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Bitcoin Market Share at 52% as Hard Fork Looms

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Bitcoin rose briskly on Monday, bringing its total market share above 50% as investors eyed an upcoming hard fork of the world’s leading blockchain.

Another Fork in the Road

The latest uptick in bitcoin partly reflects investors positioning themselves to capitalize on an upcoming fork in the blockchain. On Oct. 25, a group of cryptocurrency miners plan to fork the Bitcoin blockchain network, creating a new algorithm called Bitcoin Gold (BTG). Investors who own BTC before the fork will receive an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Gold after the chain split. This is an attractive bet for those of us already bullish on bitcoin.

The BTG developers plan to open a trading exchange by Nov. 1.  The goal of BTG is the same as any hard fork – namely, to improve the protocol. By forking from the current software branch and introducing a new version, Bitcoin Gold is taking aim at the current challenges facing the mining community.

The Bitcoin Gold project is being led by Jack Liao, who heads the Hong Kong-based mining firm LightningASIC.

Of course, whether or not exchanges support the newly minted currency is an entirely different question. Not all platforms were keen on supporting Bitcoin Cash (BTH) following the Aug. 1 fork. Coinbase was the most prominent example. The leading cryptocurrency exchange eventually made BTH available after its customers threatened to sue.

“We are planning to have support for Bitcoin Cash by 1 January 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time,” Coinbase announced back in August.

If recent history is any indication, it could be a rocky road ahead for investors looking to sink their teeth into Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin Rallies

The BTC/USD rose 3% against the dollar on Monday, reaching a high of $4,741.50, according to Bitstamp. Prices are in a firm upward trajectory, with $5,000 looking more like a possibility.

At present values, bitcoin owns roughly 52% of the $151 billion cryptocurrency market. The latest uptick in prices has discounted several leading altcoins, a sign that investors are looking to capitalize on the upcoming split

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 700 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin

Mainstream Adoption of Bitcoin Will Send Price Soaring

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The pain inflicted by the crypto markets has been extreme this year.  It’s become clear that the market ran way too high, way too fast in 2017.  Many traders knew a severe correction was forthcoming, but I doubt many predicted the correction (now a full-fledged bear market) would be this extreme.  While the markets have been painful, Bitcoin (BTC) serves a bigger purpose than just making money in the markets.  To some, that purpose is a worldwide digital currency that can eventually be used to purchase anything.  To others, the purpose is a store of value to prevent against the inflation that plagues FIAT currencies.  Either way, it’s important to remember that this is just the beginning.

Early Phase of Adoption

Bitcoin is still in the very, very early phase of adoption.  Let’s look at the graph below.

The technology adoption life cycle is a sociological model that describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups.

Many consumers still have no idea what Bitcoin is.  When people google the term Bitcoin, they are likely to get the following definition:  Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not backed by any country’s central bank or government.  Bitcoins can be traded for goods or services with select vendors.  But the truth is that Bitcoin can’t be used to buy things that would be useful for most people.   Consumers can’t use Bitcoin to buy groceries, pay the cable bill, pay for medical expenses, buy a car, or purchase a home.  For years, Expedia (one of the world’s largest travel booking engines) allowed consumers to use Bitcoin to make hotel reservations.  But even that was taken away in June.

Clearly, Bitcoin has yet to achieve its intended goal.  Based on the graph above, I can confidently claim that Bitcoin is still in the innovators phase.  In fact, one big innovation in the future may help push Bitcoin into the early adoption phase.

Lightning Network

Although Bitcoin took the world by storm in 2017, one big problem has always loomed large; scalability.  The ability to scale to the required size was a concern when Bitcoin was first introduced to the world and it remains a problem that needs to be addressed.  What does scalability entail?  Well, let’s look at the visual below.

At present, Bitcoin is only capable of processing approximately 7 transactions per second.  Compared to PayPal, Ripple, and especially Visa, Bitcoin needs to improve dramatically.  One way that Bitcoin may be able to perform significantly better is through the lightning network.

It’s currently estimated that the lightning network will have the potential to process 1 million transactions per second.  While that sounds great on paper, it’s still just theoretical.  Once the network becomes operational, its true greatness will be determined.

Conclusion

Although Bitcoin has had a rough 2018, it’s important to recognize that the future still burns bright.  Bitcoin is still in the innovators phase of adoption.  And while the lightning network is set to address Bitcoin’s biggest hurdle, better days are ahead.

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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Bitcoin Price Unable to Break Downward Spiral as Speculation Drives Market

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Bitcoin’s price touched new yearly lows on Saturday, as the broader cryptocurrency market risked further capitulation in the days and weeks ahead. According to the CEO of BitPay, bitcoin’s price is driven predominantly by speculation regarding future adoption and is less concerned with current market forces. If that’s the case, there’s a reasonable case to be made for a strong rally in the new year.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price reached a low of $3,130 on Coinbase in early-morning trade, the lowest since August 2017. The U.S.-based exchange last quoted BTC/USD at $3,147. Exchanges Bitstamp, Bittrex and Gemini show similar levels, while Bitfinex maintained a $100 premium.

Market-wide data provided by CoinMarketCap show an average bitcoin price of $3,207, down 2.7%  over the 24-hour period.

Trading volumes across the virtual exchange market reached $4.1 billion, according to the latest available data. BitMEX saw its share of the total volume rise to 24.4% as derivatives continued to drive the market. BitMEX and other futures markets allow traders to profit from bitcoin’s decline. This avenue has increased in popularity since the selloff began last month.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization has experienced a significant drop over the course of the selloff. Now valued at $55.9 billion, bitcoin’s market cap is down a staggering $56 billion compared to early last month.

Speculation Drives Market

Speculation about bitcoin’s perceived utility in the future continues to influence market behavior far more than its actual use in today’s market, according to Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay. Although BitPay is focused on supporting the actual market for bitcoin payments, this segment has little impact on how BTC is priced by investors and speculators.

“A very big component of the price is certainly speculation,” Pair said in a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box. “It’s investors speculating on the future usage and adoption of this technology. A small component of the price is actual utility, and that’s what BitPay is focused on — using the platform and delivering products to our customers that they find valuable.”

BitPay is hoping to radically alter how bitcoin is priced in the future – not by manipulating the market, but by expanding adoption of cryptocurrency payments. Currently, BitPay processes roughly $1 billion in transactions per year, a figure Pair believes should grow ten-fold in the coming years.

Although bitcoin is accepted by hundreds of thousands of merchants globally, its primary utility continues to be as a store of value for investors looking to capitalize on the alternative asset class. Now that the initial crypto craze is over, adoption as a payment mechanism is the next great hurdle facing BTC and its peers.

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 700 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin Price Scrapes the Barrel While Stellar (XLM) Losses Fall in Line

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Bitcoin returned to its lowest valuation of the year on Friday, as the last week of cautious upward movement by the crypto market came to a crashing halt.

Just last week BTC fell to a dollar valuation in the high $3,200 range – a fifteen-month low at the time. After seven days of false hope and another rinsing of weak hands, BTC returned to the same valuation early on Friday morning – a sign that $3,000 is destined to act as a baseline in the short-term?

Meanwhile, after months of positive developments and upward momentum, Stellar (XLM) is finally feeling the pinch and may be about to fall back in line with average market losses. XLM’s valuation is down over 18% for the week, and 7.5% for Dec 14th alone – leaving Tether (USDT) waiting in the wings to take over XLM’s 4th spot ranking by market cap.

Bitcoin Price – BTC/USD

Bitcoin fell 4.75% leading into Friday morning, compounding 10% losses over the last five days. From the daily high of $3,448, BTC found itself trading as low as $3,200 on some exchanges, while the aggregate valuation drawn from all exchanges remains closer to $3,300 at time of writing.

Bitcoin volume remains high while overall trade volume has declined. This has sent BTC dominance to over 55% again, and may be the beginning of a trend which sees altcoin gains continually cashed out to the more trusted BTC (via USDT) for the duration of the bear market.

Stellar Price – XLM/USD

A portion of those gains may now be coming from the Stellar market, which is being dominated by USDT and BTC trades as of Friday.

From the daily peak of $0.111740, XLM’s valuation fell to £0.103288 by noon Friday. That’s a 7.5% decline for the day, and comes on top of 18.3% losses over seven days as Stellar finally seems to be falling in line.

Stellar had kept the bears at bay for much of the prolonged market dip in the last few months, even rising in the rankings to become the 4th highest capped cryptocurrency. Fuelled by prominent announcements and almost constant speculation regarding a Coinbase listing, XLM managed to buck the trend and hold onto its value while all around it were losing theirs.

Now, this latest dip has singled out XLM specifically, leaving the coin’s losses firmly in line with ETH and the major alts’ +60% losses since mid-November. Once valued at nearly $17 billion by market cap at its peak, Stellar is now valued at less than $2 billion, and only the slightest fluctuation by ‘stable’ coin, Tether, would drop XLM out of the top four ranked cryptos.’

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 105 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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