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Analysis

Bitcoin Bears Running Out of Gas, According to Price Manipulation Theory

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A group of researchers at The Crypto Fam have linked price manipulation to bitcoin’s bear market, suggesting that the arrival of institutional trading allowed investors to dump oversized holdings of digital currency.

Bitcoin Price Manipulation?

According to a new theory, it is no coincidence that bitcoin’s long unwind began on Dec. 17, the same day that bitcoin futures were launched. Over the next several months, the bitcoin-dollar exchange rate would fall from a high near $20,000 to a low of $5,980.

The rapid decline was aided by futures trading, which allows traders to short assets much more easily. As we’ve written before, shorting bitcoin was practically impossible prior to the launch of futures.

The theory posits that institutional money was stocking up on bitcoin well before Dec. 17, likely in anticipation of the CBOE/CME futures contracts. The bear market that ensued consisted of three major down moves, with the third leg beginning earlier this month.

Each down move follows a similar pattern: (1) a fake-out dump, (2) a failed rally and (3) a major dump. Each leg down is driven by lower selling volume with each drop less severe than the previous.

The compelling study was presented this week in a series of tweets by The Crypto Fam, which describes itself as “a community of crypto enthusiasts bridging the gaps.” The group’s stated goal, according to its website, is to “make crypto not so cryptic.”

In describing the pattern, the researchers concluded that “the bear market is running out of gas” because their supply of bitcoin has declined since the pump culminated on Dec. 17.

“This is a very simplified explanation of how markets work. A great deal of the total BTC supply is not traded. Some is lost forever in idle or forgotten wallets. Other Bitcoin is hodled by strong hands who never sell. This gives [market makers] greater power with their share of BTC.”

End of the Downtrend?

With the bears and market makers running low on supplies, the researchers concluded that the end of the downtrend is near. Bounces are more shallow than before while bottoms aren’t nearly as low.

Bitcoin prices fell below $7,300 earlier this week but have since recovered to the $7,500 range. Since bottoming below $6,000, prices have failed to test new lows. On the opposite side of the ledger, rallies have also been limited to $12,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Institutional adoption is widely viewed as a positive development in the evolution of cryptocurrency trading, though the latest study sheds light on the downside risks of derivatives trading. A similar conclusion was drawn earlier this month by the San Francisco Fed, which compared the launch of bitcoin futures to innovations in securitization in the mortgage market. However, this model has been criticized heavily for mistaking correlation with causation.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 743 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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. suguru

    May 27, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Hello,

    Would you please consider to analyze what kind of institutional adoption would increase the demand of bitcoin, whether institutions would demand bitcoin instead of creating their own, if there is actually institutional demand, etc. through your own scientific research instead of simply referring the others’ bullish perspective (which we aren’t sure how much they can be trusted)? I know you’re curating well but the reason why I use this site is to know something which is not available anywhere else, and I’m just not quite sure what the benefit of being a subscriber here to read something which is neither original nor sociological-economical.

    Thanks.

  2. Constantin

    May 27, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I agree with @suguru. It might be because I have spent a lot of time reading and learning about cryptocurrency or it might be because the informational aspect of the articles is trending down or maybe even a mix of the two … but I’m seeing less value for the money in my subscription than I did 4-5 months ago. Hopefully this will improve!

  3. DeadDuckWalking

    May 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    dito

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Analysis

3 Things You Need to Know About the Market Today

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1, Pound Resumes Rally on Strong Employment Report

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Great British Pound reacted well to the likely delay of the Brexit process in recent weeks, and today the currency defied the risk-off shift and rallied back towards the 1.30 level against the USD. The better than expected British Employment Report, which showed the strongest wage growth in a decade, outpacing inflation despite the long-term weakness of the Pound.

While the currency gained ground, British equities followed the global trends and finished lower, threatening with a resumption of the broader declining trend. All eyes are still on the Brexit saga, but should the extended deadline scenario prevail, the short-term bullish trend could continue in the pair, even as traders should keep the considerable event risk in mind when trading the Pound-related pairs.

2, Oil and Stocks Slide as Risk Assets Suffer amid Renewed Trade Worries

Johnson & Johnson, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the losses in risk assets have been limited yesterday, due, in part at least, to the US bank holiday, today, we saw heavy selling across the board. Oil ran into a wall near the resistance zone that we pointed out yesterday, and the crucial commodity fell back to a $52 per barrel handle with regards to the WTI contract.

Stocks got hit hard on reports that this week’s round of meetings between the senior US and Chinese officials has been canceled, with the issues of Intellectual Property and deeper Chinese economic reforms being behind the setback. We argued several times that these ‘soft’, hard to control issues are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, even in the case of a formal agreement, so while we expect wild swings on trade-related headlines, the structural, credit-related issues will drive Chinese assets.

3, Johnson & Johnson Misses on Guidance Despite Earnings Beat

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The pressure on stocks intensified following Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) earnings report, with the 2019 guidance disappointing investors. While the previous quarter was a positive surprise from the healthcare giant, as far as the bottom line is concerned, the outlook for the consumer segment cast a shadow on the broader market even as the company’s core Pharmaceutical business continues to shine.

Shares of the company are down by around 2%, and after the closing bell, IBM’s (IBM) report will be in focus, as the struggling tech giant will also report earnings. IBM has seen its share price cut in half as its growth stalled in recent years, and even a small positive surprise could propel the stock higher following the market-wide decline of the recent months, but it’s unlikely that the broader downtrend will be broken anytime soon.

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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 445 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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Analysis

Goldman Sachs: Even a $7.50B Fine Can’t Take Them Down

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By Dmitriy Gurkovskiy, Chief Analyst at RoboMarkets

Last week, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) published its Q4 earnings report, in which the main financial indicators exceeded all analysts’ expectations.

The net profit amounted to $2.54B, well above expectations of $1.78B; the revenue reached $8.12B compared with a forecast of $7.5B; finally, the net interest income rose to $898M versus an expected $758M.

The chart shows that Goldman Sachs’ revenues always exceeded the forecast figures. In 2017, the forecasts were quite conservative, with the actual results not much different. In 2018 this bias was already smaller. Based on the data from the chart, one can conclude that 2018 was not the best year for the bank, with revenues falling as predicted, which led to a share price fall, too. Over 2018, the stock lost almost 45% of its value.

Early in the year, the stock was still near the historical highs; then, after the Q1 report release, the price went down, as the report showed worse figures than expected.

Now, the price is increasing sharply, bouncing off its lows. Investors tend to first pay attention to the expected figures, especially if the company has been operating in the market for a long time. In such situations, news has a short-term impact on the price, as this has may times stood the test of time. Goldman Sachs was no exception.

The news on the Malaysian scandal, which broke out in 2015, is still here to stay. The Malaysian authorities accuse bank representatives of bribing officials to get an order for bond placement in 2012-2013. The revenues from those bonds, i.e. $6.5B, were just taken away, without any hint on using them for the local investment. In response, Goldman Sachs pointed out that the bonds were placed for the purpose of raising money for Malaysia, but instead part of the funds was stolen by members of the Malaysian government. As it turned out, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, was indeed found to have $681M in his accounts. This was a dead end, however, and indeed officials were very unlikely to punish themselves. Now, when Razak lost the election, the new government launched an anti-corruption investigation and Najib Razak was accused of money laundering, while Goldman Sachs was also charged.

In mid 2015, the stock actually declined, which lasted about a year. Overall, the fall was 37%, but then Goldman was out of the Malaysian scandal and media spoke about corruption in the Asian country. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, people knew very few things, as the media was tightly controlled by the government, and those who dared to report it were immediately closed. As such, The Insider, a Malaysian media, was closed after the very first publication of the article hinting on government corruption.

Therefore, linking the stock decline to the scandal does not work. However, if you follow the chart of the company’s revenues, you’ll understand what really happened.

The chart shows that the revenue forecast for the second quarter of 2015 was already declining, and when the Q2 real income was less than the previous one, both the stock and the prediction went down. Thus, the price directly responded to the decline in forecast indicators for revenues, and the news factor here had virtually no effect on the stock.

In 2016, the stock started recovering with the expectations also going higher. Therefore, the current growth in the value of the stock is directly related to the expectations of the growth of Goldman Sachs earnings in Q1 2019.

As for the possible fine, David Solomon, the Goldman Sachs CEO, decided to play it safe: the bank has already started accumulating money for it.

Technically, on W1 the stock is quite weak, being under 200-day moving average, but in spite of this, there’s still an uptrend, as the MA is going up.

When the stock fell down to its lows at $160, the volume increased drastically, which is one of the most evident signs of a reversal. This will be further confirmed once the 200-day MA gets broken out and the price stays above. But since the price went up sharply from its lows and increased for 4 weeks in a row, a small correction may happen as well.

The price may bounce off the 200-day MA and fall back to $190, after which the rise may resume.

Disclaimer

Any predictions contained herein are based on the authors’ particular opinion. This analysis shall not be treated as trading advice. RoboMarkets shall not be held liable for the results of the trades arising from relying upon trading recommendations and reviews contained herein.

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 26 rated postsHaving majored in both Social Psychology and Economics, I went on to continue my education in post graduate. Later I worked as a team lead of a tech and fundamental analysis lab in the Applied System Analysis Research Institute. This helped me to acquire all necessary skills and experience to become a successful trader and analyst, as well as a portfolio manager in an investment company. I'm a pro in the financial field and the author of articles for various international media. I also hold the position of Chief Analyst at RoboMarkets.




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Altcoins

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD Sellers are Stepping Up Downside Pressure; Explosive Breakout is Imminent

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  • ETH/USD is very much close to a breakout of the recent range-block formation.
  • Diar reports that on-chain transaction value on the Ethereum network was seen at an all-time-high in December 2018.

Over the past three sessions for ETH/USD, a pick-up in downside intensity has been demonstrated by the market bears. The price had been moving within a narrowing range-block formation for going on 12 sessions, but this appears to be coming to an end. Sellers are stepping up the pressure, looking for a breakout of the sideways movement seen of late.

Ethereum On-chain Transaction Value at All-Time-High

Source – Diar

Diar in their latest report detailed that on-chain transaction value hit an all-time-high on the Ethereum network. Diar provide weekly institutional publications in addition to data analysis of digital currencies. Further within this latest publication, the on-chain transaction levels had hit 115 million in December 2018. This marked an all-time high, which excludes the activity after a hard fork caused by the DAO hack in 2016.

In terms of monetary value, Diar stated that the total US dollar value on-chain last year was seen at $815 million. This was down from the previous $1.1 billion, reported in 2017. As a result, this was a 97% drop in the on-chain transaction value. The drop from peak in January versus December 2018 was “by and large the cause of an 80% drop in Ethereum’s price”.

Commenting on fees, Diar detailed that they are unlikely to have been a laggard on the growth for the Ethereum network. It already has some of the lowest fees that are observed for transacting on-chain. They added, “the Constantinople upgrade, now pushed back, will bring down fees a great deal further for certain types of transactions that would allow for better storage use”.

Technical Review – ETH/USD

ETH/USD daily chart.

Key daily support eyed around $117.50 has been penetrated in the past few sessions. Signs are starting to show of a gradual shift again in favor of a bearish bias. The price is running towards its third consecutive session in the red, with the critical support earlier detailed under threat. ETH/USD did have a quick spike of around 15% lower on 20th January before retracing back within the range-block. A firm breach and close of the mentioned $117.50, the lower part of the range-block, could be punishing. Eyes will then be on a retest of the big psychological $100 mark.

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 112 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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