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China has Trump by the Bonds

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It’s earnings season on Wall Street and everyone is focused on the big banks.

Wells Fargo, Blackrock, and JP Morgan Chase will all report their fourth-quarter earnings today and the results will not be good.

Trading volumes have been incredibly low in the last half of 2017, both due to reduced fears about the economy and because many high-frequency traders have already moved to the crypto market.

It doesn’t matter though. At this point, the banks could plausibly report the worst losses in the history of capitalism and still see their stock go up.

Investors and analysts will be listening closely, and physically salivating, to the banker’s projections. Tax cuts are coming and investors want to know how much money the banks think they can make from it.

Tell us a sweet fairy tale of wonder and enchantment so we can sleep better at night and forget all about these historically high stock valuations.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

German Breakthrough (Euro)

China has Trump by the Bonds

Ripple’s Deal with MoneyGram

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 12th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you’re prepared to lose.

It’s a Breakthrough

Angela Merkel just reached a groundbreaking deal with her rivals the SPD party to form a grand coalition in the German Government. Everybody is excited and the Euro is flying. BUT… we’re not out of the woods just yet.

The SPD party will still need to vote on this and many of her members might prefer to see new elections rather than join Merkel’s government. So we’ll see how this plays out.

Enough of that though. Let’s take a look at the Euro-dollar, which is now trading at it’s highest level since 2014…

The DAX on the other hand seems less than excited. It’s been near it’s highest ever levels since November so this little tidbit was not enough to push it through the roof.

Bonds in Geopolitics

As we’ve been discussing earlier this week, the bond markets have been seeing some mild selling action. In a normal market, this wouldn’t be worrying but because the word ‘sell’ has become so rare on Wall Street lately it is making headlines.

What made bigger headlines though was that China was considering to stop buying bonds from the United States. These reports were later refuted by Chinse authorities and have since been tossed in the category labeled ‘fake news’.

It is interesting though. Bonds are how countries lend money to one another so the bond market can be seen through the lens of foreign debt. China is one of the US’s largest creditors at the moment. So if they stop buying, or worse, start to offload some of their bonds the US could be in a heap of trouble.

What’s suspicious here is the timing. Donald Trump has big plans and they won’t be cheap. After decreasing corporate taxes his income has now been stunted. So increased expenses and reduced income means that you need to borrow.

Trump is also ramping up his rhetoric against China. It was an essential part of his political victory in the elections and he’s itching to call them out on several issues already. So this bit of ‘fake news’ does actually come as a reminder or even a warning. Mess with the dragon and you will get burnt.

What’s Ripple’s Deal?

Ripple rejoiced yesterday as those who hodled through the Korean FUD were rewarded with a breakthrough in global payments relations.

Even though it’s only a pilot, just the fact that a major payment system like MoneyGram will be testing Ripple’s network is incredibly big news and even gives investors a taste for more news to come.

The great thing for hodlers is that the pilot will reportedly be using Ripple’s XRP tokens. This has been a soft spot for Ripple skeptics who say that Ripple’s success does not necessarily mean success for XRP since they could potentially form payment networks without these specific tokens.

The price shot up more than 20% within the first hour of the news.

The news comes at an excellent time as far as technical analysis is concerned and could potentially provide a floor for the price movement.

Here, take a look at the rally, and pullback. The level of $1.5 per token was a significant breakout level on the way up and now seems like a valid support level for the massive pullback.

Of course, cryptocurrencies are incredibly risk so it always pays to diversify and use proper money management as I’m sure many of our new clients have learned recently.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments or feedback. Have an amazing weekend ahead!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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 133 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. ronaldo18

    January 13, 2018 at 7:28 am

    clear analyses, thx.

  2. snow4me

    January 15, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Adoption is kill in the crypto market because it leads to credibility. I wondered why it took so long for Money Gram to do this… how much $$$ flows to Mexico alone in a weeks time?

  3. snow4me

    January 15, 2018 at 3:14 am

    MGI is moneygrams ticker. Gonna stick my big toe in that water tomorrow morning.

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Altcoins

Cardano Price Analysis: ADA/USDT is Eyeing a Big Move Out of Current Technical Setup

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  • Positive update from IOHK audit of Icarus by Kudelski Security.
  • ADA/USDT is moving within a pennant pattern formation, subject to breakout.

Solid Icarus Audit reported by IOHK

IOHK recently announced in their forum that an audit was conducted by Kudelski Security, which is an independent and third-party security audit firm. The audit conducted demonstrated that the Icarus project implementation for Cardano looks all good and set to go, without any major problems. However, a few changes may need to be executed. IOHK developed the Icarus code as a reference implementation, for Cardano light portfolio.

The important of “independent audits, like this one was stressed by IOHK. Stating “they are critical for identifying security issues in the Icarus wallet, that may not have been identified by internal audits”.

Furthermore, IOHK has elucidated Icarus as an open source code base serving as a reference for the creation of safer and easier mobile wallets for Cardano. They said, “this guarantees our customers and clients the safest portfolio we can offer.”  Given the benefit of an external audit, the developers can resolve any problems identified during its product launch audit.

Positive Updates from Cardano Founder

Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, was recently commenting on Cardano’s future. He said “We have so many amazing things coming out.”

Mr Hoskinson further added that one of their scientists has flown in from Switzerland. They will be doing a video, which will be the first time they have ever talked about their sharding design that we have for Cardano. Further commenting on other updates, including videos about Shelley and the Rust project.

Technical Review – Daily Chart

ADA/USDT daily chart

ADA/USDT is moving within a triangular pattern or a pennant formation, as seen via the daily time frame. It is narrowing, moving closer to a breakout. Ranging ahead of another drop to the deep south. Although, fundamental developments coming out from the Cardano foundation, remain very much upbeat currently.

Over the past 8 days, the price has been grinding higher, after receiving support at the lower trend line of the above-mentioned pattern. In terms of resistance to the upside, this can be seen at 0.08310000. The upper tracking trend line. Further north, a supply zone is running from 0.09000000-0.09500000. ADA/USDT  last traded here on 23rd September. Finally, support is tracking at 0.071800000, lower part of the pennant, also within a demand area. Another strong buying territory is observed from 0.06500000-0.06000000.

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 33 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Altcoins

Zcash (ZEC) Up 16% For Week as Sapling Hardfork Approaches

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Privacy coin Zcash (ZEC) gained 16% on its value from Monday through to Saturday as anticipation builds regarding the upcoming Sapling update.

The update, which will require a hardfork, aims to make improvements to shielded addresses, including reducing the time it takes to create them and the amount of memory used when doing so.

October proved to be a productive month for Zcash, with the coin recently being added to the Bitnovo platform, which will see ZEC become available for purchase in over 20,000 physical stores throughout Spain and Italy.

ZEC/USD

In the calendar week leading up to Saturday, Oct 20th, ZEC climbed just over 16% against the dollar, on its way from a valuation of $107.54 up to Saturday afternoon’s peak of $1124.96.

Trade volumes grew steadily in that time, without much violent fluctuation. Instead, overall trade movement rose quietly from $57 million to $83 million, suggesting a more ‘natural’ progression than many spikes of late.

Saturday’s peak marked a weekly high for ZEC, and stands higher than the valuation with which the coin opened the month. With that said, the monthly high of $145 which landed towards the end of September is still some way off.

Sapling Hardfork

The Zcash twitter team have been building up the anticipation all week in the lead up to the Sapling update, and have earmarked October 28th for the initiation date – as per the Saturday’s tweet:

“Activation block 419200 will be mined October 28, 2018 18:21 UTC-05:00 assuming 150 seconds/block.”

The update is expected to improve the ZEC blockchain’s handling of shielded addresses. According to a recent blog post:

“Sapling is a network upgrade that introduces significant efficiency improvements for shielded transactions that will pave the way for broad mobile, exchange and vendor adoption of Zcash shielded addresses.”

More details on the update can be read here.

Zcash Gets Bitnovo Integration

The other big piece of news to come out of the Zcash camp this week is the Bitnovo integration. Bitnovo facilitates in the buying and selling of prepaid cryptocurrency vouchers, which can be filled with a choice of various currencies. According to this week’s tweet:

“You can now purchase $ZEC #Zcash at over 20.000 stores in Spain and Italy with @bitnovo with full privacy and straight to your favorite wallet!”

The firm also deal in refillable cryptocurrency credit cards which users can use in physical stores, while offering up crypto ATM’s to store owners and businesses.

How much the Bitnovo deal will boost Zcash’s numbers remains to be seen, but having the ZEC ticker plastered across products in mainstream stores is sure to increase its recognition.

Besides that, Zcash remains one of the as of yet unlisted coins among the five which Coinbase singled out earlier this year. Basic Attention Token recently pumped on the Coinbase anticipation, and ZEC’s turn may also be coming before long.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 81 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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Altcoins

Is BTC Still the Real Bitcoin? Not According to Roger Ver

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Anyone familiar with Roger Ver may have already heard him proclaim the benefits of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), while deriding the development path taken by Bitcoin (BTC).

That development path has been largely guided by the overseeing hand of Blockstream – a privately funded company which has itself provided much of the funding for Bitcoin’s development.

A Departure from the BTC Vision

While Roger Ver’s constant assault on Blockstream and BTC on Twitter may prove irksome to some – it does appear to be founded on genuine reasons. Ver believes that features like the Lightning Network and Liquid Network detract from the original ideals set forth by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.

Furthermore, Ver and many others maintain that Blockstream purposely derailed the development of Bitcoin, purely so that they could then step in and get rich selling a product that was never needed in the first place.

As Ver recently told his Twitter followers:

“Supporters of lightning network intentionally crippled the world’s best working and most popular cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in an attempt to push people onto something that doesn’t work, isn’t ready yet, and may never be able to work!”

The crippling of Bitcoin Ver refers to is the refusal by Blockstream to increase block sizes in order to increase scalability. What many believe should have been a straightforward issue – and one that was even touted by Satoshi Nakamoto himself – eventually became a farce.

Rather than increase block sizes on the Bitcoin blockchain to hold more transactions, Blockstream instead decided to create and sell their own products, such as sidechains and the Liquid Network, in order to solve the (self-sustained) scalability problem.

Earlier this week, Ver tweeted:

“BTC is the only coin in existence with intentionally limited on-chain capacity.”

Conflict of Interest?

As for Blockstream, they have made no secret of their intentions to make money from their Bitcoin activities. The company plans to provide sidechain services for investors using the newly created Liquid Network – a system which sees Bitcoin swapped out for a pegged sidechain token.

Some people may see a conflict of interest here. But even if we put conspiracies and speculation aside, this tweet by Blockstream CEO Adam Back suggests they aren’t too interested in maintaining the Bitcoin mainchain:

“I bet they’d pay $100/tx for digital gold, and mid-sized international remittance, I would. Still be really good if fees were much lower.”

The tweet refers to speculation on what the future price of a Bitcoin transaction would be, and seems to confirm that Blockstream see Bitcoin as a remittance tool for large-scale investors, rather than cheap, efficient P2P digital cash.

When Bitcoin started it was supposed to be a decentralized, permission-less, trust-less, immutable and therefore uncensorable alternative to the existing financial hierarchies and centralized infrastructures.

Even if you like the idea of Lightning Network hubs, block producers, and state channels, one thing you can’t say about them is that they’re decentralized, permission-less or trust-less.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was forked from Bitcoin in 2017 after many in the BTC community became dissatisfied with the blockchain’s direction. Bitcoin Cash essentially acts as the pre-Blockstream version of 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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4.4 stars on average, based on 81 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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