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Tag: bitcoin

Gemini to Roll Out Bitcoin and Ether Block Trading

Gemini to Roll Out Bitcoin and Ether Block Trading

Gemini to Roll Out Bitcoin and Ether Block Trading

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini said Monday that it will roll out block trading for bitcoin and ether starting later this week.

The feature — which will allow customers to make high-volume trades that won't appear in the exchange's order book until they've been filled — will go live at 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Gemini explained in a blog post. There's a minimum threshold of 10 bitcoin or 100 ether for the block trades, meaning that smaller traders won't be able to use the feature.

Gemini has positioned the block trading addition as a way to create "an additional mechanism to source liquidity when trading in greater size."

Block trading allows large traders such as hedge funds to buy or sell large quantities without having large immediate effects on the price. The alternative is to place over-the-counter trades, which happen outside of exchanges, or to split trades up into smaller chunks in order to minimize the impact to supply and demand.

Market takers — who place the orders — specify whether the trade is a buy or sell; the minimum quantity; and a price limit. This information, called an indication of interest, is broadcast to all market makers simultaneously.

"In accordance with our commitment to an equitable, transparent, and rules-based marketplace, block orders will be electronically broadcast to participating market makers simultaneously, ensuring best execution and price discovery for those participating in the program," the exchange explained in its blog post.

Gemini, founded by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, had indicated last month that the exchange may move to add additional cryptocurrencies for trading in the future. Potential selections include bitcoin cash and litecoin, as reported at the time.

 

Author David Floyd Updated Apr 10, 2018 at 02:14 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin tide favoring bears and the coming April 17 brings really bad news

Bitcoin tide favoring bears and the coming April 17 brings really bad news

Bitcoin tide favoring bears and the coming April 17 brings really bad news

If you noticed lately, Bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency, has been stuck below $7000.

As of Friday, it was in the $6,600 range, dangerously close to the $6,400 when the market ‘bears’ bet the crypto is on a downward path.

What’s worse is that the US tax season is upon us, and every Bitcoin holder living in America is taxed on their capital gains, and they will be unloading the crypto to be able to pay their taxes in cash to the US government, come April 17.

A major sell-off is coming which will impact crypto holders globally, but what is the state of Bitcoin today?

Not dead yet: Crypto coins have fallen but trying to get up

Stuck in purgatory

Coindesk reported that Bitcoin (BTC) fell below the $7,000 mark on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and neutralizing any bullish outlook.

“More worryingly for the bulls, a further decline towards $6,425 (recent low) would turn the tide in favor of the bears,” Coindesk said.

“Since late February, bitcoin and U.S. stocks have been moving more or less in tandem, indicating the cryptocurrency is still being perceived as a risk asset.”

But according to CNBC, Bitcoin is likely to fare worse than other assets in the coming months because it has no fundamental value, quoting London-based Capital Economics, Thursday.

The firm explained that the cryptocurrency has been quite closely correlated to the S&P 500 since the price started to fall from its record high $20,000 at the end of last year.

“But the correlation has been coincidental. For bitcoin, the recent fall in value has been due to concern over regulation, a ban on cryptocurrency advertising, ICO fraud, banks banning customers from buying it via credit cards, and others,” it said.

“Stocks meanwhile have been hit thanks to concerns over a U.S.-China trade war and potentially slowing growth.”

Capital Economics said that while stocks are likely to fall further this year, bitcoin will be worse off because it is essentially worthless “and simply not a credible long-run alternative to conventional currencies.”

That doesn’t say that bad news affecting stock markets, like an escalating rhetoric around potential trade war between the US and China, are not also affecting crypto prices.

 

ICO warnings

Governments and experts around the world have warned about Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud.

Some reports said 80% of ICOs are said to be scams.

The Financial Times (FT) said that there are nearly 1600 cryptocurrencies listed on Coinmarketcap, and that number grows every time a new startup sells a token.

According to tracking website Coinschedule, around 160 coins have so far been released this year via ICOs, raising more than $5bn.

“The money raised in the first three months of the year alone exceeds the total raised in the bumper year that was 2017, and that’s even if you strip out the money raised so far for the mega-ICO from Telegram, the encrypted messaging service,” said FT

FT warns that ICOs create swapping mechanisms between cryptos while existing cryptos can also be cloned, or “forked”.

“And it’s not as if all these digital tokens aren’t correlated to each other. When one goes up or down, they all tend to follow suit,” said FT.

Table 1

7d Price Change For Major Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency %7d

Bitcoin -13.41

Ethereum -15.90

Ripple -13.28

Litecoin -11.65

Source: Coinmarketcap.com 4/4/18 at 2:30 a.m.

 

Table 2

Number of Cryptocurrencies That Advanced/Declined In The Top 100 Ranks

Cryptocurrencies Advance/Decline Number

Advance 12

Decline 88

Source: Coinmarketcap.com 4/4/18 at 2:30 a.m.

 

Bad news from India

Forbes reported that the Reserve Bank of India RBI) has banned banks from allowing people to transfer money from their bank account into Bitcoin wallets.

“Meaning if there is a Bitcoin market in India, it is going to move underground,” Forbes said.

“India is not a huge market for crypto, so Bitcoin was down only 2% upon hearing the news and probably not due to the RBI’s announcement. China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and the U.S. are the biggest markets for cryptocurrencies.”

 

Worse news from the US

According to the Coin Telegraph, Fundstrat’s and Wall Street expert Tom Lee has predicted a “massive outflow” of cryptocurrency to fiat money in the lead up to tax day in the US, quoting a CNBC report on April 5.

Lee notes that, since US households owe an estimated $25bn in capital gains taxes due to their crypto holdings, and crypto exchanges also will owe income taxes, both households and exchanges will be selling their crypto to pay the US government.

“We believe there is selling pressure by crypto exchanges who are subject to income tax in U.S. jurisdictions. Many exchanges have net income in 2017 [of more than] $1 bln and keep working capital in [Bitcoin]/[Ethereum], not USD — hence, to meet these tax liabilities, are selling BTC/ETH.”

According to Lee, “historical estimates are each $1 of USD outflow is $20-$25 impact on crypto market value.”

 

Author Hadi Khatib

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Crypto Week in Review — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Verge, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple Struggle

Crypto Week in Review — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Verge, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple Struggle

It has certainly been an up-and-down week for cryptocurrencies. Things started out relatively peaceful when allegations arose that the currency had somehow dominated its incoming “death cross,” and that the slump users had been witnessing over the past several days may be coming to end. This seemed to hold true when Bitcoin rose from $6,900 to $7,100 — a $200 jump from where it had long stood.

All Barricades Defied?

the currency rose to just under $7,500 following the announcement that Coincheck — one of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms and the recent victim of a hack that saw over $500 million in NEM stolen last January — would likely be “rescued” by Tokyo-based exchange Monex Group.

The company issued a formal statement saying that it was in talks with Coincheck about a possible “takeover,” and that a deal could be reached by the end of the week. This sent the price of bitcoin surging, as hope and enthusiasm once again found themselves fluttering through the cryptocurrency arena.

This positivity was short-lived, however, as a near $600 drop in the price occurred the following day, and bitcoin fell to about $6,800. Now, the coin has settled for $100 less and is trading at approximately $6,800, suggesting that the currency is holding its ground, but has undoubtedly been affected by recent trends.

 

There appear to be several reasons for the latest drop, one being a hack that occurred on Verge’s blockchain.

Verge is a privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, and it’s alleged that hackers may have implemented several bugs in its system to walk off with anywhere between $15,000 and $1 million in company coins (sources differ greatly in how much the amount totals).

While the attack took place on an altcoin, the story raises several questions. Verge’s blockchain requires a proof-of-work validation mechanism, much like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which makes users wonder if these latter blockchains are also vulnerable to similar bugs and malware.

Larger news stemming from India likely took a larger toll on the coin’s position and current pricing. The country’s of India’s Reserve Bank has hinted that it plans to potentially ban Bitcoin trading on a whole while building its own digital currency. This has led to negative reactions among residents, who claim that a national virtual currency wouldn’t necessarily be threatened by Bitcoin and other forms of crypto.

The move could be especially damaging considering India accounts for roughly 10 percent of the world’s cryptocurrency trades. A full ban on Bitcoin by India may wind up affecting not only users but the country’s financial stability in the global blockchain market.

Not Much Help from “Experts”

In addition, several other leading cryptocurrencies have also experienced serious drops in their prices. Ethereum is down to about $380, while Bitcoin Cash is hovering at just over $630. Ripple is hovering around $0.50. Litecoin is trading at a new low of approximately $116.

Thus far, we have experienced mixed reactions from analysts, some of whom claim Bitcoin could encounter a solid bull run by the year’s end. Others feel that the coin’s final days are near, and the bubble surrounding Bitcoin has officially been popped.

 

Author Nick Marinoff April 6, 2018

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Your bank will not allow you to buy bitcoins anymore

Your bank will not allow you to buy bitcoins anymore

You will not be able to buy cryptocurrency via banks or e-wallets etc. in India anymore as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned them with immediate effect from "dealing with or providing services to any individuals or business entities dealing with or settling virtual currencies".

RBI, while announcing its first bi-monthly monetary policy for the FY 2018-19, has announced that any entity regulated by them such as banks, wallets etc. shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities for buying or selling of cryptocurrency such as bitcoins. If banks, e-wallets and any other entities regulated by RBI are not allowed to facilitate sale or purchase of cryptocurrencies, obviously individuals will not be able to transfer money from their bank account accounts to their crypto-trading wallets.

"A person will not be able to transfer money from his savings account to his cryptowallet" says, Abizer Diwanji, Head, Financial Services, EY India.

The central bank has repeatedly cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including Bitcoins, regarding various risks associated in dealing with such virtual currencies.

In its statement RBI said that technological innovations, including those underlying virtual currencies, have the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system.

However, Virtual Currencies (VCs), also variously referred to as crypto currencies and crypto assets, raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering, among others.

In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time. RBI will be issuing circular in this regard for further details.

Recently, several banks have banned their customers for buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.

Citi Bank in email to its customers has said that credit and debit cards cannot be used to purchase cryptocurrencies. It has been reported that RBI has warned banks about cryptocurrencies in January, telling them to step up scrutiny of financial transactions by companies and exchanges involved in the trade of bitcoins and similar digital tender.

RBI has also issued a press release earlier in this regard stating "As such, any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with virtual currencies will be doing so at their own risk."

 

Author Preeti Motiani Updated: Apr 06, 2018, 10.12 AM IST

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Acid Test — Bitcoin Must Break $7,800 for Bull Reversal

Acid Test - Bitcoin Must Break $7,800 for Bull Reversal

Acid Test — Bitcoin Must Break $7,800 for Bull Reversal

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to mount a recovery despite the recent bearish "death cross" chart event.

As of writing, bitcoin is changing hands at $7,400 on Bitfinex and the average price on leading exchanges, as represented by CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index, is seen at $7,380.

The cryptocurrency's 15-percent rally from the 54-day low of $6,425 set on April 1 is encouraging and pretty much in line with the historical relative strength index (RSI) pattern.

That said, the bulls' job is only half done, and bitcoin is still stuck in a falling channel. So, a clear break above $7,800 is now needed to confirm a bullish trend reversal and avert another sell-off.

Daily chart

A daily close (as per UTC) above the falling channel resistance would signal a short-term bullish trend reversal — i.e. the sell-off from the March 5 high of $11,700 has ended and would allow a test of supply around the bigger descending trendline sloping downwards from the Dec. 17 high and Jan. 6 high.

Note, the falling channel resistance is lined up at $7,900 and is seen sloping downwards to $7,800 by tomorrow. A move above that level would lift the RSI above the descending trendline, thus bringing in more technical buyers into the market.

The 4-hour chart below shows scope for a rally to $7,800-$7,900 over the next 24-48 hours.

4-hour chart

The bullish RSI divergence followed by a break above the minor descending trendline indicate that bitcoin could rally by another 400 dollars or so. The RSI is also above 50.00 (in the bullish territory) and is trending.

However, if BTC repeatedly fails to take out the falling channel hurdle (seen in the daily chart) in the next couple of days, then the bears may flex their muscle. Moreover, that would mean the recent gains are nothing more than a corrective rally. The ensuing sell-off could take BTC down to $6,000 (November lows).

As a result, the falling channel resistance presents a sort of acid test for the bitcoin market.

In the larger scheme of things, a bullish reversal is seen only above $11,700 as shown by the long duration chart below.

Weekly chart

BTC has defended the 50-week moving average (MA), yet the outlook remains bearish as suggested by the descending 5-week MA and 10-week MA. Furthermore, the RSI is bearish. Only a move above $11,700 (bearish outside-week candle high) would revive the bullish outlook and potentially yield rally to fresh record highs.

View

BTC could test the falling channel resistance in the next 24-48 hours (currently seen at $7,900, will be at $7,800 tomorrow).

A daily close above the channel resistance would signal short-term bull reversal and expose resistance lined up at $8,090 (5-week MA) and $9,177 (March 21 high).

Repeated failure to beat the channel hurdle could yield a re-test of $6,425 (April 1 low).
 

Author: Omkar Godbole Updated Apr 3, 2018 at 22:07 UTC

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide investment advice.

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS — Price Analysis, April 02

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS — Price Analysis, April 02

The Chinese ban on cryptocurrency trading, the possibility of a similar ruling in South Korea and the fear of regulations around the globe were some of the reasons that started the current decline.

However, with the election of Yi Gang as the head of People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, some market experts believe that the Chinese ban on cryptocurrency trading might be overturned.

South Korean regulators are finalizing the taxation framework for cryptocurrencies and will most likely throw some light on the probability of a full-scale regulation of the cryptocurrencies after mid-June.

This has not deterred the Mayor of Seoul to announce the creation of ‘S coin’, the cryptocurrency of the city. He also wants to encourage the development of Blockchain projects as he foresees the widespread use of the technology in the city.

Let’s see if we find any buy setups on any of the digital currencies we track?

 

BTC/USD

Bitcoin broke below the $7,000 mark on April 01, but the dip was purchased aggressively by the bulls. As a result, the price has been back above the $7,000 level once again.

The 20-day EMA is the important resistance to watch out for during any pullback, which is just above $8,200 levels. The bears will strongly defend this level, while the bulls will attempt to break out of it.

We should wait for the BTC/USD pair to sustain above the 20-day EMA before recommending any long positions.

The trend remains down, hence, we don’t find any buy setups on the digital currency.

 

ETH/USD

The bulls are struggling to defend the $355 to $385 support zone on Ethereum. Even at such critical supports, there is lack of buying, which shows weakness.

Any pullback on the ETH/USD pair will face selling at the downtrend line and above that at the 20-day EMA.

On the downside, the bears will gain strength once they sustain below $355. The next lower target is $275 to $300.

We have been anticipating a sharp pullback because the RSI is deeply oversold, but it has not yet materialized. We’ll become positive in the short-term once the virtual currency closes above the downtrend line.
 

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash continues to be under pressure. Currently, it is attempting to pullback from the April 01 lows of $653, but the buying remains tepid.

f the bulls fail to break above the $778.2021 levels soon, the BCH/USD pair will slide to $600 and below that to $558 levels.

We’ll have to change our bearish view only after the virtual currency breaks above the 20-day EMA and the resistance line of the descending channel. We expect a pullback because the RSI is oversold, but we don’t find any buy setups to trade it. Hence, we are not suggesting any long positions.
 

XRP/USD

Ripple is trading weak for the past four days. It has extended its fall after breaking below the critical support of $0.56270. The next major support is way lower at $0.22, however, as the RSI is oversold, we expect it to pull back soon.

If the XRP/USD pair manages to scale above the $0.57 level, it will indicate that the markets have rejected the lower levels. Until then, all small pullbacks will be sold.

Hence, we shall wait for the bulls to sustain above $0.57 before suggesting any long positions.

XLM/USD

Stellar is attempting to bounce off the downtrend line. The positive divergence on the RSI is a bullish sign.

The current pullback will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and above that at $0.27 levels. If the bulls fail to break out of these two levels, the XLM/USD pair can slide to $0.16 and then to $0.11 levels.

We’ll attempt long positions once the price sustains above $0.27.
 

LTC/USD

Litecoin has been trading in a tight range for the past three days. The bears have not been able to break below the critical February 02 support of $107.102.

In the same way, the bulls have not been able to force a pullback, hence, the tight range. If the $107.102 level breaks, the next support is at $84.706.

However, as the RSI is in the oversold territory, we might get a pullback, which will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the downtrend line.

Our goal is to wait for a buy setup to form before attempting a trade on the LTC/USD pair.
 

ADA/BTC

After a prolonged downtrend, Cardano has entered a range with support at 0.00001690 and resistance at 0.00002460.

The longer the ADA/BTC pair remains in the range, stronger the breakout will be, when it happens.

Hence, we retain the recommendation provided in our previous analysis to buy on a close (UTC) above 0.00002460 levels. The pattern target of this break is 0.0000323, which can easily be exceeded on the upside. The initial stop loss can be kept at 0.00001800, which can be raised later.
 

NEO/USD

NEO has broken below the March 18 lows of $49.04, which is a bearish development. The next support on the downside is at $31.15.

The RSI has again entered the oversold zone, hence, a pullback to the 20-day EMA is possible.

The NEO/USD pair will attract buyers once it sustains above $65 levels. Until then, every recovery will be sold into.

The digital currency needs to show sustained buying before we suggest any trade on it.
 

EOS/USD

For the past three days, EOS has been trading between $5.1 and $6.2. The 20-day EMA has been acting as a stiff resistance.

Once the EOS/USD pair breaks out of the 20-day EMA, the resistance line of the descending channel, and the 50-day SMA, it will become positive.

Hence, we have been recommending to buy the digital currency at $7.5, with a stop loss of $5. The target objective is a rally to $11.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the virtual currency breaks below $5 and slides to $4 levels.

 

Author Rakesh Upadhyay

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Despite Bitcoin’s ‘Sell-Off’ The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors

Despite Bitcoin's 'Sell-Off' The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors

Despite Bitcoin's 'Sell-Off' The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors

Despite Bitcoin's 'Sell-Off' The Cryptocurrency Space Continues To Attract Investors

Volatility, volatility, volatility. Traders certainly love it. But the volatility witnessed of late among many leading cryptocurrencies — including the ‘Big Daddy’ of them all in the shape of Bitcoin as well as Ethereum — has been a "double-edged sword" according to some pundits. Price swings can occur dramatically and result in big profits, should you catch it right.

Equally, significant losses can be sustained should your timing be all awry, there is negative newsflow around the crypto space and/or particular digital currencies.
 

Bitcoin’s Halcyon Days?

One might say you pays your money and takes your chances in the “Wild West” of crypto land. More succinctly, caveat emptor (buyer beware). And, according to Jordan Hiscott, chief trader at ayondo markets, a brokerage in The City of London, in a note from last week (March 27) said: “Certainly the halcyon days of performance gains [for Bitcoin] from 2017 seem long gone.”

Bitcoin moved lower early last week on Tuesday and was trading at around the $7,900 mark. However, this was in stark contrast to the level of $13,275 at the start of 2018. Hiscott’s view expressed at the time in late March was that the situation around the current soggy price level could persist for “at least six months.”

He added: “My theory is based around the situation regarding the liquidation of the Mt Gox Exchange, and the appointed trustee to handle the bankruptcy. Colloquially, this individual is known at the "Tokyo Whale", and having already sold around $400 million worth of both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, he is likely the main catalyst for this year’s move down.”

Interestingly, there still remains around three times that amount of Bitcoin to potentially to hit the market. “With this kind of volume yet to surface, in my view, prices on Bitcoin will remain depressed until this situation has been resolved,” ayondo’s Hiscott posited.
 

New Investors

The wild run on the crypto scene starting from late last year may have created a few sob stories for new investors, as those who bought in during the all-time highs are likely to have incurred losses due to February’s massive correction. Some might even be ruing the day they ever decided to dive in and invest.

In fact, recent statistics indicate that most people who got into bed with and invested in Bitcoin did so at a significantly higher price than the current market price, which is now well below the $10,000 market. This is a remarkable turnaround.

Having reached just slightly north of $19,000 a pop on December 17, 2017, in a something of a feeding frenzy from the month before (seeing the currency’s value almost quadruple from $5,857.32 on 12 November), Bitcoin’s price retreated and has fallen back to around $6,500 as of today (April 1) — and that’s no joke. Since the peak it equates to a decline of 65% in a matter of fifteen weeks.

Bitcoin was not alone in seeing a price a substantial correction from its peak.

Ethereum’s price, which was standing at around $366 as April 1 is down from over $1,330 — the currency's peak — reached on January 14 this year, while it’s a similar picture declining prices from their highs for Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple.
 

Top Cryptocurrencies: Trading Prices

Dec 17, 2017 April 1, 2018

Bitcoin

$19,086.64 $6,493.84
 

Ethereum

$717.29 $366.09

 

Bitcoin Cash

$1,939.93 $633.68

 

Litecoin

$332.59 $110.86

 

XRP (Ripple)

$0.76 $0.4713

Source: CoinDesk Inc. Prices in US dollars as of April 1, 2018, 15.20 UTC.

There were stories that many had invested using their credit cards. And, some plucky investors even re-mortgaged their homes. What they are thinking now is anyone’s guess. But if you play high risk markets then there is also the possibility of getting burned big time.

And, if there is one lesson from all this, it is not to believe in all the hype that surrounded cryptocurrencies when the prices were getting pretty frothy and frankly some people were getting ahead of themselves.

This was especially so just prior to Bitcoin futures being traded on the Chicago derivative exchanges, the CBOT and CME. Between the point when it was announced late last October that futures in the cryptocurrency would commence during the fourth quarter 2017 — until Bitcoin’s peak in December — the price had surged by 211%. And, now for Bitcoin we are broadly back at those levels seen when the announcement was made first disseminated to the market by the CME.

Looking back it was unrealistic and unsustainable to expect Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies to continue their explosive runs — ever upwards. And, while not wishing to say I told you so, it is something I had pointed out in some of my previous posts on Forbes. Namely that it didn’t exactly look too healthy or sustainable. Some out there think though there will be correction upwards to where it was before and well beyond, given the recent trading lows over the last 50-day trading period.

Now there has been a tightening of regulations. One of the latest examples being from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the Paris-based financial regulator, with its communique on 26 March concerning leverage on derivative products related to cryptocurrencies amongst other financial products. Regulators in South Korea and China have also weighed in with pronouncements on bans for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and other crypto prohibitions over recent months.

It was fortunate perhaps that the latest G20 meeting in Argentina did not bear down on the crypto space as they could have, which had been flagged up as a distinct possibility by French and German central bankers along with Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and head of the Basle-based Financial Stability Board (FSB).
 

Investor Appetite?

All of this, however, does not appear to have dampened investors’ drive to be part of the crypto space. Hundreds of millions of dollars in tokens continue to be traded on exchanges. ICOs also continue to rake in the big bucks. Indeed, just three months into 2018 and $4.8 billion in funding has already been raised through various token sales so far.

Blockchain is widely considered to be the next disruptive technology. As such, many believe that the crypto space is a high-potential growth area that could provide massive returns of investment. For early adopters of coins like Bitcoin and Ether, it most definitely has. Although for later ones the jury is out.

As pointed out above, if you bought when the mania gripped at the end of last year you will be nursing a hefty loss. Of course, one might see this as ripe time to buy back in and average out your crypto holdings.

Even established companies are making their respective plays in crypto investing. Trading platform eToro recently secured $100 million in a Series E funding round to support its global expansion and further support of crypto and blockchain. The platform already supports major tokens including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Ripple.

But the funding round hints at the adoption of blockchain technology for its own use. Crypto exchange Poloniex was also recently bought by Circle, a fintech firm backed by Goldman Sachs, which underscores how traditional institutions acknowledge crypto’s impact.

Such developments only help inspire investor confidence, or so some pundits argue. And, even if coins remain far from their all-time highs, backers continue to stake in blockchain and crypto.

And, in that vein here are five reasons as to why the crypto space still continues to encourage more investors to participate.

 

1. The Promise of Blockchain

It’s tough to argue against blockchain as a technology since there is value in the immutable and transparent record keeping that it provides. But it should be pointed out that Blockchain projects and their protagonists have had a nasty habit of over promising and underdelivering. And, the number of ICOs that failed to deliver in 2017 isn't exactly something to shout about.

Several projects though have already made headway in the areas of finance, healthcare and security. Blockchain’s distributed nature also helps mitigate security and reliability issues that plague other technologies.

Blockchain’s appeal is even bolstered by the emergence of smart contracts and cross-chain interoperability. The possibilities for developing new applications based on blockchain now seem boundless according to the view of some. Because of this, there is no shortage of new and promising ventures building their projects on blockchain.

And, I for one can certainly vouch that hardly a day passes when I do not receive a slew of press release ICO launches in the crypto space. It seems never ending.

Traditional institutions and large enterprises are also committed to adopting the technology. Even banks are forming consortia that would enable them to use blockchain for their various services. Due to this demand, IT providers like IBM and Microsoft are even compelled to offer blockchain-related products and services and blockchain-as-a-service.

 

2. Unicorn Potential

This next wave of tech companies is attempting to bring disruption to a variety of verticals. New projects have now extended beyond blockchain’s typical use cases and have found their way even in sectors like social networks, media and gaming — all of which are billion-dollar industries.

Casting a wider net could help these ventures catch bigger fish. And, for investors, backing such companies early on could deliver significant returns down the line.

Some may be labeling this boom a bubble, in much the same way as happened with a whole host of dotcom ventures back in the naughtiest (2000’s). While this may be true in some regard, one should not dismiss the likelihood that winners can emerge — even if the bubble bursts.

And, in hindsight, who would not have wanted access to Google or Amazon stocks at pre-IPO or at IPO prices? There is always a chance that this slate of crypto-based projects may include future unicorns.
 

3. Early “In”

Clearly, not everyone is a venture capitalist (VC) or an angel investor who could find early “ins” to startups. This typically requires a certain amount of clout and reputation in the business community as well as significant wealth in the war chest. The only way ordinary people were able to invest in new companies was to wait for a public offering.

Today, ICOs have allowed just about anyone to invest early in new projects. ICOs now generates 3.5 times more capital than VC funding. This is largely due to how ordinary investors could invest even relatively small amounts right at the start, based on the promise of returns once the token hits exchanges or when the venture eventually flies.

 

4. Fundamentals Start to Matter

More investors are also realizing that they should not be rash in spending their money on any ICO that comes their way. It does take disciplined due diligence to spot potential unicorns. But even a good idea does not necessarily come to fruition until the service goes live and the market takes to it.

Fortunately, more investors are learning to look into a project’s fundamentals. The uniqueness and value of the concept, the token economy, the potential for target verticals to be disrupted by the technology, the strength of teams behind the projects, and other factors are now being considered by investors.

This rising focus on fundamentals can eventually help minimize speculation and the market’s volatility and even encourage traditional investors to participate.

 

5. Global Reach

Traditional investing has largely been geographically limited due to the regulatory constraints. ICOs, however, have opened up the game, allowing investors from all over the world to participate. This is also becoming increasingly easy given how established platforms are supporting more cryptocurrencies.

While some countries have already put up stringent regulations to limit and even ban crypto investing, many countries still only advise their citizens to be cautious when investing in crypto. Investors from these certain countries are otherwise unbridled to trade cryptocurrencies.

 

Risks and Rewards

At the end of the day, investing as a financial activity entails risks and rewards. While crypto investing seems to carry more risk due to the technology and space’s infancy, the rewards can also be significant.

Fortunately, the crypto space appears to be headed — some believe — towards normalcy as regulation and a focus on fundamentals are helping lessen speculation. Increasing support by traditional trading platforms and the participation of other established organizations also helps bring legitimacy to crypto activities, which ultimately should inspire investor confidence.

Add to all this, the space continues to make significant money. And, as long as this is the case, it will continue to attract enterprising parties from all over. But watch this space.

 

Roger Aitken , CONTRIBUTOR

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Criminal Bitcoin Trader Found Guilty of Money Laundering in Arizona

Criminal Bitcoin Trader Found Guilty of Money Laundering in Arizona

Criminal Bitcoin Trader Found Guilty of Money Laundering in Arizona

Though many convicted criminals serve time and receive help reforming, for one Bitcoin trader, his record continues to grow from felony marijuana charges to money laundering.

First reported by CCN earlier as an “unlicensed money transmitting business,” it appears as though Thomas Mario Costanzo, who often goes by ‘Morpheus Titania,’ hasn’t yet learned his lesson in following the law, including legal Bitcoin trading, and now awaits his June sentencing regarding yesterday’s trial.

Participating in Costanzo’s investigation, begun in 2014, were the IRS, DEA, USPS, Scottsdale Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. A Phoenix federal jury has now found the Arizona resident guilty of five counts of money laundering.

Trading Bitcoin with undercover agents, Costanzo encouraged cryptocurrency as a means of purchasing illegal drugs. Without providing transparency about transactions, crypto was promoted as a way to limit exposure with law enforcement.
Found guilty of exchanging nearly $165,000 from alleged drug traffickers (undercover federal agents) over the course of two years, Costanzo failed to identify his customers. He also concealed proceeds and charged anywhere from seven to ten percent commission for peer-to-peer transactions, rather than functioning within the legal limits for online exchange.

 

Arizona’s Bitcoin Laws

According to Arizona’s HB2417 bill, passed last spring:
“SMART CONTRACTS MAY EXIST IN COMMERCE. A CONTRACT RELATING TO A 36 TRANSACTION MAY NOT BE DENIED LEGAL EFFECT, VALIDITY OR ENFORCEABILITY 37 SOLELY BECAUSE THAT CONTRACT CONTAINS A SMART CONTRACT TERM.”

But while Bitcoin, and alt crypto, transactions are legal in the state, it would be expected that residents trade in accordance with the law. At minimum, doing so would help Arizona residents avoid twenty-year prison sentences and quarter-million-dollar fines per conviction, like those potentially awaiting Costanzo.

As CCN correspondent P. H. Madore wrote in July, 2017, “people like Costanzo are not the norm in Bitcoin trading.” What is the norm in Bitcoin trading is following the confines of the law to the best of one’s ability.
Though this is a case of one criminal using Bitcoin in an illegal manner, it gives an unnecessarily bad name to cryptocurrencies, especially in a time when their validity and the governance thereof is in question.

There’s too much fear-driven propaganda already, and those interested in Bitcoin or alt trading need to remember breaking the law isn’t what cryptocurrencies were designed for. And just because one man can’t manage to govern himself, the future of crypto is not at risk.

Even for those questioning the SEC’s inquiries into crypto regulations, regulations such as Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verifications serve to protect all involved, necessary when it comes to potential trading with criminals such as Costanzo.

Author  BITCOIN CRIME MARCH 31, 2018 03:52

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Looking Ahead To $20,000 Bitcoin

Looking Ahead To $20,000 Bitcoin

Looking Ahead To $20,000 Bitcoin

In last week’s Investor Alert, our investment team shared with you a report from Morgan Stanley that says Bitcoin’s price decline since December mimics the Nasdaq tech bubble in the late 1990s. This isn’t earth-shattering news in and of itself. The main difference is that the bitcoin rout happened at 15 times the rate as the tech bubble.

Morgan Stanley has some good news for Bitcoin bulls, however: The 70 percent decline is “nothing out of the ordinary,” and what’s more, such corrections “have historically preceded rallies.” Just as the Nasdaq gained back much of what it lost in the subsequent years—before the financial crisis pared losses even further—bitcoin could similarly be ready to stage a strong recovery.

One research firm, in fact, believes Bitcoin and other digital coins, or “alt-coins,” have likely found a bottom. New York-based Fundstrat, headed by strategist Thomas Lee, issued a statement to investors last week saying that, though a cryptocurrency bull market isn’t necessarily underway, the worst of the pain could be “largely over.”

Fundstrat research shows that periods of cryptocurrency consolidation, or “purgation,” generally last 70 to 231 days. Bitcoin hit its all-time high in mid-December, almost 70 days ago as of March 26. Taking into consideration Fundstrat’s estimates, then, it’s possible the bear market could conclude sometime between now and early August.
 

In the meantime, Lee writes, alt-coin investors should stick with larger-cap cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

 

Take the Long-Term View

It’s helpful to compare Bitcoin with Nasdaq, as Morgan Stanley did, but what about comparing the current cycle with one from the past?

In June 2011, Bitcoin peaked at nearly $30 and found a bottom of $2.02 five months later, in November. It would be an additional 15 months before it returned to its former high. This might seem like a long time to some, but investors who managed to get in at the bottom would have seen their position grow more than 1,300%.

So can Bitcoin do the same today? Obviously no one can say for sure, but what I can say with certainty is that Bitcoin, like all digital coins, is highly volatile. Plus, there’s not quite 10 years’ worth of data, meaning it’s been difficult to identify trends.

Cryptocurrencies are also currently facing tougher oversight from several world governments and central banks, not to mention Facebook and Twitter’s bans on ads promoting them—obstacles they didn’t have to contend with back in 2011 and 2012.

But I remain bullish. Cryptocurrencies are still in their very early stages. To return to the comparison with tech stocks, we don’t know at this point which digital coins will be tomorrow’s equivalent of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook. A long-term view is key.

Finally, I still believe in the power of Metcalfe’s law, which says that as more and more people adopt a new technology—cell phones, for instance, or Facebook—its value goes up geometrically. A poll conducted in February shows that just under 8% of American adults report ever owning or purchasing any cryptocurrencies. Market penetration, then, hasn’t been as pervasive as some might expect, but as people increasingly become more confident in dipping their toes in the space, demand could rise and, with it, prices.

 

Author Frank Holmes

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David ogden Cryptocurrency entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Hovers Near $8,000 Level as Investors Weigh Twitter Ban

Bitcoin Hovers Near $8,000 Level as Investors Weigh Twitter Ban

Bitcoin Hovers Near $8,000 Level as Investors Weigh Twitter Ban

Bitcoin swung between gains and losses near the $8,000 level, paring an earlier rebound, as investors digested the decision by Twitter Inc. to ban advertisements for initial coin offerings and token sales on its service.

The largest cryptocurrency traded flat at $7,847.87 as of 11 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to consolidated Bloomberg pricing. The digital currency had earlier jumped as much as 4.8 percent, reversing an overnight decline that took Bitcoin down to about $7,850. Rival coins Ripple, Ether and Litecoin also erased gains. Bitcoin remains down 25 percent in March.

Twitter confirmed Monday it’s banning the advertisements on its platform due to concern the content is often related to deception and fraud, according to a company spokesperson. The decision comes after Facebook Inc. banned cryptocurrency ads in January and Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it would do the same starting in June.

Since Bitcoin reached a peak of almost $20,000 in mid-December at the height of the cryptocurrency frenzy, the digital currency has lost more than half of its value as investors weigh the future of the emerging space amid intensifying scrutiny from global regulators.

Cboe Global Markets Inc., which was the first U.S. exchange to list Bitcoin futures last year, continues to have plans to introduce more cryptocurrency-related products. The exchange operator prodded U.S. securities regulators Monday to consider approving crypto exchange-traded funds in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Author Eric Lamb

Updated on 27 March 2018, 04:04 BST

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cyrptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member