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$750 Billion and Beyond: Crypto Market Hits Another Milestone as Altcoins Surge

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We are only four days into 2018, but the cryptocurrency market has already achieved another major milestone as the total value of digital assets surged past $700 billion for the first time.

Crypto Market Cap: Onward and Upward

The total value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation came within a hair of $750 billion on Thursday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. At press time, the total market size was $749.9 billion, which represents a daily increase of nearly 11%.

Just 24 hours ago, the market was capitalized at $678 billion, a record high at the time.

Over the last 12 months, cryptos have gone from an obscure and esoteric concept to a mainstream investment attracting institutional capital from around the world. Over that period, the market cap has risen by an astounding 3,800%.

Altcoins Take a Bigger Share of the Pie

One of the most resounding features of the latest rally is the fact that bitcoin played only a minor role. Though still the largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin’s influence on the market has quickly faded, with the likes of Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH) and even Cardano (ADA) controlling a bigger share of the overall pie.

At the time of writing, there were 35 cryptocurrencies with a market value of $1 billion or more. Three additional assets were valued at more than $900 million and 19 more had a cap of half at least half a billion.

For bitcoin, prices climbed back above $15,000 on Wednesday, and were last seen hovering around $15,330.

The real story continues to be Ripple XRP, which briefly traded above $3 a token Wednesday as traders rushed to capitalize on the best-performing currency of 2018. (Interestingly, bitcoin held that titled in six of seven years through 2016.)

Recent gains in the market have also been driven by lesser known coins that analysts say offer huge potential for the digital economy. We’ve already mentioned Cardano – now the world’s no. 5 crypto by market cap – but there’s also NEM (XEM), Stellar (XLM), IOTA (MIOTA) and Tron (TRX). These altcoins are part of the top-11 cryptocurrencies by market cap. As these tokens surge, bitcoin’s share of the total market has fallen to an all-time low of 34.6%. Ripple controls 16.6% of the market and Ethereum 12.7%. Put differently, altcoins now represent two-thirds of the crypto universe.

The recent price rally suggests cryptos are picking up where they left off in 2017. However, some analysts are concerned that evolving regulations could rain on bull market’s parade. Last week, South Korea became the latest country to issue stern warnings about cryptocurrency speculation, with a government official warning that major exchanges could get shut down if newly implemented rules fail to cool the market.

The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has issued swift bans on new trading accounts on domestic exchanges, and has barred anyone from opening anonymous trading accounts. The new rules come into effect this month, and follow earlier efforts to restricted minors and non-residents from trading on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

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 699 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Scrapes the Barrel While Stellar (XLM) Losses Fall in Line

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Bitcoin returned to its lowest valuation of the year on Friday, as the last week of cautious upward movement by the crypto market came to a crashing halt.

Just last week BTC fell to a dollar valuation in the high $3,200 range – a fifteen-month low at the time. After seven days of false hope and another rinsing of weak hands, BTC returned to the same valuation early on Friday morning – a sign that $3,000 is destined to act as a baseline in the short-term?

Meanwhile, after months of positive developments and upward momentum, Stellar (XLM) is finally feeling the pinch and may be about to fall back in line with average market losses. XLM’s valuation is down over 18% for the week, and 7.5% for Dec 14th alone – leaving Tether (USDT) waiting in the wings to take over XLM’s 4th spot ranking by market cap.

Bitcoin Price – BTC/USD

Bitcoin fell 4.75% leading into Friday morning, compounding 10% losses over the last five days. From the daily high of $3,448, BTC found itself trading as low as $3,200 on some exchanges, while the aggregate valuation drawn from all exchanges remains closer to $3,300 at time of writing.

Bitcoin volume remains high while overall trade volume has declined. This has sent BTC dominance to over 55% again, and may be the beginning of a trend which sees altcoin gains continually cashed out to the more trusted BTC (via USDT) for the duration of the bear market.

Stellar Price – XLM/USD

A portion of those gains may now be coming from the Stellar market, which is being dominated by USDT and BTC trades as of Friday.

From the daily peak of $0.111740, XLM’s valuation fell to £0.103288 by noon Friday. That’s a 7.5% decline for the day, and comes on top of 18.3% losses over seven days as Stellar finally seems to be falling in line.

Stellar had kept the bears at bay for much of the prolonged market dip in the last few months, even rising in the rankings to become the 4th highest capped cryptocurrency. Fuelled by prominent announcements and almost constant speculation regarding a Coinbase listing, XLM managed to buck the trend and hold onto its value while all around it were losing theirs.

Now, this latest dip has singled out XLM specifically, leaving the coin’s losses firmly in line with ETH and the major alts’ +60% losses since mid-November. Once valued at nearly $17 billion by market cap at its peak, Stellar is now valued at less than $2 billion, and only the slightest fluctuation by ‘stable’ coin, Tether, would drop XLM out of the top four ranked cryptos.’

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 104 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Majors Testing Lows Following Broad Selloff

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The major cryptocurrencies have been once again under pressure in the past 24 hours and most of the coins got very close to their recent lows, even as the losses are limited for now. While the top coins avoided a breakdown, given the overwhelmingly bearish long-term picture and the steep short-term trend, odds continue to favor new lows in the coming weeks, so traders and investors should still remain defensive.

Dash/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The continued technical weakness in the lagging coins, like Dash, and the lack of a relatively strong leadership is still apparent, and it reinforces the bearish overall picture. That is true even as the long-term momentum indicators are showing deeply oversold readings and investors sentiment remains very negative which could lead to a larger scale correction after a short-term trend change. That said, traders shouldn’t enter new positions here until we see meaningful short-term technical improvements.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin failed to regain momentum despite the weekend bounce and the coin is back near its recent low trading near the $3250 level today. The key $3600 level is out of reach for the most valuable coin, and with that in mind, our trend model remains on clear short- and long-term sell signals.

The current weakness of BTC is a negative sign for the whole segment, and a test of the key long-term $3000 level is more and more likely. Further string resistance is ahead between $4000 and $4050, and traders and investors shouldn’t enter positions here.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum has been trading in a very narrow range in recent days, and the coin is still stuck below the key $95-$100 zone, as it failed to show relative strength despite being among the most oversold majors. ETH also faces strong resistance near $120 and $120, with the next major support zone found between $73 and $75, and traders and investors should still stay away from the coin.

Litecoin Breaking Down Again?

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin is threatening with another break below support today, with the $23 support level looking very weak now, and the steep short-term downtrend remains clearly intact in the coin. LTC continues to be relatively weak from a short-term standpoint, and traders shouldn’t consider even ultra-short term positions here, despite the deeply oversold broader picture.

The next major support zone is found between $20 and $20.50 and odds favor a test of that zone as soon as in the coming days, with strong resistance found near $26 and $30.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple continues to hover around the $0.30 level, still being very weak on the short-term time-frame, and being on sell singles both short- and long-term in our trend model. XRP faces strong resistance near $0.32, $0.3550, and $0.3750, while primary support is found at $0.28, with the prior bear market low being at $0.26. We expect at least a test of the lows in the coming weeks, despite the still relatively strong long-term technical setup and new low bear market lows are also likely in Ripple.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 416 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Monero Price Analysis: Wider Adoption Seen as Bity Adds XMR Support to Their ATM Network

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  • Swiss-based cryptocurrency organization, Bity, has added their support for XMR for use at ATM terminals.
  • XMR/USD trading up on Friday, with gains of over 3% at the time of writing. Despite this, weekly chart view still points to the downside.

XMR/USD is trading in positive territory on Friday, having gained over 3% during the session. This leaves some optimism heading into the weekend, which is normally characterized by lower trading volumes. Trading over the past eight sessions now has been very much choppy, signaling a lack of direction in the underlying market. Any short-term bull runs observed have quickly been sold by the bears, consistently.  The price is trading around the lowest levels since August 2017 and is down over 90% from the start of 2018. Despite the minor relief upside Friday, there still appears to be room for downside in the short term. Once again, price action is largely dictated by technical factors as opposed to fundamental.

Wider XMR Adoption Following Bity Support

Bitly, a Swiss-based cryptocurrency organization, has announced their support for Monero (XMR). They are a cryptocurrency exchange, in addition to operating a network of cryptocurrency ATMs. Their users can instantly and securely transact bitcoin in addition to buying ETH and now XMR with Swiss Francs and Euro. This can be done at physical terminals in Switzerland. Bitly has additional kiosks in Zurich, Zug, Winterthur, Basel, and Lausanne. They note that more locations and additional token support are coming soon.

Technical Review – XMR/USD

XMR/USD 4-hour chart

Price action over the past seven sessions now has been forming a range-block, moving within consolidation mode. This has come after some stabilization, following the chunky sell-off from November through to early December. The current price behavior can also be perceived when looking technically, as a potential bearish flag pattern formation. If playing out to the textbook, another extended move to the downside will be seen.

Downside Targets

XMR/USD weekly chart

The near-term bottom can be eyed at $41.00, which is the floor of the most recent range. A failure of this holding will likely see another wave of selling pressure. Looking further to the downside, the next eyed support is seen at $38.45, which was a key weekly level in July 2017. Lastly, any breach here would invite a drop below the $30.00 mark toward the weekly support at $29.00. This would be the lowest level hit since July 2017, when XMR/USD was in the early stages of the big bull run.

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 85 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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