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Bitcoin’s Stalled Recovery Keeps the Bulls in Check

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The bitcoin recovery engine stalled on Monday, setting the stage for a possible price reversal that mirrors last week’s 70-day low. With the total market cap so low, a decline in bitcoin would almost assuredly lead to a similar correction for other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Price Levels

Bitcoin prices reached a low of $6,335.77 on Monday, as bearish pressure continued to undermine last week’s modest recovery. Bitcoin rallied to a high around $6,700 last Thursday shortly after bottoming near $6,100.

The cryptocurrency later recovered around $6,660A7 but remains in a bearish pattern going all the way back to June 9. BTC/USD is down roughly $1,000 over that stretch. Price action over the past 24 hours suggests that a further breakdown is probable.

The cryptocurrency market cap reached a high of $284 billion on Monday. Bitcoin and altcoins exhibited price stability over the weekend as trading volumes continued to plummet.

Depressed Market

As we reported this weekend, cryptocurrencies have witnessed a steady decline in trading volume that could make the market more prone to volatility. Daily trade volumes bottomed near $9.5 billion Sunday, the lowest in over two months. Volumes are down a staggering 80% since the market peaked in early January.

The absence of new money paints the picture of a depressed market in need of direction. With organic searches for “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency” the lowest in around nine months, a large influx of new retail traders is highly unlikely.

Exchanges such as Coinbase are betting big that the next major catalyst will come not from retail traders, but large institutions. To help make that a reality, Coinbase has launched a new crypto-custody service targeting bitcoin whales. According to crypto hedge fund manager Kyle Samani, regulated custody services are the game changer that will attract institutional-scale capital.

“There are a lot of investors where custodianship was the final barrier,” Samani told Bloomberg in a phone interview. “Over the next year, the market will come to recognize that custodianship is a solved problem. This will unlock a big wave of capital.”

Coinbase isn’t the only organization vying to become a qualified custodian. Goldman-backed Circle and BitGo have also been in negotiation with regulators on the matter. Earlier this year, investment bank Nomura Holdings joined forces with two cryptocurrency firms to create a custody consortium. Bloomberg reports that at least three Wall Street custodians – Bank of New York Mellon Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Northern Trust Corp. – are exploring cryptocurrency custody services.

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 606 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

ETFs: What Is The SEC  Really Thinking?

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As a veteran Wall Street type, I was not surprised at Thursday’s SEC announcement on the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF.  Once again they gave a “no decision”. This pushes the deadline back to December 29, 2018. Don’t be surprised if New Year’s Eve comes and goes and nothing happens before the SEC is forced into a action by the end of February.

Back in August, when the first delay was announced, crypto investors’ reaction was swift and painful.  On Thursday, after a temporary hiccup, prices took a surprisingly positive turn. If we are to believe for just a moment that crypto prices act rationally (or just occasionally) then comes two obvious questions, are crypto ETFs good or bad? Secondly why can’t the SEC come up with an answer?

Never Say Yes

Let’s start with the easy question first: what’s up with the SEC?  Having dealt with this teflon organization for over 30 years, their actions with regard to VanEck-SolidX are the same pattern they have followed forever.  Practically never do they approve anything. Instead they provide two choices: reject or delay. By delaying the VanEck-SolidX application they are accepting the ETF concept in principle but laying out objections that must be corrected.

The result of this regulatory song and dance, don’t expect a decision until the last minute. The reason is that the main issues are not likely to be resolved in time. In fact, I doubt that the ETF proposal gets approval for perhaps as much as another year.  Here is why.

SEC Speak: Obfuscation

According to Jake Chervinsky, attorney for VanEck, the SEC asks “18 multiple part questions covering seven pages.” He adds: “It’s not encouraging to see the SEC ask if the bitcoin futures markets are “of significant size” despite having already concluded last month that they’re not.”

This is a tactic in obfuscation that the SEC loves when an applicant has not provided an adequate response.  In this case there is no objective answer to how liquid a market must be to meet the measure of significance.  Moreover, there is little or nothing that can be done in the short run to create greater liquidity.

The SEC is a political body as much as any agency of the Federal Government.  In raising the issue of liquidity, they can stand behind their role of protecting the public without at the same time hindering public access to a class of assets, even at current depressed levels, is worth $200 billion, more or less.

The SEC Is Right With Their Delays

Does the crypto world really benefit, as this stage of its evolution, by fostering a group of ETFs?  The argument in favor says that this is the way to simply and safely offer the individual investor a way to participate in a diversified portfolio of crypto.  That sounds noble – or is it just something that makes lots of money for those who create them?

But so far, at least from the viewpoint of the SEC, ETF applicants have not created a more secure domain.  More importantly, even if this were not the case, what does the investor gain from investing in a diversified list of crypto when Bitcoin overshadows about every other altcoin?

With nothing against those that believe in the benefits of ETFs, the benefits in current terms is far better for the ETF sponsor that it is for the investor.

Looking just at the math, an individual investor could be just as well off buying Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum and EOS. Admittedly, it is somewhat more complicated finding a place to buy and store Ripple, but with this small portfolio, you cover 75% of the entire crypto asset class. If security is an issue simply go to  blockgeeks.com/cryptocurrency-safe/ and select from a list of hardware wallets.

So whether the SEC gives their approval of VanEck-SolidX in December or February might make a difference if this were 2020 or sometime thereafter.  As for now, it really isn’t critical to the mass acceptance of crypto.

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 105 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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Shrugs Off SEC’s Delay of VanEck/SolidX ETF

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued an order to launch proceedings on whether or not to approve the widely anticipated VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF on the CBOE. The announcement comes just days before what was supposed to be a Sept. 30 deadline for the Wall Street regulator to make a call on a proposed rule change that would clear the way for the product, a date that was also postponed. The market seems to be getting used to it with traders shrugging off the latest delay.

Shortly after the SEC updated its progress, the bitcoin price dipped modestly. But since then, top cryptocurrencies are higher in unison on something that has been missing in past rallies – robust volume. In the last 24 hours, bitcoin’s volume is at nearly $5.6 billion while No. 2 crypto Ethereum is trading on volume of $2.2 billion.

Source: TradingView

ETF Comments

Some 1,400 comment letters surrounding the passive investment product have poured into the SEC’s office. Rather than make a decision based on those, the regulator is seeking more context:

“[The] Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change,” according to the SEC document.

Chief among the regulator’s concerns is manipulation of the bitcoin price, which the CBOE believes it has mechanisms in place to reduce the potential for. If the bitcoin ETF were to launch on the CBOE, the exchange anticipates that it will bolster both the liquidity and transparency of the bitcoin market as hedge funds and other big investors jump in.

Michael Novogratz, a former hedge fund trader who is now running Galaxy Digital, believes it’s only a matter of time before banks enter the market as they catch “fear of missing out.” He said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit” at which he was the “lone crypto voice:”

“I think institutions are moving towards investing. Its shocking how much has happened.”

Meanwhile, individuals have 21 days to make their case to the SEC about the VanEck bitcoin ETF, while any rebuttals must be submitted within 35 days. Should a bitcoin ETF get approved before year-end, it could have a similar effect on the market as the bitcoin futures inspired rally of 2017.

The market is either interpreting the SEC’s update as a positive sign or has become more immune to the slow process. It used to be that traders waited on pins and needles for the bitcoin ETF decision, as evidenced by the bitcoin price’s weakness over the summer in response to the Gemini bitcoin ETF product denials. But clearly, that’s not the case today, with the bitcoin price trading above $6,700 and the combined market value headed toward $222 billion.

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 61 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Surging Ripple Leads Strong Rally, Tops $0.50

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The last 24 hours saw a much-awaited bullish shift in the cryptocurrency segment, as finally, the rally of a major triggered a broad and sustained move in the other top coins as well. Ripple surged by 50% after the initial rally of the bear market lows, and it really took off after yesterday’s buy signal in our trend model, topping the weaker $0.3750 resistance level and the very strong long-term zone near $0.42, which also marked the dominant declining long-term trendline.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Despite the strong rally, a long-term trend change is not confirmed yet, and traders should reduce their positions here, as at least a re-test of the key zone near $0.42 is very likely following the surge, with resistance ahead at $0.54, $0.575, and $0.64. With the move, XRP also got close to take over Ethereum as the second largest coin, with currently around 10% separating the two currencies in market cap.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is also significantly higher today, although the 5% move is dwarfed by Ripple 50% jump. BTC triggered a buy signal overnight, rallying past the $6500 resistance level, and it is currently testing the zone $6750.

The long-term signal is still only neutral, and although the current broad rally is encouraging, the segment is still not out of the woods. Further resistance zones are now ahead at $7000 and between $7200 and $7300, while support below $6500 is still found at $6275, $6000, and near $5850.

Altcoins Still Mixed but Rally Gaining Breadth

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum moved up to the recent swing high and got close to the key resistance level at $235 once again amid the broad rally, but for now a clear break to confirm a new upswing is not completed. That said, the coin is still on a short-term buy signal, and given the improvements in the segment, traders should hold on to their positions here.

A sustained move below $200 would still warn of a re-test of the lows near $170, but a move above $235 could lead to a test of the $260 resistance level and the strong $275-$280 zone.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The outlook for the major altcoins improved, but there are still relatively weak coins, with the likes of ETC, IOTA, LTC, and NEO still not being in good technical positions. That said, Stellar, Cardano, Dash, and EOS also joined the rally, and Monero maintained its short-term buy signal too.

XMR is still below the recent swing low and the $125 resistance level, and well shy of the key long-term zone near $150, but the stability of the coin is encouraging.

Dash/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

After the bullish consolidation period below $200 that we pointed out, Dash moved above the key level following Ripple and the broader market higher. Dash could be part of a bullish leadership, should the current move continue, and although the long-term downtrend is still intact, the coins is now on a short-term buy signal in our trend model, with further support at $190 and $170 and resistance ahead at $215, $225, and $265.

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 350 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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