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Bitcoin, Ethereum Lead Crypto Market Rebound on Saturday

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Money is pouring back into cryptocurrencies on Saturday, with bitcoin and Ethereum posting double-digit rallies to lead the market’s recovery. At the time of writing, all but two of the world’s top 50 cryptocurrencies were trading in positive territory, with 37 tokens valued at $1 billion or more.

Bitcoin

The world’s most active cryptocurrency approached $13,000 on Saturday after multiple stalled rallies kept prices capped below $12,000. By midday Satursday, bitcoin was up 13% at $12,833 for a market cap of $219 billion. Nearly $12 billion worth of BTC was transacted on the major exchanges over the last 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin is leading the cryptocurrency market out of its biggest decline in recent memory. Concerns over regulation, fraud and insider trading all factored into the market’s precipitous drop through the first half of the week. The decline dragged bitcoin to a low of around $9,400, or roughly half the all-time high.

The latest price rally has all the signs of a bullish reversal – the kind we’ve grown accustomed to over the past 12 months. However, bearish sentiment continues to dog the short-term outlook as traders await new regulatory clues from the South Korean government.

Ethereum

Ethereum also extended its recovery, with prices up 50% from Wednesday’s low. The native ether token shot up 13.3% to $1,155 on Saturday, bringing its total market cap to $112 billion.

The digital currency has been among the market’s most prosperous this year. Ether touched an all-time high of around $1,415 on Jan. 13, a near doubling of its New Year price. A strong start to the year has pushed ether back into the no. 2 spot on list of biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap.

Ether’s rally north of the $1,100 resistance confirms the uptrend, although near-term momentum may be capped by risk-off sentiment tied to South Korea.

Broader Market Recovers

The total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies rose more than 13% on Saturday to reach $632 billion. That represents a recovery of more than $200 billion from Wednesday’s lows.

Although market fundamentals remain largely unchanged from where they were two weeks ago, a global movement toward tougher regulation continues to be a major risk for the digital asset class. Earlier this week, France and Germany issued a joint proposal to regulate cryptocurrencies. The proposal will be presented at the next G20 summit in March, which will be hosted by Argentina.

“We will have a joint Franco-German analysis of the risks linked to bitcoin, regulation proposals and these will be submitted as a joint proposal to our G20 counterparts at the G20 summit in Argentina in March,” French Finance Minister Brune Le Maire said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

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 772 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Litecoin, EOS, Binance Coin, Maker: Altcoins Leading the Charge

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Crypto valuations experienced a slight pullback Wednesday, though a small contingency of altcoins continued to see impressive gains, a sign that the latest uptrend still had room to mobilize.

Crypto Market Update

Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies reported losses overnight, raising the specter of a ‘bull trap’ following the latest recovery attempt. The downside risk has since moderated, with a small handful of altcoins reporting gains.

EOS (EOS) gained 4.4% to $3.80, extending an early-week rally that pushed prices to nearly three-month highs. The Enterprise Operating System is up more than 30% since Sunday.

The Litecoin (LTC) price crossed $51.00 for the first time since mid-November, gaining 4.8% in the process. The cryptocurrency has gained a whopping 80% over the past two weeks, which helped to engineer a market-wide rally. Read more: Litecoin Sparks Huge Crypto Rally as Bitcoin Smashes Through $3,700.

Litecoin is benefitting from adoption progress after SpendApp announced it will begin supporting the cryptocurrency at more than 40 million locations. Combined with the anticipated ‘halving’ event in August, Litecoin continues to attract strong bids.

Meanwhile, the meteoric rise of Binance Coin (BNB) continued on Wednesday. The price surged 11% to $10.94, the highest since last August. Binance Coin is benefiting from positive publicity tied to its underlying exchange, including the launch of a new token sale platform.

Maker (MKR), which is comprised of a stablecoin, collateral loans and a decentralized governance framework, rounded out the big gainers on Wednesday. MKR jumped 10.4% to $652.10, placing it in 16th in terms of market cap.

Want an introduction to MKR? Read: What’s Driving Maker (MKR)? High-Priced Coin Outshines Peers.

The combined cryptocurrency market cap is currently valued at $134.8 billion, up from an earlier low of $132.3 billion.

Does the Rally Have Legs?

While appearing sudden, the crypto rally that began on Sunday was actually weeks and perhaps even months in the making. As Hacked predicted before the rally, the sharp rise in coin circulation and overall trading volume, combined with the relative decline in volatility, pointed to higher prices in the near term.

On Tuesday, bitcoin’s 24-hour trading volume topped $10 billion for the first time in ten months. Market-wide volumes spiked above $36 billion, levels not seen since last May. And that’s just what digital exchanges are reporting.

Anyone still doubting whether institutional traders are accessing crypto should pay close attention to private bilateral contracts. This private market has scaled up to between $125 million and $500 million per month in the last half year, according to Bloomberg. Recent activity shows that traders have zeroed in on the $4,200 price target, and some are betting large sums that bitcoin can top this level by the spring.

Bitcoin is currently trading just above $4,000 on Bitfinex. While its share of the overall market has declined over the past 48 hours, it is by far the biggest bellwether for cryptocurrencies. Where bitcoin goes, the market follows.

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 772 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Tron Price Analysis: TRX/USD Bulls Dealt a Blow as Bearish Daily Candlestick Eyed

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  • Tron (TRX) was forced to give up the recent run higher after closure in the red on Tuesday.
  • TRX/USD saw a bearish candlestick formation on the daily chart yesterday, somewhat of a shooting or evening star.

The Tron price after a decent push north over the past few sessions saw a minor slowdown on 19th February. TRX/USD gained around 12% from 15th-19th February, as the price managed to find its feet following a break of key support. An ascending trend line was initially running from the back-end of December 2018 up until a breach on 11th February.

At the daily close on 19th February, the candlestick formed somewhat of a bearish shooting or evening star. Should this play by the textbook, then it signals some further potential downside pressure to come. A confirmation of the price moving back south and possibly reversing the recent run of gains would need to see another bearish closure on the daily.

BitGo to Support Tron

Tron announced that BitGo is adding TRX to the list of cryptocurrencies that it supports later this year. BitGo is a digital asset financial services organization offering wallet and custody support. The company already accommodates the likes of bitcoin and Ethereum, plus over 100 other cryptocurrencies.

The CEO and founder of Tron Justin Sun commented following the announced:

“As TRON and its subsidiary BitTorrent work toward our vision of creating a new internet economy that is fast, secure, and cost-effective, we need to work with the companies that can provide that secure foundation. With BitGo, TRX investors will have the most secure wallet and custody options.”

Elsewhere the chief technology officer at BitGo spoke on the latest update to support Tron:

“As TRON and its subsidiary BitTorrent work toward our vision of creating a new internet economy that is fast, secure, and cost-effective, we need to work with the companies that can provide that secure foundation. With BitGo, TRX investors will have the most secure wallet and custody options.”

Technical Review – TRX/USD

As detailed above, the daily candlestick observed yesterday was a bearish closure, ending the run of gains seen of late. If there is to be additional selling pressure, the bears would need to force another close in the red. Should the momentum to the downside pick up the pace, then eyes will be on the next area of support. Daily comfort is provided at $0.023550 $0.021500, $0.018700 and then $0.01750-$0.01600.

In terms of upside targets, the bulls would be looking to break back above the breached ascending trend line. The resistance is currently tracking around $0.027500, and a push north of this could put TRX/USD in an excellent running to retest $0.030000 territory. A large amount of supply is noted through much of this area. If this is successfully broken down, then a fast move could take place up to $0.040000 region.

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 125 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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Top 4 Tether Alternatives: Best Stablecoins to Hodl Crypto Gains

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Top Tether Alternatives

Stablecoins are one of the most effective ways for a trader to lock in his crypto gains and ride out that volatility.

This has been the case for a number of years as traders have used the Tether stablecoin. However, this has been viewed with a great deal of suspicion more recently.

Now, there are an array of newer stablecoins that have hit the market. They are all vying to win a piece of of the stablecoin pie.

In this post, I will take a look at some of the most attractive alternatives to Tether – In search of the “most stable” stablecoin.

Coinbase & Circle USDC

The USD Coin was developed by the Centre Consortium which is a collaberation between Coinbase and Circle Internet financial. The latter is a Goldman Sachs backed Fintech company that owns the Poloniex Exchange whereas the former is self explanatory.

Like Tether supposedly is, the USDC is backed by actual US dollars that are kept in a bank account. Each USDC that is issued is backed 1 to 1 with a US dollar. These U.S. dollars are held in reserve accounts and are regularly audited to unsure the reserve match the issuance of USDC.

Technologically, the USDC is an ERC20 token that has been developed on the Ethereum blockchain. This was done in order to support the rapid transfers of the coins on the network. Moreover, there is the added benefit security provided by a robust and established network.

Of course, it also helps a great deal that this is backed by the likes of Coinbase and Circle. This makes the coin that much more reputable than the likes of Tether. It also means easy redemption on Coinbase and conversion into Fiat.

Exchanges to buy USDC
List of exchanges to buy USDC

Moreover, USDC is listed on a number of different exchanges for trading. It has strong liquidity and is currently sitting at 23 in Marketcap rankings. This places it at the top of the list among the other stablecoins.

You can also create a USDC account and convert the coins into Fiat right from the issuer. This will cut out the middleman and reduce your fees.

So, is there a catch?

Well, this is still a centrally controlled stablecoin. It is not really “trustless” as you have to place your trust in Coinbase and Circle.

Paxos Standard

Another interesting Fiat backed stablecoin is that of Paxos Standard (PAX). This is issued by the Paxos Trust Company. They have described themselves as the “first regulated Trust company with blockchain expertise”.

This is also an ERC20 token that was built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Every dollar that they hold in their bank account  corresponds to the total supply of PAX. When there is a redemption of the PAX then the corresponding coin is burned.

What is interesting about them is that they are regulated and approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Paxos DFS
Image via Paxos Standard and NY DFS

Paxos standard also owns their own exchange (itbit.com). This means that when trading on this exchange users will be able to withdraw other digital assets to PAX instantaneously and without fees. PAX is also listed on a number of different exchanges so you can trade out of your altcoins there.

Finally, as is the case with the USDC, you can create an account at Paxos standard and get an instant conversion into Fiat. This is actually something that a number of traders have been doing recently.

However, it has not been plain sailing for all.

There have been reports that the company has been making it difficult for legitimate traders to cash out their PAX. Some traders have reported that even after completing numerous requests for information, their accounts have still been shut down.

So if you are going to be using PAX for large scale fiat conversion then you will have to consider this possible risk. In the end, redemption is in the hands of the compliance team at the trust.

Gemini Dollar (GUSD)

The third fiat backed stablecoin on our list is the offering from the Gemini exchange. This is the Gemini dollar (GUSD) that was launched at about the same time as the Paxos Standard token.

An ERC20 based token, GUSD will be backed by fiat that is held at State Street bank. They have also retained a pass-through insurance product to provide FDIC insurance within specific limits. Gemini stablecoin will also be regularly audited by BPM Accounting and Consulting.

GUSD is also listed on a number of exchanges which makes trading into and out of it quite easy. Sitting at a market cap ranking of 123, it has a much lower cap than the other centralized stablecoins I have mentioned above.

If you are looking for an easy off-road into fiat then you can always use the Gemini exchange. However, much like the case with PAX, your redemption is completely in the hands of Gemini.

There have also been reports that the exchange is making it difficult for their traders and clients to redeem their tokens. In fact, there are many OTC dealers which have large accounts at Gemini that are concerned about converting their tokens as they do not want to risk their accounts being shut down.

While there may have been unique cases around the PAX and GUSD closure, it is always disconcerting to hear stories like this.

Up till now all of the Stablecoins that I have mentioned have been centrally issued and backed by US dollars. The only reason that they have been able to keep their peg to the USD is because of certain “trust” in the redemption of these tokens.

Of course, as we saw with Tether in July of 2017, loss of confidence in a the central issuing authority can lead to a breaking of the peg.

Tether breaking peg
Tether (USDT) breaking the peg in 2017. Source: Coingecko

If the authority is not able to keep up with the pace of the redemption then this could lead to a “run on redemptions”. This is a self perpetuating crisis that can feed on itself and lead to a full blown crisis.

However, are there alternative stablecoins that are “trustless” and do not rely on a centralized authority?

MakerDAO DAI Stablecoin

The MakerDAO stablecoin is an interesting alternative as it is one of the few coins that does not have a centralised structure with fiat that backs the coins in a bank account. DAI is backed by collateralized cryptocurrency debt.

More specifically, DAI is created when you lock up a certain amount of Etheruem in a Collateralized Debt Position (CDP). This is the collateral that you are staking for the DAI and can be unlocked again with DAI.

The method by which it is able to maintain its peg is really quite ingenious. It uses economic incentives which encourages users in the ecosystem to stabilise the price through their actions.

More specifically, when the price of DAI is above the $1 peg then they can issue DAI at $1 and sell it for an instant profit. However, if the price is below the peg then they can easily unlock their ETH in the CDP at a discount.

Given that DAI was created by the MakerDAO team, there is also a unique relationship with the MKR token. Those who hold the CDP are able to earn an annual interest rate of 0.5% on the loan. This interest is only payable in MKR. This encourages an increase in the value of MKR since the supply of MKR is always falling, but demand should be increasing as more CDPs (and DAI) are created.

DAI Holding Peg
DAI holding 1:1 Parity while ETH Collapses. Source: Tradingview

This decentralized stabilization mechanism has worked quite well so far. Despite the price of the collateral (ETH) falling by over 80% last year, it was still able to hold the peg. This was all through a protocol defined mechanism that required no “trust” whatsoever.

What is more, the DAI mechanism can be used to peg a stablecoin to any other asset value (cryptocurrency included). The Maker team plans to eventually peg the DAI to Digix (DAO) which is a token that is backed by physical gold.

So, are there any drawbacks?

Well, given that the loans are denominated in crypto, there isn’t a simple Fiat conversion mechanism. If you want to convert your DAI into a Fiat currency then you will have to send them to a centralized exchange and withdraw the fiat.

There is currently quite a bit of liquidity across a range of exchanges and DAI is ranked at 55 in market cap. Of course, this means that you may have to incur trading fees on the exchange.

Other than that, it could be a really attractive option.

Conclusion

So, which stablecoin should you use then?

Well, this will really comes down to your own personal preferences and risk tolerance. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to stablecoin selection.

All of the coins on the list meet the most fundamental requirement of a stablecoin in that they are able to maintain the peg. This is beneficial to those traders that are looking for a crypto method to lock in their dollar gains.

Indeed, there may be challenges that come with a withdrawal into fiat. This is especially true if it is a large amount of money and it is through one of the coin issuers that traders have had troubles with before.

The USDC appears to the the most prominent Dollar backed stablecoin on the market at the moment. However, if you are concerned about the prospect of a centralized issuer then you can always opt for the much more sophisticated DAI stablecoin.

Of course, it goes without saying that no stablecoin is as stable as the USD. Stablecoins are still a relatively new phenomenon and do not come risk free.

Do Your Own Research (DYOR).

Featured Image via Fotolia

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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5 stars on average, based on 10 rated postsNic is an ex Investment Banker and current crypto enthusiast. When he is not sitting behind six screens trading Bitcoin, he is maintaining his numerous mining rigs. Twitter: @nicrypto




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