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Bitcoin’s Latest Collapse Mirrors the 2014 Bear Market

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The yearlong selloff in cryptocurrencies deepened over the weekend, erasing more than $40 billion of market value in less than 24 hours. Investors, analysts and general observers are now struggling to understand why.

According to one long-time observer, bitcoin’s recent price collapse is almost identical to the onset of the bear market all the way back in August 2014.

Evaluating Bitcoin’s Latest Reversal

Bitcoin’s recent price collapse occurred in two waves, beginning with a 5% drop in the span of about five hours. The second, more intense bout of selling pressure wiped 7.5% from the currency’s value. In the process, bitcoin’s value plunged below $6,700 for the first time since early April.

According to Tony Vays, host of the Crypto Scam podcast, bitcoin’s technical indicators are almost identical to the August 2014 period when the cryptocurrency had entered a protracted bear market. The analysis extends far beyond price to include the three most popular oscillators: RSI, MACD and Stochastics.

In Vays’ evaluation, bitcoin will likely drop below $5,000 for the first time in around eight months.

Bitcoin shows only tepid recovery potential on Tuesday with prices crossing above $6,900.

Factors Behind the Collapse

Though useful, Vays’ analysis does not explain the root cause of bitcoin’s epic reversal. Some analysts have pinned the decline on the hack of South Korea’s Coinrail, where some $40 million worth of digital currency was compromised. Others have pointed to the CFTC’s widening probe into four leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Though potential factors, these headlines ran parallel to Sunday’s price collapse.

A more plausible explanation is that long-term holders of bitcoin are giving into the pressure. There’s some research to support this claim.

Blockchain research company Chainanalysis has carefully evaluated bitcoin’s price reversal since December and has concluded that roughly $30 billion worth of digital currency has been dumped by the so-called “hodlers.” However, that only covers the December to April period.

Based on recent price action, there’s reason to believe that the hodlers are still relinquishing their positions. Since bottoming in February, bitcoin has attempted two major reversals only to fall short each time. Prices peaked around $11,700 in late February and then again in early March but have since failed to come close to matching those levels.

Let’s also not forget about the elephant in the room: trade volume (or lack thereof). Say what you will about cryptocurrency exchanges inflating their turnover, bitcoin transactions are down markedly over the past three months. In fact, we recently saw a 55% spike in turnover as traders offloaded their positions (case in point: that spike occurred between Saturday and Monday).

There’s strong reason to believe that bitcoin’s recent downturn is here to stay for much longer than many had predicted. The good news is the cryptocurrency’s value proposition has only increased over the past six months thanks to institutional adoption, Lightning Network upgrades and continued growth of blockchain enterprise. In a market that is heavily influenced by sentiment, the facts will set you free.

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 461 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

Cryptocurrencies Poised for a Comeback Despite Bithumb Hack, Says Charlie Lee

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The latest hack of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange does not change the market fundamentals for bitcoin or other digital currencies, Charlie Lee told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. What’s more, the Litecoin founder believes cryptos are poised for a comeback – the only question is when.

Charlie Lee Weighs In

Cryptocurrency prices declined by as much as $8 billion Wednesday on news that South Korea’s Bithumb exchange was attacked. As Lee pointed out to CNBC, investors’ initial reaction was typical given the sentiment-driven nature of the market. The hack of Bithumb or any other digital currency exchange does not affect bitcoin’s underlying value.

“If the exchange does not protect the coins well enough and gets hacked, it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the coin they are protecting,” he said.

With respect to security, exchanges still have “a lot to improve,” Lee said before adding that strides were being taken to prevent further attacks from taking places. In the case of Bithumb, the company reportedly spent 10 billion won on new security measures recently and beefed up its IT staff far beyond the threshold required for financial institutions.

The latest Bithumb heist resulted in the loss of nearly $31 million of cryptocurrency. The exchange halted deposits and withdrawals and shifted existing balances into cold storage as it investigated the matter. The attack caught the attention of South Korea’s financial regulators, who announced plans to expedite stricter regulations governing digital currency exchanges.

Typical Bear Market

Despite bitcoin’s massive correction over the past six months, it is still doing “really well,” Lee said, reminding investors that bear markets in cryptocurrency are nothing new. However, the difficulty with bitcoin is determining how long the bearish reversal will last.

“This one could be a three to four year market or it could recover tomorrow,” he said.

Analysts have offered a multitude of explanations for bitcoin’s half-year price collapse. Some are convinced that it was caused by the introduction of futures contracts, which allow traders to more easily short the market when this option was virtually impossible before. Others have pinned the blame on bitcoin whales, whom they say have been gradually winding down their positions since the futures contracts launched in December.

Speculation that Tether (USDT) has been artificially inflating bitcoin’s value through Bitfinex has also been posited as a potential cause for the six-month price collapse. The company’s recent audit, which has been labeled “phony” by many in the blockchain community, has only fueled accusations of impropriety. However, as Hacked’s James Waggonner pointed out, Bitfinex would have had to spend millions just to inflate bitcoin’s value by four basis points.

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 461 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

Crypto Real Estate: The Time Is Now

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If you’re a Russian oligarch, an Asian billionaire or just a simple kid from South Jersey with giant aspirations, it is time for action in the newly emerging world of crypto real estate.  Here is why.

For the average home buyer the price of a home has increased about 1.72% annually over the past 10 years.  That is just slightly more than the 1.49% rate for the U.S. economy. Things have changed somewhat in recent time and we read Case Shiller numbers placing the rate between 5%-7%.

For investors in bitcoin, the action is taking place elsewhere in the real estate world.  It is in the world of the super high-end real estate where BTC and other cryptos can play a role.

If your soul contains an ounce of cynicism, at this point,  you are probably saying what is new about the connection between crypto and real estate?  The answer is arbitrage. Never have high-end property prices been so high and crypto prices so low.  It would be a classic arbitrage to sell high-end real estate and buy bitcoin.

Natural Buyers For Bitcoin

There are plenty of statistics on housing and loads of public records revealing who owns a given piece of property.  The US government claims that 9.6 million Americans own second homes and perhaps 16% own investment property.

But when it comes to the true high-end market, global real estate is definitely in the billions. For example, take penthouse in 432 Park Ave in New York that, when new, sold for over $100 million in cash and you get the idea.  This is a market where anonymity is prized and protected. This has long represented the “no brainer” for bitcoin to gain acceptance. And best of all, it is perfectly legal medium of exchange.

Enter Propy (PRO)

Here is a company that appears to be positioned to take advantage of transactions in the global ultra high-end real estate market. Before getting started, one thing needs to be disclosed.  I neither own or am being compensated for writing about Propy. I stumbled across the name purely by accident.

Propy.com fancies itself as being dedicated to solving the complexities of purchasing property across borders.  They claim to be the world’s first international marketplace. The PRO token is built on the Ethereum ERC20 standard. Propy raised $15.4 million with their ICO last September which places a value on the company of roundly $100 million.

So PRO may not rank with the likes of Telegram but they are not exactly chopped liver either. With the spread between the price of ultra high-end real estate and bitcoin never having been greater and the perpetual need for anonymity, the team at PRO may find itself in a sweet spot no matter if the like it or not.

The First Crypto Test In Rome On June 28

CCN.com reports that PRO has managed to team up with the Hilton family-owned real estate broker Hilton & Hyland in an auction of a Roman villa named the Palazetto Mansion aiming to snatch $38 million in dollars or crypto from the buyer.  This is not first effort of its kind but it is by far the largest.

Arbitrage In The Air

Events in Rome on June 28 will be most interesting as much for bitcoin as for PRO.  This is not to say that bitcoin is the only crypto in the world, just the largest and best known. Nevertheless, the total value of bitcoin is now just a little over $114 billion so every billion of future real estate transactions will make a difference at these levels.

Perhaps this is all wishful thinking on the part of someone who owns neither PRO nor BTC but several things are obvious.  First, those folks that put their hidden billions in real estate using corporate identities are not casual investors but savvy players with lots of high priced advisors.  Arbitrage spreads between ultra high end real estate and crypto present a pretty irresistible attraction. Just something to consider when investor psychology toward crypto in general stinks.  

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 82 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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Altcoins

Treading the Floods: Cryptocurrency Prices Stable Following Bithumb Attack 

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Cryptocurrencies emerged unscathed Wednesday following yet another security breach of a South Korean exchange, as the market continued to favor a corrective rally for bitcoin and the major altcoins.

Crypto Prices Hold Steady

Bitcoin fell by as much as $200 Wednesday on news of a cyber attack targeting South Korea’s Bithumb exchange. However, the coin quickly recovered and now sits just shy of $6,800, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Prices peaked at $6,821.56 at 12:34 UTC.

Compared with 24 hours ago, bitcoin’s per-coin value was virtually unchanged.

The ten biggest altcoins by market cap exhibited the same pattern, with prices treading water compared with Tuesday afternoon. The total cryptocurrency market was valued above $290 billion, up from an earlier low of around $282 billion.

Bitcoin and the major altcoins have more or less retained their bullish bias, which suggests that a continuation of the upward trend is likely. Since bottoming last week, coins have rebounded $26 billion.

Bithumb Attack: What We Know

Hackers made off with roughly $31 million in stolen cryptocurrency on Wednesday as Bithumb suffered its third cyber breach in 12 months. The attackers reportedly targeted users’ holdings of XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, by running a series of unauthorized access attempts.

Bithumb was unable to prevent the attack despite spending upwards of 10 billion won ($9 million) on security enhancements. This includes complying with new guidelines for financial institutions requiring 5% of company staff be made up of IT specialists. Bithumb has reportedly exceeded that quota by a wide margin.

The Seoul-based exchange confirmed that it had migrated outstanding crypto balances to cold storage and said it will fully refund affected users. Transactions on the exchange remain suspended for now.

Although news of the attack hit the airwaves on Wednesday, some analysts believe the theft occurred several days earlier as part of Bithumb’s data upgrade. However, the exact cause of the breach remains unclear.

Goldman Sachs Weighs Crypto Trading as an Option

U.S. multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering taking a bigger dive into cryptocurrency by launching a full-scale trading operation, according to COO David Solomon.

“We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon said during an interview in China, as reported by CCN. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

Currently, the Wall Street investment giant is clearing bitcoin futures contracts. It has also announced plans to introduce a new bitcoin trading operation, which includes using its own money to trade with clients in a variety of contracts linked to bitcoin.

Institutional traders are awaiting the arrival of custodial services dedicated to cryptocurrency before taking the full plunge into digital assets. To that effect, the San Francisco-based  Coinbase exchange is leading the charge by announcing a new line of crypto custodial services to unlock up to $10 billion in institutional capital.

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 461 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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