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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 602 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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Crypto Update: Market Remains Weak Despite Ripple’s Surge

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Ripple made headlines today in the cryptocurrency segment, as the third largest coin jumped by more than 15% after trading in a narrow range for several days. Most of the major coins joined the rally, but the gains were muted and the technical setup remained unchanged in most cases, with the long-term outlook still being bearish, while the short-term picture remaining mixed.

Ethereum, which has been in the center of the trends in the segment for weeks rallied back above $200, but stayed below the recent swing high, leaving several questions unanswered concerning the short-term trend. Bitcoin also got stuck near the $6275 level yet again, and the total value of the market is still below the $200 billion mark, with still no clear signs of major capital inflows in the segment.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum quickly recovered above $200 after dipping below the weekend lows yesterday in late trading, retaining the short-term buy signal in our trend model. That said the coin still needs to show stronger bullish momentum to avoid a resumption of the clearly declining long-term trend. As sustained dip below $200 would still warn of a move to last week’s lows, while a move above $235 would open up the way towards $260 and the confluence resistance near $275.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin has been showing weakness in the last couple of days, and although the coin is still on a short-term buy signal, similarly to Ethereum, a quick recovery above $6500 would be needed to avoid a bearish turn.

Traders should hold on to their positions here, but given the still bearish segment-wide trends, we still don’t advise full positions even in the stronger coins. Below $6275, weaker support is found at $6000, close to the key long-term zone near $5850, while resistance is ahead at $6500, $6750, and $7000.

Ripple Needs Follow Through For a Buy Signal

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While today’s spike in Ripple is encouraging, the coin needs to show further signs of strength, as the recent sudden spikes in the majors were quickly sold as the bearish trend remained dominant in the segment.

With that in mind, despite the broken resistance levels, XRP remains on a neutral short-term signal in our trend model, while still being bearish from a long-term perspective. The coin is currently trading right at the $0.32 level, with support found at $0.3130, $0.30 and near $0.30, while strong resistance is ahead at $0.35.

DASH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dash is among the stronger coins from a short-term technical standpoint, trading in a bullish consolidation pattern just below the key $200 level. That said, the coin failed to show strength today amid Ripple’s rally, and that still points to a dominant bearish trend in the segment. With that in mind, traders should wait for further positive signs before entering new positions, especially since a bullish leadership still hasn’t developed.

IOT/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

IOTA is still weaker than average, together with NEO, EOS, and ETC, and the coin is still just above the August lows, clearly being in a broad downtrend, despite holding up above the lower boundary of its short-term range. A test of the lows is likely in the coming weeks, and the coin remains on sell signals on both time-frames, with support found between $0.455 and $0.475, and near $0.405, and with key resistance ahead near $0.57 and $0.64.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 347 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

Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple Up in the Air as SEC Delivers a Sobering Reminder

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The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission just delivered a sobering reminder to the crypto community regarding the legal status of Bitcoin and Ethereum. SEC Director of the Division Corporation Finance William Hinman originally told a San Francisco conference in June that:

“…based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.”

SEC Clarifies Crypto Security Stance

Today the SEC Chairman Jay Clayton released this official statement in which he reminded everyone that media statements made by SEC personnel should not be taken as legal pronouncements. Clayton stated:

“The Commission’s longstanding position is that all staff statements are nonbinding and create no enforceable legal rights or obligations of the Commission or other parties.”

In a particular sentence that may have been included specifically to cool the enthusiasm generated from his colleague Hinman’s original statement, Clayton states:

“…our divisions and offices, including but not limited to the Division of Corporation Finance, the Division of Investment Management and the Division of Trading and Markets, have been and will continue to review whether prior staff statements and staff documents should be modified, rescinded or supplemented in light of market or other developments.”

The last part about ‘modifying, rescinding or supplementing’ future documents suggests that the SEC are starting to worry about the effects their own words have on the very market they’re attempting to regulate.

When the original statement by Hinman hit the headlines in June, Bitcoin immediately surged by around 6%. Ethereum benefitted even more from the news and spiked 10% within the space of an hour.

Consequences for Bitcoin, Ether and Alts

The reminder from the SEC is unlikely to affect the average bag-holder, who in all likelihood disregards much of what comes out of such traditional institutions as the SEC. The news is more likely to strike hesitation into the minds of large-scale, corporate investors who thought all of this uncertainty was already behind them.

It could also spell either good or bad news for Ripple, which is currently fighting five lawsuits – including two federal lawsuits – against claims that its token sale represents a security issuance.

Director Hinman’s original statement back in June suggested that decentralization was key to avoiding being classed as a security. He suggested that coins and tokens from centralized blockchains would have a harder time with the SEC:

“Over time, there may be other sufficiently decentralized networks and systems where regulating the tokens or coins that function on them as securities may not be required. And of course there will continue to be systems that rely on central actors whose efforts are a key to the success of the enterprise. In those cases, application of the securities laws protects the investors who purchase the tokens or coins.”

With XRP being the third largest capped coin in existence, its prominence has made it a prime target for those suspicious of the currency’s relationship to the Ripple company. As the lawsuits began to pile up, many began to question what Hinman’s words would mean for XRP.

Today’s clarification by Chairman Clayton could be seen as a reprieve for XRP, as it essentially shelves the decentralization issue for the time being. On the other hand, it could mean that even if XRP is proved to be wholly decentralized, it may have even larger requirements to fill before gaining a positive classification – as could the rest of the entire crypto market.

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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4.3 stars on average, based on 57 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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FunFair’s Value Expands 20% in a Week amid Catalysts

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FunFair (FUN) has taken investors on a wild ride in the last month along with the broader cryptocurrency market. Most recently, however, the FUN has hit a stride, increasing its value by approximately 20% over the last week. For the month, the coin remains lower by 14% as most ETH-based tokens have been following the lead of the No. 2 cryptocurrency Ethereum, which has similarly posted gains for the week, up 14%, but a loss for the month at 30%.

Source: Trading View

FunFair’s relative strength remains in neutral territory at 47.4, while the MACD level is bullish. Most of the moving averages, however, are signaling sell, with the exception of the EMA and SMA. Meanwhile, despite the fact that ETH isn’t out of the woods yet, if FUN is going to continue to follow its larger peer’s path, it could be in for more gains in the final quarter of the year with a couple of potential catalysts ahead.

Catalysts Ahead

The ETH drivers include the upcoming launch of the Ethereum hard fork on the test network, which brings them one step closer to unveiling Constantinople, which in turn will lead to the integration of scaling technology like Casper. This is what the community is waiting for but whether it can overcome the massive wave of ICO selling remains to be seen.

FunFair has a couple of developments of its own to drive the price higher. When a blockchain project sticks to its roadmap, it’s a reason to celebrate the coin, and FunFair has been moving forward. FunFair just announced that the completion of the first phase of beta testing in which “community testers” tested the mettle of the games with thousands of hands of blackjack and spins of the roulette wheel.

The mainnet testing coincided with the launch of its first casino. FunFair secured an operating license in the Dutch island of Curacao and expects for the maiden FunFair-fueled casino to go live in September. Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin has identified gaming as a major driver of the network.

Bitcoin’s dominance is currently hovering at 55%, and the combined value of the crypto market is once again perched above $200 billion. If market strategists and technical signals are right, the next couple of months could be a game changer for crypto prices. ICE’s regulated exchange Bakkt will likely launch in November, while Fidelity is reportedly moving deeper into crypto. It’s just a matter of time for prices respond to the blockchain industry advancements and catch up.

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 60 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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