Welcome to the Uphold Update. Weekly top stories all about what’s happening in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

The crypto market changes minute-by-minute, and at Uphold, we know how important it is for our members to stay on the pulse of shifting trends and market changes. This week we’re reviewing the value hikes of cryptos across the market, data from Japan’s recent survey of cryptocurrency traders, and more.

Here’s a recap of what happened this week:

Crypto Market News

Bitcoin’s value showed a slight increase between Wednesday and Thursday, holding steady around $8,250. However, this week was really a highlight for altcoins. Other cryptos increased in value independent of Bitcoin. XRP, for example, outperformed Bitcoin and Ethereum by jumping up 33.6% in value this week. This means that investors may be relying less heavily on Bitcoin as they begin to invest in altcoins separately from Bitcoin’s performance. Overall, the positive movement has inspired some cryptocurrency experts to predict that Bitcoin’s price could return to peak values by the end of the year.

Japan Leads in Cryptocurrency Trading

A new survey by Japan’s Financial Services Authority show that with over 3.5 million active crypto traders in Japan, the country leads the world in cryptocurrency interest. Other interesting data from the survey shows:

  • The most traded cryptocurrencies in Japan are BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.
  • Most crypto traders are aged from 20 to 40 years old,
  • Annual trading in Bitcoin alone has risen from $22 million in 2014 to $97 billion in 2017.

Independent Miners vs. Mining Companies

Bitcoin’s improved value has been a good thing for investors and miners alike, however if Bitcoin’s value drops again for an extended period of time then small, independent miners will be unlikely to stay in the industry. Industrial-sized mining companies have been growing over the past year due to the increased attention on cryptocurrency. As the space becomes more competitive, large players have the advantage in keeping profit going through volatile times. Today, Bitcoin’s value for small miners still looks promising, however miner consolidation still may become an issue for the future.