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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 462 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 Drift Sideways as Trading Activity Plunges

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Liquidity dried up in the cryptocurrency segment in recent days, as trading volumes have been declining progressively, while the major coins got stuck in tight ranges. Only a few coins show signs of activity, and the bearish short-term patterns continue to dominate the market. With a group of currencies, namely Litecoin, Monero, Dash, and Bitcoin itself clearly dragging the segment down, the short-term trend will likely continue, as the previous leaders are now showing strength either.

While all of the top digital currencies are showing some gains today, and the total value of the market edged close to $290 billion, major resistance levels are still towering above. The fact that the effect of the Bithumb hack faded away quickly is a positive here, but until signs of bullish momentum and a clear leadership forming, the short-term outlook remains bearish.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin continues to trade near the $6750 level, edging ever closer to the declining short-term trendline, in a bearish consolidation pattern. Bulls would need a sustained move above $7000 to negate the declining trend, but for now at least a test of last week’s lows is likely with a possible move towards the key long-term zone between $5850 and $6000.  The short-term zone around $6350 level provides support, while further resistance is ahead near $7350.

Ethereum Nears Trendline as ETC Attempts Breakout

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum has been among the strongest coins in the last few days again, and coupled with its long-term relative strength, the second largest coin is still the best candidate to lead a recovery. That said, the coin still faces strong resistance between $555 and $575, and bullish momentum is suspiciously weak. Primary support is found at $500 with further zones near $450 and $400.

ETC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum Classic has been positively diverging compared to the rest of the market, together with Binance Coin, and to a lesser extent Tron ever since its inclusion to Coinbase, and the coin moved above the key $16 resistance yesterday in late trading.

While ETC is slightly overbought from a short-term perspective, a consolidation above $16 and a subsequent move higher could confirm a trend change. For now, the short-term trend signal is only neutral, and traders should remain cautious given the broad downtrend in the segment

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 279 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

Calm Prevails in Crypto World as Bitcoin Runs Up Against Resistance

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Cryptocurrencies resumed their rangebound trading Thursday, as bitcoin’s relief rally showed signs of stalling while Ethereum and the major altcoins were held to break-even.

Market Update

The combined value of all coins and tokens in circulation is $287 billion, virtually unchanged from the overnight hours.

Bitcoin touched a session high of $6,790.25 but was unable to extend its rally past $6,800. The bulls have been rejected at this level on at least three occasions since Tuesday, a sign the relief rally was losing steam.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap bottomed around $6,133 on June 13. At the time, the short-term technical indicators supported a further breakdown in price, with $5,900 seen as the next likely target.

Ethereum prices were up a mere 1% Thursday to $534. ETH/USD values reached an earlier high of $542.74, which was not unlike the high from Tuesday.

The major altcoins ranked between nos. 3 and 10 by market cap were virtually unchanged compared with 24 hours ago.

Digital currency prices have shown remarkable progress in terms of stability, as total market values fluctuated within a $4 billion range through the overnight session. Twenty-four hour trade volumes have held just above $12 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bithumb fell to the no. 9 spot based on total volume after the exchange shut down deposits and withdrawals in the wake of a $31 million cyber heist. The exchange has processed $181 million worth of cryptocurrency trades since early Wednesday, which is roughly half of the previous day’s turnover.

In Search of Direction

While cryptocurrencies have exhibited rare price stability over the past nine days, it is too premature to conclude that the bears have relinquished control of the market. The total market is down a whopping 38% from the April swing high and volumes have declined by more than half over that period.

With the exception of the recent attacks on South Korean exchanges, the latest crypto headlines have been mostly positive. If they can be summed up in one theme, it would likely be the growing institutional interest in cryptocurrency.

The San Francisco-based Coinbase exchange has been leading in that capacity by announcing the arrival of crypto custodial services. Goldman Sachs-backed Circle and BitGo are also in negotiation with regulators about launching similar services. Meanwhile, Wall Street custodians JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of New York Mellon Corp are reportedly working on custody services that could facilitate digital currency transactions.

While promising, these developments alone won’t be enough to generate the next crypto bull market. For institutional capital to be the driving force of the next major market uptrend, actual custodial services and not merely the promise of them must be deployed.

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 462 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

Cryptocurrencies Poised for a Comeback Despite Bithumb Hack, Says Charlie Lee

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The latest hack of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange does not change the market fundamentals for bitcoin or other digital currencies, Charlie Lee told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. What’s more, the Litecoin founder believes cryptos are poised for a comeback – the only question is when.

Charlie Lee Weighs In

Cryptocurrency prices declined by as much as $8 billion Wednesday on news that South Korea’s Bithumb exchange was attacked. As Lee pointed out to CNBC, investors’ initial reaction was typical given the sentiment-driven nature of the market. The hack of Bithumb or any other digital currency exchange does not affect bitcoin’s underlying value.

“If the exchange does not protect the coins well enough and gets hacked, it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the coin they are protecting,” he said.

With respect to security, exchanges still have “a lot to improve,” Lee said before adding that strides were being taken to prevent further attacks from taking places. In the case of Bithumb, the company reportedly spent 10 billion won on new security measures recently and beefed up its IT staff far beyond the threshold required for financial institutions.

The latest Bithumb heist resulted in the loss of nearly $31 million of cryptocurrency. The exchange halted deposits and withdrawals and shifted existing balances into cold storage as it investigated the matter. The attack caught the attention of South Korea’s financial regulators, who announced plans to expedite stricter regulations governing digital currency exchanges.

Typical Bear Market

Despite bitcoin’s massive correction over the past six months, it is still doing “really well,” Lee said, reminding investors that bear markets in cryptocurrency are nothing new. However, the difficulty with bitcoin is determining how long the bearish reversal will last.

“This one could be a three to four year market or it could recover tomorrow,” he said.

Analysts have offered a multitude of explanations for bitcoin’s half-year price collapse. Some are convinced that it was caused by the introduction of futures contracts, which allow traders to more easily short the market when this option was virtually impossible before. Others have pinned the blame on bitcoin whales, whom they say have been gradually winding down their positions since the futures contracts launched in December.

Speculation that Tether (USDT) has been artificially inflating bitcoin’s value through Bitfinex has also been posited as a potential cause for the six-month price collapse. The company’s recent audit, which has been labeled “phony” by many in the blockchain community, has only fueled accusations of impropriety. However, as Hacked’s James Waggonner pointed out, Bitfinex would have had to spend millions just to inflate bitcoin’s value by four basis points.

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 462 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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