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2018 Crypto Crash: Here’s What Actually Caused It

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Tech-savvy investors have kept their eyes on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for several years now. The most prolific form of cryptocurrency has brought backers on a rollercoaster of highs and lows over the past two years. While this culminated with an all-time high of more than $19,000 in 2017, Bitcoin, in particular, would go on to lose almost 70 percent of its value just several months later. And as we saw in the altcoin universe, some losses clocked in at over 95%.

But what exactly caused the recent crypto crash of 2018? Even more importantly, what does the future hold for the various other types of cryptocurrency? Below is a rundown of some of the common themes that precipitated the 2018 selloff.

A Limited Supply Increases Demand

In its purest form, Bitcoin and its competitors are all a form of currency. But the format differs so much from traditional forms of money — like the Dollar or the Euro — that people trade cryptocurrencies as if they were commodities. The limited supply of cryptocurrencies, coupled with increased consumer demand, is bound to inflate the price. But such inflated value can only last for so long.

Crypto Challenges Cause Consumer Hesitation

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are fighting an uphill battle. Not only do they face increasing government scrutiny, standardization and regulation, but they’ve also gained a lot of unfavorable press in the past months and years.

In South Korea, three executives of an exchange called Upbit got charged for making fraudulent transactions that allegedly occurred between September and December 2017. Moreover, there are allegations that those executives sold 11,500 BTC to individuals during rigged transactions that solely benefitted the executives. That’s just one example of recent cryptocurrency corruption.

Plus, people who invest in cryptocurrencies rightfully wonder how secure their funds are. A report indicates that the total amount of cryptocurrency stolen in 2018 will likely reach $1 billion, with the thefts often resulting after hacks happen at the platform layer level or when cybercriminals infiltrate exchanges. When people hear about those headline-capturing events, it’s not surprising if they fear being the next victims.

There was also a widespread belief that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were untraceable and that it was impossible to connect transactions back to specific users. However, that claim has been debunked, since there are numerous ways to violate the supposed inviolable privacy cryptocurrency offers and link transactions to the people who performed them.

Between fraudulent transactions, stolen funds, and online privacy concerns in general, many consumers are hesitant to embrace these new platforms. When they balked due to the unsettling events described above and others like them, the hesitation partially caused the crypto crash.

The Effect of SEC Regulation Fears

Potential cryptocurrency investors are also hesitating due to proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations. They recently considered adding strict control to govern the trade of Ethereum — which caused a lot of concern over the likelihood of even tighter rules and regulations in the future.

Fortunately, the SEC ruled Ethereum is not the same as corporate bonds or stocks. Instead, it’s more akin to commodities like gold and silver. While this has eased some investor concerns, the lack of stability in the cryptocurrency market is still a significant concern.

A Recent Panic Triggered by the Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork and Resulting Drama

Analysts have also weighed in to state how they believe the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, which happened on August 1, 2017, set the stage for the 2018 crash by causing bickering between the two crypto communities associated with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The hard fork caused an initial drop in Bitcoin’s value, partially driven by the negativity surrounding the event. A technical selloff occurred after the fork, followed by full-blown capitulation after that.

The technical selloff and capitulation have defined many of the discussions about Bitcoin’s crash, especially over the past six weeks or so.

Even long-term holders of Bitcoin have started to decide it’s time to sell. Bitcoin’s price dropped 36 percent in November 2018 alone. However, some people are still confident that the cryptocurrency will bounce back — as it has before, after other substantial drops.

Is the Bubble Bursting?

Opponents of cryptocurrency suggest the bubble has already burst. They compare the current situation to the “dot-com” bubble of the late ’90s and early 2000s, which bankrupted countless IT entrepreneurs. But experts in the field disagree. According to Angel Versetti, CEO of Ambrosus, the cryptocurrency bubble hasn’t even begun.

Matthew Newton, a top analyst with the online investment platform eToro, suggests it’s far too early to determine whether there is a bubble and if it has already burst. But he was also quick to point out the formation of a cryptocurrency bubble is an inevitable step in the processes of evolution and maturation.

Where Do We Go From Here?

There isn’t a failsafe method for keeping cryptocurrency alive. Instead, it will take a concentrated effort from investors, consumers and retailers alike. Not long ago, the value of Bitcoin was struggling to top $1, so it’s still come a long way in a short time. Additionally, there have been some key developments — despite the recent setbacks — that show great potential for the future.

The big challenge for investors moving forward is navigating between the short-term risks and long-term potential of digital assets. The apparent bursting of the asset bubble in 2018 exposed an overbought market that had risen too frantically for the fundamentals to support. But the pullback hasn’t weakened the value proposition of Bitcoin or other leading cryptocurrencies. As we’ll see over the next six months, topics ranging from institutional adoption to business innovation will dominate the headlines as the market continues its evolution.

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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5 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsKayla Matthews has been a technology and productivity journalist for over 7 years contributing to publications such as MakeUseOf, The Next Web, VentureBeat and Cointelegraph. She's also the editor of her tech blog, Productivity Bytes, where she writes everything from how-tos to the latest news in technology. To see more of her work, subscribe to Hacked.com or follow her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews.




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Altcoins

Power Ledger (POWR) Reaps Benefits of Good-Guy Image with 45% Weekly Growth

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Power Ledger (POWR), the blockchain-based democratizer of the energy industry, gained 45% on its value over the past week. While 68% of daily trades came from Korean markets, it was Western eyes which were focused on Power Ledger this week.

Coverage in Huffington Post, and a nomination from Newsweek in their ‘Blockchain Impact Awards’, both added to POWR’s growing reputation of one of crypto’s good guys.

Power Ledger’s Good Rep

Coming hot out the gates with a plan to democratize the energy sector by cutting out third-party middlemen, Power Ledger got off to a promising start when it launched in late 2017.

Only a month or so after trading commenced, POWR got swept up in the altcoin pump of January 2018 and charged ahead to 3,919% gains, and an all-time high of $2.01.

Power Ledger’s aim to put (literal) power back in the hands of the average citizen made it an instant media darling. Its reputation as one of blockchain’s good guys, or gals, may also have been helped by the media focus on co-founder Jemma Green – one of the few women currently involved prominently in the blockchain space.

Blockchain Impact Awards

The first ever Blockchain Impact Awards, held by Newsweek, lists Power Ledger as one of the nominees for the upcoming ceremony.

“Newsweek is working with global experts in the blockchain world to present the first ever Blockchain Impact Awards. The awards will recognize entrepreneurs and enterprises that are developing blockchain applications to accomplish a social good.”

Power Ledger is up against 24 other blockchain projects – none of which are as instantly recognizable as the still fairly unknown Power Ledger. The next most known project among the nominees would perhaps be Akoin – the project founded by U.S-Senegalese rapper, Akon.

Huffington Post Likes Power Ledger

Power Ledger was given the spotlight in the Huffington Post before its ICO was even over, back in 2017. This week saw another focus article dedicated to Power Ledger, this time covering co-founder Jemma Green’s position as a female role-model in the blockchain industry.

Yet the promise of Power Ledger may run deeper yet. A single mother of two when she launched Power Ledger, Green has already met with the likes of Richard Branson and Elon Musk – both of whom have shown interest in the project.

Power Ledger Price

The last seven days have seen POWR wake up after a long and painful descent through 2018. From a weekly low of $0.070057 seven days ago, POWR surged 45% up to Friday morning’s price point of $0.102010.

The late night peak of $0.112617 took weekly gains to 60%, however much of that faded away by the time Western traders woke up for the day. The recent daily volume peak of $15 million is the highest in almost three months, with the POWR/KRW trade to thank for 68% of it.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 123 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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What is Optimal Shelf Availability Token (OSA) – And Is it Worth Your Time?

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Optimal Shelf Availability Token (OSA) splashed onto the first page of CoinMarketCap this week when its token circulation stats were updated.

While the coin price remained the same, the token’s market cap jumped 200% in a flash – possibly a result of locked-in ICO funds suddenly becoming available, although different sources report varying circulations at this time.

So what is Optimal Shelf Availability Token? Is it worth your time, or is it just another shitcoin with a ridiculous name?

Optimal Shelf Availability Token

Well, the answer might surprise you. At first glance, OSA actually seems like one of the more promising projects to pop up in recent years – and that’s coming from such a cold-hearted cynic as myself. The team’s self-description sounds common enough:

“OSA is a decentralized, AI-driven blockchain platform that collects and analyzes data from retailers, manufacturers, consumers and open sources real-time.”

The first thing you notice as you land on the project website is a claim that such global brands as Coca-Cola, L’Oreal and Danone already use OSA’s services. As you scroll down, you realise that Optimal Shelf Availability Token is targeting the retail supply-chain industry – and that those claims about Coca-Cola and co are actually…kind of true!??!

Well, for six months the Russian wing of the Coca-Cola HBC (Hellenic Bottling Company) rolled out the OSA tech in a number of retail stores. Over the span of the six-month pilot program, sales increased by 10% – as covered in this report.

When L’Oreal initiated the pilot, sales also increased within a two-month period, but were actually down for the rest of the experiment compared to the control group. More can be read here.

Manga & Marketing

OSA is the first crypto project I’ve seen that comes with a manga comic dramatizing its use-case – two comics, actually. The professionalism of the website compared to some of the tokens recently reviewed on Hacked is night and day. Multiple technical documents are made available for public consumption, including several whitepapers, annual and quarterly reports, and research papers.

The project’s Bitcointalk forum page was launched last April, and is currently 61 pages long. Contributions from the team are regular, and an extension of the bounty program was recently initiated to celebrate the token’s ascension through the rankings.

All of this can seem great at first sight – but, like a thirsty man in the desert, when you’ve been deprived of nutrition for so long, just about anything is going to look good compared to the mass of shitcoins we’re constantly exposed to.

The level of professionalism, and amount of goodies, on the website almost makes me suspicious. Like the polished veneer is only there to compensate for other shortcomings. But that’s coming from a tired mind, grown weary from having its cynicism confirmed on so many occasions.

OSA Price

Despite the recent ascent in the past week, OSA lost 17.98% in the previous twenty-four period, falling from $0.045754 down to $0.037524.

The Bibox exchange processed over 98% of daily trades via OSA/ETH and OSA/BTC, with CoinEgg making up the rest of the $1.3 million daily volume.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 123 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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Stellar Price Analysis: Grayscale Announces XLM Based Trust; XLM/USD Stuck Within Bearish Structure

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  • Global digital asset management firm, Grayscale, has announced an investment vehicle based around XLM.
  • XLM/USD is moving within the confinements of a bearish pattern structure, subject to a breakout south.

XLM/USD has been subject to very narrow and choppy trading, which has been going on for the past eight sessions now. Price action is moving within a range-block formation, which is seen across the board with several of its peers. This type of behavior does indicate of some potential vulnerabilities to the downside.

The current consolidation mode taken up came into play after a prior period of range-trading, which saw a deep breakout on 10th January. XLM/USD had plummeted by a hefty 20% to its lowest levels seen since 17th December. Despite the mid-December bull run, which was seen to the end of the month, it has not escaped the bear market. Therefore, bull rallies continue to be sold with some force by the bears.

Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust

Grayscale Investments, a global digital asset management organization, has announced the launch of an investment vehicle based on Stellar Lumens (XLM). This is aimed at giving investors exposure to the cryptocurrency XLM. It is the sixth largest by market cap, just over the $2 billion mark, at the time of writing.

The asset management company tweeted via their official account, “We are excited to announce two big developments! First, today marks the launch of Grayscale Stellar Lumens Trust! Investors can now gain exposure to the price movement of XLM through a traditional investment vehicle.”

Grayscale’s Managing Director, Michael Sonnenshein, noted that this Stellar product that they have introduced was brought in on the back of investor demand. Furthermore, he details that Grayscale’s push to offer investors exposure to “established blockchain projects with substantial traction and resources.” Sonnenshein lastly concluded by noting he is bullish on Stellar and the real use cases that it brings.

Technical Review – XLM/USD

XLM/USD daily chart. Price action is moving within triangular structure.

Price action is currently moving within a triangular pattern structure. XLM/USD has been trading within this since the start of December. The lower support was tested to the downside on 14th December at around $0.094000-$0.093500 prior to the big bounce. Life kicked back into the bulls, forcing the rally up to the tracking resistance, around $0.131500. Furthermore, the pattern has further been confirmed, with several tests to the lower and upper acting trend lines.

Lastly, in terms of the described structure, it can also be perceived as a bearish pennant formation, which again point to downside. Support is currently tracking around the $0.107000 area, and a failure to hold will see the December low retested to the downside, $0.093500. Immediate resistance can be observed at $0.120000-$0.1215000.

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 110 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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