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Bitcoin Prices Top $9,000 for the First Time as Historic Rally Continues

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Bitcoin’s record-setting surge continued over the weekend, as prices topped $9,000 for the first time ever. The world’s no. 1 digital currency has been on a relentless surge since mid-November as investors bought on the dip following the failed activation of Segwit2x.

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BTC/USD Price Levels

The bitcoin-dollar exchange rate touched a daily high of $9,488.52. Prices have since moderated, but are still up more than $1,000. At last check, BTC/USD was valued at $9,293 for a market cap of $155 billion.

Trade volumes on the major exchanges have surged past $5.4 billion over the past 24 hours, with Bitfinex, Bithumb and GDAX leading in the daily turnover.

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With the latest gain, bitcoin has added more than 940% to market cap since Jan. 1.

Demand Rising

Bitcoin’s record-setting surge has made it the world’s 30th largest currency, according to CCN.com. In doing so, it has overtaken the Singapore dollar and UAE dirham, among others.

The coin’s market cap is approaching big-name institutional players such as MaterCard Inc., which is worth around $171 billion. The cryptocurrency has already overtaken several of the Dow’s major blue chips, including 3M Co, Caterpillar Inc. and IBM.

A confluence of factors have aided bitcoin in achieving monumental highs this year, with institutional demand being one of the biggest. Chicago-based exchanges CME Group and CBOE have each announced plans to introduce bitcoin futures in the near term, giving institutional investors more leeway in accessing cryptocurrency.

Leading digital currency exchange Coinbase is also planning for the upsurge in institutional money. According to CEO Brian Armstrong, roughly $10 billion worth of institutional capital will flow into the bitcoin market in the coming months. This could easily add hundreds of billions of dollars to bitcoin’s already massive market cap.

Meanwhile, several big name investors and even celebrities have given highly bullish valuations of the cryptocurrency. For many, bitcoin is bound to reach $10,000 before the end of the year. While that may have seemed improbable just a few weeks ago, prices are now clearly heading toward that psychological milestone.

Global Cryptocurrency Market

The total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies spiked above $290 billion on Sunday for the first time ever. At last check, the total market value of the crypto universe was around $293 billion. That gives bitcoin just over half of the total market cap.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) joined in the upswing on Sunday, although gains were limited to a few percentage points. The bitcoin alternative was up more than 3% at $1,658 late Sunday.

Although bitcoin continues to be the main driver of the cryptocurrency market, the altcoin universe offers fundamentally different assets. These assets serve fundamentally different markets and consumer segments, which means that the crypto sphere extends far beyond bitcoin.

At this stage, some of the bitcoin alternatives are considered better transaction units than the original blockchain currency. At this stage in the game, bitcoin has emerged as a store of value rather than a transaction unit. Developers are working hard to change that perception, and are experimenting with new protocols to boost the coin’s transaction capability.

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. 

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Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Up Again as Altcoins Mixed in Volatile Trading

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Bitcoin is at a new all-time high today, although the momentum of today’s move is far below from what we saw recently, and the coin only managed to reach a marginal record high yet again. BTC is now worth $300 billion, and it is still trading right at the short-term trendline, inside a rising wedge pattern that shows a clear momentum divergence.

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With the short-term trend still being intact further gains are still possible, but as all the majors are overbought from a long-term perspective, we still advise investors to wait for a better buying opportunity before adding to their holdings. Primary support is still found near $13,000, with further levels at $11,300, $10,000, $9000, and stronger levels at $8200 and $7700.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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 XRP entered a volatile short-term correction after its two-day surge after giving a short-term sell signal yesterday, and the coin spiked back towards $0.60 before settling down just below yesterday’s highs. The long-term setup also turned overbought thanks to the almost 300% rally, and now investors should reduce their holdings, even as further gains are still possible. Major support is still found at the prior high near $0.4250 and in the $0.30-$0.32 range.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Cryptocurrency Analysis: Ripple Continues Rampage as Litecoin and Ethereum Enter Correction

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Ripple remained in the center of attention in the segment after breaking out to a new all-time high yesterday, and the coin almost doubled in value, climbing above the $0.80 level. The currency concluded a 6-month long consolidation pattern with the move after being the only major on a long-term buy signal in our trend model.

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XRP gave a short-term sell signal today, while turning neutral regarding the long-term setup. Investors now shouldn’t add to their positions, although further gains are still possible, and reducing holdings somewhat is a good idea here. Major support is still found at the prior high near $0.4250 and in the $0.30-$0.32 range.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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While Bitcoin stagnated, and Bitcoin Cash jumped, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and IOTA has been drifting slightly lower, although the recent gains are still mostly intact, and the basic setup in the segment is unchanged.

Litecoin fell below the $300 level after yesterday’s consolidation, and the coin faced strong selling pressure in the latter half of the session. The currency remains extremely stretched regarding the long-term momentum indicators, and although the short-term uptrend is still intact, a deeper correction is likely in the coming weeks, with key support levels found at $125 and $100, and weaker levels at $260 and $170.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Daily Analysis: Dollar Falls, Gold Jumps after Yellen’s Final Move

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Wednesday Market Recap

Asset Current Value Daily Change
S&P 500 2668 -0.02%
DAX 13125 -0.45%
WTI Crude Oil 56.65 -0.68%
GOLD 1258.00 1.35%
Bitcoin 16,100 -6.32%
EUR/USD 1.1842 0.73%

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates as expected today, and although the central bank’s monetary statement was slightly more hawkish than expected, the market’s reaction didn’t reflect the much-anticipated move. The worse than expected Core CPI reading that underlined the low-inflation narrative weighed on the recently strong Greenback, while stocks were unchanged after decision and bonds gained ground as yields retreated.

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EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The major indices are hovering near their all-time highs with the DOW leading the way higher, hitting a new record for the second day in a row. While volatility Is expected to remain low as we approach the end of the year, market internals and valuation levels are still concerning from a long-term perspective, and stocks outside the US are also negatively diverging. The action in crude oil could be slightly more interesting as the commodity is starting to act in a slightly bearish manner after a grinding multi-month rally.

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WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Brexit process is still in the center of attention in Europe, although volatility took a nosedive on the old continent as well, and it’s unlikely that the Christmas period will be much different, given the predictable drop in volumes and trading activity. The date of the next election in the financially and politically troubled Italy has been set to March 4th next year, and the early date caused some turmoil in the countries assets, which dragged the Euro Stoxx 50 lower today, together with the DAX and the other major indices.

Cryptocurrencies

As the total market cap of the crypto-market crossed the incredible $500 billion mark, Ripple, NEO, and Ethereum made headlines with lofty gains in the face of the severely overbought readings elsewhere in the segment. While XRP and NEO are still not overbought from an investment perspective, Ethereum reached our final target for its break-out and triggered a long-term sell signal.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The previously surging IOTA continued its correction, Litecoin consolidated in a relatively narrow range, while Dash, ETC, and Monero scored marginal new highs before turning lower together with BTC. The most valuable coin that has lost some of its momentum “mojo” in recent days fell back below last week’s highs, and that could mark a failed break-out and a start of the deeper correction that seems more and more likely.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Key Economic Releases on Wednesday

Time, CET Country Release Actual Expected Previous
11:30 UK Average Earnings 2.5% 2.5% 2.3%
11:30 UK Claimant Count Change 5,900 3,300 6,500
11:30 UK Unemployment Rate 4.3% 4.2% 4.35
15:30 US Core CPI 0.1% 0.2% 0.2%
15:30 US Crude Oil Inventories -5.1 mill -3.6 mill -5.6 mill
21:00 US Fed Rate Decision 1.5% 1.5% 1.25%
21:00 US FOMC Statement

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