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Bitcoin is About to Get a Lot Easier to Trade

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The company that pioneered some of the world’s most popular trading technology is venturing into cryptocurrency, making it easier for institutional traders to access bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets.

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Trading Technologies International Inc.

Trading Technologies International Inc. has agreed to add the Coinbase marketplace to its roster in March, bringing investors one step closer to accessing the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies.

By supporting cryptocurrencies, Trading Technologies will make it easier for institutional investors and day traders to access the burgeoning asset class using software they are accustomed to. Although Trading Technologies customers already have access to bitcoin futures, the new setup may allow for arbitrage between the contracts offered by CBOE and CME Group, according to Bloomberg.

According o the company’s website, traders will be able to manually enter cryptocurrency trades using its software or automate the entire process using the same tools that sock traders currently enjoy.

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Rick Lane, the head of Trading Technologies, was interviewed by Bloomberg on Thursday and issued the following statement:

“Institutions are trading with increasing frequency and regularity in these markets, although they’re doing so without institutional-grade, professional-grade technology. They’re largely underserved and there’s a lot of trading volume and trading opportunity left on the table.”

Trading Technologies links more than 40 markets around the world. It processed roughly $150 million worth of bitcoin contracts on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Coinbase

Coinbase has quickly emerged as one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. As of November, the exchange supports more than 13 million active user accounts. Earlier this week, the company disclosed that it earned $1 billion in revenue last year.

The platform is extremely popular because it supports the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies and enables easy purchase through fiat money. In just a few clicks, investors can buy and hold assets like bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and bitcoin cash. The company is rumored to be adding a new batch of cryptocurrencies this year, with Ripple XRP among the leading candidates for inclusion.

Robinhood Adds Cryptocurrency

Popular stock-trading app Robinhood has announced that it too is entering the cryptocurrency market. The app has quickly made a name for itself by offering commission-free trades on stocks.

The company’s co-founder Baiju Bhatt described bitcoin as resilient, and says the digital currency system aligns with the values of the free trading app. Once launched on Robinhood, cryptocurrencies will become even easier to access for those without any trading experience.

However, the path forward won’t be easy, as the platform will have to find ways to scale with growing demand for cryptocurrency. Coinbase and others have struggled to maintain operations amid the unprecedented surge in trading volumes over the last three months.

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 145 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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CFTC Warns Crypto Investors About Pump-and-Dumps

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Washington’s top commodity regulator has issued a stern warning to investors about cryptocurrency pump-and-dump schemes, which have become more prevalent in the wake of the ICO boom that began last year.

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CFTC Issues Warning

In a strongly worded release, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Thursday urged investors not to participate in pump-and-dumps, which are classified as a form of security fraud. The regulator said this form of fraud is easier to implement than ever before, with mobile chat groups and internet message boards becoming the go-to method for disseminating false or misleading statements about a particular asset.

“The same basic fraud is now occurring using little known virtual currencies and digital coins or tokens, but thanks to mobile messaging apps and Internet message boards, today’s pump-and-dumpers don’t need a boiler room, they organize anonymously and hype the currencies and tokens using social media,” the CFTC said.

The regulator added the following:

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“Some pump and dumps use false news reports, typically about a famous high-tech business leader or investor who plans to pour millions of dollars into a small, lesser known virtual currency or coin. Other fake news stories have featured major retailers, banks, or credit card companies, announcing plans to partner with one virtual currency or another.”

Lesser Known Coins the Target

In the world of cryptocurrency, pump-and-dumpers often target lesser known coins that can be bought for pennies. The hype machine then goes to work convincing speculators to enter trades as quickly as possible. In a market that added 3,300% in the span of a year, convincing the masses that it’s now-or-never is fairly easy.

Although it’s not always easy distinguishing which cryptocurrencies have been artificially inflated by fake stories, some possible recent candidates include UBIQ, Golem Dragoncoin, DigiByte and Verge.

Others argue that all cryptocurrencies are pumped and dumped because it’s almost impossible to determine their intrinsic value (if they even have one at all). The author believes this argument conflates true pump-and-dump schemes from the common perception that cryptocurrencies are in a bubble (it’s possible to be in the latter without being a product of the former).

That being said, investors should be especially weary of obscure coins that surge unexpectedly without cause or explanation. Although it may not be an apparent pump-and-dump, it could be a case of excessive speculation.

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 145 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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Barely Any Cryptocurrency Traders Have Paid Their Taxes

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2017 was an earth shattering year for cryptocurrencies as the total market appreciated by 3,300%. However, a new survey suggests the vast majority of U.S. traders haven’t reported their gains. In fact, the number of traders who have reported their crypto-related capital gains to the IRS is less than 100.

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Nothing for Uncle Sam

Credit monitoring company Credit Karma has released a report showing that, of the first 250,000 tax filings it received, less than 100 filers reported owning digital currency. Cutting through the FUD, it’s not entirely clear whether this number refers to 250,000 cryptocurrency traders or simply 250,000 American tax filers.

Given the extent of last year’s price rally, there should be more Americans reporting a hefty increase in their capital gains. Various news sources have reported that nearly 57% of respondents in a recent Qualtrics survey said they made money from crypto investments. The survey’s sample size was 2,000.

Cryptocurrency investments that result in profit are considered a form of capital gains by the Internal Revenue Service.

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Americans have until Apr. 17 to file their taxes. The IRS expects 156 million individuals will file returns this year.

Market Concentration

Although Credit Karma said it expects more people to report crypto-related earnings later in the tax season, nobody was counting on so few numbers. While gains were relatively easy to come by for “hodlers” – traders in it for the long haul – speculators may have had a more difficult time converting deposits into profits due to the market’s heavy volatility.

If we use bitcoin as a proxy, it’s easy to see that the market’s value is highly concentrated in a few hands. In the case of bitcoin, about 1,000 people own 40% of the supply.

One way to alleviate market concentration is to democratize cryptocurrency as an investment. The introduction of bitcoin futures last year was seen as a watershed moment for wide scale adoption, at least in the institutional sense. Several fund managers have also been pushing for bitcoin ETFs, but have so far been unable to overcome the SEC’s scrutiny.

The cryptocurrency market has been in a funk as of late, but finally appears to be showing signs of recovery. At the time of writing, a single bitcoin was worth nearly $9,500, the most since Feb. 1. The total value of all cryptocurrencies was $460.4 billion, according to latest data.

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 145 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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Weiss Ratings Issues Fresh Warning Over Tether Cryptocurrency

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Weiss Ratings has warned investors about the dangers of Tether, the high-profile cryptrocurrency startup that has been summoned by U.S. regulators to appear in court. Although no charges have been filed, Tether has raised suspicion over its close relationship with Bitfinex and the sudden spike in circulation of its native USDT token.

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Weiss Rating Weighs In

The Florida-based rating agency raised several warning signs in its evaluation of Tether, including a lack of transparency and virtually no proof that the company’s USDT tokens are fully backed by the U.S. dollar.

In a Feb. 12 blog post, Juan M. Villaverde issued the following statement:

“The big issue: There’s never been an audit, and the folks behind Tether has been quite shady when asked. They have continuously claimed their tokens are backed 100% by actual dollars, yet they have failed to present any evidence to support this claim.”

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The blog post also cited the growing belief that Tether is really operating a fractional reserve system. In other words, Tether’s USDT tokens are not fully backed by dollars.

Since issuing its ratings, Weiss appears to have launched an entire division devoted to cryptocurrency. The company rates coins from A to E, or scores ranging from “excellent” to “very weak”. No cryptocurrency received an A in Weiss’ first-ever cryptocurrency rating. B-rated Ethereum and EOS were given the highest ranking of 74 coins studied.

Tether’s Growing Controversy

Tether has been the center of enormous controversy in recent weeks after severing its relationship with auditor Friedman LLP. The decision raised fresh warning signs about the company’s finances and whether it had enough reserves on its balance sheet.

According to Bloomberg, Tether was issued a subpoena alongside Bitfinex back in December, although the details of the court order were not provided. It was later discovered that both companies operated under the same chief executive.

The USDT token is ranked 17th in terms of market cap, but is third-largest by trade volume.

In January alone, the supply of USDT tokens surged by 850 million, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Some analysts have speculated that the token circulation has spiked to keep bitcoin prices artificially inflated, with more coins created every time the coin’s value drops. Based on this hypothesis, Tether has had an oversized impact on bitcoin prices over the past year, which means the company’s solvency issues could have an equal or greater impact on the market moving forward.

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.

Rate this post:

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2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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4.5 stars on average, based on 145 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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