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What are the Chances of a Trillion-Dollar Crypto Market Emerging This Year?

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Back in February, the CEO of one of the largest digital currency exchanges made a bold prediction that crypto assets will reach a combined market cap of $1 trillion before the year is over. To put that into perspective, that would mean growth of around 280% from current levels.

The market has declined steadily since Jesse Powell, founder and CEO of Kraken, issued the forecast. But that hasn’t stopped analysts from predicting higher highs for assets like bitcoin (here, here, here and here).

Evaluating the $1 Trillion Market

Four months ago, crypto’s eventual climb past the trillion-dollar mark seemed like a foregone conclusion. But since peaking near $840 billion in early January, the market has plunged 70%. Recovery attempts have been futile, with the total market cap rising above $500 billion only once since the epic collapse began.

Investors are often reminded that past performance doesn’t guarantee future success. In the world of cryptocurrency, the inverse is also true. Take bitcoin as an example. The currency’s average bearish cycle is around 71 days, with the end of each cycle witnessing renewed upside in prices. This was evident last month when BTC rebounded 20% from its Feb. 26 swing low. However, what separates the recent rally attempts from the more successful ones of the past is sustainability (or a lack thereof, in this case).

Shallow recoveries followed by deeper corrections have been part and parcel of crypto trading for the better part of two months. For much of the decline, traders have looked for an underlying cause only to come up empty handed. There’s even evidence to suggest that selloffs have occurred regardless of news cycles, which signals a more profound cooling off in the market than previously thought.

But that’s not to say bad news hasn’t been a contributing factor. Fear, uncertainty and doubt (collectively referred to as ‘FUD’) have played a tremendous role in talking down cryptocurrencies. On the spectrum where news matters most of the time and not at all, the impact is likely somewhere in the middle.

Although Powell talked about a strong business environment around crypto in his evaluation of future market trends, the $1 trillion mark will likely require more than just a budding startup community. For starters, it will require renewed interest in altcoins that is equal to and even greater than the one seen for bitcoin. Investors should recall that altcoins accounted for more than two-thirds of the value universe during the height of the bull market.

Guidance around regulation has also been cited as a prerequisite for the next bull market to emerge. The author only half agrees with this statement. Once again, investors should recall that crypto’s most euphoric period came immediately after China issued a blanket ban on everything crypto. China banned all signs of cryptocurrency in September and by October, the market cap had forgotten all about it.

While regulatory developments are important, business adoption could prove more pivotal for crypto. Many analysts agree that news of wider acceptance of crypto-as-a-payment could spark the next bull market rally. New developments around scalability and transaction speed can also help in that respect.

A Reliable Proxy

One of the best tools for evaluating the success of crypto markets is Google Trends – a tool that allows you to gauge how well specific keywords are trending. When bitcoin peaked in December, the ‘bitcoin’ search term on Google had a perfect score of 100. In other words, interest in bitcoin peaked in December.

Since then, the trend score for ‘bitcoin’ has declined to 14. That’s an 86% drop. The cryptocurrency itself has lost two-thirds of its value since the December high.

The search term ‘cryptocurrency’ peaked in early January as the market crossed the $800 billion mark. It has since fallen to 18.

What’s more, both terms have seen a steady decline in search traffic since the start of the year. On the face of it, these numbers don’t imply that a strong rally is coming anytime soon.

Regardless of whether we hit $1 trillion this year or not, cryptocurrency is here to stay. The arrival of institutional trading, the never-ending push for bitcoin-backed ETFs and near universal embrace of blockchain suggest a paradigm shift is afoot. These forces lead us to believe that we have not seen the final peak for bitcoin or the broader market.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 494 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cryptocurrency Market Rebounds as Trade Volumes Recover from Yearly Low

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Cryptocurrency prices were seeing green Sunday, as market activity rebounded from the lowest level of the year with bitcoin and the major altcoins making tepid progress.

Crypto Market Update

Every cryptocurrency in the top-20 by market capitalization was trading in positive territory Sunday. As a result, the total market capitalization of all digital currencies rose by $6 billion to $254.5 billion. Bitcoin’s share of the pie remains roughly 43%.

The bitcoin price edged up 1.7% to $6,363, with the bulls continuing to defend the critical $6,000 level despite repeated downturns.

Ethereum, the no. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, rose 2.4% to $447.

Bitcoin cash jumped 3% to $719. BCH has shown poise over the past five days even as accusations of node centralization continue to grow.

Ripple XRP rose 1.9% to $0.445. Meanwhile, EOS gained 2.4% to $7.13.

Volumes Hit 2018 Lows

Daily turnover in the cryptocurrency market bottomed fell to around $8.8 billion on Saturday, the lowest since November, according to CoinMarketCap data. Daily trade volumes rose by as much as 20% Sunday, reaching $10.5 billion. At the time of writing, 24-hour volumes were valued just under $9.9 billion.

Since the April downturn, trading volumes have thwarted multiple rally attempts for cryptocurrency prices. Daily turnover has crossed the $20 billion mark only once since June.

As Hacked previously reported, tepid volumes reflect a general decline in retail trading activity on major digital currency exchanges. This is further corroborated by the sharp drop in Google search results for terms like “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency.” Basically, the half-year market downturn has spooked new traders from entering the market.

Amid the downturn, exchanges like Coinbase have reported a drop-off in app downloads as fewer traders show interest in buying cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, trading apps like Robinhood are still growing thanks to a suite of service offerings that extend far beyond cryptocurrency. Robinhood began offering cryptocurrency back in February but still maintains a thriving platform for traditional markets, such as stocks and ETFs.

Several leading exchanges have announced plans to relocate to jurisdictions with friendlier policies toward cryptocurrency. Malta, a tiny Mediterranean island state, has managed to lure Binance and OKEx to its shores thanks to favorable regulations.

As Hacked’s James Waggoner recently showed, much of the downturn in crypto trading activity has been associated with fears of a regulatory clampdown in jurisdictions like the United States and South Korea. In the case of China, those fears were realized last September when policymakers issued a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

However, a “tectonic shift” in regulatory thinking is currently underway, which could pave the way for a renewed uptrend in cryptocurrency markets. Case in point: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared bitcoin and Ethereum to be non-securities. So long as there is no conveyance of ownership, ICOs may also fall under this favorable regulatory purview.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 494 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Bitcoin Cash Price Shows Poise as Accusations of Centralization Grow

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Bitcoin cash (BCH) traded within a narrow range Saturday even as opponents of the virtual currency hurled accusations of centralization against its developers.

BCH Price Levels

The bitcoin cash price was little changed on Saturday, reflecting a subdued trading environment in the broader market. At press time, BCH/USD was trading around $703, virtually unchanged compared with 24 hours ago. At current levels, bitcoin cash is capitalized at $12.1 billion, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Daily trade volumes amounted to $274.5 million.

The fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has shown poise over the past five days, with prices fluctuating between $671 and $706. Like other cryptocurrencies, bitcoin cash experienced a sharp reversal last Monday, knocking prices from more than two-week highs.

Bitcoin Cash Highly Centralized: Bitpico

Hacker group Bitpico has uncovered massive node centralization of the Bitcoin Cash network, and has taken to Twitter to uncover IP addresses of the platform’s nodes. One screenshot of Bitpico’s discovery showed 98% of the IP addresses associated with bitcoin cash were “sitting in the same server rack,” the group tweeted earlier this week.

In response, a Twitter user by the name of Melik Manukyan showed that the BCH servers were hosted on a cloud farm belonging to Alibaba.

The group  claimed that 49% (or one-half of 98%) of all Bitcoin Cash network nodes were running on the Alibaba cloud farm.

If confirmed, centralization of the Bitcoin Cash network would mark a significant departure from the original bitcoin, which was envisioned as having no central authority (as an aside, the backers of bitcoin cash claim that BCH is the original crypto chain).  Satoshi Nakomoto said as much in the original bitcoin whitepaper published in 2008:

“By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that starts a new coin owned by the creator of the block. This adds an incentive for nodes to support the network, and provides a way to initially distribute coins into circulation, since there is no central authority to issue them.
The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended.”

Last month, Bitpico announced it was planning to launch an attack on the BCH network with the goal of dividing it. The group says the coordinate strike will inflict grief on Roger Ver, one of bitcoin cash’s most ardent supporters.

Ver was revealed as the owner of bitcoin.com back in 2015. As Hacked reported back in April, manipulation involving bitcoin.com may have contributed to BCH’s massive rally. You can read the full story here.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 494 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Steem Price Down 19% Over Week as Hardfork 20 on the Horizon

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Steem – one of three internal currencies on the Steemit social media platform – has had a fairly miserable week and has ended up with 19% losses from this time seven days ago.

During that time STEEM coins dipped from a value of $1.63 to $1.31 – the price at the time of writing.

Over the course of the last 24 hours Steem has fallen by close to 5%, and it now seems likely that Steem’s 36th place ranking on Coinmarketcap is under threat from today’s strongest performer in the top-100 – Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Early Growth

July actually began well well for Steem, as the coin spiked in value to the tune of 61% over the course of three days between June 29th and July 1st. Yet the early July high of $1.86 is nothing compared to the April high of $4.62 – during which time the daily volumes reached $150 million. That’s significantly higher than today’s volume of $1.5 million – a mere 1% of that recorded during the April peak.

The price during January’s peak was $8.01, which leaves Steem in the uncomfortable position of being 83% in the red over the last seven months.

Hardfork 20

At the start of the month the Steemit team released details on the upcoming ‘Hardfork 20’. The post detailed the team’s intention to overhaul some of Steemit systems with the update in a bid to:

“…create a system that 1) more efficiently allocates blockchain resources; 2) more accurately measures the true cost of running the blockchain; and 3) enables Steem developers to create more predictable user experiences.”

The resources in question are those which are awarded to users for their participation on the platform. Steemit is a social media site which runs on a blockchain, and instead of likes and upvotes, posts are rewarded with cryptocurrency.

There are currently three internal currencies on Steemit – STEEM, Steem Dollars (SBD) and Steem Power. Both STEEM and SBD can be traded in and out of the platform, while Steem Power represents ‘locked in’ funds, which measure network influence. Steem Power can only be withdrawn incrementally over a period of three months.

App Coin

The STEEM coin’s poor performance in recent times has a ripple effect which extends further than the trading floor. Since the Steemit platform operates on the blockchain, the platform expands or contracts in value along with its primary currency – STEEM.

This means that a user could earn $50 for a post on Monday, and by the time the pay-out is made a week later, the value of STEEM has dropped and now the post is worth less. If we take the previous week’s numbers for example, then we see that a $50 post would now be worth only $40. Ultimately the platform rises or falls with the cryptocurrency… but that works both ways. If enough people can get on board with the idea of blockchain-based social media then the STEEM currency would benefit from the increased use.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.4 stars on average, based on 22 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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