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Bitcoin Price Prediction Gone Wrong: $1M Options Call To Be Purged

$50,000 Per Bitcoin (BTC) Forecast Goes Wrong Amid Bear Market

One year ago, amid the peak of 2017’s monumental cryptocurrency bubble, in which everyone and their dog were incessantly discussing Bitcoin, BlockTower Capital, a juggernaut in the crypto investment realm, made a ludicrous bet on the future value of BTC.

This, for those who aren’t in the loop, was the decision to create a $1 million options contract on LedgerX, a CFTC-regulated cryptocurrency platform, that would reportedly fork out $29 million to BlockTower if BTC hit $50,000 by 2018’s end. In other words, if BTC somehow manages to hold above $50,000 on December 28th, BlockTower will see a thirty-fold profit fly its way.

However, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, and as made clear by crypto’s tumult, BlockTower’s ante might not end well, especially as the vehicle’s expiry date rapidly approaches. In fact, for the $1 million options call to be saved from impending doom, BTC will need to rally by upwards of 1,400% in just three weeks, a near-impossibility for any asset, even in an industry as nascent, yet promising as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.

Still, Ari Paul, a managing partner at the America-based BlockTower, told CNBC in December 2017, just days after the creation of the bet, that he purchased the contract while liquidating his firm’s BTC stash. The former University of Chicago endowment manager then explained that the surprising call allowed BlockTower to secure profits, mitigate risk in a market drawdown, and have a potential to score big if BTC surpasses 50k, clearly accentuating the fact that if the options didn’t strike, he wouldn’t be (financially nor emotionally) devastated.

He echoed this sentiment in a tweetstorm made in late-September, in which he stated that “there’s no shame in losing trades,” before accentuating that risk management was a key factor in the creation of the $50,000/BTC by EOY 2018 options call.

BlockTower Still Bullish On Crypto

Although BlockTower’s ambitious wager on the short-term fluctuation of Bitcoin’s value is likely to go awry in a few week’s time, the firm, or at least some of its representatives, are still undoubtedly bullish on crypto.

Speaking with CNBC’s Fast Money segment, Michael Bucella, a partner at the crypto-focused investment firm, did his best to break down the current state of the Bitcoin market, and what’s in its short to mid-term scopes.

Noting that crypto’s bear cycle isn’t as perilous as it seems, Bucella, a former executive at Goldman Sachs‘ Canada branch, drew attention to his theory regarding the interplay between “strong hands” and “weak hands,” the two overarching types of cryptocurrency investors. The BlockTower partner noted that while it would be accurate to assume that weak hands, also known as speculators, are liquidating their holdings to diehards (strong hands), the latter group isn’t rushing to on-ramp free capital.

He explained that crypto’s recent liquidity dry spell, along with market volatility, can be chalked up to the hesitance from strong hands to bulk-buy Bitcoin. Although this statement may seem bearish in and of itself, Bucella added that crypto’s near-year-long “distress cycle” is presumably coming to its culmination, echoing analysts’ cries that the bottom is almost in.

Bucella, while reluctant to forecast where the looming Bitcoin bottom will hit, added that when BTC finds a floor, whether it be at $2,000, $3,000 or otherwise, opportunities to scoop up the asset at low prices will be rather scant.

And in the end, the BlockTower partner explained that the “smartest money” continues to foray into this industry, whether it be the endowments of MIT, Harvard, Stanford, or the countless institutional players that have overtly expressed interest into purchasing cryptocurrencies. Keeping this thought process in mind, Bucella noted that even purchasing BTC at current prices could be a bargain bin deal, especially from a multi-year perspective.

Title Image Courtesy of Alex on Unsplash

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BTCC Co-Founder Lee Hints At $333,000 Bitcoin (BTC) Prediction For 2021

Bobby Lee Issues Tweetstorm, Hints At Crazy Bitcoin (BTC) Prediction

Through a series of tweets, starting a so-called “tweetstorm,” Bobby Lee, the co-founder of BTCC and the brother of Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, hinted at an extremely bullish prediction for Bitcoin (BTC). This tweetstorm, which began on Friday, saw Lee, a long-time cryptocurrency proponent, pose optimistic hypothetical scenarios to his social media following.

Drawing lines between Bitcoin’s decade-long history of tumult, dismal bear markets, and jaw-dropping parabolic rallies, the crypto-centric entrepreneur claimed that if “history repeats [itself] perfectly,” BTC will first find its true long-term bottom by January 2019 and at $2,500, a further 30% drop from current prices ($3,600), somewhat echoing comments made by his peer industry insiders.

In Lee’s speculative scenario, once BTC bottoms at $2,500, the popular digital asset will enter a lull, which may keep crypto markets in a seduced state until late 2020. By late 2020, just months after the next Bitcoin Block Halving, the anti-traditionalist expects for crypto’s next monumental bull run to start to fester, and eventually embark on an unprecedented rally that will bring BTC above $250,000 a piece, over 100 times the price that it bottomed.  The prominent cryptocurrency player wrote:

[The next rally] would peak out in Dec 2021 at $333,000, and then crash back down to $41,000 in Jan 2023. Something like that?

In subsequent tweets, the BTCC co-founder further outlined the rationale behind this ambitious call, primarily referencing his expectation that the market capitalization of Bitcoin will surpass that of gold in due time, as a result of BTC’s classification as the second coming of the aforementioned precious metal, but in a digital semblance.

Lee explained that if BTC goes for $333,000 a piece, the market capitalization of the asset will reach $7 trillion, the assumed value of all gold on Earth. He wrote on the matter:

One more coincidence: If the next #bitcoin rally (in 2021?) does indeed reach $333,000, that’ll bring Bitcoin’s price to roughly that of #Gold, at $7 trillion each!

Although it would be hard to claim that this was an explicit prediction, considering Lee’s former comments lauding BTC and cryptocurrencies, it would be fair to assume that $333,000/BTC is a logical eventuality in his mind. Still, interestingly, Lee’s most recent forecast comes just months after he claimed that the next halving would only (relatively) send BTC above $60,000.

Not The Craziest Crypto Prediction…

While Lee’s prediction(ish) is undoubtedly somewhat ludicrous, especially considering that cryptocurrencies still have a ways to go, the Bitcoin Foundation board member isn’t the only industry savant to make such extravagant claims.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, John McAfee, the eccentric multi-millionaire that founded McAfee Software and a long-time zealous anti-governmental figure, told CoinTelegraph that the bear market hasn’t been irksome, as the fundamentals of the Bitcoin Network are alluding to the fact that BTC’s true value is still “escalating tremendously.”

He explained that if “you track the usage curve [of Bitcoin],” $1 million per BTC by 2020 (his original prediction) is conservative, adding that eventually, BTC will be valued by its usage, not by speculative factors and investors.

Title Image Courtesy of Brian Garcia Via Unsplash

The post BTCC Co-Founder Lee Hints At $333,000 Bitcoin (BTC) Prediction For 2021 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Hodler’s Digest, Dec. 3-Dec.9: US SEC Delays BTC ETF Decision Again, While Nasdaq Confirms 2019 BTC Futures Launch

The United States SEC has delayed their Bitcoin ETF decision yet again, and Venezuela’s Petro is raised 150 percent in value.

Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Top Stories This Week

US SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Decisions, Changes Deadline to Late February

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again postponed its decision regarding approval for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) this week.

According to a document released by the SEC, the new deadline is Feb. 27, 2019, and they will take the extension to further review the rule change proposals needed to list the BTC ETF.

The financial instrument was proposed by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX, with plans to list it on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Legally, as the proposed rule change was first published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2018, the maximum period of consideration falls 240 days later, on Feb. 27, 2019.

Venezuelan President Maduro Raises Petro’s Value by 150 Percent

Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, has raised the reference value of the national cryptocurrency, Petro, from 3,6000 to 9,000 sovereign bolivars. Speaking in Caracas this week, Maduro also ordered an increase in the monthly minimum wage by 150 percent, the sixth increase in 2018 and 25th in total during Maduro’s presidency.

At the same time, Venezuela also devalued Dicom, the official exchange rate in the country, bringing the national fiat down around 40 percent from 96.84 sovereign bolivars per dollar on Nov. 30 to 171.67 the following day.

Nasdaq Confirms Bitcoin Futures Launch for First Half of 2019

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, has confirmed plans to launch Bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019. VanEck Director of Digital Asset Strategies Gabor Gurbacs told Cointelegraph that the firm has been discussing futures with Nasdaq, MVIS Indices, and other market participants for “about 18 months.”

According to Gurbacs, the new offering will differ from those trading on the on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) with its transparency and resiliency.

Major Crypto Exchange Binance to Launch ‘Binance Blockchain’ Soon

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volumes, will launch its own blockchain “Binance Chain” in the “coming months,” according to a tweet this week. The upcoming blockchain will allow persons to create new cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) noted that the new plans are actually a response to the “old vision” of crypto, which will then lead to increasing adoption on a global scale.

Crypto Exchange ErisX Raises $27.5 Mln in Funding from Fidelity, Nasdaq, Others

Crypto exchange ErisX has raised $27.5 million from stock exchange Nasdaq and Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets, among other clients. According to media reports, ErisX will offer both spot trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), as well as futures markets in the following year, pending regulatory approval.

Previous reports had noted that ErisX could include Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support, but this week’s news did not include the altcoin. According to ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas, the investment’s purpose is to hire staff and “build out our infrastructure and secure the appropriate steps are taken to develop a regulated market for digital assets.”

Most Memorable Quotations

Most Memorable Quotations

Hester Peirce

“Definitely possible could be 20 years from now, or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to [establish] Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange-traded product,” — Hester Peirce, commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), speaking about Bitcoin ETF approval

Justin Sun

“#TRON will build a fund to rescue #ETH and #EOS developers from the collapse of their platform as long as those developers migrate their dapps to #TRON,” — Justin Sun, TRON CEO

Laws and Taxes

Laws And Taxes

US: Two New Bills Focusing on Crypto Market Manipulation, Regulations Introduced

Two new bills in the United States were compiled this month that focus on crypto market manipulation, with the aim to “position the United States to be a leader in the cryptocurrency industry.” The “The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018” and “The U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018” will go before the House of Representatives, and were a bipartisan effort from congressmen Darren Soto and Ted Budd.

Swiss Finance Minister Prefers Current Laws, Rejects Creation of Blockchain Legislation

Ueli Maurer, the Swiss Minister of Finance, has rejected a possible blockchain law in a speech at blockchain conference this week. Switzerland plans to work with existing laws in order to regulate and legislate the new technology and its financial applications, as opposed to introducing a specific blockchain or crypto legal framework, according to Maurer. The government expects to propose changes to six laws, including the civil code and bankruptcy law, in 2019.

New York Financial Services Department Approves Blockchain Digital Payment Platform

The Department of Financial Services of New York (NYDFS) has authorized a blockchain-based digital platform offered by New York-based Signature bank. The financial services department will allow the bank to offer its digital payment platform Signet in the state, which uses blockchain tech to allow bank clients to “transfer ‘Signets’ to make payments with no transaction fees, at any time of the day, year-round.” The department noted that Signet has been subject to a “comprehensive and rigorous review” and needs to comply with “significant regulatory conditions.”

US Congressman Plans to Introduce Federal Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulation

Republican U.S. Representative Warren Davidson announced plans this week to introduce legislation on a federal level to regulate both cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). The new bill would create an “asset class” for both crypto and digital assets, which “would prevent them from being classified as securities, but would also allow the federal government to regulate initial coin offerings more effectively.”

G20 Leaders Call for Global Cryptocurrency Taxation and Regulation Systems

After their meeting this week, the G20 countries have called for the taxation of cryptocurrency, as well as its regulation to combat money laundering. According to a Japanese news outlet Jiji.com, the final text of a G20 document asks for a “taxation system for cross-border electronic payment services.” The document then continues that under the current laws, foreign companies without a base in Japan cannot be taxed by the local government, noting the need for this taxation system.

Adoption

Adoption

Mastercard Files Patent for Anonymization Method for Blockchain Transactions

Mastercard has filed a patent for a system that anonymizes transactions on a blockchain. According to the filing, the “the use of one or more intermediary addresses to obscure the source and destination of funds in a blockchain transaction” can be used in order to “increase anonymity of entities associated with blockchain addresses.” The system outlined by Mastercard would consist of a series of “anonymization request[s]” designed to anonymize the transactions themselves, rather than just the user behind any individual wallet.

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Ranked the ‘Fastest-Growing’ European Tech Hub

Zug, Switzerland, which is also known as “Crypto Valley,” has been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe. According to the “State of European Tech” report from London-headquartered global technology investment firm Atomico, Zug tops the list in a comparison of year-on-year growth of attendees to tech-related “meetup” events per European city. The report notes that Zug has a 117 percent increase as compared with 2017.

More Than One Third of German Big Businesses See Blockchain as Important as Internet

A recent survey has shown that over one third of big businesses in Germany consider blockchain technology to be as revolutionary as the internet. The survey, conducted by the German Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom), found that 15 percent of German companies think blockchain will “change society and the economy as much as the Internet.” Larger companies, with 500 or more employees, were more than twice as likely to hold that opinion, at 36 percent.

Abu Dhabi Int’l Financial Free Zone Completes Phase of Blockchain-Based KYC Project

The Abu Dhabi Global Market’s (ADGM) regulatory body, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), along with Big Four audit firm KPMG, released a review of the blockchain-based Know Your Customer (KYC) utility project this week, calling it a “successful” first phase. An international financial free zone in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worked on the project for four months, along with a consortium of major UAE-based financial institutions. The review notes the use of cryptography and digital signatures can support a more secure and convenient system for upholding KYC industry standards.

US Air Force Graduate Schools Develops Blockchain-Based Supply Chain Tool

The graduate school for the U.S. Air Force has developed an educational tool based on blockchain technology for managing supply chains. The tool is a live application and a set of tutorial videos released by the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). According to their report, “blockchain will revolutionize […] the digital infrastructure for future supply chains,” which can translate into “better visibility” for the military’s “extremely complex logistics network.” The Institute worked with private supply chain security firm SecureMarking and the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Partnerships

Seven Southern EU Member States Sign Declaration to Promote Blockchain Use

Seven southern European Union members states — Malta, France, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and Greece  — have released a declaration calling for the promotion of distributed ledger technology’s (DLT) use in the region. The document notes blockchain tech’s use in protecting citizens’ privacy and making bureaucratic systems more efficient, as well as its potential for use in the “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” industries.

Hardware Wallet Ledgers Partners with German Startup to Create Security Token Framework

Crypto hardware wallet firm Ledger and crypto startup Neufund have announced a partnership to let users manager security tokens through Ledger’s desktop application. The collaboration aims to develop an overall framework for security tokens. In addition, Ledger Live, which is a recently launched desktop app for crypto asset management, plans on “soon” adding an ERC-20 integration, which will let users manage security tokens issued via Neufund’s set of protocols.

US Trading-Comms Firm Partners With Blockchain Consortium R3

American trading-communications firm IPC system and enterprise blockchain software consortium R3 have partnered this week. IPC is known for producing trading turrets, i.e., communications systems used by financial traders on their trading desks. With the partnership, IPC will support R3’s Corda blockchain networks on its Connexus Cloud platform — a financial markets cloud-based platform for data, voice, and business communications and compliance.

Four Blockchain Companies Jointly Launch ‘Blockchain for Europe’ Association

Four major blockchain companies — Ripple, the NEM Foundation, Emurgo, and Fetch.AI — have formed a “Blockchain for Europe” Association. The organization’s aim to promote understanding and proactive regulation of blockchain and other distributed ledger (DLT) technologies across Europe, addressing the EU’s “fragmented” policy debate around blockchain. The organization will use education about the technology in the member states in order to advocate for future “smart” regulation, conducive to innovation, that will help the continent “shape the global agenda” on blockchain.

Funding Rounds

Funding Rounds

Overstock.Com’s Blockchain Venture Arm Purchases Equity in Blockchain Agri Project

Medici ventures, Overstock.com Inc.’s blockchain venture arm, has purchased $25 million in equity in agricultural blockchain project GrainChain. The project has developed a blockchain-powered system for the tracking of supply chain parties in the distribution process of harvests, allowing producers, buyers, and sellers to create smart contracts in order to secure funds throughout the grain transaction process. The platform is aimed at small- and medium-scale farmers, which can then remove the middlemen and conduct business outside of their immediate geographic area.

Seven New Funds in Ohio Plan $300 Million Investment for Blockchain Startups

Seven Ohio-based funds and other investment teams will contribute $300 million in investments into blockchain startups through 2021, as announced this week by executives. Speaking at a blockchain conference, the CEO of nonprofit JumpStart Ray Leach announced that the seven funds with investing $100 million in “early-stage startups that focus on using blockchain technology for business or government.” As well, “additional investment teams” will add $200 million for blockchain outfits working within Ohio’s social welfare projects, dubbed “Opportunity Zones.”

Sequoia Capital, Huobi Participate in $35 Mln Funding for Scalable ‘Blockchain’ Network

A new blockchain-type network led by a Turing Award recipient and various other academics have received $35 million in funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, IMO Ventures, FreesFund, Rong 360, Shunwei Capital, F2Pool, and major crypto exchange Huobi. The network, dubbed “Conflux,” aims to tackle blockchain scalability, proclaiming that its new testnet is capable of processing ”at least 6,500 Transactions Per Second (TPS), while supporting at least 20,000 nodes.”

Winners and Losers

Winners And Losers

BTC ETH

The market is holding steady after a week of declines, with Bitcoin trading at around $3,489, Ripple at $.30, and Ethereum at $91.99. Total market cap is at about $110 billion.

The top three altcoin gainers of the week are TittieCoin, Bastonet, and TRONCLASSIC. The top three altcoin losers of the week are FREE Coin, Etheera and RabbitCoin.

For more info on crypto prices movement, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
 

FUD of the Week

FUD Of The Week

Former Israeli PM Calls Crypto a ‘Ponzi Scheme,’ But Thinks Blockchain Is Important

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak compared digital currencies to Ponzi schemes but noted the importance of blockchain technology. Barak, who participated in the Camp David Accords in 2000, now serves as the chairman of medical marijuana producer InterCure. When asked about the comparison of the alleged marijuana investment “bubble” to crypto, Barak underlined that “he would never invest” in cryptocurrencies as “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies [are] a Ponzi scheme.” However, Barak added that blockchain technology and smart contracts are important and useful technological and mathematical concepts.

US Securities Regulator Issues Cease and Desist to Delaware-Based Digital Asset Fund

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a cease and desist against CoinAlpha Advisors LLC in addition to ordering a $50,000 penalty to be paid. The company had allegedly raised over $600,000 from 22 investors in at least five states, purchasing limited partnership interest in the fund in exchange for a proportional share of any profits derived from the fund’s investment in digital assets. However, even those CoinAlpha filed an exemption notice with the SEC in November 2017, the company was not registered with the SEC, meaning that they violated securities laws.

Chilean Supreme Court Rules Against Crypto Exchange Over Bank Account Closure

The Chilean Supreme Court has ruled against crypto exchange Orionx in a case over the right for state-owned bank Banco del Estado to close the exchange’s account. The high court revoked the July decision that protected Orionx and ordered the bank to reopen the account, with the court decision noting that the nature of cryptocurrencies prevents banks from receiving detailed information on transactions, customers, and companies that interact with the assets. The court has ruled that the bank did not violate any aspect of the Chilean constitution.

South Korean Financial Authority Warns 2 Banks Over Poor Crypto Transaction System

A financial authority in South Korea has warned major domestic banks Kookmin Bank and Nonghyup Bank over their lack of management of cryptocurrency transactions and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation. The country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has found that the banks had “unreasonable elements related to virtual [currency] handling business.” The banks have also been given orders for improvement and must submit the measures to the FSS within three months or face more “direct sanctions.”

BTC

Prediction Of The Week

Quoine CEO: Bitcoin Will Surpass Last Year’s All-Time Highs by End of 2019

Mike Kayamori, the CEO of Japanese fintech firm and crypto exchange operator Quoine, said in an interview this week that he believes Bitcoin (BTC) will “surpass” its all-time price highs by the end of 2019. He also noted that the bottom is near for the top coin, citing the pressure on Bitcoin miners as an accurate sign of its coming. Kayamori added that the better practices across the industry, Japan’s crypto ecosystem, in particular, is experiencing a period of “consolidation.”

Best Cointelegraph Features

Best Cointelegraph Features

G-20 Summit Results: Crypto Is Important for Global Economy, Needs to Be Regulated and Taxed

After the G20 summit that took place last week, the global community learned that G20 leaders believe the cryptocurrency is worth bringing up in reference to the sustainable development of the global economy. In this analysis, Cointelegraph looks at how the G20 member states see their role in both crypto regulation and taxation.

EOS Community Is Challenged After Node Announces Financial Rewards for Votes

After various previous centralization scandals surrounding altcoin EOS, a new issue has surfaced, with one of their Block Producers (BP) allegedly offering money in exchange for voting them as a proxy in a thinly veiled “gamification.” Cointelegraph delves into the BP, Starteos, and how its offer of crypto for votes was received in the EOS community.

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Bloomberg Opinion Bitcoin Price Prediction: More FUD for 2019

Bitcoin (BTC), Cryptocurrency–While the crypto markets see a slight reversal in pricing to round out the final week of December, with Bitcoin creeping closer to $3700 after hitting a relative low earlier in the week, predictions on the outlook of the industry for 2019 continue to sour investors.

Last week, as reported by EWN, billionaire crypto investor Mike Novogratz lamented the state of the cryptocurrency markets throughout 2018, claiming in a conference call that,

“It’s been a horrible bear market in tokens. There’s plenty of reason to be depressed.”

However, Novogratz qualified his statement with some positive spin, reminding investors that coin prices may be down but adoption and general acceptance for crypto and blockchain has been on the rise throughout the year. Despite his crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Holdings posting over $130 million in losses through 2018’s bear cycle, Novogratz remains confident in cryptocurrency extending into 2019 and beyond,

“I fundamentally think you’re going to see big adaption in 2019, 2020. Lots of the items in the digital world, the e-gaming space, are low value items so I think people will be more comfortable participating in blockchain. We’re making big investments in that area.”

While Novogratz, a long time Bitcoin bull and supporter for cryptocurrency, remains hopeful for a market recovery into next year, traditional financial outlets have fond more reason to be cynical. In a year end, opinion-based review for 2019 predictions, Bloomberg opinion column has struck a chord in crypto investors by publishing more of the FUD that has become part and parcel among mainstream publications.

Rounding out the top of the list for “egregious predictions of 2018,” the opinion piece by Barry Ritholtz lambasts Bitcoin and the litany of assumptions that were made at the start of the year in the midst of a bull run,

“The spectrum of predictions ran from the sublime to the criminally negligent to the utterly insane. It got so bad that a website was set up to track all of the Bitcoin prophesies.”

The article continues on to call out Fundstrat’s Tom Lee and the aforementioned Mike Novogratz for their predictions throughout the year,

“Fundstrat’s Tom Lee’s 2018 forecast for $25,000 Bitcoin was reduced last month to $15,000 by year-end. (The cryptocurrency recently traded at about $3,650.) As foolish as that sounds, it was modest compared to the rest of the asylum. Michael Novogratz forecast that ‘$40,000 was possible by the end of 2018.’”

While Bitcoin continues to trade close to a relative low for the year, with the digital asset slipping from near $20,000 in December 2017 to $3600 as of writing, the schadenfreude for BTC and cryptocurrency in general is mounting. From a combination of FOMO and “I told you so,” traditional finance analysts are lining up to cast stones at the number one cryptocurrency by market cap, despite failing to predict a similarly bullish run for the coin just a year ago.

Investors, still reeling from the losses of 2018’s ongoing bear cycle, have little to be excited for as we enter the final month of the year. However, they have managed to weather the storm of Bitcoin hate and claims of BTC “being dead,” which has led to the creation of websites tracking the obituaries for the coin. Time will tell if the current crop of predictions for the demise of Bitcoin will be added to the heap.

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Top 5 Crypto Performers Overview: BSV, XEM, TRX, BNB, BTC

The sentiment is most bearish at the bottom of a trend in a bear market, but when the downtrend enters a capitulation, it may signal a bottom.

In a bear market, the sentiment is most bearish right at the bottom of the trend. The entire heard says to sell. Short sellers laugh away to the bank and many analysts call for a further fall. With majority of the news being negative, it sounds logically correct.

However, when the downtrend enters a capitulation, it usually signals a bottom. Going against the trend, at such times, turns out to be a profitable decision. A prolonged downtrend is also a good time to sell out the positions that don’t have sound fundamentals and shift into cryptocurrencies that have a bright future.

Though the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies has plunged about 87 percent from its highs, Bitcoin has managed to maintain its dominance above the 50 mark throughout the fall. This shows that its leadership position remains intact and we have to watch its price action closely to forecast direction for the entire crypto markets.   

BSV/USD

Bitcoin SV, born out of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, is the only one among the top virtual currencies that has been in the green in the past seven days. Its outperformance helped it to overtake Bitcoin Cash in terms of market capitalization for a short period of time on Dec. 7.

Currently, both the cryptocurrencies are trading with market capitalizations that are relatively close to each other.

The BSV/USD pair has seen wild swings in its short trading history. From a high of $254.13 on Nov. 14, it plunged 84.83 percent to an intraday low of $38.528 on Nov. 23. From the lows, it pulled back 221.79 percent to reach an intraday high of $123.98 on Nov. 26.

The recovery stalled at the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement level of the fall. Since Nov. 26, the digital currency has been trading in a range of $123.98-$80.352. A breakout of the range can result in a rally to $167.608, which is close to the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement level.

On the contrary, if the price breaks down of the range, a retest of the lows is probable. Trading inside the range can be volatile; therefore, we suggest waiting for a breakout of the range for initiating any long positions.

XEM/USD

NEM and three other blockchain firms have come together to form a lobbying group in Europe to “create a unified voice for the blockchain industry at the European level.” NEM has been one of the stronger performers in this fall. Let’s see if it is showing any bottoming formations.

While most other top digital currencies are making new year-to-date lows, the XEM/USD pair has not declined much in the past few days. Even after breaking down of the range $0.13125258-$0.07790717, the bears have not been able to push prices lower. This suggests demand on dips.

If the price climbs back into the range and sustains it for three days, it will confirm that the markets have rejected the lower levels. Traders can initiate long positions above the 50-day SMA and expect a move back towards the top of the range.

On the other hand, if the digital currency turns down from the 20-day EMA and breaks down of $0.06155741, the fall can extend to $0.05. We expect a decisive breakout or breakdown within the next few days.

TRX/USD

TRON CEO Justin Sun announced that Tron has joined Blockfolio Signal beta, which is a popular mobile cryptocurrency portfolio tracking and management network. Justin Sun’s war of words with its competitors, Ethereum and EOS, also continues. He said that his company will create a fund to “rescue” the developers of Ethereum and EOS, following a “collapse” of their platforms.

For the past few days, the bulls are facing a stiff resistance at the 20-day EMA, which is sloping down. The price has gradually drifted close to the Nov. 25 low of $0.01089965. A break of the low will resume the downtrend that can stretch to $0.00844479.

If the bulls scale the overhead resistance of the 20-day EMA, a rally to $0.0183 is probable. We expect the TRX/USD pair to remain range bound for a few days before making the next decisive move.

A breakout above $0.0183 will signal strength and can be traded on the long side.

BNB/USD

Binance Coin made a large move during the week on the back of the announcement regarding upcoming release of Binance Chain. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) hopes to host millions of coins and thousands of blockchains on the platform in the future.

The upcoming launch of Binance’s decentralized exchange (DEX) also boosted sentiment. The constant complain of the naysayers has been a lack of mainstream usability. However, with a partnership with Tripio, Binance has offered the opportunity of using BNB at 450,000 hotel locations. Though the fundamentals are improving, let’s see what the chart forecasts.

The BNB/USD pair gave up a lot of ground between Nov. 14 to Nov. 25. During this period, the price dropped by about 53 percent. Thereafter, the bulls attempted to bounce from the critical support zone of $4.8355125-$4.5200621. The pullback broke out of the 20-day EMA, which was trending down but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels.

The digital currency turned around and slumped sharply on Dec. 6 and 7, resulting in a new low. The bears are attempting to resume the downtrend, while the bulls are trying to pull back from the current levels. The RSI is showing a positive divergence, which is a bullish sign. We anticipate a trend change if the price breaks out of $7 levels. Traders should wait for a new buy setup to form before investing.

BTC/USD

Though Bitcoin is the fifth best performer in the past seven days, it has continued to make new year-to-date lows. The SEC postponing the decision on the Bitcoin ETF did not go well with investors. The experts are divided whether the digital currency will slip further or will it bounce off the current levels. Let’s see what the charts forecast.

The BTC/USD pair gathered momentum on the downside after it broke below the critical support of $5,900. The RSI on the weekly chart has slipped into the oversold territory for the first time since early 2015. The previous dip into the oversold zone had proven to be a good buying point, as the markets then entered a prolonged bull phase.

The $3,000-$3,500 zone had previously acted as a support in mid-September 2017. Therefore, we anticipate a bounce from this zone this time too. If successful, we expect a retest of the breakdown levels of $5,900.  Hence, we have been on the lookout to buy.

On the other hand, if the bears break below the support zone, the next major support is way lower at $2,000.

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Crypto Trader Still Long-Term Bullish After Bitcoin (BTC) “Bloodbath”

Crypto Market Conditions Are “Phenomenal” For Traders

Diversified trader Merlin Rothfeld, an investment strategist at Online Trading Academy, recently sat down with Cheddar, an up and coming fintech media outlet, to discuss the current crypto market. The outlet, who has developed a penchant for covering the Bitcoin (BTC) ecosystem, asked the trader, as it did with its other crypto guests, about his opinions on the market.

Interestingly, Rothfeld went against the crowd, claiming that the conditions in the crypto seas are “phenomenal,” alluding to the fact that BTC’s most recent tumult became perfect for scalping, a popular technique used by day traders.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Was A “Systemic Issue”

Still, the multi-markets participant added that 2018’s crypto collapse actually stems from a “systemic issue,” drawing attention to the infrastructure that makes this nascent industry tick. Rothfeld explained:

The technology behind what makes cryptocurrencies popular is threatened right now. That’s the problem that I think is going to bring down a vast majority of cryptocurrencies.

Elaborating on his somewhat vague statement, the Online Trading Academy representative brought up November’s contentious Bitcoin Cash hard fork, which championed by the ABC and SV squads, explaining that such an event undermines decentralization, trust, security, and the immutability of transactions.

Rothfeld then noted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) likely took notice of the fork, as claimed by many on Twitter’s crypto ecosystem, adding that more downside could be in store as agencies see fundamental risks and stave away from the space.

This, interestingly, echoes comments made by Barry Silbert of the Digital Currency Group, who called the hard fork an industry “disservice.”

Bitcoin Crash Might Have “Shellshocked” Retail, But There’s Still Potential For Growth

Asked about consumers and crypto themselves, Rothfeld explained that as it stands, there are likely very few retail investors rushing to purchase BTC, which, interestingly, he classified as a “good thing.” The trader noted that when BTC is boiled down, it remains an extremely risky asset at its core, despite its unofficial classification as the world’s second coming of gold, yet in a digital form.

So, following up on his aforementioned comment, Rothfeld noted that there may be some silver linings to the “shellshocked” retail subset right now, presumably due to the unpredictability of cryptocurrencies. Yet, doing his best to keep an optimistic tone, the seeming Bitcoin proponent stated:

There could be some great buying opportunities coming up here. There are a few crypto assets that have great potential for the future, but right now, we’re in the midst of an absolute bloodbath and to be honest, we’ve seen in this in Bitcoin’s history before.

Many Cryptocurrencies Are “Garbage, Junk”

Although Rothfeld painted a positive picture for BTC, the trader went on to add that not all is well for a majority of cryptocurrencies. Expecting a “shakeout,” Rothfeld noted that many cryptocurrencies are “garbage, junk,” noting that like the Dotcom Bubble, there will be startups that are ousted due to their inability to innovate.

Yet, some say it’s unfair to equate cryptocurrencies to the Dotcom Bubble, in spite of the similarities as two ground-breaking industries with global potential. CEO of Ambrosus, Angel Versetti, for instance, told the Independent U.K. that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, cryptocurrencies aren’t even in a bubble yet, claiming that once crypto assets reach a $15 to $20 trillion market cap, that’s when this decade-old market can pop.

Title Image Courtesy of M. B. M. on Unsplash

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Video Demonstrates Double Spending Possibility in Bitcoin Cash SV ‘0-Conf’ Transactions

Findings from a test by an online persona known as “reizu” revealed four nodes control 75 percent of the BSV hashrate.

Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV), a new fork of Bitcoin Cash (BTC), faced new controversy on Dec. 8 after a researcher reportedly showed how any user could spend the same coins twice on its network in a “0-conf transaction.”

Bitcoin Cash, which was created in a hard fork from Bitcoin (BTC) in August 2017, uses 0-conf (or zero-conf) to allow almost instant transactions, meaning they are almost always confirmed in the following block.

In a multi-phase test including a video demonstration posted to Vimeo, the user, known as “reizu,” succeeded in “double spending” BSV tokens in a “0-conf transaction,” demonstrating the network’s vulnerability to attack and disproving major proponent Craig Wright’s claims (in reference to BCH) that “only miners” could do so.

The double spending demonstration was filmed with POP!, a point of sale (PoS) retail application that includes double spending detection.

“I’ve done many double-spending on the Bitcoin SV network,” reizu wrote in a Dec. 8 post on Honest Cash, a BCH-based social network created after the November hard fork. Honest Cash’s information page notes that the site was created in response to the censorship they reportedly observed on other platforms during the Nov. 15 hard fork.

BSV has faced difficulties from the outset since it came into being mid-last month.

During its first week, a blockchain reorganization gained the network considerable negative publicity as high-profile critics accused it of centralization, in contrast to Bitcoin’s (BTC) decentralized network.

As part of the investigation, reizu also reported signs the BSV network was “very centralized.”

“After a few mined blocks I discovered that the transactions that were being mined were those that were sent almost always to the same nodes,” his post continued.

Out of a total of 450 nodes, reize concluded that just four control 75 percent of the network’s total hashrate.

Technical woes have so far failed to halt BSV’s success among investors meanwhile, with the fork overtaking rival Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH) in market cap Friday.

BSV/USD is trading around $102.25 at press time and ranked sixth on CoinMarketCap, compared with BCH/USD at $100.1 in seventh place.

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Crypto Rankings Shake-up Follows Yesterday’s Market Crash as Bitcoin Stays Around $3,400

After seeing another big sell-off, crypto markets are trading sideways, with total market cap hovering around yesterday’s levels.

Saturday, Dec. 8 — Amid a new collapse in the crypto markets yesterday, cryptocurrency ranks are continuously changing as various coins overtake each other by market capitalization. While green prevails among a number of top 100 coins, the markets are trading sideways, with the total market cap hovering at the same levels as yesterday.

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) hard fork that had been ranked fifth yesterday on CoinMarketCap, is now down on the list, with major stablecoin Tether (USDT) having taken over both BSV and Bitcoin Cash. Tether’s market cap now amounts to over $1.8 billion, while BCH and BSV are almost equal with market caps of around $1.8 billion, also trading at an equal price of around $100 at press time.

Recently, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange Gemini announced the listing of Bitcoin Cash custody and trading, adding that their platform will “only be providing support for the Bitcoin ABC network.”

Top 7 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly down about 0.7 percent and is trading at $3,399 at press time. Yesterday, Dec. 7, the major cryptocurrency plunged to as low as $3,280, hitting a new record of its lowest price since August 2017. With a current market share of almost 55 percent, Bitcoin has been trading around the $3,450 threshold over the day.

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, Bitcoin’s further lows have taken place following the recent decision of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay its reconsideration of rule changes towards the first national Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) from investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX.

After the announcement, SEC’s relatively pro-crypto commissioner Hester Peirce advised to not “hold your breath” over the ETF approval, claiming that it can take “20 years from now or it could be tomorrow.”

Bitcoin 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin Price Index

Ripple (XRP), the second cryptocurrency by market cap, is down around 1.7 percent over the past 24 hours, trading at $0.29 at press time.

Ripple 24-hour price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple Price Index

In contrast, Ethereum (ETH), the third top cryptocurrency by market cap, is up around 3.8 percent, trading at almost $90 at press time. The major altcoin had dropped to a double digit threshold yesterday for the first time since May 2017.

Yesterday, Ethereum core developers agreed to launch the coin’s long-awaited Constantinople hard fork at block 7,080,000, which is estimated to happen after Jan. 14, 2019.

Ethereum all-time price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum Price Index

Ranked eighth by market cap, EOS (EOS) is seeing some of the biggest losses among the top 20 coins by market cap. The coin is trading at $1.67, which is a drop by more than 43 percent over the week.

While the markets are attempting another consolidation, some cryptocurrencies have managed to see some sufficient growth over the 24 hour period. ZCash (ZEC) and Dash (DASH) are up the most among top 20 cryptos, both having seen growth by more than 7.5 percent and trading at about $57 and $67 respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.

Total market capitalization is equal to $107 billion at press time, seeing a slight drop over the past hour. Earlier on the day, market cap had dipped to as low as $103 billion, which is the lowest record since August 2017 — similar to Bitcoin’s price dynamics. Daily trade volume amounts to more than $16 billion.

Total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

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Crypto, Bitcoin (BTC) Crash Just A “Bump In The Road”

Diehards: Bitcoin (BTC), Crypto Slump Is Just A Bump

Since Bitcoin (BTC)’s first day on the block, if you will, there have been a number of diehard decentralists that have seen immense value in the world’s first blockchain network. And while much has changed since the launch of the project, originally headed by pseudonymous coder Satoshi Nakamoto, with the crypto industry seeing sweeping market cycles, zealous believers in this decade-old innovation haven’t faltered in their belief.

In a testament to this undying belief, at the Bloomberg Crypto Summit on Friday, a number of crypto-centric panelists and presenters doubled-down on their affection towards cryptocurrencies and related technologies.  Speaking on-stage, James Bevan, chief investment officer at CCLA Investment Management, a long-term return-focused consortium, touched on crypto’s recent collapse, which skeptics say is a precursor to a Bitcoin “death spiral.”

Bevan, who once lauded Bitcoin (BTC) as pertinent in the future of global transactions, said the following:

“I don’t regard this as an existential crisis, I just regard it as a bump in the road and institutional investors have had plenty of bumps in the road in conventional currencies and transaction systems.”

Speaking with the Independent U.K., Angel Versetti, CEO of Ambrosus, echoed this sentiment that this is far from the end for cryptocurrencies. In an interview, the blockchain startup chief claimed that while many lambast cryptocurrencies for being in a Dotcom-esque bubble, this is far from the case. In fact, Versetti noted that he “doesn’t believe [that] we are, or were, anywhere close to a bubble with cryptocurrency.” The CEO of the blockchain upstart then added that the arrival of hotshot institutional players, who he dubbed “bankers” and “financiers,” indicates that the industry’s first bonafide bubble is still on the horizon, rather than in the present.

Attributing a figure to his call for an eventual bubble, the Ambrosus chief exclaimed that an eventual $15 to $20 trillion U.S. dollar market capitalization for all crypto assets is within the realm of possibility.

“I Can See A Huge [Stablecoin] Expansion”

After Bevan made his comments, other industry insiders also discussed stablecoins, a growing subset of cryptocurrencies that are aimed at more conservative investors — namely, institutions.

In recent months, a number of stablecoins have hit the market, with even Coinbase and Circle joining the fray. Keeping in mind that these new cryptocurrencies often are lauded as better than Tether (USDT), coupled with the recent downturn in Bitcoin, stablecoins recently saw an influx of buying pressure, as traders sought solace.

As noted by CoinDesk’s market analysis team, three USDT competitors, TrueUSD, USD Coin, and the Paxos Standard, recently entered the crypto Top 30, finding themselves around a ~$190 million market capitalization.

And interestingly, Lewis Fellas, the chief investment officer a British crypto fund Bletchley Park, believes that this growing stablecoin dominance is only slated to continue moving forward, despite the fears regarding Tether and Bitfinex. Fellas explained that there are purportedly 120 stablecoin-centric projects, but this subindustry is still in the “early innings of the proliferation.” The CIO added that he sees “huge expansion” potential, presumably referencing the institutional penchant for this form of cryptocurrency, which is just like a digitized dollar with blockchain values.

The conference attendees also touched on regulation in Bitcoin markets, claiming that it will become a growing facet of this industry henceforth. Although some lauded regulation as a good thing for crypto entrepreneurs, Ryan Radloff, CEO at CoinShares, exclaimed that government intervention could pose challenges, especially if there are discrepancies between crypto-friendly nations, many of which are economically small, and Western powerhouses.

Yet, Marieke Flament, the global chief of marketing at Boston-based Circle, claimed that it is necessary for larger countries to lay a path for cryptocurrency regulation, instead of leaving nations to play a never-ending waiting game.

Title Image Courtesy of JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

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Crypto Collapse Plunges Market Cap to 16 Month Low

Not since mid-2017 have cryptocurrencies been so depressed. The difference back then though was that the market was bullish and full of energy, today it is the complete opposite.

Over the past 24 hours cryptocurrency market capitalization has nosedived to a new low for the year and the lowest it has been for 16 months. According to data from coinmarketcap.com markets dumped to $103.5 billion around 12 hours ago, their lowest point since the beginning of August last year.

The crash marks an astounding 87.5% decline since the all-time high of $830 billion in early January. As the exodus from digital currencies accelerates, a new low is made every couple of weeks. Another $20 billion has been lost this week alone as markets plunged a further 15%.

Since the same time last month, over half the crypto market has been destroyed with over $100 billion leaving the space. In early November market cap was over $200 billion, today it has collapsed to just over $100 billion.

The mainstream media have been all over this with stories of death spirals and Bitcoin going to zero serving little purpose but to spread more fear, uncertainty and doubt. The blame has been put on the SEC with its constant clampdown on unregulated securities but the cause is likely to be a lot more than this alone. The notion that it will not approve a crypto ETF for some time has also quashed hopes of a recovery.

Chinese miners shorting their newly minted coins have been another nail in the crypto coffin this year. As profitability decreases though, so does mining difficulty which may take some of the control away from the conglomerates and their high powered farms of ASICs.

One thing is for certain, the bears are still in full control of the crypto markets sending them lower every week. Bitcoin has been the leader of downward momentum and its failure to hold support levels on several occasions has sent it to new lows with the rest of the market following. At the time of writing Bitcoin was trading at $3,480, bouncing off a new 2018 low of $3,280 a few hours ago.

The current prediction is that BTC will level out at around $3,000 and stay there for some time before recovering. Though some merchants of doom have even suggested that Bitcoin could go down to $1,500 at which point most of the other altcoins will be practically worthless.

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