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Bitcoin Cash Pulls Back as Developers Plan to Increase Block Size Again

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Bitcoin cash (BCH) declined sharply on Wednesday, as the market pulled back from large gains earlier in the week. The decline occurred in lockstep with a broad correction for the original bitcoin, which briefly fell $2,000 after hitting new record highs.

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BCH/USD Price Levels

Bitcoin cash was down more than 10% early Thursday before paring losses. At press time, the digital currency was trading around $1,380, or less than half of its all-time high.

BCH/USD trade volumes have exceeded $2.5 billion over the past 24 hours, with South Korea’s Bithumb accounting for more than a quarter of the daily turnover. Europe-based HitBTC saw roughly 10% of the daily traffic.

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The broad decline in bitcoin cash came as prices failed to push across $1,700 earlier in the week, resulting in a downward correction. Prices have since moved sharply below a bullish trendline and are barely clinging on to a major support level around $1,450.

Bitcoin Cash to Increase Block Size

Developers at bitcoin cash have made plans to increase the digital currency’s block size in the new year. The initiative was announced in a year-long roadmap that appeared Tuesday on bitcoinabc.org.

“Our top priority for Bitcoin Cash is to keep improving it as a great form of money. We want to make it more reliable, more scalable, with low fees and ready for rapid growth,” the developer said. “It should “just work”, without complications or hassles. It should be ready for global adoption by mainstream users, and provide a solid foundation that businesses can rely on.”

BCH cash split from the original bitcoin back in August after a minority of the mining community backed a large block size increase. By increasing the block size, backers hope to make cryptocurrency more user-friendly for transaction purposes. Opponents of bitcoin cash argue that the new protocol could undermine the blockchain’s security.

Bitcoin ABC said a secondary goal of boosting block size is to improve features to allow for timestamping, representative tokens and more complex transactions.

BCH largely struggled out of the gate, with investors disavowing the cryptocurrency in favor of bitcoin and a small handful of altcoins. Sentiment quickly shifted earlier this month after the backers of the Segwit2x hard fork abandoned their mission. This triggered a huge spike for BCH at the expanse of the original bitcoin.

There is no evidence to suggest that the mining community will support Segwit2x in the near future. Though not technically dead, the new Segwit protocol’s implementation window has narrowed significantly. Like bitcoin cash, the 2X upgrade was intended to make bitcoin more relevant from a transactions perspective. Although bitcoin is widely expected by many merchants, it’s primary use is to store value.

To that point, the BTC/USD exchange rate spiked above $11,000 on Wednesday for the first time ever. Prices declined sharply later in the day, but were back above the $10,000 threshold by early morning Thursday.

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. 

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Trade Recommendation: ETC/BTC Pair Bottoming Out

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The ETC/BTC market has been in a downtrend after it generated a high of 0.00931529 in June and failed to hold support at 0.006 on Poloniex. Bears repelled any meaningful rally and sent the market to as low as 0.00129881. Fortunately for the bulls, it appears that the pair may have found its bottom.

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Technical analysis shows signs of selling exhaustion. First, ETC/BTC went into extreme oversold territory when the price reached 0.00129881. Second, and more importantly, the market revisited that level recently after it corrected from its move above 0.003. When the pair tested support, 0.00129881 was held even though the volume was twice its daily average on Poloniex. These indicators suggest that the pair has bottomed out.

The strategy is to buy between 0.00129881 and 0.002. Take note: the market is still in a downtrend, but there’s an opportunity to generate profits by trading the range. Sell when the market touches 0.0032.

Daily ETC/BTC Chart on Poloniex

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As of this writing, the market price of ETC/BTC is 0.00179752.

Summary of Strategy

Buy: between 0.00129881 and 0.002

Support: 0.00129881

Target: 0.0032

Stop: Move below 0.00129881

 

Disclaimer: The writer 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 money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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Ripple Spikes 50% as Bitcoin Lifts Smaller Altcoins

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Ripple spiked to new highs on Wednesday, as altcoins followed bitcoin higher in the wake of CBOE’s successful futures launch.

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XRP/USD Price Levels

Ripple (XRP/USD) shot up to 0.4442 on Wednesday, which was a new all-time high for the altcoin. Prices were last seen hovering at 0.3651 for a gain of roughly 50%, according to CoinMarketCap.

At present values, the XRP market is capitalized at $14.7 billion. Trade volumes over the past 24 hours exceeded $1.7 billion. South Korean trading desks were responsible for the lion’s share of the turnover, with XRP/KRW transactions on Bithumb accounting for roughly 30% of the transactions. Coinone, another South Korean exchange, turned over nearly 8% of the transactions.

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Ripple benefited from a broad upswing in the cryptocurrency market on Tuesday as bitcoin rose above $17,000. The global cryptocurrency market is currently valued at roughly $488 billion. Bitcoin now accounts for less than 40% of the daily turnover. Ripple is down at nearly 5%, which is enough for fifth in volume terms.

AMEX Partnership

Positive vibes from bitcoin futures aren’t the only catalyst behind Ripple’s record surge. The San Francisco-based company recently confirmed a partnership with credit card American Express, the Dow Jones blue chip that is embracing blockchain. American Express is looking to Ripple to solve liquidity shortfalls in remittances by offering instant blockchain-based payments.

Rumblings of an AMEX-Ripple partnership made headway in October. Last month, American Express’s chief information officer Marc Gordon commented on his company’s new venture with Ripple as well as Santander, a financial institute based in the U.K.

Ethereum and Litecoin also surged to record highs on Tuesday, as markets continued to prosper in the wake of CBOE’s bitcoin futures contract.

“American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies,” Gordon said. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”

The Santander connection appears to be opening a U.S.-U.K. corridor for real-time gross settlement for business to business transactions. This is expected to reduce cost and enhance the end user experience. Proponents say the new protocol is a significant improvement over the existing SWIFT system.

Some speculators say there’s the potential for a Ripple-Paycase partnership in the near future, given that both rely on a bitcoin blockchain. Paycase has successfully created a remittance corridor between Canada and Latin America, making Ripple a natural ally.

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.

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Monero Forges Ahead as Prices Cross $290

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Monero shot up again on Tuesday, as the privacy-focused altcoin approached new highs on the promise of lower transaction fees.

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XMR/USD Price Levels

Monero has been on a tear for the past five weeks with prices more than tripling since Nov. 5. At press time, XMR/USD was up 7.5% at $289, where it was not far from session highs. The cryptocurrency recently established new lifetime highs north of $307. A re-test of those highs could be imminent as XMR continues to push north of $290.

With the latest gain, Monero has added 20% over the past five days, and is ranked no. 7 in terms of dollar-denominated market cap. The total value of XMR in circulation is now $4.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That puts it above NEM (XEM), bitcoin gold (BTG) and Stellar Lumens (XLM).

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Monero’s trade volumes remain well below altcoin leaders Ethereum, Litecoin and IOTA. As of Tuesday, XMR turned over $188 million over the previous 24 hours, with South Korea’s Bithumb responsible for about a quarter of total transactions. The XMR/BTC exchange on HitBTC saw nearly 17% of the daily turnover. XMR/USD traded on Bitfinex also saw more than 16% of total transactions.

Although significant, Monero’s gains have occurred in lockstep with the broader cryptocurrency universe, with altcoins benefiting significantly from bitcoin’s record highs.

Bulletproofs Present Cost-Saving Potential

Monero Research Labs is working hard to reduce the network’s transaction fees by up to 80%, a signs of a bright future for the leading altcoin. The implementation of Bulletproofs also appears to be working in favor of lowering transaction sizes on the network.

For the uninitiated, bulletproofs are essentially an improvement in the bandwidth efficiency of Monero’s confidential transactions. Bulletproofs are also capable of lowering both the transaction size and transaction fee of the Monero platform. The implementation of this protocol is expected to benefit Monero in other important ways, such as faster verification times.

Monero developers are implementing bulletproofs in two stages, the first being the single-output proofs. This will be followed by multiple-output proofs at a later stage. As of last week, Monero said bulletproofs are moving into testnet shortly.

“Overall, bulletproofs represent a huge advancement in Monero transactions,” Sarang Noether wrote in a Dec. 7 blog on the Monero website. “We get massive space savings, better verification times, and lower fees.”

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 money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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