windex brand. The Coca-Cola Company announced a goal to have 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2030, and the government of Indonesia recently committed to reducing 70% of its marine debris by 2025.

While companies around the world are finally moving toward sustainable practices and are more often being held accountable for contributing to humanity’s era of pollution, undoing the existing damage is more a matter of effort against the sheer quantity of waste. Now, with blockchain systems gaining traction across industries, getting personally involved with cleaning up plastic waste and other sustainable initiatives is becoming a real option for the concerned, everyday citizen. However, only time will tell how big a role blockchain will play in cleaning up plastic waste.


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Every year 8 million tons of plastics get dumped in the oceans. Can blockchain help clean up the mess?

Blockchain Being Used to Turn Ocean Plastic Waste Into Eco-Fabrics

Blockchain Being Used to Turn Ocean Plastic Waste Into Eco-Fabrics

Dutch green fabrics firm Waste2Wear launches the world’s first collection of fabrics made from ocean plastics traceable via blockchain

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Dutch green fabrics firm Waste2Wear is launching the world’s first collection of fabrics made from ocean plastics traceable via blockchain today.

Demand for tracing recycled materials

The exhibition is taking place from Sept. 17 to Sept. 19 in Paris at the international textile fair Première Vision, American fashion-focused publication FashionUnited reports today.

First revealed on Aug. 20, the collection was specially developed by Waste2Wear in a move to follow customer demand for traceability of recycled materials used in fabrics. The company announced the launch of a beta version of its proprietary blockchain system for its new collection of ocean plastic fabrics on Aug. 22.

3 tons of plastics removed from the ocean each week

As noted by the company, plastic waste has to follow a long journey from the ocean in order to become a finished textile product, which requires a number of step-by-step data records. 

By implementing blockchain technology, the firm intends to make the supply chain of ocean plastic fabrics fully traceable, it stated.

The plastic used for Waste2Wear Ocean Fabrics was sourced from the water and coastal areas of a small Island near Shanghai. In cooperation with the local authorities, Waste2Wear built a business model allowing local fishermen to earn from fishing plastics from the ocean. According to Waste2Wear, fishermen collected more than three tons of waste from the ocean each week.

Meanwhile, Waste2Wear is not the first entity to apply blockchain technology for ecological purposes. On Sept. 4, Germany’s Free Democratic Party expressed its intention to pay cryptocurrency to anyone who removes carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.


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Dutch green fabrics firm Waste2Wear launches the world’s first collection of fabrics made from ocean plastics traceable via blockchain

Blockchain-Based Used Car Data Marketplace to Launch in Singapore

Blockchain-Based Used Car Data Marketplace to Launch in Singapore

sgCarMart.com and Ocean Protocol are launching a blockchain-powered “Know-Your-Vehicle” data marketplace in Singapore

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Singapore-based online car marketplace sgCarMart and decentralized data exchange protocol Ocean Protocol are launching a blockchain-powered “Know-Your-Vehicle” data marketplace. The development was announced in a press release on July 5.

The so called Know-Your-Vehicle used car data marketplace will purportedly provide a secure way of sharing and accessing of information about used cars in Singapore, where almost 9,000 cars reportedly changed ownership per month in 2018.

The product is set to provide customers with the capability of tracking data origin on a vehicle and then trace its history. Subsequently, the parties are looking to use this data in helping other industries and the government to improve products and services. Daryl Arnold, founder of Ocean Protocol, said:

“Ocean Protocol provides companies with a platform to share and monetize data in a secure, traceable, and privacy-preserving manner. It allows data owners to retain control of data access and offers an incentive mechanism for companies to deploy, to collect quality data from their stakeholders.“

Back in October 2018, Ocean Protocol took part in the MOBI Grand Challenge tournament hat intends to develop “the first viable” blockchain-powered network of vehicles and system to coordinate machines, provide data sharing, and improve the level of mobility in urban conditions.

The winners of the first challenge were set to win $350,000 worth of awards in a number of categories, including $100,000 worth of tokens from Ocean Protocol.

Blockchain technology has seen widespread integration into the transport sector to address various needs. In May, the government transportation department in the city of Austin, Texas partnered with nonprofit Iota Foundation to develop a more interoperable transportation ecosystem. One of the visions of a system was where every transit system can interact with the same payment app and a single digital identity.

That same month, major automobile manufacturers Honda and General Motors were jointly conducting research on electric vehicles and smart grid interoperability using blockchain to investigate whether electric vehicles can be used to stabilize the supply of energy in smart grids.


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sgCarMart.com and Ocean Protocol are launching a blockchain-powered “Know-Your-Vehicle” data marketplace in Singapore