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Bitcoin Hits $100 Billion as Record Rally Continues

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Bitcoin’s epic rally intensified Friday, as the token reached $6,000 for the first time in its history, bringing the total market value above $100 billion.

Bitcoin’s Fresh Intraday High

BTC/USD touched an intraday high of $6,064.14, bringing its total market cap to $100.8 billion. That’s roughly $85 billion higher than where the market started in January.

At press time, bitcoin was trading around $5,993, up more than 5% on the day. From a technical perspective, the digital currency is considered overbought. However, the technicals are typically less reliable during extreme price movements like we’ve seen in recent weeks. The world’s leading cryptocurrency has added a staggering 520% this year.

Bitcoin’s rally didn’t really extend to other cryptocurrencies Friday. Ethereum continued to trade just north of $300, while Ripple (XRP) consolidated a hair below 21 U.S. cents.

The cryptocurrency market’s combined market cap is roughly $173.4 billion, which is roughly $3 billion less than the Monday’s peak.

$10,000 Bitcoin?

Bitcoin could be heading north of $10,000 a unit in the not-too-distant future, according to a survey conducted by CNBC. About 49% of the 23,118 people who voted in the CNBC poll said the digital currency will reach the five-figure threshold.

Roughly 16% of respondents said bitcoin prices are heading to between $6,000 and $8,000. About a third selected the Jamie Dimon option by calling bitcoin a fraud.

Though unscientific, the survey clearly shows that the mainstream is paying attention to the rapid acceleration of cryptocurrency. At least a portion of them will investigate the matter further, and likely conclude that digital assets are a welcome addition to their portfolio.

It’s impossible to associate bitcoin’s success with just one catalyst, but it’s clear that institutional support, the allure of the blockchain and favorable regulation in markets like Japan are feeding the rally. An anticipated November hard fork is also helping to shore up price.s

A Day of Milestones

Bullish sentiment also rubbed off on U.S. stocks Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its rally above 23,000. The blue-chip index climbed tacked on 165 points to close at 23,328.63 after the U.S. Senate passed the 2018 budget by the narrowest of margins.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite also set fresh all-time highs, with financials and industrials leading the rally.

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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Action Cools Following Tether-Induced Volatility

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Bitcoin’s price action narrowed on Tuesday, as markets consolidated in the wake of yesterday’s Tether-inspired upsurge.

BTC/USD

The price of bitcoin reached a high of $6,897.60 on Bitfinex Tuesday, as markets returned to a narrower trading range. The leading digital currency by market capitalization and trade volumes was last spotted around $6,744, where it was little changed compared with 24 hours ago.

After spiking above $7 billion on Monday, trade volumes fell back to around $4.5 billion on digital currency exchanges. Turnover in the broader market amounted to $13.3 billion. At current values, bitcoin is capitalized at $114.3 billion, accounting for 54.1% of the entire crypto market.

The latest breakout in BTC followed another successful defense of a key technical and psychological threshold. Bitcoin is defending $6,000 with greater confidence, a sign that the market has established a firm price bottom. Last week, BTC fell to the low $6,200 region before staging a quick recovery.

Tether Instability

Bitcoin’s value spiked on Monday, reaching a high near $7,900 on some exchanges after Tether’s USDT token lost its one-for-one peg with the dollar. USDT fell by as much as 6% to $0.94 as traders cut ties to the controversial stablecoin. USDT was up 1.9% on Tuesday but continues to trade below $0.98, according to CoinMarketCap.

Traders utilize Tether to purchase other digital currencies, chief among them being bitcoin. BTC/USDT trades account for a large percentage of transactions on exchanges that support the stablecoin. A loss of the dollar peg puts tether in a precarious position as it signals a loss of investor confidence.

Tether has been caught in regulatory crosshairs for failing to produce compelling evidence of its dollar-backed reserves. The stablecoin has also been accused of artificially inflating the value of bitcoin during last year’s bull run. These and other concerns prompted the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to subpoena the company along with Bitfinex, a leading digital currency exchange run by the same executive.

Bitcoin has experienced higher than normal volatility over the past week as prices drifted between sharp losses and gains. After a weekend of relative calm, marked by a sharp decline in trading volumes, prices broke out on Monday as confidence in Tether eroded.

Bitcoin’s volatility index, which tracks fluctuations in the currency’s daily open price, has risen to 1.98% over the last 30 days, according to bitvol.info. The volatility index recently bottomed at 1.56%, the lowest since May 2017.

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 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Settle Down After Crazy Monday

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The cryptocurrency segment has been relatively quiet since yesterday’s spike and the subsequent pullback, with the majors settling down above their pre-surge levels, but well below the highs hit amid Tether’s slump.

Bitcoin has been among the stronger coins while Ripple has been the most active top coin, as bulls and bears are fighting for control after yesterday’s move. Technically speaking, the setup in most of the top coins is unchanged, and given the nature of the Monday’s spike, still no upgrades have been triggered in our trend model.

USDT/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Tether is still trading with a meaningful discount today, but the market calmed down, as the stablecoin got back closer to its peg. With the segment ready to replace the dominant stablecoin should the dislocation persist, we don’t expect a sustained impact on the market.

That said, the broader bearish trends in the segment remain in place, and the top coins need to show evidence of buying strength before we could advise a bullish approach. The next few session will likely decide the fate of the spike, but we remain defensive until sings of follow-through in the sector.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is trading between the $6275 support and the $6500 resistance, still on a short-term sell signal and on a neutral long-term signal in our trend model. The most valuable coin is still stuck below the previously dominant broad triangle pattern and that suggests that a test of the support zone near $6000 is likely in the coming weeks, with a possible dip to the key long-term zone near $5850.

On the other hand, a less likely move above $6750 could set up a bear-trap trade, and a new short-term uptrend, but for now, sellers are still in control of the market, further resistance ahead near $7000.

Altcoins Flat Despite Rally Attempts

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Ripple moved above the $0.46 resistance several times in the past 24 hours, for now, the coin hasn’t been able to hold above the crucial level, even as the break-out from the triangle consolidation pattern is still “on”. The coin is also clear of the lower boundary of the long-term support zone near $0.42, and from a technical standpoint, it’s still the most positive major.

That said, until a short-term uptrend is established, traders shouldn’t enter new positions, with the segment-wide trends still being negative, and with this week’s rally being suspicious. Further support levels below $0.42 are found near $0.375 and $0.35, while resistance is ahead near $0.51 and $.0.54.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is trading slightly above the $200 level currently, but even after yesterday’s spike, the coin remains in a clearly bearish short-term setup, while the long-term trend is also negative. Odds favor a move towards the $170 bear market low in the coming weeks, with further support zones near $180 and $160.

ETH faces strong resistance near $235 and $260, with two strong declining long-term trendlines converging between those two levels too and traders and investors should stay away from the coin until a confirmed trend change.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Monero is trying to hold its ground above the $108 support/resistance level after briefly spiking above the declining short-term trendline yesterday, but the short-term technicals are still negative, even as the coin avoided a long-term downgrade.

XMR needs to stay above $100 to maintain the neutral long-term signal otherwise a test of the bear market low near $80 would become very likely, with further strong resistance zones are ahead between $120 and $125

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 377 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

“The Core of Any Blockchain Project is Decentralization” – Jack Zhang, Lightning Bitcoin

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Lightning Bitcoin is a fork of the ‘first-crypto-currency’ Bitcoin about which we decided to take the opportunity recently to speak to advisor Jack Zhang (AKA DianfuDatou / 点付大头 – known best as a Founder of Chainfunder and DAF).

Discussion topics include: what makes this project unique, as well as how you shouldn’t get it confused is not to be confused with the Lightning Network upgrade which is being applied to the original ‘Bitcoin’.

Who is Jack Zhang

Jack Zhang (AKA DianfuDatou / 点付大头) is a Chinese investor, business leader, and entrepreneur whose “portfolio includes XRP, XEM, IOTA, NEO, EOS, TEZOS, VEN”.

Zhang proudly describes himself as “one of the leading advocators of Ripple in China” having “translated Ripple into Chinese as ‘ruibobi’” – as well as the co-founder of NEO. Please note that most sources ascribe this latter achievement regarding NEO to an ‘Erik Zhang’ and so this claim requires further confirmation – however this writer sees no reason for him to lie in this respect.

He claims that his first experience with cryptocurrency was in 2011, when he entered the industry himself having previously worked as an investment banker at companies such as Zhejiang investment bank.

“I bought more than 10 thousand bitcoins at the price of 5 dollars and sold all of them out at the price of 7 dollars. At that time, I remember how I was reading posts on Bitcointalk about blockchain for several months and got fascinated by the genius design of the technology.”

Zhang says that the Lightning Bitcoin team members “come from a diverse cultural background, including China, the United States, Canada, the UK, Russia, Germany, and India.” And that:

“Currently Lightning Bitcoin has four core developers (listed on the website) with a team of 6 specialists. Eason Zhao is a CTO and H.H.Wang is a leading developer.

“Lightning Bitcoin also has an operational team of 8 outstanding and hardworking people managed by Wasley together with a community manager James Vuitton… We have independent leaders for each directions of the business;”

What is Lightning Bitcoin?

According to Zhang, Lightning Bitcoin is “a coin that takes the best from existing blockchain titans and adds advanced consensus mechanism.”

“Lightning Bitcoin forked from Bitcoin blockchain at block height 499,999… Lightning Bitcoin (LBTC) is a fully decentralized Internet-of-value protocol for global payments.

“The specific applications include peer-to-peer transactions and exchange platforms. Any users that operate on the LBTC protocol can enjoy instant, secure and nearly free global financial transactions of any size.”

Lightning Bitcoin is far from the first (nor will it be the last) fork from Bitcoin. A number of observers have claimed that the correlation between new forks and over inflation of Bitcoin. Jack Zhang however sees it as follows…

“Back in 2017, Bitcoin blockchain started to face network congestions, and a lot of other problems, that is one of the reasons why there were so many hard forks popping up. However, all of them changed either size or difficulty adjustment, what in my opinion did not improve the situation. That is a consensus that makes the difference. Pow and PoS are easily centralized, while DPoS represents true decentralization. Moreover, DPoS has the benefit of high efficiency, with little resource consumption.”

This mechanism utilises the relatively young Distributed Proof of Stake (DPoS) protocol which this writer has written about in a recent article, despite its basis upon the Proof of Work (PoW)-based ‘Bitcoin’.

Zhang states that Distributed Proof of Stake “allows separation of the voting power and block production, with no risks of a hard fork.” In fact, the aftermath of the announcement of DPoS adoption coincided with the company taking on another of its advisors “Stan Larimer a founding partner of Bitshares… we found mutual interests, as a result Stan joined Lightning Bitcoin advisory board.”

“Lightning Bitcoin uses DPoS, with the forging interval of 3 seconds, and the block size of 2M. We have achieved the TPS of thousands of transactions.

“Anyone can use LBTC, without censorship. The transaction fees are charged only for preventing network security issues, like DDoS attacks. It is not an off-chain solution on top of the Bitcoin blockchain as Lightning Network. I personally believe that Lightning Network will face the problem of centralization eventually.”

Furthermore,

“Lightning Bitcoin’s on-chain governance system enables LBTC holders to vote for the blockchain improvement proposals and the delegates who maintain the network as Lightning Nodes. It solves the problems of centralization of bitcoin by incorporating all participants in the Lightning Bitcoin ecosystem into the decision-making process.”

Lightning Bitcoin vs Lightning Network

Due to the similarities in naming, it seems natural that there may be a little confusion on behalf of the public and crypto-investment community with regards to the differences between ‘Lightning Bitcoin’ and ‘Lightning Network’.

“There is some confusion, you are correct.

When Lightning Bitcoin forked in December 2017, for Lightning Network it was still unclear when it is going to be launched, since it was still at the internal testing stage; only after four months later, in March 2018 when Lightning Network released its beta, both projects started to be confused by users in some countries.”

This, according to Zhang, is actually a problem more specific / limited to region,

“In other countries, like China, lightning network is not that well-known, as well as it has different Chinese name, that gives us more room for the development in Asia.”

Present and Future of LBTC

“Currently, Lightning Bitcoin network is stable, we constantly improving its functions and adding more products.

“The next big step for LBTC that we are working on right now is the development of on-chain governance, that will allow the network to self-improve and self-upgrade.

“In the future, stable upgrades of Lightning Bitcoin network in combination with chain governance, and decentralized transactions will allow cross-chain flashovers and smart contracts… the exploration of the on-chain governance model will become one of the most important tasks in the current stage of LBTC.”

Zhang continues to discuss the future for the coin in-detail as well, including that:

“In short, after complete integration of on-chain governance, next milestone is the development of new decentralized exchange. It will be an important component of the LBTC payment function.

“This exchange will have both basic functionality such as flashovers function of the gateway, as well as a system to guarantee the ease of cross-chain operations. Additionally, it will have the function of early crowdfunding of project under the necessary supervision.”

Finally,

“After implementing and perfecting the decentralized exchange, the development of intelligent contracts based on the UTXO model will be carried out, and a high-concurrence-based public chain ecosystem will be established to guide the flow of DAPP traffic.”

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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