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Bitcoin Spin-Offs are Struggling to Keep Up With Original Blockchain

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Bitcoin prices surged to record highs on Thursday, as investors awaited the start of institutional trading early next week. For bitcoin’s spin-offs, gains have been harder to come by as of late, a sign that markets have fully moved on from the failed Segwit2x hard fork.

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BCH/USD Price Levels

Bitcoin’s August fork declined nearly 3% on Wednesday to reach $1,338, its lowest in almost a week. Prices are still up 3.5% over the past five days, but have lost considerable momentum compared to last month. At present values, bitcoin cash is capitalized at $23.7 billion, enough for third spot on the list of global cryptocurrencies.

BCH/USD saw a daily turnover of $1.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The bulk of the activity occurred in Europe and South Korea, on the HitBTC and Bithumb exchanges, respectively.

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The alternative bitcoin currency peaked last month after Segwit2x failed to launch. For a limited time, BCH/USD appeared to be trading inversely with the original bitcoin, which declined sharply following the Segwit2x news.

BTG/USD Price Levels

Bitcoin gold, a more controversial hard fork that emerged in October, has declined sharply this week. At last check, BTG/USD was down more than 9% at $275 for a total market cap of $4.6 billion.

Trade volumes over the last 24 hours amounted to $155 million thanks to South Korean trading desks. Bithumb processed roughly half of all BTG transactions on Wednesday.

The cryptocurrency has fallen below a key zone of support near $305, which could lead to a re-test of the $250 region. Price action has been significantly weaker over the past two days, with prices falling below the 100-day simple moving average (SMA).

The BTG/USD exchange rate spiked toward $400 last month amid general euphoria in the cryptocurrency market. The project has faced heavy criticism from the blockchain community after developers refused to publicize the fork prior to launch. Some analysts also identified several “scammy” URLs associated with the cryptocurrency. Although BTG has largely overcome the initial suspicion, it has struggled to hit its stride.

While it would be easy to say that bitcoin is hogging all the spotlight, that isn’t necessarily the case when one looks at the broader cryptocurrency market. At the time of writing, 19 cryptocurrencies were valued at $900 million or more, with the likes of IOTA, Monero and Stellar Lumens putting up strong gains. A total of 86 coins are worth at least $100 million or more.

As for bitcoin (BTC/USD), the meteoric rise continued early Thursday, with prices jumping nearly 7% to $14,110. The world’s leading cryptocurrency has added a staggering 45% over the past five days, triggering renewed valuation concerns.

Bitcoin first crossed $10,000 Nov. 29, which was about one month earlier than the forecast given by several prognosticators. It is unclear just how much bitcoin has left in the take, but most long-term evaluations are painting a very bright picture. Of course, the interim period is expected to remain volatile as markets come to grips with a five-figure cryptocurrency.

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 153 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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Altcoins

Litecoin Touches New Five-Week High in Wake of Hard Fork

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litecoin

Litecoin hit fresh five-week highs Tuesday, as the coin continued to generate momentum in the wake of a hard fork that produce Litecoin Cash (LCC). Although holders of the original Litecoin were credited with the new token, project founder Charlie Lee has warned investors that LCC has nothing to do with the original cryptocurrency.

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LTC/USD Price Levels

Litecoin jumped around 9% to a session high of $244.11, putting it on track for its best close since Jan. 15. At press time, the LTC/USD exchange rate was valued at $240 for a gain of 8%. The currency has added more than 53% over the past five days, but is still trailing its year-to-date high by about 25%.

With recent gains, Litecoin has moved back into fifth place on the active list of cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $13.5 billion. The coin was previously overtaken by Cardano, a lesser known altcoin that has seen huge gains this year.

The latest rally has also been accompanied by an upsurge in trade volumes involving LTC. More than $1.1 billion worth of Litecoin trades were placed over the past 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.

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Hard Fork Produces Litecoin Cash

Litecoin Cash came into existence on Sunday following a hard fork of the original LTC protocol at block 1,371,111. The official split occurred around 11:00 p.m. GMT. Investors who held the original Litecoin at the time of the hard fork received the new LCC at a ratio of 10:1.

The hard fork introduces bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm into the blockchain. The original uses Scrypt to verify transactions.

Earlier this month, Litecoin founder and chief visionary Charlie Lee warned investors that the planned hard fork was not affiliated with his company. In a Feb. 4 tweet, Lee issued the following statement from his @SatoshiLite handle:

“PSA: The Litecoin team and I are not forking Litecoin. Any forks that you hear about is a scam trying to confuse you to think it’s related to Litecoin. Don’t fall for it and definitely don’t enter your private keys or seed into their website or client. Be careful out there!”

A hard fork is generated when the original cryptocurrency splits into two, usually as a result of changes to the original blockchain’s code. Bitcoin went through two hard forks last year that produced bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG).

As for the newly created Litecoin Cash, prices surged more than 400% following the Sunday fork. At the time of writing, LCC was valued at $7.63 for a gain of 150%. The coin peaked at $9.25.

Though largely influenced by the LCC fork, Litecoin’s recent bullish streak has also benefited from the planned launch of LitePay, a new payment processor that will help e-commerce businesses accept cryptocurrency payments. LitePay is scheduled to go live Feb. 26.

Litecoin’s popularity is also growing on the dark web and among those who are more concerned with privacy. A recent study published by Recorded Future found Litecoin to be the second-most popular cryptocurrency among criminals, behind bitcoin.

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 153 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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Altcoins

Bitcoin Leads Cryptocurrency Market Back Above $500 Billion

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The cryptocurrency market’s broad recovery continued on Saturday, as bitcoin inched closer to $11,000 and nearly all major altcoins reported gains.

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$500 Billion Market

Cryptocurrencies achieved a combined market cap of $508 billion on Saturday, their highest since Jan. 30. The market is up 22% over the past seven days and a staggering 84% from the Feb. 6 bottom of $276 billion.

Gains were reported across most major assets on Saturday. Bitcoin led the major market rally, climbing more than 7% to a high of $10,874.24. At last check, the currency was trading at $10,813 for a total market cap of $183.4 billion.

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The recent rally attempt has given bitcoin strong momentum, with RSI and MACD indicators showing the continuation of bullish upside. The coin is currently trading at more than two-week highs, having recovered 81% from its early February low. Its share of the total market is just over 36%, up from around 34% last week.

Several other major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Ripple and bitcoin, were also higher on Saturday. All are part of the top-five coins by market cap.

Privacy coin Monero was among the biggest gainers percentage-wise, rising 12%. Cryptocurrency Lisk also rose by a similar amount.

Momentum Builds

Momentum has been gradually returning to the market as “fear of missing out” replaced “fear, uncertainty and doubt” as the major paradigm. South Korea also sent positive vibes throughout the market after government officials downplayed fears of an all-out ban on domestic exchanges. As Hacked reported earlier this week, Minister Hong Nam-ki says his government will focus on making digital currency exchanges more transparent.

According to a report that appeared in BusinessKorea on Monday, Seoul is exploring the possibility of a licensing system for domestic exchanges. The report indicated it would be similar to the BitLicense system currently employed in the U.S. state of New York. Under this regime, digital currency exchanges must seek regulatory approval before entering the market.

Speculators have spent most of their time on the sidelines since the market tanked earlier this month. The latest rally could draw more investors back into the fold as “FOMO” mentality takes root. The turnaround in the market has been broad-based, with only ten of the top-100 coins reporting declines on Saturday.

The market’s rebound also came as bargain hunters scooped up coins at rock-bottom prices last week. One trader reportedly purchased $400 million worth of bitcoin between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12. The identity of the so-called “bitcoin whale” remains anonymous.

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 153 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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Altcoins

Bitcoin Cash Jumps 12%, Hitting $1,500 for the First Time in February

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Bitcoin vs. bitcoin cash

Bitcoin cash (BCH) generated strong momentum on Friday, as the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency added 12% en route to its highest level in over two weeks.

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BCH Price Levels

The BCH currency reached a session high $1,546, bringing its total market cap to $26 billion. At the time of writing, the coin was valued at $1,510, putting it on track for its highest settlement since Jan. 30.

Bitcoin cash experienced a similar uptrend on Thursday, with prices breaking above $1,400 to form a new bullish trend line. Following a pair of brief dips on Friday, BCH has broken sharply higher and is now said to be challenging a key psychological resistance.

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Relative strength has fallen back to the mid-60s after triggering overbought signals earlier in the session. The uptrend in the coin is being accompanied by growing appetite for cryptocurrencies as a whole, with the total market adding around $50 billion over the past two days.

More than $800 million worth of BCH has traded hands over the last 24 hours, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The OKEx cryptocurrency exchange processed about $195 million of that total, which is equivalent to roughly a 25% of the daily volume.

South Korea’s Upbit and Bithumb turned over a combined $168 million, latest data show.

Bitcoin cash is the sixth most traded cryptocurrency at around 3.3%. Its main rival bitcoin has seen its volume rise to 37% of the total market.

Crypto Market Uptrend

The cryptocurrency market is being pulled higher by positive developments out of South Korea after regulators in the Asian country reaffirmed their commitment to let digital currency exchanges operate freely. A strong technical reversal also appears to be underway, although analysts continue to warn of a choppy uptrend in the days and weeks to come.

Coins such as Litecoin and Ripple XRP are also rallying on business optimism, with both companies announcing measures to boost mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies as money. In the case of Litecoin, a new payment infrastructure called LitePay is expected to launch later this month, making it easier for retailers to accept crypto payments. Meanwhile, Ripple and Western Union recently confirmed their new partnership around xRapid.

As for bitcoin cash, the digital currency has routinely outpaced the market’s broad consolidation attempt over the past week-and-a-half. The difference between earlier rallies and the one we’re seeing today is improved risk appetite, which is helping more digital currencies tip the scale in favor of the bulls.

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 153 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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