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Tag: bitcoin

Bitcoin Is Melting, Again

Bitcoin Is Melting, Again

Bitcoin Is Melting, Again

Summary

  • After an unsuccessful attempt at the $12,000 resistance level, Bitcoin is melting down once again, slumping by 30% in just a few days.

  • A few distinct developments caused the recent selloff to intensify.

  • People seem to be "Bitcoined out" a bit at the moment, which could cause the price to stay below $10K for some time.

  • It's not all bad news, but in the short term it could get painful for Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrency complex.

Bitcoin is Melting, Again

Bitcoin (COIN), (OTCQX:GBTC) is not having a great week, and it looks like this selloff may get even worse. After a failed attempt at $12K Bitcoin entered the meltdown phase, cratering by roughly 30% in just a few days. Several simultaneous detrimental developments caused this selloff to intensify after the failed technical attempt sparked the negative price action. However, there is one predominant factor that has become the "elephant in the room". Bitcoin’s apparent loss of popularity could keep prices depressed for a lot longer than many people expect, and we may be looking at a near perfect storm scenario of events that could cause the current selloff to become much worse.
 

The Binance Hack

One of the elements that helped exacerbate the recent selloff was the Binance hack. It’s not exactly clear what caused the issues at the popular exchange, but what is known, is that numerous users reported their coins being sold off at random, without their knowledge or consent. This led to the speculation that a hack occurred at the crypto exchange, which in turn caused Bitcoin and other digital assets to selloff. Bitcoin cratered by about 7% in minutes following the news.

Author  Victor Dergunov

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur.
 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Drops 20% But Wasn’t Week’s Big Crypto Price Loser

Bitcoin Drops 20% But Wasn't Week's Big Crypto Price Loser

Bitcoin Drops 20% But Wasn't Week's Big Crypto Price Loser

If February was bad for the crypto market, March hasn't fared better.

Bitcoin's (BTC) repeated failure to beat inverse head-and-shoulders neckline resistance saw bears come in full force, pushing prices to a one-month low of $8,371 Friday. As of writing, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is trading at $8,970, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.

But the 28 percent drop from BTC's March 5 high of $11,660 had broader implications, pushing the market capitalization below $350 billion for the first time since Feb. 14.

The sell-off in BTC seems to have roiled broader markets, a trend evident by the fact the top 25 cryptos by total value are all reporting weekly losses
As such, while bitcoin has depreciated by 20.98 percent week-on-week, it's notably not the top loser of the week, with TRON, ICON and IOTA ranking higher on bigger losses.

Weekly performance: -42.65 percent

All-time high: $34.40

Closing price on March 2: $16.20

Current market price: $9.29

Rank as per market capitalization: 22

Having topped out at $17.38 on March 1, nano prices fell below $10 today for the first time since Feb. 23 this week.

So, despite positive news, such as a thumbs up from influential litecoin founder Charlie Lee, the endorsement failed to keep the nano bid amid a broader market sell-off.

As of writing, the cryptocurrency is seen changing hands at 0.0011 BTC (about $10) on Binance. The recovery from the intraday low of BTC 0.001008 (roughly $9) in the wake of oversold conditions (as shown by the relative strength index) has neutralized the immediate bearish outlook.

However, only an upside break of the descending channel would signal a bearish-to-bullish trend change.

Weekly performance: -38.51 percent

All-time high: $0.30

Closing price on March 2: $0.05

Current market price: $0.03

Rank as per market capitalization: 15

After rocketing to records earlier this year, TRON showed signs it hasn't quite been able to recover from the backlash of severe criticism.

This week, TRON even reached a strategic partnership with Trip.io to advance blockchain applications in the travel industry, and announced a strategic cooperation with BitGuild (a blockchain game platform)

Elsewhere, TRON Founder Justin Sun went so far as to reveal plans to accelerate the launch of main net.

Still, the positive news flow failed to put a floor under TRON prices. TRX/USD fell to $0.03 yesterday — its lowest level since Feb. 8.

Weekly performance: -38 percent

All-time high: $12.04

Closing price on March 2: $3.71

Current market price: $2.30

Rank as per market capitalization: 24

February's top loser hasn't had a good start this month

Prices for ICON's ICX token fell to $2.16 on Binance — the lowest level since Dec. 22, with a series of lower highs and lower lows on the daily chart indicating the bears are in control of the market.

However, short-term oversold conditions as shown by the relative strength index could yield a minor corrective rally.

 

Author Omkar Godbole Mar 9, 2018 at 21:52 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin prices fall below $9,000 — a 24% decline for the week

Bitcoin prices fall below $9,000 — a 24% decline for the week

Bitcoin prices fall below $9,000 — a 24% decline for the week

  • Bitcoin fell below $9,000 during Friday afternoon Asia trade, extending losses seen earlier in the week when it fell below the key $10,000 level.

  • The digital currency came under pressure earlier in the week after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said exchanges that offered trading of "digital assets that are securities" would have to register with the agency.

  • At its current levels, bitcoin has declined around 24 percent for the week.

Bitcoin fell below $9,000 during Friday afternoon Asia trade, extending losses seen earlier in the week when it dropped below the key $10,000 level.

The digital currency traded at $8,671.67 at 12:37 p.m. HK/SIN after touching as low as $8,587.05 earlier in the day, according to industry site CoinDesk.

At its current levels, bitcoin has declined around 24 percent for the week.

The cryptocurrency came under pressure earlier in the week after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said exchanges that offer trading of "digital assets that are securities" would have to register with the agency.

That statement on Wednesday came after weeks of subpoenas from the SEC in its attempt to establish better control over the many trading platforms and exchanges.

Regulatory developments in the Asia Pacific region also likely put a dampener on prices this week.

Japan's Financial Services Agency issued punishment notices to a number of exchanges in the country on Thursday, Reuters reported. Regulators also suspended operations at Bit Station and FSHO for a month, the news agency reported.

Regulatory scrutiny in the country increased after $530 million worth of virtual tokens were stolen from Coincheck, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, earlier this year.

— CNBC's Thomas Franck contributed to this report.
 

Author Cheang Ming

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entreprenuer

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Takes a Dip as SEC Demands Exchanges to Register

Bitcoin Takes a Dip as SEC Demands Exchanges to Register

Bitcoin Takes a Dip as SEC Demands Exchanges to Register

In the ongoing saga of how U.S. regulators will ultimately handle cryptocurrency the SEC yesterday said it will require digital asset exchanges to register causing Bitcoin to dip below $10,000.
 

Cryptocurrency Defined as Securities

The SEC released a statement that said online platforms trading in digital assets are considered securities under existing guidelines and therefore must register with the agency.
 

The SEC statement reads as follows.
 

“If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’ as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration.”

 

“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not. Many platforms refer to themselves as “exchanges,” which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange.”

 

The SEC’s statement may have triggered fears among Bitcoin traders of further regulation to come. The statement from the regulatory commission follows some tense weeks of subpoenas and demands of information from exchanges as the commission strives to take some control over crypto trading.

 

Nothing the SEC has demanded is new policy, rather these are existing regulations that it is trying to fit to the as yet undefined crypto market. “The SEC continues to draw a line in the sand between securities and non-securities but without going so far as to name names,” said Spencer Bogart, partner at Blockchain Capital.
 

SEC Definition May Help Protect Crypto Exchanges

While that may be true up until now bonafide exchanges have relied on developing a steady reputation and their lawyers protecting their cause in order to separate themselves from being linked to scam operations or getting labelled as Ponzi or pyramid schemes.
 

In this way, a final and consistent ruling from the SEC naming cryptocurrency as securities may be a good thing. As the level of existing regulation may work to protect the exchanges and ultimately investors from further and possibly more difficult regulatory interference.

 

Whether or not an investment is legally a security generally relies on what is called the “Howey Test”. This defined by a 1946 supreme court ruling that says a security involves the investment of money in a common enterprise, in which the investor profits primarily from others’ efforts.
 

Bitcoin suffered a bit from the Securities Exchange Commission announcement by dropping to $9,500 but recovered back to nearly the $9,800 mark by the end of the day.

 

Author: JOHN MCMAHON • MAR 8, 2018 • 05:03

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS  — Price Analysis, March 06

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, NEO, EOS — Price Analysis, March 06

Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff believes that Bitcoin’s value will drop to $100 in a decade. He stated that increased regulation is one of the aspects that will bring down the value of Bitcoin. We, on the other hand, have an opinion that in a decade, the cryptocurrencies will have much more use cases and that it will increase their demand, propelling prices higher.

Bitcoin’s entrepreneurs have taken up the task of rebuilding the Puerto Rico economy that has been hit by natural disaster, and a shortage of funds. This is a new experiment, and in case it succeeds, it will be implemented at many other places.

Additionally, increased involvement of large companies with the crypto world shows their growing acceptance, which is a bullish sign.

 

BTC/USD

We had been expecting Bitcoin to break out of the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders pattern and move towards the target objective of $13,000. But the bears strongly defended the $12,200 levels.

Yesterday, Feb.5, the BTC/USD pair reached a high of $11,934.08 but could not break out of the overhead resistance. Currently, the cryptocurrency is pulling back and is likely to find support at the trendline of the ascending channel at $11,100. If this support breaks, the next support lies at the 20-day EMA and below that at the 50-day SMA.

Therefore, traders can raise their stops to $11,000 on the remaining half-position. Once the price sustains below the channel, we expect it to stay range bound between $9,500 and $12,200.

 

ETH/USD

We had recommended traders to raise their stops on Ethereum to $830 in our previous analysis, which was hit today, Feb.6. The bulls have failed to break out of the 20-day EMA for the past nine days.

As the price is below both the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA and is turning down from the resistance line of the descending channel, the bears have an upper hand.

Now, chances are that the bears will push the ETH/USD pair towards the $780 levels. If this level breaks, the next support is at $723.

 

BCH/USD

We had recommended buying Bitcoin Cash on a breakout above the range, however, the bulls could not push prices above the 20-day EMA and the overhead resistance.

Now, the bears are likely to push prices to the lower end of the range at $1,150. If the BCH/USD pair breaks below this support, it is likely to fall to the pattern target of $950.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency breaks out of $1,355.

 

XRP/USD

In the previous analysis, we were unsure about Ripple’s price action. Yesterday, March 05, the price broke out of the overhead resistance, but it could not clear the 50-day SMA.

Prices turned down sharply, and the XRP/USD pair is now likely to continue trading in the range once again. If the bears push prices back below the $0.85 level, it can extend its fall to $0.72.

We don’t find any trade setups on it at the moment.

 

XLM/USD

Stellar continues to trade in the range because the bears were not able to break down below the $0.32 levels.

On the upside, the XLM/USD pair is facing resistance from the 20-day EMA. If it breaks down of $0.32, we might observe a fall to the support line of the descending channel at $0.22.

The bulls will continue to face resistance from the 20-day EMA, the 50-day SMA and the upper end of the range.

 

LTC/USD

Though Litecoin continues to trade above the 20-day EMA, it has lost its momentum. Both moving averages have flattened out, which points to a range bound action in the next few days. We recommend traders to retain the stop loss at $200, at breakeven.

Yesterday, March 05, the bulls attempted to break out of the downtrend line, yet, they could not sustain above the line.
 

The LTC/USD pair is likely to correct towards the 50-day SMA. If this level breaks, a move towards $175 is also possible, where we expect strong buying to emerge.

We should turn bullish if the cryptocurrency sustains above $225.

 

ADA/BTC

Cardano has been holding above the critical support level of 0.00002460 for the past four days, but a lack of buying at the support level shows that the bulls are not interested in buying even at these levels.

If the price breaks down of 0.00002460, it can slide to 0.00001690 levels.

On the upside, the ADA/BTC pair will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA.

We need to wait for buying to emerge before recommending a trade on it.

 

NEO/USD

We expected the $108 levels to provide strong support but we were proven wrong, and NEO broke below our suggested stop loss of $105.

700

The NEO/USD pair is now likely to fall to $93.5 levels. The zone between $86 to $93.5 might offer strong support. If it breaks, the cryptocurrency will become negative.

On the other hand, the price will become positive on a sustained move above $140.

 

EOS/USD

EOS has broken down of the symmetrical triangle, which is a bearish development. Currently, the price is holding at the horizontal support of $7.5.

If this level also breaks, a retest of the Feb. 06 lows is likely. On the upside, the bulls will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and the 50-day SMA.

We shall turn bullish when the EOS/USD pair breaks out of $10.1190 levels.

 

Author: Rakesh Upadhyay

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

A decade from now, bitcoin is more likely to be $100 than $100,000, Harvard economist says

A decade from now, bitcoin is more likely to be $100 than $100,000, Harvard economist says

A decade from now, bitcoin is more likely to be $100 than $100,000, Harvard economist says

  • The likelihood of bitcoin falling to $100 was greater than that of the digital currency rising to $100,000 a decade from now, Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff said.

  • Regulation would be a trigger for the move lower in prices, Rogoff said, although he acknowledged that it would not be an overnight development.

The likelihood of bitcoin prices falling to $100 is greater than that of the digital currency trading at $100,000 a decade from now, Harvard University professor and economist Kenneth Rogoff said on Tuesday.

"I think bitcoin will be worth a tiny fraction of what it is now if we're headed out 10 years from now … I would see $100 as being a lot more likely than $100,000 ten years from now," Rogoff told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"Basically, if you take away the possibility of money laundering and tax evasion, its actual uses as a transaction vehicle are very small," the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

While bitcoin has been associated with illicit transactions, estimates of the proportion of the digital currency used in illegal activities vary. Shone Anstey, the co-founder and president of Blockchain Intelligence Group, gauged that the level of illegal transactions in bitcoin had fallen to 20 percent in 2016 and was "significantly less than that" in 2017.

Rogoff said that government regulation would be a trigger for the drop in bitcoin prices, although he stressed that it would take time to develop a global framework of regulation.

"It really needs to be global regulation. Even if the U.S. cracks down on it and China cracks down, but Japan doesn't, people will be able to still launder money through Japan," he said.

Meanwhile, regulatory developments in the cryptocurrency landscape depend on individual countries. Bitcoin was legalized as a currency by Japan last year and the country has also officially recognized a number of cryptocurrency exchanges. But a massive theft of tokens worth $530 million in January saw authorities push for improvements.

South Korea, on the other hand, has implemented rules that allow cryptocurrency trading only from real-name bank accounts.
 

Private sector 'invented everything' related to currency

Bitcoin traded around $11,242.61 during Tuesday Asia morning trade, according to industry site CoinDesk. The digital currency is down around 16 percent this year, having fallen from a record high of more than $19,000 in December last year.

But one reason authorities have been slow to act when it comes to regulating bitcoin is due to the anticipation of the technology behind the digital currency, according to Rogoff.

"They want to see the technology develop," Rogoff said, adding that the private sector has historically "invented everything" in the history of currency, from standardized coinage to paper currency.

Bitcoin is just one application of blockchain technology, a term used to refer to distributed ledger technology that allows transactions to be recorded and maintained, which has been identified as a major area of growth.

This is not the first time the economist has pointed to cryptocurrency prices falling. Before bitcoin sold off in December last year, Rogoff told CNBC last October that prices of the digital currency would "collapse" amid attempts by governments to regulate the space.

 

Author Cheang Ming | @cheangming Published 1 Hour Ago

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David ogden cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

North Korea may have as made much as $200 million from Bitcoin, according to expert

North Korea may have as made much as $200 million from Bitcoin, according to expert

North Korea may have as made much as $200 million from Bitcoin, according to expert

North Korea may have raked in more than $200 million in digital cryptocurrency transactions last year, diluting the impact of stiff international sanctions over its nuclear and missiles programme.

The huge haul of an estimated 11,000 Bitcoins was revealed by Priscilla Moriuchi, a former US National Security Agency officer, in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

If the regime had monetised them when their price peaked in mid-December, it would have made $210 million, although that value had fallen to $120m by January.

Ms Moriuchi, who now works for cyber threat intelligence firm Recorded Future, believes the cryptocurrency was acquired through mining or hacking.

Financial security experts believe North Korea is using virtual coin markets to inject cash into its flagging economy, which is struggling under the weight of severe international sanctions.

“I would bet that these coins are being turned into something — currency or physical goods — that are supporting North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme,” Ms Moriuchi told Vox.com.

The reclusive regime has already been blamed for some of the world’s most audacious cyber crimes. In December, the US confirmed that it was behind May’s WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.

North Korean hackers have also been accused of plundering the Bank of Bangladesh in 2015, transferring about $81 million into bank accounts in the Philippines.

picEvidence suggests hacker cells have operational hubs in foreign locations. Ms Moriuchi told the Telegraph in a December interview that Recorded Future was probing whether North Korean hackers were operating out of several countries that included China and India.

Recent reports have revealed that a state-sponsored cyber army may also be evolving beyond the targeting of traditional banking systems to focus on the lucrative potential of plundering cryptocurrencies.

In December suspected North Korean hackers targeted a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, stealing at least $7m worth of digital money and forcing one company, Youbit, into bankruptcy.

Pyongyang consistently denies all hacking allegations. However, cyber security experts and defectors have claimed that promising students are handpicked from prestigious universities to join Bureau 121, the hermit kingdom’s shadowy cyberwarfare agency.

In November, it was reported that the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology was teaching a specialised cryptocurrency course.

Citing cyber security expert, Jeremy Samide, she points out that cryptocurrencies make it easier to trade in weapons, drugs and other illicit goods. North Korea stands accused of using digital money to sell arms and buy oil from Iran and Libya.

While Pyongyang is feeling the pressure of broad US sanctions including a recent crackdown on shipping companies allegedly helping the regime, experts like Ms Moriuchi believe the international community should also increase regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges.

“That helps create a paper trail we can use to identify North Korean accounts and how North Korea is moving these currencies,” she told Vox.com.

Experts have warned that a cryptocurrency, with its anonymity, loose regulations and ability to be converted into hard currency, also offers rogue regimes like North Korea more opportunities to profit from crime.

In her recently released book, North Korea, the Country We Love to Hate, Economist Loretta Napoleoni, a terrorist financing and money-laundering expert, concludes that the country is already “ensconsed” in cryptocurrencies and most likely using it for money-laundering.

 

Author: Nicola Smith, taipei 5 MARCH 2018 • 4:10AM

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Two Bullish Signs For Bitcoin

Two Bullish Signs For Bitcoin

Two Bullish Signs For Bitcoin

 After a prolonged correction, Bitcoin is back big time. The “people’s currency” gained close to 7% this week, stabilizing around the $11,000 mark.

Is this comeback for real?

Hard to say, as there are hardly any “fundamentals” to judge whether Bitcoin is undervalued or overvalued at these levels. Still, there are a couple of bullish signs for the digital currency worth noticing.

One of them is that Bitcoin is beginning to behave like the ‘new gold,’ shining in times of extreme uncertainty that take over Wall Street.

There was a time when gold would shine as Wall Street faltered. That was long time ago, when it was the hedge against uncertainty. It was the asset where investors could park their cash in times of political and economic turmoil.

Now Bitcoin is taking its place, as evidenced by the performance of the two assets overtime.

Bitcoin, for instance, rallied last week, as conventional gold and stocks faltered, due to anxiety over the direction of interest rates and world trade. The “people’s currency” gained 13.95% in early in the week and 22.81% in the last 30 days. Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Trust lost 2.31% and 2.51% over the same period, and the S&P500 lost 3.53% and 4.93%.


 Thursday March 1, 2018 at 3pm

Bitcoin displayed a similar pattern last year. It rallied as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was launching missiles over Japan, and as China was trying to write its own navigation rules in South China Sea.

Gold didn’t.

That’s why Bitcoin is often referred to as the new ‘gold.’

Another bullish sign is that Bitcoin is beginning to respond positively to SEC’s efforts to fight fraud in the cryptocurrency markets. Last week’s rally, for instance, came as SEC cracked down on certain Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

That’s quite different from last July when Bitcoin headed south on the news that the SEC was getting ready to regulate ICOs.

Apparently, Bitcoin investors are getting it right: government regulation is good for the digital currency. It helps build trust among market participants, while limiting the supply of competing coins.

Author: Panos Mourdoukoutas ,

 
Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

1,200 NEWSSTANDS IN AUSTRALIA NOW SELLING BITCOIN AND ETHEREUM

1,200 NEWSSTANDS IN AUSTRALIA NOW SELLING BITCOIN AND ETHEREUM

1,200 NEWSSTANDS IN AUSTRALIA NOW SELLING BITCOIN AND ETHEREUM

As of today, Australians are now able to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum from more than 1,200 newsagents around the continent.

AUSTRALIA FOR BITCOIN

Buying Bitcoin or Ethereum in Australia is now as easy as walking to the nearest newsstand.

Cryptocurrency exchange bitcoin.com.au has launched the convenient service, after installing out the infrastructure in various locations since 2016.

Though easier than ever, many individuals still aren’t accustomed to the idea of buying a digital product from a physical vendor. In an interview with 9Finance, CEO Rupert Hackett explains:

When your product is totally digital it can be hard to gain trust from consumers because there’s no tangible product being handed over. Using newsagents provides consumers with a convenient and trusted way for investors to buy cryptocurrency.

The addition of Ethereum sales to the Bitcoin-focused exchange’s might come as a bit of a surprise, but Hackett claims it was necessary, due to the steep price tag of Bitcoin potentially scaring off new investors:

Traditionally, the only people who knew about Ethereum or wanted to buy it were those who already had bought Bitcoin. But now that cryptocurrency is more well-known we found that Ethereum’s cheaper price point made it a more digestible value proposition for buyers.

Assuming users have properly set up their own mobile, desktop or cold-storage wallets, Hackett says buyers will have their cryptocurrency of choice in their digital wallets in 20 minutes or less, on average.

Purchases from these newsstands aren’t exactly cheap, however. Purchase made on March 1 are fee-free, but any purchases made after that carry a rather hefty 5 percent fee. Hackett claims the fee is worth it, however, for the convenience, explaining:

The fact that you can now buy Bitcoin and Ethereum from the same place you purchase soft drinks and stationery really speaks to how institutionalised cryptocurrency has become. For anyone who has hesitated about buying Bitcoin because it all seemed too complicated, this is the perfect setup that takes the fear factor out of investing in digital currencies.

The increased ease of purchase for Australians undoubtedly represents yet another positive step towards the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and Ethereum as viable cryptocurrencies.

 

Author: ADAM JAMES · MARCH 1, 2018 · 6:00 PM

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Bitcoin Price Analysis — The confluence of bullish continuation

Bitcoin Price Analysis - The confluence of bullish continuation

Bitcoin Price Analysis — The confluence of bullish continuation

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to recover from this years low, set earlier this month. The market cap now stands at US$177.78 billion, with US$3.69 billion traded on exchanges in the past 24 hours.

A recent acquisition has been a hot topic of discussion this week, with Circle buying Poloniex for US$400 million. Boston-based Circle is one of three companies that hold a New York bitlicense and also has plans to release a retail trading app later this year.

Having launched in 2013, following a US$9M Series A funding round, Circle was created to increase mainstream adoption of digital currencies like Bitcoin by providing a payment platform for consumers and merchants. The company has since raised a total of US$140 million in venture capital from investors including Goldman Sachs, IDG Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, Accel Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Baidu, CICC Alpha, EverBright, WangXiang, and CreditEase. Goldman has since started development of a cryptocurrency trading desk of their own.

While putting their money to use, Circle cites Poloniex as an important bridge for “an open global token marketplace.” The cryptocurrency exchange was unable to keep up with the market demand in 2017, having problems with exchange uptime and answering customer support tickets. As a result, Poloniex lost much of its market share to Bittrex. Binance has also now arrived on the scene, only adding to the market competition.

In an interesting twist, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein said it’s too early for his bank to need a bitcoin strategy and that he doesn’t consider the digital currency to be a store of value. Blankfein said that volatility needs to settle down and it "doesn't feel like a currency, doesn't feel like a store of value […] It works out — and it gets more established, and it trades more like a store of value, and it doesn't move up and down 20 percent, and there is liquidity to it — we'll get to it."

Goldman is far from the only incumbent to take a publically hawkish stance on the asset. In last years annual report, JPMorgan Chase had one reference to cryptocurrency, acknowledging it was a competitor to their business model due to its ability to decrease fees and friction between payments.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously called BTC a fraud, but later expressed regret that he made the remark. The financial giant was also one of three banks, including Bank of America and Citigroup, to begin banning credit card purchases for cryptocurrency earlier this year.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is also a staunch critic of cryptocurrencies alleging that they represent an untraceable tool for money laundering and other illegal activities, stating “we have limited our relationships [with cryptocurrencies] and I think the thing speaks for itself.”

Former Wells Fargo CEO Dick Kovacevich believes that BTC is a “pyramid scheme,” adding, “it makes no sense.” Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat sees cryptocurrencies as a threat to the existing financial system that allow for tax avoidance and money laundering, which governments won’t allow. He does, however, see potential in nationalized digital currencies, but believes that “cryptocurrency is a bad moniker.”

In other news, the Dave Kleiman estate has filed a US$10 billion lawsuit against Craig Wright. Kleiman and Wright were both early BTC miners. The suit alleges that since Kleiman’s death, Wright has “perpetrated a scheme” to “seize Dave’s bitcoins.” The lawsuit is seeking between 300,000 and 1.1 million BTC, to be determined at trial.

Chain analysis of the addresses in the lawsuit by WizSec, the company responsible for making the Mt. Gox and BTCe connection, has found that the addresses are likely not owned by either Craig Wright or Dave Kleiman, but are simply addresses which at one point in time held a significant amount of BTC.

In the meantime, the Bitcoin network metrics continue to tell a complex story as scaling solutions continue to evolve. Metrics to watch include; hash rate and difficulty, transactions per day, network value to transactions (NVT) ratio, unconfirmed transactions, SegWit adoption, transaction outputs (not shown), and Lightning Network growth and usage.

Hashrate and difficulty continue to increase despite a drastic decrease in mining profitability, which will continue to so long as more hashrate is added to the network and price does not increase. Mining profitability is currently analogous to May 2017 (not shown). The leading ASIC manufacturer, Bitmain, may have made as much as US$4 billion last year according to an estimate by CNBC.

Transactions per day have continued to decline since December. The transaction highs largely mirror the bitcoin price chart itself. Individual transactions have also declined due to batching, where one transaction is sent to many addresses at once instead of each transaction being sent individually.

BTC price is also very closely related to network activity. The network value to transactions (NVT) ratio (not shown) has increased substantially as a result, now comparable to levels seen in 2015. A lower NVT suggests a cheaper value per unit of on-chain transaction volume. NVT does not account for off-chain transactions.

The combination of transaction volume and price have created a tumultuous year for the BTC fee market in 2017, as the scaling debate raged on between factions. Community consensus lead to the implementation of a soft fork with Segregated Witness (SegWit), which won out over a hard fork that merely increased block size. Transaction fees are currently negligible. Transactions can currently be sent for US$0.48 (2 sat/byte) with a less than four hour expected confirmation, according to the hardware wallet Trezor.

As transactions have declined, the number of SegWit transactions as a percentage of the total has recently seen an uptick. SegWit provides a scaling solution that effectively decreases the size of a transaction, which allows for more transactions to be squeezed into each block. Bitfinex and Coinbase have both started using the update.

SegWit also enables the Lightning Network (LN), a protocol that implements trusted, bidirectional, off-chain, hub and spoke payment channels. LN is designed to facilitate microtransactions that are confirmed in milliseconds. There are 1873 nodes with 5,153 channels currently operating on the BTC testnet. The number of nodes and channels on the mainnet has now started to catch up, with 900 nodes and 1,500 channels, but should be used with caution.

Exchange traded volume this week has been led by the USDT and USD markets, mostly on Bitfinex. The Korean Premium remains in the Korean Won (KRW) market, where BTC sells for ~5.5% more on average.

Global over the counter (OTC) volume remains down sharply from December and January. Despite this, Venezuela posted a record high in Bolivar volume over the past week.

Author Josh Olszewicz, 01 Mar 2018

 

Posted by David Ogden Entreprenuer

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member