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Bitcoin (BTC) at $10,000 Coming Into View, Binance (BNB) Recovering, Ripple XRP First Facebook Libra Victim

Bitcoin (BTC) had a burst energy – jumping $200 yesterday – with altcoins falling. Currently priced at $8,654, the bitcoin has returned to prices last seen 10 days ago.

While stellar performer Litecoin (LTC), touched a 13-month
high at $142, it succumbed to buying pressure along with most other top altcoins.
The fourth-placed asset is currently trading at $135, 16% higher on the week.

This sort of see-sawing with bitcoin the beneficiary is
behaviour that was a noted feature of the previous bull market and seems to be
with us.

Such trading is sometimes followed by catch-up buying by alts
with a pause for bitcoin, which seems to be where we are today.

Binance Coin (BNB) hit as US regulator gets in the way

A relative underperformer was Binance Coin (BNB).

The price had been falling since the announcement a couple of days ago that it would be shutting down its current exchange but is recovering at the time of writing, up 4% to 33.19 in the past 24 hours.

The price fell from $35.74 on 13 June to a week low of $31.12,
a near 13% drop.

The bleeding was staunched as it became clearer what Binance’s
plans were. Indeed, it may have got some belated credit for adopting a pro-active
stance. It plans to open a new exchange specifically for the US market.

Bittrex has done something similar, this time by removing certain tokens from the purview of its US customers, with the most high-profile of the delisted toekns being the Singapore-based Qtum dapp platform.

Both exchanges’ moves are in response to the US regulator
taking Kik to court for running what it claims was an unregistered securities
sale in its 2017 KIN token ICO sale.

Given that the US the largest crypto market, American
investors selling out of tokens could be leading to forced bitcoin buying, given
it is the most popular asset on the other side of trading pairs.

Bitcoin is also seen as the best store of value, and is
currently preferable to exiting the market by going into a stablecoin.

Ripple’s XRP a Facebook Libra coin loser?

Before returning to bitcoin, we should note the dispiriting situation with the XRP price, down 3% in the past 24 hours at $0.405.

Although most analysts see at minimum a positive halo effect for the crypto market as a whole from Facebook’s cryptocurrency effort, it’s a difference story where Ripple’s XRP is concerned.

Facebook’s Libra coin could be an XRP killer as it threatens to go after the remittance market that XRP is also targeting. Sure, Ripple is also going after the cross-border financial transactions of banks and other corporations, but here it is pressure from banks doing their own thing – think JPMCoin – that may be narrowing that opportunity too.

The Block has got hold of the full list of Facebook’s Libra partners – eBay, Spotify, Lyft and Xapo are some of the names that you may not have known about. More analysis on this in a coming EWN story.

Bitcoin (BTC) price analysis

So, back to bitcoin, what to make of the prospects for
holding at current levels and rising further?

With the relative strength index (RSI) at 61.5 we are a
little way off overbought territory, but declining trading volumes on the
one-day chart mean is a danger sign seen in the rally since early May.

But that’s far from the end of the story.

Volume profile is a key indicator

Staying with the one-day chart the volume profile adds
important detail to the picture.

Unlike the volume data that runs along the horizontal axis
of the chart and is often cited in technical analysis, if you want a surer
footing on where support and resistance levels are, volume profiles are
invaluable as they show the volume at particular price points.

I’ll be using them a lot going forward to provide EWN’s
readers with even better price analysis.

The point of control (red line, showing the price point that attracted the most trading interest; mustard shading shows falling value area and blue the rising value) is clearly showing fair value at $3,767 on a year view, near the market bottom at circa $3,200.

(chart courtesy TradingView)

Strong bitcoin trading interest at $6,414 and $7,932

But we are interested in the next two volume profile
histogram bulges, at $6,414 and another cluster at $7,932.

The first of those shows strong volume at around $6,400
coinciding with the huge parabola in the march from $5,650 to $8,155. That
provides firm support, with buying interest growing.

However, the next volume profile bulge, which shows the third
busiest period of trading for the year, is slightly more problematic for those with
a bias to a bullish prognosis. It shows sellers and buyers initially balanced
but with sellers starting to nudge out buyers at those price points.

But the bullish trend line has not been broken, so makes the
breakout above $8,200 look firmer.

Bitcoin at $10,000 coming into view

Then we come to the shaded light blue area which is an area
of resistance, the top of which can be drawn from the March 2018 price at $11,459.
The lower part of the band  is the July
2018 high at $8,600 , that roughly lines up with where we are now.

But there is an undoubted weakening of interest seen in the
volume profile as the price moves through the gears to $10,000, with a
significant fall-off above $11,400.

That doesn’t mean that $10,000 is not attainable but rather
that the price could get there very quickly indeed.

We might also infer that above $10,000 it is retail buying
that starts to pick up, with institutional buying seen in our three previously identified
volume profile bell curves.

Finally, volume profile by session volume provides a clearer
view of possible support and resistance when it is extended to the right (red
lines).

There’s plenty of support below current price levels – between $8,100 and $7,700.

(chart courtesy TradingView)

Gary is the cryptocurrency analyst at interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest investment platform and his contributions are written in a personal capacity.

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Bitcoin, Altcoins Rally But Is It Now Blow-off or Lift-off?

The bitcoin rally has accelerated to $7,355 on Coinbase representing a 14% gain in the past 24 hours, although has slipped back to $7,096 at the time of writing in volatile trading. Now some analysts are asking is this overreach?

Total market cap of crypto is now $213 billion.

As clouds gather over the global economy and the geopolitical picture darkens re. North Korea and Iran, bitcoin is looking more and more like a safe haven, despite the doubts of naysayers such as economist Nouriel Roubini, aka Dr Doom.

Maybe Roubini is regretting leaving the digital footprint of his wrongness behind for all to see, as in the tweet below from 20 November last year::

Bitcoin (BTC) blow-off or lift-off?

So is this the lift-off or a blow-off? That’s the question on the mind of much watched trader Peter Brandt, who tweeted the chart below with the accompanying comment “Blow-off or lift off”:

The fear that the advance is down to shorts being taken out in a squeeze can explain the speed and trajectory but may wane in effect the further north the price travels.

Consolidation ahead?

Nevertheless, a period of consolidation is approaching even if the overall direction of travel has been set.

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee reminds us that historically the period of price advance is narrow. The performance of bitcoin can typically be accounted for in 10 days of the year. Commenting on Twitter he says:

“This week’s strong move on #crypto and especially #bitcoin
is reminder $BTC historically generates its annual performance in 10 days. Miss
those 10 days and average return is -25%.”

With New York Blockchain Week upon us and the undoubted excited attention of the mainstream press on Monday, there’s every reason to believe that this parabola may not be done for a few days yet… but consolidation is coming

Tyler Winklevoss posited a related rhetorical question on Twitter “Should we rename Blockchain Week to Bitcoin Week?”

FOMO to take off at $10,000

But at what price can we expect FOMO to really start kicking in?

Lee thinks 10,000 is a fair guess. “My SWAG [scientific wild-assed guess] is $10,000 is price that causes FOMO from those who saw #bitcoin as dead forever.”

That feels about right for the the crowd “who gloated bout 90% crash” as Lee observes, but for others it looks like it may already be happening.

For those who were in but then got out in a hurry, it doesn’t’ take much to fire up the Coinbase app and buy a slug of BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC or ETC.

Investment bank Canaccord Genuity’s latest US equity research
paper covering blockchain and digital assets reckons BTC could “theoretically”
return to its all-time high in 2021.

Take what you will from that price target but one thing is clear – they think a new bear market is here.

The firm cites improving fundamentals to justify its stance. Take transaction value – jumping from $478 million in February to $801 million at the start of May. It also highlights the SegWit progress, noting that 36% of transactions were now using it.

Altcoins’ turn to shine

As bitcoin rockets, its dominance has risen to 58.7% but altcoins are now joining the party.

The biggest riser among the top alts is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as it again shows its ability to attract buyers as a result of its connection to the bitcoin brand. The fork from bitcoin was trading 18% higher at $341.

Litecoin (LTC) returns to its winning form of late and is the next best performer as it closes in on the psychologically significant $100 mark, currently priced 20% the better at $93.

Seeing a similar uplift is Cardano (ADA), up 16%, according to coinmarketcap.

Number-two coin Ethereum had broken through $200 but is currently priced at $191 for a 9% rise.

Ripple’s XRP is not missing out either as it advances 5% to $0.3141

All the top 20 cryptoassets are registering substantial gains.

BHIG coin’s 696% 24-hour return

In short, the entire crypto universe is rising, with bombed-out tokens lurking in the nether world seeing the largest moves.

The best performer in the top 1,000 is Pura, up a whopping 148%.

Although many analyst are surprised by the strength of the bitcoin surge and the asset class rally it has triggered.

But the best performers among the 2,169 coins listed by
coinmarketcap, BuckHathCoin (BHIG) would have earned you a 696% return on the
past 24 hours.

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LTC Creator Says It’s Silly Not Having LTC Just Because He Doesn’t

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, shows no regrets for having sold all his LTCs. So he told LauraShin in an interview for the Ep. 116 of her podcast “Unchained”.

Laura Shin Hosts the "Unchained" Podcast, and recently interviewed Litecoin (LTC) Creator
Laura Shin Hosts the “Unchained” Podcast

Charlie Lee has been harshly criticized for selling his tokens in 2017 when LTC was in the midst of a bulllish trend that led it to reach ATHs. This decision led many analysts and enthusiasts to accuse Lee of not trusting his own project.

However, Lee has replied on many occasions that
he did so to free himself from the pressure inherent to market volatility in
order to have more time and willingness to concentrate on the development of
Litecoin at the technological level and as an ecosystem.

The Creator of Litecoin was blunt in his
response. He commented that from his point of view, it is very immature to not
buy or trade LTC under the excuse that he sold his tokens:

If you’re not holding onto Litecoin because I don’t have any, then your reason for holding and using Litecoin is just silly to begin with.

Although this happened two years ago, and Charlie Lee was completely transparent with the community, it seems that the sale of tokens is a burden he will have to deal with throughout his life, as his followers do not seem to forget or accept this fact.

The Creator of Litecoin (LTC) Is Not The Only One Who Sold His Tokens

This phenomenon does not exclusively affect
Charlie Lee, however, the community has been tougher on him than on other known
influencers who have done the same.

Recently, David Schwartz, Ripple CTO, received harsh criticism after selling large amounts of XRP. One user commented that this was a clear bearish flag, pointing out it was suspicious that Schwartz was selling XRP at such a low price.

However, unlike what happened to Lee, with
Schwartz much of the XRP Army came in his defense, going so far as to attack
the twitter user who shared this information.

Unlike Lee, Schwartz explained to the community that his motives were oriented towards a “de-risking strategy”, pointing out that having almost all his patrimony invested exclusively in XRP was dangerous for his future and that of his family and that there is no trader who recommends following this practice no matter how bullish a certain good is at the moment.

Lee spoke about other things, however one of
the most curious moments was when he explained that crypto currencies could not
be compared with traditional financial services because they have very
different characteristics:

Litecoin is both a store of value and a payment method. So you can’t compare that to Visa, which is not a store of value. Plus, you can’t compare cryptocurrency marektcaps with businesses.

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Analyst Predicts Litecoin (LTC) Flipping XRP in 2019

An article published on Forbes has made a strong case for Litecoin (LTC), sitting at the fourth largest market capital position, flipping third-ranked XRP by the end of the year.

Despite coin prices across the market still being down 80 percent or more since their last all time high, constituting a “crypto winter,” Litecoin has nearly doubled its value since the start of the year. The coin is trading at $57, as of writing, up from its most recent low in December 2018 of $23 per coin. Along with Binance Coin (BNB), LTC has been a top gainer since the start of 2019.

Bambrough, in his piece published on Forbes, believes that LTC price is responding to strong efforts by the Litecoin Foundation and developers to improve security and privacy for the coin, in addition to culling several high-profile partnerships.

“Litecoin volatility spiked when the Litecoin Foundation announced it’s exploring the integration of Mimblewimble, a protocol offering privacy and fungibility to blockchains,” a report by cryptocurrency brokerage SFOX read this week.

“In March, keep an eye on how privacy news moments impact markets, such as recent revelations over Coinbase’s third-party service provider selling client data.”

Bambrough also highlights LTC’s halving set to occur in August of this year, which will reduce the block reward for miners and thereby increase the scarcity of the coin. Halvings typically produce a bump in coin valuation, given the sudden change in supply, but it will be interesting to see the effects of such a shift if the market is still stuck in the “crypto winter” of the past year.

As for XRP, Bambrough cites a number of negative press events for the coin and associated company Ripple. While the company has been at the heart of several stories of large-scale adoption by financial institution, Bambrough believes that the announcement by J.P. Morgan to create the JPM Coin has soured investor interest in Ripple and XRP.

As reported by EWN, Binance Research has refuted the idea that JPM Coin will compete directly with Ripple or XRP, despite the knee-jerk reaction to believe otherwise. However, Bambrough claims the shifting landscape of cryptocurrency, with positive sentiment currently weighing towards LTC, could be enough for Litecoin to flip XRP by the end of the year. As of writing, LTC has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion compared to XRP’s $13 billion, representing a substantial gap to be overcome.

Still, Bambrough finds reason to be bullish on LTC and its increased real-world use and adoption, quoting a note to clients by eToro’s senior market analyst Mati Greenspan published earlier in the week,

“The number one real-world usage of litecoin it seems is as a settlement method for crypto-traders. For people who often send money from exchange to exchange to private wallets, it’s much cheaper and faster to do this with litecoin than it is with bitcoin.

This is why it indeed deserves the title ‘digital silver’ and with the upcoming halving event in early August, which is likely why it’s been outperforming the rest of the crypto markets lately.”

The crypto markets have experienced on small boost on the day as Bitcoin edges closer to $4000, with both XRP and Litecoin appreciating slightly.

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Lite.IM Adds Bitcoin (BTC) Support to Facebook Messenger, Telegram and SMS

Back in early August this year, the team at Lite.IM had taken crypto adoption to a whole new level when they announced that Litecoin (LTC) was available via Telegram and Text Messages. The move by Lite.IM was aimed at expanding cryptocurrency access to a wider global population.

Of particular interest is that the progress by the team was during a bear market. Such periods in the crypto-verse have been highlighted as the best time for developing on the blockchain as well as accelerating crypto adoption.

After LTC availability on Telegram and SMS, the team at Lite.IM went a step further this November and integrated their Litecoin remittance service to facebook messenger.

Lite.IM Adds Bitcoin (BTC) Support to Facebook Messenger, Telegram and SMS

It is with the above background that the same team has announced that they have added support for Bitcoin (BTC) on Lite.IM. Users can now send, receive and manage BTC through the popular platforms of Telegram, Facebook messenger and SMS (available only in the US and Canada).

Bitcoin becomes the fourth currency that Lite.IM supports after Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Zulu Republic Token (ZTX).

Users can access the service on the three platforms as follows:

  • Telegram – by interacting with @LiteIM_bot
  • Facebook Messenger -by messaging @lite.im
  • SMS (U.S. and Canada only) – by texting 760-LITEIM-0 (760–548–3460)

Why Lite.IM believes Social Messaging Will be Key in Crypto Adoption

To note, is that Lite.IM’s services are available in the social media platforms of facebook messenger and Telegram. The focus on the platforms is strategic in that Lite.IM believes that crypto adoption will be driven by such social media platforms due to the billions of users they have. The Lite.IM team went on to explain this as follows:

Just take a look at the monthly active user statistics from the top social messaging apps in the world (all of which are growing)…

  • WhatsApp: 1.5+ Billion
  • Messenger: 1.3+ Billion
  • WeChat: 1.08 Billion
  • Telegram: 200+ Million
  • LINE: 200+ Million
  • Zalo: 100+ Million
  • KakaoTalk: 50+ Million

Much of this growth is taking place among younger generations and in developing nations, both of which are key demographics for the future of cryptocurrency adoption.

What are your thoughts on Lite.IM adding Bitcoin support to facebook messenger, Telegram and their SMS crypto sending service? Please let us know in the comment section below. 

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. Any additional opinion herein is purely the author’s and does not represent the opinion of Ethereum World News or any of its other writers. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available. Thank you.

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Major South Korean Business School to Offer a Crypto and Blockchain Focused MBA

The Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies announced on Friday, that it will now start offering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program focused on the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. According to Bitcoin.com, the Seoul based graduate school – also known as aSSIST – described the new program as a master’s degree program in blockchain, cryptoeconomics and token economy courses from technological, cryptoeconomic and business strategic perspectives. The degree program will take one and a half years to complete at the University.

A representative of the Graduate School elaborated the mission of the new MBA program as follows.

The mission of Assist business school’s Crypto MBA program is to remedy the lack of academic research and systematic education currently available in the industry, despite a high level of social interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Curriculum of the MBA

The school explained that the curriculum will include in depth learning of Bitcoin, Ethereum, smart contract technology, cryptology, EOS, amongst other crypto and blockchain related topics. There will also be a crypto-economics curriculum that consists of digital currency studies, microeconomics, macroeconomics, behavioral economics and theory on currency finance, game theory and mechanism design.

Students will also learn about management mechanisms, strategic statistics, digital financial accounting, digital marketing strategies, crypto funds, Dapp planning and writing strategy for persuasive whitepapers.

More On The Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies

aSSIST is a professional graduate school that was founded in 2004 and has been offering Master & Ph. D degrees in business administration, technology management, big data and other science and technology focused topics. Many of aSSIST’s degree programs include the possibility of students acquiring double degrees from prominent business schools in Europe and the United States. Students can also choose to transfer their credits to these global partner schools. Three universities that work with aSSIST are as follows:

  • Aalto University (former Helsinki School of Economics), Finland
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, US
  • Temple University Fox School of Business, US

What are your thoughts on The Seoul School of Integrated Sciences and Technologies announceing that they will be offering an MBA program centered on cryptocurrency and blockchain? Please let us know in the comment section below. 

[Image courtesy of WorkItDaily.com]

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7 Major Exchanges Join Forces to Enhance the Cryto Ecosystem in South Korea

South Korea took another giant step forward in regulating cryptocurrencies as seven major exchanges have joined forces to enhance the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the country. According to local media, representatives of the seven major exchanges met at a parliamentary policy debate on cryptocurrencies that was held this past Monday. The representatives signed an ‘Agreement for the creation of a sound cryptocurrency ecosystem’.

The agreement included joint measures such as information sharing, real-time monitoring of abnormal transactions in a bid to prevent cyber crime as well as protect investors. The seven cryptocurrency exchanges that agreed to the new measures are as follows.

  1. Upbit
  2. Bithumb
  3. Korbit
  4. Coinone
  5. Gopax
  6. Coinplug (Cpdax)
  7. Hanbitco

The exchanges are also to establish a consultation system that will prevent money laundering, enhance KYC procedures and introduce some restrictions for transactions belonging to unverified users.

One industry official is quoted as calling it a close cooperation system:

With this agreement, exchanges can establish a close cooperation system and improve their image for investors, but in fact, there is no special penalty for failing to comply.

Lee Seok-Woo, president of Dunamu Inc., which handles all operations relating to the Upbit exchange, had stated a while back, that AML/KYC (anti-money laundering / know-your-customer) procedures were mandatory for every exchange that wished to operate in the country.

If you [crypto exchange] cannot meet the standard after a six-month or one-year grace period, you should close it.

South Korea On Track To Regulate Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Back in June this year, regulatory officials from South Korea had stated that crypto exchanges would soon be regulated in the same way they regulate banks. The regulation shall be carried out by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) in collaboration with other local financial regulators. With respect to ICOs, the country had promised to issue regulatory direction as soon as legislation was ready.

Kwon Dae-young, Head of the Financial Innovation Bureau at the Financial Services Commission (FSC), further explained the steps the country is taking towards regulating the ICO and cryptocurrency industry.

We are trying to institutionalize cryptocurrency exchanges, but before we do, we have to answer the question of how to deal with the damage and tears of many virtual currency investors.

We must see if any of the projects that can help the people in their daily lives have been presented. Trust and authenticity are important.

What are your thoughts on the seven cryptocurrency exchanges joining forces to better enhance the cryptocurrency trading ecosystem in South Korea? Please let us know in the comment section below. 

[Image courtesy of Bitcoinist.com]

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Tether (USDT) Flips Litecoin (LTC) In a Sign of the Times

Cryptocurrency, Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT)–As the crypto markets fall into another price rout to kick off the final month of the year, with the price of Bitcoin dropping below $3800, controversial stablecoin USDT has managed to flip Litecoin to become the seventh largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Litecoin, the invention of industry mainstay Charlie Lee and often described as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, has been in near continuous price fall since reaching an all time high of $350 in December 2017. While the coin has tracked value of Bitcoin closely over the year, moving in a similar direction as the number one currency by market capitalization, it was a series of related events that set off the precipitous price fall last December which led to the 91 percent drop in value.

The rise of Bitcoin Cash including the Coinbase listing fiasco led to a fast erosion of BTC pricing, as investors became unsure of which coin would reign supreme following the bull run. This had subsequent effects on LTC pricing, which, as previously mentioned, has typically moved in price alongside Bitcoin. In addition, founder Charlie Lee, who had established himself as an integral and beloved leader for the currency and community of LTC, announced he had sold his entire holding of the coin and would gradually be making efforts to distance himself from the project in an effort to promote decentralization. Charlie also made a series of Twitter posts cautioning investors to not get too greedy in the bull run, and to expect a severe bear market following that could last for several years (a prediction which has proven salient in the closing month of 2018.

While some came to the defense of Lee, stating that his actions would benefit Litecoin in the long-run by removing himself as the focal point for the currency, many investors felt that Lee had acted irresponsibly with his announcements, in particular given the timing of the sell-off coinciding with LTC reaching an all time high. The end result was a disastrous drop in price, similar to that experienced by nearly all altcoins throughout 2018, with the price of LTC extending well below what it traded for midway through last year.

Tether, the parent company behind USDT, has not been without its share of controversy this year despite seeing its token climb the ranks of market capitalization. USDT, unlike most cryptocurrencies, has its value pegged to that of a single U.S. dollar. While the currency is supposed to backed 1:1 with dollars held in reserve by Tether, a series of investigations and self-auditing has failed to provide definitive proof to investors, even with the company changing banks in November.

Given the severity of the bear market throughout 2018, it’s unsurprising that more development focus is switching away from market-valued cryptocurrencies to coins that provide similar features but with the price stability of an external source. Last month, EWN reported on a gold-backed stablecoin being featured in an article by Bloomberg on the the best investment advice for 2019. Just yesterday, Chinese crypto billionaire Li Xioalai provided an update on his position leading up a new stablecoin, despite previously making remarks that he would no longer invest in blockchain projects due to corruption.

While cryptocurrency adoption remains on the rise with most community members optimistic for 2019 and beyond, the rise of stablecoins could continue a trend that sees price-unstable coins, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, failing to find favor for developers and those accepting the coins for marketplace transactions.

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Tether (USDT) Flips Litecoin (LTC) In a Sign of the Times

Cryptocurrency, Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT)–As the crypto markets fall into another price rout to kick off the final month of the year, with the price of Bitcoin dropping below $3800, controversial stablecoin USDT has managed to flip Litecoin to become the seventh largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Litecoin, the invention of industry mainstay Charlie Lee and often described as the silver to Bitcoin’s gold, has been in near continuous price fall since reaching an all time high of $350 in December 2017. While the coin has tracked value of Bitcoin closely over the year, moving in a similar direction as the number one currency by market capitalization, it was a series of related events that set off the precipitous price fall last December which led to the 91 percent drop in value.

The rise of Bitcoin Cash including the Coinbase listing fiasco led to a fast erosion of BTC pricing, as investors became unsure of which coin would reign supreme following the bull run. This had subsequent effects on LTC pricing, which, as previously mentioned, has typically moved in price alongside Bitcoin. In addition, founder Charlie Lee, who had established himself as an integral and beloved leader for the currency and community of LTC, announced he had sold his entire holding of the coin and would gradually be making efforts to distance himself from the project in an effort to promote decentralization. Charlie also made a series of Twitter posts cautioning investors to not get too greedy in the bull run, and to expect a severe bear market following that could last for several years (a prediction which has proven salient in the closing month of 2018.

While some came to the defense of Lee, stating that his actions would benefit Litecoin in the long-run by removing himself as the focal point for the currency, many investors felt that Lee had acted irresponsibly with his announcements, in particular given the timing of the sell-off coinciding with LTC reaching an all time high. The end result was a disastrous drop in price, similar to that experienced by nearly all altcoins throughout 2018, with the price of LTC extending well below what it traded for midway through last year.

Tether, the parent company behind USDT, has not been without its share of controversy this year despite seeing its token climb the ranks of market capitalization. USDT, unlike most cryptocurrencies, has its value pegged to that of a single U.S. dollar. While the currency is supposed to backed 1:1 with dollars held in reserve by Tether, a series of investigations and self-auditing has failed to provide definitive proof to investors, even with the company changing banks in November.

Given the severity of the bear market throughout 2018, it’s unsurprising that more development focus is switching away from market-valued cryptocurrencies to coins that provide similar features but with the price stability of an external source. Last month, EWN reported on a gold-backed stablecoin being featured in an article by Bloomberg on the the best investment advice for 2019. Just yesterday, Chinese crypto billionaire Li Xioalai provided an update on his position leading up a new stablecoin, despite previously making remarks that he would no longer invest in blockchain projects due to corruption.

While cryptocurrency adoption remains on the rise with most community members optimistic for 2019 and beyond, the rise of stablecoins could continue a trend that sees price-unstable coins, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, failing to find favor for developers and those accepting the coins for marketplace transactions.

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Litecoin (LTC) Finally Nears $70 Amid Multiple Positive Developments

LTC Nears $70 For The First Time In Weeks 

For the first time in weeks, Litecoin (LTC), one of the foremost altcoins in the cryptosphere, has made a move for the $70 price level, which it hasn’t breached in nearly a month. At the time of writing, LTC sits at $67.65 and is up a solid 3.3% in the past 24 hours. Although this move may seem negligible in the eyes of many cryptocurrency traders, LTC and Stellar Lumens (XLM) have both taken a leading position in today’s mixed market, with Bitcoin up 1.3% and Ethereum down 1.25%.

Many analysts expect for $70, which has proven itself as a line of psychological and technical resistance, to be LTC’s next roadblock to leap over in the coming days.

Chart Courtesy of TradingView

Although it is unlikely that there was an explicit catalyst for this move, many believe that a series of positive developments (which are as follows) have pushed the price of this asset higher.

The Upcoming Litecoin Summit 

As revealed by Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin and a well-known cryptocurrency personality, in an interview with CNBC, the San Francisco Litecoin Summit is just weeks away. When asked about what he wants for attendees to take away from the conference, Lee stated:

“I’d like to see more [talk around] Lightning Network and sidechains, ways of helping Bitcoin and Litecoin to scale. I think with the price depressed, it’s actually a good time for people to… get stuff done. That’s what I’ve seen in the past few bear markets actually.”

Many hope that the development of these technologies will bolster the long-term performance of the price of both BTC and LTC, as the two assets are complementary to each other. Responding to Lee’s statement, CNBC Fast Money panelist Brian Kelly noted that this conference has a possibility to also be a short-term catalyst for the price of LTC.

While the market didn’t surge during (or after) Consensus 2018, unarguably crypto’s biggest get-together, some optimists hope that the upcoming Litecoin-centric summit could spark the crypto market’s next bull run.

Abra Introduces Fiat-To-Crypto Support For Bitcoin, Litecoin & More

Although this news could be seen as a positive signal for the entirety of the crypto market, Abra, a popular mobile-focused alternative to Coinbase, has just announced that residents of the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) can directly deposit fiat into the app, which should make buying the 25 cryptos listed a breeze.

In a Twitter announcement, the California-based startup wrote:

“Excited to announce that Abra is starting the launch of in-app European bank purchases of Bitcoin and 25+ cryptocurrencies for consumers across 28 countries.”

Hopefully, this new feature will help to drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies in general, as an easy-to-use, accesible, and efficient method of buying crypto assets, like Abra, is needed in a time where this nascent industry is widely misunderstood.

Casa Begins Work On LTC Support For Q4 2018 Release

Litecoin’s founder, who has been outspoken about his affection towards both the Bitcoin and Litecoin projects in the past, recently asked Casa, a popular Bitcoin-focused infrastructure firm, if its products would natively support Litecoin in the future.

Responding to Lee’s tweet, the startup has just revealed that it is, in fact, working on Litecoin support for its publicly-available Lightning Network Node. The firm intends to release Litecoin support during early Q4 of this year, which will evidently help to drive the growth and development of the long-awaited Lightning Network and atomic swaps.

Title Image Courtesy of MaxPixel
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