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Bitcoin Drops to $13,000 in Tumultuous Trade Ahead of New Year

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Bitcoin prices briefly fell below $13,000 on Saturday amid news that South Korea was moving to regulate domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

BTC/USD Price Levels

The value of a single bitcoin reached a session low of $12,000 on Saturday following a broad correction in the market. At press time, BTC/USD was trading at $13,084, a 5% drop from the previous close. Bitcoin has shed more than 3% over a volatile five days.

With the most recent decline, bitcoin’s overall market was valued at $220 billion. More than $15 billion in bitcoin was transacted over the last 24 hours, with activity spread out across multiple exchanges.

Bitfinance processed 6.5% of daily transactions, which amounted to roughly $969 million. Binance’s XRP/BTC pair accounted for more than 5% of the daily volumes. Heavy buying of XRP/BTC was also present on Bittrex and Poloniex. This partially explains Ripple XRP’s recent string of record-setting gains. The so-called bankers’ crypto leapfrogged Ethereum on Friday to become the world’s second-largest digital asset behind bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s price levels have been volatile over the past week, with the market experiencing multiple pullbacks following a brief stint near $20,000 on Dec. 17. Over the past five days, values have fluctuated between $12,000 and $16,500.

South Korean Regulation

On Thursday, South Korea announced a series of measures to rein in speculation on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Authorities issued a freeze on new crypto accounts and banned users from trading anonymously. Brokers that do not comply risk losing their business.

Seoul is prepared to do much more to curb market volatility, including issuing an all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading, according to a top government official. According to CCN, Hong Nam-ki of the Office for Government Policy Coordination said authorities “will consider” shutting down bitcoin exchanges if the recent measures fail to cool an overheated market.

“We are planning to consider every possible measure in the future, including the shutdown of exchanges,” Hong said on Saturday, according to BusinessKorea, a Seoul-based English-language news service.

Meanwhile, a report from The Korea Times indicated that the Ministry of Justice has already proposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading. It remains unclear whether government authorities will action the proposal.

A ban on crypto exchanges would be a major blow to a market that has flourished in South Korea. The country accounts for roughly 20% of global bitcoin transactions, which is roughly ten times its share of the global economy.

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 604 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 Third Bear Market Showing Little Sign of Letting Up: Analyst

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Despite several attempts to rationalize bitcoin’s yearlong downturn, the leading digital currency remains locked in a protracted bear market that is showing little signs of letting up, according to veteran analyst Willy Woo. Based on this view, there’s little evidence to suggest that a reversal is imminent.

Bear Market Continues

In a recent tweet, Woo emphasized that bitcoin’s downtrend is likely to continue for longer and that there was no evidence of a reversal anytime soon. This view is reinforced by a historical analysis of bitcoin’s trajectory, which suggests that sideways trading is the best the market can hope for at the moment.

“Bitcoin has seen only 3 bear markets in its history,” Woo said. “We are in the third one now. One signal we can use to determine the end of the bear is for the price to cross above its 200 day moving average.”

Woo’s position isn’t bearish on the value prospects of bitcoin; it merely suggests that the bulls aren’t out of the woods yet.

The view that bitcoin is still in the middle of a downtrend contradicts several leading opinions on the matter. Wall Street crypto analyst Tom Lee has predicted that a return to record highs is possible this year, while billionaire investor Mike Novogratz has said that an exhaustion of the current downtrend will likely generate a bullish reversal in the foreseeable future. Although some of these viewpoints are backed by fundamental research, fear, uncertainty and perhaps manipulation have undermined bitcoin’s revival. This comes despite a wave of positive developments regarding institutional adoption, business innovation and even regulation.

Bitcoin’s most recent collapse had all the fingerprints of a whale

As Hacked recently showed, bitcoin’s latest price collapse appears to have been set in motion by a prominent whale moving hundreds of millions of BTC to multiple wallets. A large chunk of those assets were then transferred to leading digital currency exchanges where they may have been sold.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin is currently trading at $6,331 on Bitfinex, where it is little changed compared with the previous session. Data from CoinMarketCap suggests the BTC price has gained roughly 1% over the past 24 hours on trading volumes of $4.4 billion.

Bitcoin’s momentum indicators suggest lateral moves are likely to continue in the short-term as neither the RSI nor the MACD is showing signs of breaking out. The leading digital currency slumped at the start of the week after failing to make new highs. The BTC price appears to have formed a double-top above $6,500, which eventually paved the way for a reversal.

At current values, bitcoin is capitalized at $109.6 billion, which represents 55.3% of the entire market.

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 604 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: 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 348 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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4.4 stars on average, based on 58 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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