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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 6th November 2020: Bitcoin Poised to Break $16,000 as 2020 Highs Lead to Crypto Buzzing

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  • As Trump and Biden stand off on razor’s edge over the 2020 US Presidential Elections, Bitcoin soars to break new highs for the year, setting off a crypto rally
  • Bitcoin fundamentals continue to strengthen while congestion eases off

The world may have had its eyes glued on television sets and Twitter for the latest updates on the US Presidential Elections, with candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden set to end this campaign as the closest one in recent memory. Currently, Biden stands 6 electoral votes away from claiming victory, with Nevada providing that precise number of votes where the Democratic candidate is leading, with Associated Press currently projecting a victory for him there.

Trump has not given up of course, and his campaign team is already launching legal lawsuits to challenge the voting results and ballot count in several states, but however this ends, it will be the won by the tightest of margins, with the popular vote also intensely close as a country divided by social issues and the coronavirus battles for its political future.

Meanwhile, a Bitcoin rally that sparked over the weekend looks to continue strongly, when a stockmarket rally on Tuesday seemed to take heart in the equal division of political power in the US, prodding Bitcoin into high gear. Since then, it has only broken through the USD 14,000 resistance, setting new highs for the year and threatening on Friday to burst through new USD 16,000 levels last seen in 2017.

The rest of crypto market is taking the cue from Bitcoin, with Ethereum currently trading strongly above USD 440 to eat up orders at USD 420 onwards, and is set to also break its own 2020 high, with many altcoins now enjoying the same benefits. With Friday closing in Europe, price is now USD 15,500 for Bitcoin (CoinDesk) with even Ripple keeping hold of 25 cents.

But are we in a state of FOMO yet? The buzz is certainly there, but apparently, retail investors are not quite rushing in queue to buy Bitcoin just yet, at least, not according to Google, which says that the global search query for “bitcoin price” is only at a value of 10 out of a possible 100. A far cry from the 93 value recorded in December 2017 when Bitcoin last reached these levels. In May this year, when Bitcoin halving reduced the Bitcoin rewards to miners by 50%, the value was almost double today’s at 19, suggesting that individuals might still not yet be occupied with the rise in Bitcoin price.

This does seem at odds with the analysis of others who say that FOMO is coming, though, with the likes of Cointelegraph saying that we haven’t seen these levels since the bull run of 2017. They point to indicators like the Fear and Greed Index which, according to data now is in the extreme greed zone of 90, last seen in June 2019 when the world’s most famous digital asset ploughed through all the stops to fall short at USD 14,000.

Not everyone is saying to buy Bitcoin now of course, with crypto influencers like Mike Novogratz saying that we shouldn’t follow our emotions. He warned:

“The hardest thing to do in a bull market is to sit. My pal Paul Jones calls it the ‘pain of the gain.’ This is a $BTC bull market. Your job is to sit on your hands and lock away your phone.”

But can people really withstand the pain of the gain? Only time can tell, of course, but meanwhile, Bitcoin fundamentals appear strong, with Bitcoin network still processing at high hash rates, at the same time easing out the network congestion that last week pushed Bitcoin to the highest fees it had seen in years.

Although mining difficulty witnesses only its second-largest dip in history three days ago, this was just down from last week’s all-time difficulty high and since then, we are witnessing the SHA256 hashrate increasing a lot once more, spiking to 114 EH/s.

Following Tuesday’s difficulty drop, BTC’s hashrate has increased a great deal, spiking to 114 EH/s soon after.

Be safe, trade safe, and hold on to those sats!

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition October 30th, 2020: Crypto Swings But Bitcoin Above $13,000, More States Adopt Crypto, Blockchain

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  • Bitcoin and crypto markets faced a volatile week but Bitcoin manages to stay above USD 13,000
  • Iran and Cambodia make the news as more governments adopt crypto and blockchain

What a week it has been for Bitcoin! After surfing to new highs in price for 2020, Bitcoin almost broke the USD 14,000 resistance but faced at least two sell-off dips that took it temporarily below USD 13,000, before recovering by the weekend’s close to stay alive above USD 13,000.

The rest of crypto has not fared as well, with Ethereum failing to hold levels above USD 400 and continuing most of Friday struggling to stay afloat past USD 390. Nevertheless, even amid Defi slowdown and Bitcoin network reaching its highest level of congestion since 2017, the mood remains buoyant that crypto markets could hold on and prepare for a fresh rally in the closing months of the year.

On the latter fundamentals, the Bitcoin network is currently experiencing high levels of transaction congestion, with the mean fee per transaction right now reaching about USD 11 (just under 0.009 BTC) according to data analytics firm Glassnode. This is an almost five-fold increase over the past two weeks, accompanying a price jump from USD 11,100 to USD 13,900 or thereabouts.

London broker Bequant told CoinDesk:

“Bitcoin mempool is back in focus in the wake of rising transaction volumes, causing congestion in the network and consequently driving fees higher.”

Basically, this just means that because the transaction queue has become so long, people are paying more to miners so that their transactions are prioritized before others, leading to a fee war that forces people to outbid each other in an attempt to get selected to enter the next block found — which is how Bitcoin transactions are confirmed.

Bitcoiners will be quite pleased, however, as the last time this happened was in 2017 when Bitcoin hit its current all-time high close to USD 20,000 and historically, price rallies do lead to network congestion. Miners dropping out of the network are currently to blame, as hashrate has slid over the same period. Over the last week, the 7-day moving average of Bitcoin’s hashrate has lost about 20% of its hashrate or 26 exahashes per second (EH/s) to 120 EH/s.

All the same, more good news all around for crypto and blockchain as the Iranian central bank makes amendments to national law to allow for Bitcoin, as the cash-strapped Central Bank of Iran looks to alternative currencies to help imports.

The Iran Daily, citing The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), reports that the national cabinet has amended recent legislation on digital assets that now makes it legal for cryptocurrency to be used as a payment for import funding. This doesn’t mean a free for all, as it only means that Bitcoin must still be legally mined and can only be exchanged to fund external imports but it has allowed for Bitcoin miners to directly supply the central bank an authorized limit of Bitcoin, based on how much subsidized electricity the miner uses alongside further guidelines supplied by the Iranian Ministry of Energy.

Bitcoin mining is legal as of 2019 but it is heavily regulated in Iran due to the cheap cost of subsidized energy but the same report suggests that Bitcoin could help Iran circumvent sanctions that restrict the country’s access to the US dollar.

In Southeast Asia, Cambodia has also announced the Bakong, which will be its national blockchain-based platform for digital money transactions. According to local media Dap-News, it is “a payment and money transfer service through banks or microfinance institutions” that an initiative of the National Bank of Cambodia has established under a collaboration with several other national entities.

Cambodian financier PRASAC first invested in Bakong last year in October, before the central bank set a launch as a closed circuit enterprise. The report quoted PRASAC executive vice president Sony Say:

“Bakong is a new and modern payment tool that allows customers to make interbank transactions and bill payments easily, quickly, securely and free of charge.”

Mass adoption full steam ahead, it would seem!

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 24th October 2020: Bitcoin Extends Rally Above 2020 Highs as PayPal Becomes Latest Crypto Embracer, Bahamas CBDC

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  • Bitcoin records a new high above USD 13,000 for the year, stirring hopes of a bullish end to the year
  • PayPal finally allows buying of Bitcoin within its platform, fueling an extended rally for crypto
  • Bahamas launches the first CBDC

What a week it has been! After last week’s stimulus talks and MicroStrategy investment into Bitcoin, yet another old name in money has stepped forward to proclaim its love for Bitcoin in the shape of payment processor PayPal.

For weeks, Bitcoin traders and investors have been so enamored with increasing Bitcoin fundamentals, with adoption in terms of wallet numbers ever on the rise, and hash rate continuing to creep up with all time highs, even as price seemed to be in a sideways motion.

But Monday seemed to have really stirred a beast, with Bitcoin smashin the USD 12,000 levels and not relenting until it stepped up towards and past USD 13,000 on Wednesday. The rest of crypto were not immediately on board, with the likes of ETH actually losing ground on Monday, but by Wednesday had shaken off inhibitions and powered past USD 400 where it hasn’t looked back, and neither has much of the rest of crypto.

Political economists will point to the seemingly unshakeable feeling in the US, where, just weeks away from the next Presidential elections, the Democrats seem to be gaining in power — leading to a lot of sentiment that believes more economic relief is coming in the form fiscal stimulus (read that as money printers go ‘brrr’).

Stock markets in the early week actually did drop off some numbers but Bitcoin moving in the opposite direction also seemed to lend some hope to Bitcon purists that the digital asset had indeed decoupled from traditional markets.

Perhaps what really moved the markets though, was the announcement that UK public listed fintech company Mode had announced a Bitcoin investment — 10% of their total cash, apparently. Their own stocks jumped 9% on the news, but American payment company PayPal took over and hogged the limelight with their own announcement, making good on earlier rumors that it would support trading of crypto on its own platform.

The PayPal announcement was like a shot of adrenaline, pumping Bitcoin prices by 10% in a single day. The prospect of millions of existing users already on PayPal for years all over the world, who will now be able to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash next year, strangely enough, pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization to exceed that of PayPal itself!

The bullish news led to Galaxy Digital CEO and multi-millionaire Mike Novogratz gushing all over the news on CNBC Squawk Box. He stated:

“I think that’s, in some ways, the shot heard around the world on Wall Street,” Novogratz said in an Oct. 23 interview about PayPal’s recent news. “PayPal has 346 million accounts,” he said, adding: “They’re the 30th biggest bank in the U.S. in deposits and all of a sudden every financial institution says, ‘Wait a minute, what am I doing?’”

Meanwhile, the talks surround central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has not abated but one small jurisdiction, the Bahamas, has gone on ahead and pushed out its own CBDC. Dubbed the ‘Sand Dollar’, the Central Bank of Bahamas announced that the new currency is now available nationwide. Bearing the motto “inclusive, convenient, secure”, the new project seems to begin with an initial rollout phase that will involve players from the private sector — banks and credit unions preparing for personal and enterprise wallets supporting the Sand Dollar for compliance procedured.

These wallets are said to be mobile-first, and are secured by multi-factor authentication on a smartphone. Well, we wish Bahamas good luck, and at least hope the Sand Dollar won’t go the unfortunate way of Venezuela’s Petro.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 17th October, 2020: $1.7T Global Economy Boost from Blockchain, Nigeria National Adoption, 100 Italian Banks on Blockchain

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  • PwC estimates that the blockchain industry will provide a USD 1.7 trillion boost by 2030
  • Nigeria preps move for national blockchain adoption
  • 100 Italian banks are already on blockchain

As Bitcoin and Ether shrug off the early week malaise, and take new aims at making new records after breaking 2-month highs, we see plenty of positive news for the overall blockchain industry that will make proponents smile, and Bitcoin critics wonder if they’re taking 2020 the wrong way.

First, we see a new report from a Big Four auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), who says that blockchain derived economic gains will boost the global economy over the next decade to the tune of USD 1.7 trillion, with the Asian continent enjoying the most economic benefit.

In fact, by 2025, economists at the famed auditing firm believe that a tipping point could be observed by mainstream adoption as blockchain apps contribute to over 1% of the world’s total GDP. China, followed by India and Japan, are also seen as the drivers of mass adoption, with the world’s second largest economy standing to gain a net benefit of USD 440 billion, in front of the US with USd 407 billion.

Europe will generally see the same benefits as Japan and India, with Germany, France and the United Kingdom each set to gain about USD 50 billion.

Product tracking and tracing is where the big bucks are, with just shy of USD 1 trillion set to be generated by that sector alone. Financial services and payments make up USD 433 billion, identity security and credentials make USD 224 billion, contracts and dispute resolution will generate USD 73 billion, while customer engagement and reward programs contribute the remainder of USD 54 billion.

Identify and credential management will benefit three sectors the most with some USD 574 billion more of value generated in public administration, education and health care. According to global blockchain leader at PwC Steve Davies, the global pandemic has, in fact, accelerated adoption:

“Serious activity around blockchain is cutting through every industry across the globe right now.”

While the big economies have been named, developing ones are also looking to prep themselves for blockchain adoption. Nigeria, for example, is reportedly on the bring of putting forth a “Digital Nigeria” plan that will see a nationwide adoption of blockchain and crypto.

A draft of the strategy framework was published by Technology Times, which names the nation’s Federatl Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as a partner with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in this national blockchain adoption endeavor. A blockchain engineer who helped work on the draft has apparently confirmed this ‘National Blockchain Adoption Strategy’ which is an extension of current President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of the diversification of the Nigerian economy. It is a stark contrast to the existing laws in Nigeria, which has banned the use of digital assets as money.

The political situation in Nigeria is on a knife’s edge right now, with protests ongoing against police brutality, with many calling for the dissolution of a special anti-robbery squad dubbed SARS. Buhari has been criticized for renaming SARS, instead of disbanding it, and protesting groups have been said to use Bitcoin to raise funds in an attempt to circumvent bans on these activities.

Meanwhile, banks, normally seen as the traditional foes of Bitcoin, seem to be getting on with the blockchain program, at least in Italy. There, 42 new Italian banks have joined the national banking blockchain network Spunta, bringing the total to 100 banks now using R3’s Corda solution for blockchain banking.

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) said early this week that this marked a key milestone in the Spunta group of banks who sought to increase interbank data transfer and settlement speeds in March 2020. The move had seen 55 banks joining in just two months, and now Spunta has already processed 204 million transactions, on track to surpass 350 financial transactions by the end of 2020.

Currently, interbank reconciliation is a pain as they all have to agree with each other on exactly how much every bank owes others. The process normally takes weeks to complete as the data is actually still stored on very old systems that takes literally days to spit out. But with a blockchain-based verified interbank transfer log such as that used by Spunta not dissimilar to that of Bitcoin, the same processing task can be completed within a day.

Blockchain or Bitcoin, it’s going to be one big exciting ride.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition October 10th, 2020: Bitcoin Brushes Past $11,000 as Twitter CEO’s $50M Bitcoin Buy Follows Positive Comments on Blockchain

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  • Bitcoin pushes past USD 11,000 on the back of comments made by Jack Dorsey about decentralizing Twitter
  • Dorsey’s Square also purchased USD 50 million of Bitcoin, the latest of corporate Bitcoin buys.

After a slump in the early week, Bitcoin now trades into the weekend having finally broken past USD 11,000 again.

Bitcoin markets took a slight dip earlier in the week when Donald Trump made an announcement that said he would delay further stimulus measures for the United States until after the November elections, dampening spirits and leading to stock markets sell offs, that then translated into a dumping on crypto assets, as Ethereum took a dive down to below USD 330 and Bitcoin tested support levels below USD 10,500.

However, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey brought back the entire crypto market into a rally yesterday when he made a USD 50 million investment into Bitcoin, as futures demands also took a big uptake.

Dorsey is a known Bitcoiner of course, so his move will not have come as a surprise to many, given that his own Square app is one of the most popular way for Americans to get into crypto and Bitcoin. However, the certainty with which he plumped USD 50 million down will surely have raised a lot of hopes and expectations from short and medium term speculators that there is more yet to come, and that even big money had hardly lost their interest in cryptocurrency.

Further, it was only last week where Dorsey was at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2020 when he insisted that Bitcoin and blockchain will help to shape the future of Twitter through a decentralized internet standard. He said:

“A lot of our value in the past was around content hosting. So we would host the tweets, the images, and videos… Blockchain and bitcoin point to a future, and point to a world, where content exists forever, where it’s permanent, where it doesn’t go away, where it exists forever on every single node that’s connected to it.”

He has already put together a team that will hire an initial five members to work as BlueSky, building such a protocol to get Twitter to transition to a decentralized platform.

Commentators viewing this “trusted system in a distrusted environment” will remember that it was only three months ago when a massive hack occurred on Twitter’s platform, in which hackers managed to hijack dozens of high-profile accounts in an effort to scam followers. Dorsey admitted:

“I fundamentally believe that security is something that can never be perfected. It’s a constant race. It’s a constant push to be ten steps ahead of hackers.”

Most of the internet is already on his side, and his Twitter accounts are filled with hundreds of responses, the majority of which are positive. It appears that he will have many who will support his revolutionary conceptualization of open and decentralized social media — but whether or not this will seek to fully transform Twitter as a mere content hoster to that of open access proponent remains to be seen.

But sentiment is certainly on the rise after Dorsey’s big move on Bitcoin. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao himself now put a teasing question out asking “Who’s going to be the 3rd public company to hold #bitcoin in treasury?”

Public comments have thrown out all kinds of names from Tesla to Berkshire Hathaway (belonging to anti-Bitcoiner Warren Buffett) but he followed on later than assuming Dorsey had to also get buy in from his board, suggested that the Twitter CEO would have had to educate them first.

Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan wrote to his subscribers yesterday: “It’s a bit surreal to see gigantic corporate entities now going knee-deep in bitcoin.” 

Apparently, a spreadsheet has now emerged online at BitcoinTreasuries that looks like it will help to track purchases of Bitcoin by corporations. MicroStrategy is top dog right now with over 38,000 Bitcoins worth some USD 425 million but Cypherpunk Holdings seems to be not far behind in fifth place with 263 Bitcoins worth USD 2.7 million.

Will this trigger a wave of corporate Bitcoin purchases? Time will certainly tell.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 2nd October, 2020: US Regulators Win String of Victories, Bitcoin’s Longest Stay Above $10,000

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  • Bitcoin prices take a slight hit after a string of SEC and US regulatory body victories against crypto this week, but losses are limited
  • Bitcoin records its longest streak staying above USD 10,000 as the psychological support level holds

Bitcoin took a slight shudder today to drop some percentage points, trading as low as USD 10,300 on Friday before settling higher around USD 10,500 by North American waking time today, and most analysts will blame a series of perceived victories against crypto companies by US regulators.

It all started off when the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found itself on the winning side against tech company Kik when a US court ruled in favor of the regulator’s motion for summary judgment in its now three-year legal dispute against Kik and its USD 100 million initial coin offering (ICO).

The opinion by US Judge Hellerstein noted that “[t]he US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Plaintiff’) filed this action against Kik Interactive Inc. (“Kik” or “Defendant”), and alleges that Kik’s unregistered offering of digital tokens was in violation of Section 5 of the Securities Act. The parties cross-moved for summary judgment. He went on to say:

“As detailed further herein, I hold that undisputed facts show Kik offered and sold securities without a registration statement or exemption from registration, in violation of Section 5. Therefore, the SEC’s motion for summary judgment is granted, and Kik’s motion for summary judgment is denied.”

Both parties to the dispute had in July submitted their arguments to the court for their respective motions for summary judgment during a virtual court hearing. The SEC had actually sued Kik in July 2019, alleging that the crypto firm “sold the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required by the US securities laws”, a claim that Kik fought back.

Now the ruling has been made, both parties are now to submit a joint proposal for “judgment for injunctive and monetary relief” by 20 October 2020. Failing that, they are asked to “note their differences in a single document, supported by separate statements in a single letter, to be submitted by the same date”.

And yesterday, the world’s largest Bitcoin derivatives platform, BitMex, was also charged by the Federal authorities for allegedly failing to prevent money laundering and offering American customers illicit derivative trading services for crypto.

CEO Arthur Hayes, along with Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed, plus its first employee Gregory Dwyer, were charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and conspiracy to violate the act by “willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering (“AML”) program”. According to the statement by the United States Office of Southern District of New York, they have arrested Reed while Hayes, Delo and Dwyer remain at large. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Hayes, a resident of Hong Kong but born in the US, was an equities and derivatives trader for Citi and Deutsche Bank prior to operating BitMex in 2014. Acting Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said:

“…these defendants flouted that obligation and undertook to operate a purportedly ‘off-shore’ crypto exchange while willfully failing to implement and maintain even basic anti-money laundering policies.”

FBI Assistant Director William F Sweeney Jr added:

“One defendant went as far as to brag the company incorporated in a jurisdiction outside the US because bribing regulators in that jurisdiction cost just ‘a coconut’.”

Not all is bad news, though, as Bitcoin has not actually lost a lot after both items of news. In fact, it is currently at a record-setting longest streak in terms of days spent above the psychological price barrier of USD 10,000.

As of today, Bitcoin has now spent 68 consecutive days closing above USD 10,000 when using data aggregated by Messari. This does not actually mean it never fell below that price, as it appeared to have done briefly for 2 days in September, but it has always managed to claw back gains and close above USD 10,000.

The record was actually broken on Sunday, beating the old record of 62 consecutive days that ran from 1 December 2017 during the all-time high reign of Bitcoin. Many traders will see this recent development as a sign of strength, and the ability of Bitcoin to stay in a range between USD 10,000 and USD 12,500 over these two months will only instill more confidence in the narrative that Bitcoin will lose its volatility factor soon.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 26th September 2020: Bitcoin Traditional Asset Decoupling as MicroStrategy Adopts Bitcoin Standard,

Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is about to stop its pattern of correlation with traditional assets after a three year crypto winter, according to some analysts.
  • MicroStrategy’s USD 425 million Bitcoin purchase isn’t a hedge. It’s a bet on the Bitcoin standard.

Bitcoin and crypto finished the week on a high, after initially struggling to make any headway since the last weekend but finally finishing on Friday about 5% up over the week, despite earlier worries of increased volatility in the markets with a record-setting day for Bitcoin options expiry.

And now, famed crypto statistician Willy Woo has boldly declared that Bitcoin as its own class of asset may very well be on the verge of decoupling from traditional ones. This, he says, is because of the breakdown of a key gold relationship out of a long-term downtrend perceived over the last three years.

He also believes that other strong fundamentals back this up, for example, the fact that user adoption in Bitcoin itself has also broken all time highs. And in this sense, Woo believes that Bitcoin has proven itself, much like a successful startup company would, in attracting new interest and then forging its own future path later on. He uses the classic S-curve pattern that shows how startups mainly grow, and that this would truly appeal to investors looking to further hedge their portfolios against other assets. He wrote:

“Bitcoin will decouple from traditional markets soon, but driven by its internal adoption s-curve (think startup style growth) rather than changes in perceptions as a hedging instrument by traditional investors.”

He now claims that Bitcoin’s correlation with traditional assets on a macro level will very soon be upon us, and, there are several other key Bitcoin fundamentals that are also solidifying to support this theory. For example, if we look at network hash rate and difficulty, they are both currently at record levels, further proving just how competitive Bitcoin has been and how miners continue to see long-term appreciation gains.

And so far, Woo has been right on the nail with how Bitcoin is breaking away from traditional assets. If we take a look at the US dollar currency index (DXY), we can find further evidence on charts that this decoupling could be underway as we speak.

This is happening now in Bitcoin’s price ratio versus gold, which has always been in a downtrend since the all-time highs achieved December 2017, almost three years ago. And two months ago in July, this broke to the upside when the pair reclaimed USD 12,000. Further stress tests of this trendline so far look good and seem to confirm this new support, resulting to an upside bounce.

Crypto hedge fund Ikigai’s Travis Kling has also been another voice to add to this observation, and he believes that the weekly chart performance over the past three years is definitely one to watch out for.

Meanwhile, MicroStrategy’s wave-making moves in the industry continues to spread chatter all over the Internet, with the Bitcoin adopter concluding that Bitcoin is the most non-toxic currency and that it genuinely wanted to adopt a “Bitcoin standard”. CEO Michael Saylor said this during a spot on RT host Max Keiser’s Keiser Report TV show on Thursday.

MicroStrategy made a lot of heads turn when it decided this year to buy USD 425 million worth of Bitcoin but the company insists that the purchase had nothing to do with it hedging, and instead is a display of faith that they’re going all in on Bitcoin. It claims that there is a currency war going on right now and they were simply picking the least toxic one:

“What we have is a war on currency, and not a war to make the US currency weaker than the euro; the war on currency is anybody holding currency is getting attacked. And so now we’re starting to realize that currency is being made toxic by the political… financial policies of the central banks, you kind of have to run away from that currency to something that’s not toxic, and I think that Bitcoin is that non-toxic currency.”

The MicroStrategy CEO also now says that swapping cash for Bitcoin is only logical since assets that were strong in scarcity were actually inflating by about 25% this year, and will continue to do so about 10% every year after. Betting on cash now is likened to betting on a melting ice cube.

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, September 17th, 2020: Uniswap Governance Token Sends Users Into Frenzy, Kraken is First Crypto Exchange to Become US Bank

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  • Defi madness as Uniswap token drop to thousands of users sends ETH fees to all-time high
  • Kraken becomes the first crypto exchange to become an official US bank

Bitcoin finishes the week on a strong note with prices close to USD 11,000. Even though a failure to retake that resistance level will temper expectations, the fact that it has survived and rallied from a temporary fallback to below USD 10,000 will ensure many Bitcoin holders ease back this weekend to prepare for consolidation.

The effect of Bitcoin correlation was certainly felt by Ethereum, who spend most of the week battling around USD 360, 25% away from its high just weeks ago, but all eyes have turned to its recovery this week, fueled by yesterday’s surprise announcement from Defi leader Uniswap, who launched its own governance token UNI and airdropped hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of free tokens to its platform users.

For the Defi commentators, this only sets the scene for an even fiercer battle between the two biggest Defi players in the space, SushiSwap and Uniswap, the former starting out as a mere copy paste version of the latter. SushiSwap had changed its block reward post migration over last weekend and Uniswap then broke forward ahead in terms of total value locked, but this Uniswap announcement now means it is getting even farther ahead of the pack.

As tens of thousands of users scrambled to pick up their free tokens, many decided to cash out immediately. It appears the average user received as much as 400 tokens worth around USD 1,300 yesterday and swapped out — but today, that same amount has already risen to about USD 2,000, rewarding holders patient enough to wait just 24 hours.

Long-term crypto and blockchain supporters will also have been boosted by yet another milestone in crypto adoption as Kraken has now officially become the first crypto exchange to become a US bank. It isn’t a direct route, of course, as what really happened is that they have received approval to become what is called a Wyoming Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI). Essentially, it means that Kraken now has all the benefits of being a bank since it now has access to all 50 US states’ banking markets, it can also act as a custodian for institutional assets, and many more, with the caveat that they cannot conduct fractional reserve banking.

In other words, Wyoming’s SPDI are actually more crypto than normal banks, since every dollar they have must be fully backed by reserves. According to the Wyoming Division of Banking’s general counsel, Chris Land, it will also be the first time in 14 years that a newly chartered (de novo) bank was welcomed by the state, as the last time this happened was in 2006. Kraken managing director and CEO of the new Kraken Financial reflected:

“By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers.”

On a side note, not everywhere was friendly for Bitcoin this week. In Germany, a proposal to use blockchain to make the nation’s expensive mega projects transparent was flatly denied by those in the government.

The center-right Free Democrats had said major state projects were bleeding out the country’s coffers and needed to be more accountable but their plea went decidedly dead after not a single other parliamentary group agreed. Had it been passed, the new bill would have asked Germany to host big budget projects on an open blockchain that would allow citizens to view audit trails and provide feedback easily.

This all comes on the back of the country’s latest financial scandal, with the Berlin Brandenburg Airport due to open next month after nine years of delay and an expenditure exceeding its original budget by EUR 4 billion due to design failures and over-costings. It stands to be the most recent classic example of national mismanagement of public funds.

Whatever it is, stay safe out there, watch out for Defi promises, and keep your ships steady, Bitcoiners. Stay safe.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition, 11th September, 2020: Bitcoin Holds Steady, Square Fights Patent Hoarding, Switzerland Laws Get More Friendly to Crypto

bitcoin

  • Bitcoin holds steady above USD 10,000 this week, despite further pressure from Defi liquidations across the rest of the crypto market
  • Square forms a group to prevent patent hoarding in blockchain
  • Swiss laws become even friendlier towards blockchain and crypto

Bitcoin has yet to recover the ground it lost last weekend when US stock markets slipped, triggering equity outflows from almost every other market, including crypto. After spending last week looking poised to break USD 12,000, it slipped as low as USD 9,850 on some exchanges, but this week has been holding strongly above USD 10,000.

The same has happened for Ethereum, the main benefactor of the decentralized finance (DeFi) hype, where it has spent most of this week finding firm support around USD 350, trading right now above USD 360.

DeFi proponents are not ready to throw in the towel of course, as opinion and interest on Twitter and social media are still, remarkably positive, with most traders acknowledging that it was a matter of time before profit taking in Defi markets would result in this pullback. So with the hype bubble deflated but not yet quite burst, we expect crypto overall to make a recovery in the coming days and weeks — how swiftly might also depend somewhat on how Bitcoin performs in the market.

Sentiment is rightly positive across the board, with industry proponents still very much into the idea of good practices and behaviors for blockchain. In the US, popular crypto app Square, owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has launched a new alliance that asks participants to preserve the open source spirit of the blockchain industry and to stem the tide of aggressive patenting of blockchain technologies.

The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) is a non-profit that wants to put a stop to the popular practice of for-profit companies who have been locking up technologies in patents, which Square syas is going to only stifle innovation. It said in a statement:

“Locking up foundational cryptocurrency technologies in patents stifles innovation and adoption; and offensive use of patents by bad actors threatens the growth of cryptocurrency technologies.”

While patenting has been recognized as a way to keep trade secrets alive, and, in doing so, maintaining a competitive edge, Square particularly attacks what is called “pre-emptive patents”, which are really just blocking aside ideas yet to be developed — effectively halting the research of would-be competitors.

COPA doesn’t stop members from patenting — they are merely requested to pledge to make them available freely to all other members via a shared library. Square calls this library a “collective shield” that protects its participants from “patent aggressors” and has made a commitment to placing its own crypto patents into this library.

Good news perhaps for an industry that has only seen its patenting double in recent years? If you’re a fan of free, open and equitable, then surely so!

In other news, Switzerland seems to have upped its blockchain game by introducing some new amendments to its regulations. Already considered one of the world’s most friendly blockchain and crypto jurisdictions, Swiss laws are now even more beckoning towards emerging technology.

Just yesterday, Swiss parliamentarians voted to pass a new set of legal amendments affecting finance and corporate law that distinctly recognize the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, seeing it as not merely something to put up with, but a respectable force of its own.

These legal reforms will see several pieces of legislation affected, from securities trading to company bankruptcy. Essentially, the process of exchanging digital securities as well as that of reclaiming digital assets from companies that go bankrupt have been further defined for clarity. It also outlines the specific legal requirements for operating cryptocurrency trading exchanges in a way that also satisfied anti money laundering concerns for crypto.

Dubbed the “Blockchain Act”, members of the House of Representatives passed these new laws unanimously and this somewhat hastened process could see them come into enforcement as early as Q1 2021, which would be a huge step up from the already conducive environment of Switzerland.

It is already home to almost 1,000 blockchain and crypto firms, mostly located around Zug, itself housing the self-proclaimed “Crypto Valley”. Bitcoin has also been accepted by many of its individual local governments, and Bitcoin payments have even been accepted on its public transport systems for several years now.

 

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Trending Bitcoin News and Market Sentiment, Weekly Edition 6th September 2020: DeFi Deflates to Prick Ethereum Bubble and Bitcoin Loses Grip on $10,000, But Long-Term Holders Aren’t Flinching

Bitcoin

  • Friday and Saturday saw massive losses on the crypto market as about 20% of capitalization was shed in the wake of shrinking Defi locked up values
  • Despite the losses, long-term holders and speculators aren’t perturbed, and see this only as a temporary retracement

The weekend bulls for sure did not come out to play on this weekend, as a horrid slide on Friday, on a day when American stock markets also crashed, led to Bitcoin retreating all the way back to USD 10,500 from USD 12,000, and Ethereum also floundering around USD 400 from a high of USD 470.

Saturday did not bring any respite at all as Bitcoin continued to threaten USD 10,000 finally breaking it to a low of USD 9,875 (CoinDesk), while ETH took a nosedive even to USD 330 — all in the space of days, barely half a week after registering their respective yearly highs. It is indeed a huge change in situations since we posted the last weekly insight that provided a list of strong buy signals even as we approached USD 12,000 for Bitcoin.

Some joy should be gained from looking at the scale of this pullback, however. For example, at the time when that low for Bitcoin was hit, we see that BitMEX liquidations were well below USD 40 million. This is hardly the level of volume we’re used to seeing during a massive price move, as in the recent past, huge moves have seen USD 100 million contracts easily get wiped out on the world’s biggest futures platform.

So what do the figures suggest? We think it’s definite selling pressure on the spot market, once short term investors saw the moves by scalpers taking out positions above USD 11,000, the knee jerk reaction was to cut their losses and wait for the fall out to complete. It’s important to note also that USD 10,500 is a huge psychological resistance point that has proven to be the pain levels since 2017.

Noting that many new whales would have bought in 2018 and 2019, USD 12,000 is a hugely tempting level to take profit when you enter at USD 5,000 or thereabouts.

Add into that mix the very clear data that shows that Bitcoin miners themselves have been lining up to book in some profits, with on-chain data provider CryptoQuant sharing information gathered on mining pools. CEO Ki Young-Ju said:

“Miners send a certain amount of BTC to exchanges periodically, so they already have a large amount of BTC in the exchange. Whenever they decided to sell, it seems they move a relatively significant amount of BTCs to other wallets, and some of them are going to exchanges.”

Then again, not everyone agrees it’s all so clear cut. Poolin vice president Alejandro De La Torre himself has said that miner outflows won’t be as obvious, and many assumptions would have to be made to analyze their numbers. He outright denied that CryptoQuant does not even know Poolin wallets:

“I can reassure you that CryptoQuant does NOT know which wallets are owned by Poolin. perhaps it’s a handful of (big) miners they are tracking… even still, many assumptions.”

Looking now at Ethereum, for whom many were saying even this week that a potential second round of Flippening could be on the cards (where it might displace Bitcoin as the digital asset with the largest share in terms of market capitalization), ETH holders will be slightly deflated. ETH trader and influencer Byzantine General said this could mean a likely next target of even USD 290. He said:

“I’ve learned that this is an ‘ascending, right angled, broadening formation.’ Very typical after an uptrend, and a pretty neutral pattern: 55% of the times breaks out upwards. But man, 360 better hold or otherwise we go straight to 290, possibly 250.”

The good thing we would say here though is, all these strong points continue to remain true. The Winklevoss brothers, who said that Bitcoin was likely to hit USD 500,000 if governments would start including it in currency reserves, will certainly not be changing their minds even after this strong pullback. At the same time, data analytics company Ecoinometrics, who said 2020 would end at USD 41,000 (that’s just over twice as much as the current all-time high), will also be sticking to their guns.

Bitcoin maximalist Max Keiser, the host of RT, will point at Warren Buffett’s recent flirtations in Japan as a clear signal that even fiat stalwarts are beginning to exit US dollars and that will be the alert to welcome in new all-time highs for Bitcoin.

The woes for Ethereum could also mean better news for Bitcoin, as Amsterdam Stock Exchange commentator and full-time trader Michael van de Poppe declared:

“Finally, liquidity at the lows taken. Reclaim of $10,000 would mean a S/R flip and a very probable chance we’ll look for liquidity above the range highs. That would suit a bounce towards $10,750-10,900 and majority of the markets bounce 25-40%.”

 

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