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Bitcoin Crosses $10,000 for the First Time Ever

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Break out the champagne bottles because bitcoin just hit five-figures for the first time ever even as bubble concerns multiply.

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Bitcoin Mania

BTC/USD has reportedly crossed the $10,000 level for the first time in its history, capping off a meteoric rise that would have seemed nearly impossible just one year ago.

Reports of $10,000 bitcoin first surfaced on Bloomberg in a report that was published at 8:29 p.m. ET. A similar story was posted by The Wall Street Journal at 8:34 p.m. ET.

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has confirmed that bitcoin reached a high of $10,040 on Wednesday. Levels were as high as $10,192 according to CoinMarketCap.

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Depending on who you ask, the BTC/USD exchange rate is trading above $10,000 at press time.

Current values give bitcoin a total market cap of $170 billion. In the past 24 hours alone, trade volumes in the digital currency exceeded $6.5 billion, which is equivalent to 652,000 BTC units exchanging hands. At the time of writing, there is roughly 16.7 million bitcoin units in circulation.

The buying frenzy was once again linked to South Korean exchanges. Bithumb, the country’s largest crypto exchange, turned over $577 million worth of bitcoin transactions in the last 24 hours alone. The bitcoin-won exchange rate averages out to a hefty premium of around $11,273.

If we are using Korean exchanges as the benchmark, then bitcoin hit $10,000 24 hours ago.

Ten-Fold

Bitcoin’s 2017 price surge has been more than ten-fold, including a more than 50% jump since October. These startling numbers have raised fresh warning signs about the sustainability of the rally.

Bitcoin mania has shifted into higher gear as of late, with prices gaining more than 21% since Friday alone. According to analysts at WSJ, market participants are enjoying bitcoin’s volatility in a low-interest rate environment.

The world’s biggest digital currency system operates on its own accord free from central bank meddling or even correlation. These factors have made BTC a top pick for yield-seeking investors. But even the most optimistic of traders could not have imagined a 900% spike in the span of 11 months.

The latest upswing in prices comes as investors await the start of institutional trading of bitcoin and other digital payment systems. Mega institutions CME Group, CBOE and even Goldman Sachs are planning or have expressed interest in rolling out bitcoin trading.

Despite the latest surge, bitcoin has its fair share of critics and detractors. South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon is neither of those, but he too has chimed in on the dangers of cryptocurrency investing.

Bitcoin’s surging price points have “led to cases where young people and students get involved with cryptocurrencies to earn money,” he said on Tuesday. “If we let things continue, I feel that it will lead to some serious distorted or pathological phenomenon.”

At present, South Korea is one of the most laissez faire jurisdictions for trading and holding cryptocurrency. The same cannot be said for neighboring China, which has outlawed cryptocurrency trading all together.

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 412 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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Plunge Has Not Shaken Tom Lee

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Bitcoin’s latest technical breakdown hasn’t affected Tom Lee’s bullish outlook on the digital currency. The head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors is standing by his target of $25,000 by year’s end.

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Typical Volatility

In an email conversation with CNBC, Lee said the latest drop in market prices can be attributed to “typical market volatility” rather than any new underlying risks facing digital assets. He also identified three factors that will lead bitcoin to $25,000.

The first factor is cost of production, which Lee identified as anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 during the most recent slide. This means bitcoin is still worth more than its cost of production.

In Lee’s view, growing institutional interest will also keep the market trekking higher in the intermediate term.

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Growing interest from institutional traders will also keep the market rallying for the foreseeable future. Banks and other financial institutions are still feeling their way into the crypto market and are looking for regulatory guidance on how to move forward.

In a Tuesday interview with CNBC’s “Futures Now,” Lee issued the following statement:

“I think institutional investors have gained a lot of interest, and they haven’t really come into crypto yet because there is still some regulatory uncertainty. But that sort of ultimate allocation into crypto as an asset class is going to be a powerful reason why bitcoin rallies.”

Lee also reminded investors just how quickly the crypto market can change. A historical analysis reveals that the entirety of bitcoin’s gains in any given year can be attributed to ten days. Without those days, bitcoin values are down 25% annually.

“So as miserable as it feels holding bitcoin at $8,000, the move from $8,000 to $25,000 will happen in a handful of days,” he said.

BTC/USD Price Levels

Bitcoin prices bottomed at $7,289.35 on Thursday, their lowest in about six weeks. The cryptocurrency has declined nearly 10% over the past week.

At last check, BTC/USD had recovered around $7,508 for a total market cap of $128.3 billion. Selling pressure brought more volume to the market, with total turnover in bitcoin approaching $7 billion.

With the latest skid, bitcoin is down more than 40% this year.

The market cap for all cryptocurrencies bottomed at $318.8 billion on Thursday but has since recovered to around $333 billion. The market is down nearly $60 billion from its Sunday high.

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 412 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Spike Lower amid Regulatory Woes, Technical Breakdown

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Following a period of directionless range trading in the segment, cryptocurrencies got hit hard yesterday, on a very busy day in financial markets. The largest coins and small caps are down by 20% in two days on average, with the total value of the market declining by around $70 billion. The Indian tax plan, and the continued rise of the Dollar were among the triggers of the losses, and the move accelerated when key initial support levels were broken in the majors. The current selloff could be the last phase of the correction of the April run-up, as sentiment volume patterns and sentiment point to an approaching durable bottom.

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While the market managed to bounce in late trading, which extended to the Asian session today, now the coins are generally trading on new short-term lows after another wave of selling hit them. Correlations are very high, with only a few coins, Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Tron, and Stellar showing some signs of resilience amid the rout.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin plunged lower together with the broader market despite showing some relative strength in the beginning of the week, and it violated the key support zone between $7650 and $7800 in the process, Now, BTC is trading just above the $7300 support, with the short-term momentum indicators in oversold territory.

The coin is still not a buy from a short-term perspective, and traders shouldn’t enter new positions yet. Further resistance is ahead in the key $8400-$8600 zone and between $9000 and $9200, while support is found at $7000 and $6750.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum continues to be in a better technical position than BTC and the coin is trading in the strong support zone between $555 and $575 after falling below the $625-$645 zone. We still expect the uptrend to resume, and as the daily momentum indicators are also headed towards oversold territory, a long-term buy signal is close. Further support is found near $500 while above $625 the next main zone is between $735 and $780.

Ripple Holds $0.575, as Altcoins Trying to Find Footing

XRP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

XRP is showing the most short-term promise among the top coins, holding up above yesterday’s low, while showing a positive divergence with regards to the 4-Hour MACD indicator. The recently rallying Tron is also relatively strong today, although it fell back into its previous trading range, while the other leaders of the April surge, IOTA and EOS are also stuck in declining patterns.

There are still no cons on a short-term buy signal and Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Litecoin, NEO, and Dash are among the laggards, but for now, the long-term picture remains promising for the whole segment.

Stay tuned for our long-term technical analysis coming out later on today.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 256 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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Blockchain

How Blockchain Can Help Companies Face the New GDPR Rules

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The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines governing the European Union (EU) officially come into play on May 25. Businesses and their associated websites had about three years to comply with the new set of rules. The companies that didn’t bother adjusting their data collection methodologies could face stiff fines.

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Most companies issued a new “Terms of Use” to be on the safe side of the road. However, a blockchain system could solve the problem once and for all.

According to the GDPR, companies are expected to follow new guidelines in order to be allowed to operate for European citizens. Those regulations include the ability for the user to consent to their data being processed, the knowledge of who is processing the data and the ability to withdraw consent at any time..

Blockchain can play a vital role in this process. Websites that have users register on a distributed ledger system provide an upper hand, allowing them to be in charge of the data they provide.

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Blockchain’s Role

When applied to systems in need of identity management, blockchain can operate in a level no other protocol can. The way it stores, collects and distributes data is revolutionizing. There is a brand new set of capabilities not available on any existing data protection method.

Blockchain verifies data usage through a complicated combination of public and private signatures, data hashing and encryption. This allows a person’s data and identity to be saved only on his end, rather than on a server. When that data is requested, it has to be provided from the user’s device instead of the main server.

While running on a blockchain system, the user is able to process exchanges personally, meaning the company that wants his data will have to get his consent in order to access them. This allows the user to have absolute control over his information, as well as know the company that uses it, meeting the GDPR’s “Right to Erasure” condition.

The use of blockchain also eliminates the need for massive databases since each user stores his own data. Blockchain makes it possible for each user to connect when needed, allowing companies to keep minimum information on customers and employees. Applying those changes to their products as well allows the company to meet GDPR’s “privacy by design” condition.

Privacy by design is, in essence, a new GDPR provision. According to it, companies are obligated to have platforms that are built on data privacy, with their products or services privacy in the cognizance of the rightful user. With blockchain technology, the process is automatically private, thus meeting the privacy by design criteria.

It remains to be seen if GDPR rules come into place on May 25 and whether fines will actually be levied on websites that do not comply. According to GDPR, the fees may come up to 4% of its annual global turnover, or €20 million, whichever is greater. This amount is enough to deter both small and large companies, although implementation will be key.

Blockchain can be the pioneer system behind the web sooner than we think. GDPR paves the way for greater blockchain adoption at a level that extends far beyond core business functions and cryptocurrency transactions.

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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