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Bitcoin Gold Officially Launches, and Plunges Immediately

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Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has officially launched this week, although immediate price action suggests investors have largely disavowed the new cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s second major fork, which lacks the technical robustness of the one before it, came on to the scene Wednesday after its backers published the software. Apparently, BTG launched after surviving a “massive and concerted attack from its first moment of existence.”

“A massive attack was made in an apparent effort to disrupt the mainnet launch, but the Bitcoin Gold team managed to get the network up and running… albeit a little later than planned,” the developers added.

BTG officially forked Oct. 25 when Bitcoin block 491,406 was mind. Its developers had stated the official launch would occur sometime in early November.

Lingering Doubts

BTG failed to generate the support of a Bitcoin Cash mainly because of the widespread criticism surrounding its use. Analysts uncovered many red flags associated with BTG, including the fact that the proposed fork wasn’t publicized initially. This led to the suspicion that developers will mine on the chain indefinitely to line their pockets following launch day. A lack of replay protection and “scammy” URLs associated with the cryptocurrency were also cited as major concerns.

The most important difference between original bitcoin and BTG is the latter’s proof-of-work protocol. Instead of SHA256, the BTG algorithm uses Equihash, which is currently implemented by Zcash.

BTG Price Levels

Despite all the skepticism surrounding the new coin, BTG is tradable on some of the major exchanges, including Bitfinex. These exchanges are also supporting BTC/BTG futures trading. This cross has traded at roughly 0.02 BTC in recent weeks.

Bitcoin Gold spiked on launch day, reaching a high of $505, according to CoinMarketCap. However, the gains would be short-lived, with prices crashing back down to the $225 range. Presently, BTG is trading at $265 for a loss of 28%. Its 24-hour trading volume exceeded $62 million, with Bitfinex responsible for the bulk of the turnover.

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 647 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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Tron (TRX) Progressing Faster Than Anyone Predicted – Including Justin Sun

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The biggest Tron news to hit the crypto headlines in the last few days is the now confirmed partnership with Chinese internet services giant, Baidu. As the news dropped, the value of TRX rose – climbing by 5% in the twenty-four hour period leading into Thursday afternoon (UTC).

TRX Adoption

However, as notable as the Baidu affiliation might be, the more telling signs of Tron’s growth may be found in looking at its rapid adoption rate.

As Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun tweeted on Oct 17th:

“As of October 17th, 19:00(SGT), TRON mainnet accounts surpassed 500K, the growth speed remains 100K per month, since TRON mainnet was launched less than four months.”

As covered here earlier in the month, the Tron account creation rate is double that of EOS, which has acquired just 100,000 new accounts in the same time period. Even after having launched a year-long ICO which eventually raised $4 billion, the EOS blockchain currently holds 25% less accounts than that of Tron.

Conservative Estimate

In the first week of October, Justin Sun told media interviewers that he was targeting a 2019 date for Tron’s return to the top ten cryptocurrencies. Sun originally said:

“If we look at the top 10 cryptocurrencies, many of them are not motivated to continue innovating or improving their product. They represent the older generation of cryptos. TRON, on the other hand, is a young company with cutting edge technology, with much more room for growth. We are confident that TRON will surge into top 10 in the next 6 months.”

Even at the time of the statement, this seemed like an uncharacteristically conservative estimate from the Tron CEO. Since that time, Tron has moved up the rankings from 13th place to 11th – now just over $100 million behind Monero (XMR).

Despite recent dips, TRX is still 12% more valuable than this time last week, and 34% more valuable than this time last month. If the current rate of growth holds steady, another 10% boost by would be enough to displace Monero and send Tron back into the top ten spot it occupied for most of 2018.

TRX/USD

In the previous twenty-four period, the value of one TRX coin climbed from $0.023766, up to the $0.024938 valuation recorded at 11:30 UTC. The movement was carried out without much of a change to overall volumes, which have remained between $104 million and $112 million for the last two days.

Today’s 5% boost seems to have been a response to the Baidu news, which was teased out for several days by Justin Sun. Details later emerged that the Baidu venture would not necessarily be blockchain-based, and instead would see Tron employ Baidu’s services and infrastructure in its testing.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 79 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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Qtum Announced as Amazon’s Partner in China; Coin Price Surges 12%

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Public blockchain project, Qtum (QTUM), has been announced as a new partner of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the company’s Chinese division.

Qtum has a history with Amazon Web Services, and became available as an Amazon AMI (Amazon Machine Image) back in July of this year.

The new move sees Qtum move beyond merely being a tool available to users of AWS, and becoming an active part of Amazon’s development. It is thought that Qtum will be used to provide blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions for Amazon and its customers.

QTUM/USD

The news of Qtum’s partnership with Amazon made itself felt in the QTUM coin price on Wednesday, with the valuation jumping from $3.62 to $4.08 within less than twenty-four hours.

The majority of those gains came within a three hour window between 12:00 and 15:00 UTC, and the 12.7% surge was enough to push QTUM to a new weekly high, while also coming close to the monthly high of $4.19.

Qtum trade volumes are uncharacteristically high for a coin ranked down the high twenties of CoinMarketCap’s rankings. Even throughout the bear market of 2018, QTUM has averaged daily volumes of over $100 million.

Today’s $195 million volume is nothing new for QTUM, and isn’t even the first time this month that volumes have surged so high. Trades are split fairly evenly between the QTUM/KRW, QTUM/BTC and QTUM/ETH trades, with the Coinbit and LBank exchanges hosting most of the action.

Qtum & Amazon Partner Up

As far as partnerships go, having your name associated with a firm the size of Amazon is a pretty big coup – especially for one of the less publicized altcoins like Qtum.

The news was announced on Wednesday, and Qtum’s chief information officer, Mike Palencia, confirmed that the partnership would see Qtum offer technical solutions to companies and developers already under the Amazon umbrella. Palencia was quoted as saying:

“We are going to work together [with Amazon] to contact different customers and clients. We’re looking into use cases, and the best way to do it is to have a contact with companies who have those use cases. Some clients have their own ideas and their own developers, and some of them want more support from us, want to talk to us directly.”

Qtum has been making a lot of big moves recently, and September saw the coin made available for investment on a host of exchanges and platforms, including Poloniex, Circle Invest and Kraken.

Qtum has made a big push towards making blockchain more accessible to developers, and publishes its entire library of code to the public for free use. The project was founded by China’s Patrik Dai.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 79 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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Why Would Anyone Have Faith In Tether?

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I don’t want to get sued for slander so let me explain the reasoning beyond today’s title. After all of the turmoil surrounding Tether on Monday, how can the price be anywhere near the $1 parity level with the US dollar?  After more than a year, how can anyone have confidence in Tether and their common law partners Bitfinex when, for example, Circle, backed be the highly respected Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs offers an alternative?  We should also mention that Circle is just one of many so called stable coins.

It isn’t hard to find a list. Exchanges are feverishly adding stable coins. Singapore based Houbi is adding Paxos Standard Token (PAX), True USD (TUSD), Circle (USDC) and Gemini (GUSD).  

When Stable Coins Cause Instability

Well, the evidence is mounting as the months move along that so called stable coins can have the power of creating anything but stability.  This week’s experience with Tether, Bitfinex and the price explosion of Bitcoin demonstrates that there are still dangers lurking. This is why trust is important.

Monday’s gyrations were not the first questionable moment for Tether.  The coin, which gains its intended stability by being tied on a one for one basis with the US dollar, has been the subject of questionable behavior all year.  

As far back as January trade sources were expressing concern the Tether was responsible for last December’s major price bubble in Bitcoin.  The frenzy over Bitcoin set off speculation across the entire crypto spectrum. But that was just the beginning.

In June Bloomberg reported on a paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, that among other things claimed 60% of last year’s price move in Bitcoin was the result of manipulation surrounding Bitfinex. That directly implicates Tether.

Using algorithms to analyze the blockchain data, Griffin’s team found that purchases with Tether were timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices. Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies.

These findings prompted the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to step in with a series of subpoenas.

Tether’s coins had become a popular substitute for dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, and for good reason. They are anonymous, closely tied to the value of the US dollar and can be used in exchange for Bitcoin, Ether or about 10 other cryptocurrencies.  Tether is closely associated with Bitfinex, with whom they share common shareholders and management.

Bitfinex has offices in Hong Kong but it is legally headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. In May they announced plans to move to Zug, Switzerland. Bitfinex has a sorted history of poor security, having lost nearly $100 million worth of Bitcoin from customer accounts. Moreover, while claiming to have total one for one US dollar backing for each Tether, real proof is absent.  

Further Evidence of Manipulation

Over the course of this year, as we have gathered digitally to witness the loss of nearly $600 billion in crypto value, everyone has been looking for the culprit. When I first read of some of the academic studies that blamed the advent of futures trading on the CBOE, I laughed. Honestly, I believed the real cause of the rise and fall of crypto were a well connected group of billionaires that together had the power to move markets.  

Well the folks at Chainalysis have just produced some surprising research results. Their Blockchain Intelligence Platform powers investigation software for some of  the world’s top institutions. These guys don’t do surveys, the have their hands on big data that is able to detect some interesting stuff.

Chainalysis released a new report last week showing that the so called Bitcoin whales are not responsible for price volatility. The study examined the 32 largest BTC wallets, which reportedly represent 1 million BTC, or around $6.3 billion. That is a pretty solid sample size.

The data revealed that the BTC whales are do not act in concert with one another. In fact not only are they a diverse group but about two thirds behave like longer term investors. Instead of being FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) types, on net they have traded against the heard buying on price weakness.

Putting The Pieces Together

The crypto world is bombarded with globally generated news on an hourly basis. But what does all of it mean anyway? Hopefully this article adds some perspective on what and who has been responsible for the direction of crypto prices over the past year.  As more of these weak players are identified and depleted of their business, real investors will have the confidence to return to the 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 114 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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