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Countdown to Bitcoin Gold Is On Despite Community Skepticism

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In just a few days, an alternative version of bitcoin will come into existence via the increasingly common ‘hard fork’ process. Bitcoin Gold, or BTG, aims to democratize the blockchain’s lucrative mining infrastructure by taking it out of the hands of big companies.

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Hard Fork Coming

The term ‘hard fork’ has become part of blockchain vernacular following the launch of bitcoin cash Aug. 1. Despite its struggles, the alternative version of bitcoin has created billions of dollar in market value. Backers of Bitcoin Gold are hoping for a similar fate.

By pursuing a hard fork, BTG’s developers seek to transform how mining works by eliminating ASICs – the powerful machines developed solely for minting bitcoin. Eliminating ASIC miners will attract more people to the system, thus democratizing the mining process.

The project, which is being led by Jack Liao of the Hong Kong-based LightningASIC, will launch on block 491,407. Based on current mining activity, that is expected to occur Wednesday.

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However, blockchain experts are quick to remind that BTG isn’t your typical fork. For starters, the newly minted currency will be created in advance of the launch. Roughly 1% of the tokens mined before the public launch will be used to pay BTG’s development team.

These characteristics have led some analysts to issue a warning over the legitimacy Bitcoin Gold. Bitcoin Gold’s development team has already mined tens of thousands of tokens, raising eyebrows about whether this is just a get-rich-quick scheme.

That being said, the official BTG website says the new coin will provide:

  • decentralization
  • fair distribution
  • replay protection
  • transparency

Accessing Bitcoin Gold

If you currently own bitcoin, you will receive an equivalent amount of BTG tokens after the fork – that is, if your broker participates. Japan’s bitFlyer marketplace has already announced it will support the Bitcoin Gold process. The broker issued the following statement on Saturday:

We will credit you with an amount of BTG corresponding to the amount of Bitcoin (BTC) in your bitFlyer account prior to the split. If the BTG split is deemed by bitFlyer to be permanent and secure in regards to customer assets, you will be able to own both BTC and BTG in your bitFlyer account.

In other words, the amount of BTG distributed to bitFlyer account holders will be based on the amount of BTG held in their corresponding account at the time of the chain split.

Some notable exchanges, such as U.S.-based Coinbase, have indicated they will not support the new protocol. This leaves traders with the task of moving over their bitcoin to a wallet that supports the BTG protocol.

Given the red flags surrounding Bitcoin Gold, it’s hard to say how the blockchain community will react come Wednesday. The project states on its website that some 20 exchanges and wallet platforms have already promised to support the new protocol.

Bitcoin Gold is emerging at a time of great opportunity in the cryptocurrency market. The original bitcoin token climbed above $6,000 last week for the first time ever, bringing its total market cap well north of $100 billion. Digital currency is by far the world’s best-performing asset class, dwarfing the stock market’s bullish gains over the past ten months.

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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Litecoin and Bitcoin Hit New Rally Highs

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Another day, another round of bullish developments in the cryptocurrency segment, even in the face of a risk-off shift in traditional markets. Following the lead of Ethereum Classic, just like in the previous leg higher, Litecoin also pushed to new rally highs today in early trading following the LCC hard fork.

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BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

This time around, Bitcoin also joined the two undoubted leaders of the market, despite the still slightly overbought short-term momentum readings, while the also relatively strong Monero is still in its short-term correction. Boosted by positive news out of South Korea, the major coins reached the $515 billion mark in market capitalization, although several currencies, most notably Ethereum and Ripple are still underperforming.

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LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We expect trading activity to pick up today, as US markets return to action, and that could cause more volatile moves than in the last few days. As correlations between the majors continue to decline, the individual charts are more and more important, and we expect rotation to continue between the coins.

Ethereum Classic Hits another Target, Up 200% off the Low

ETC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

ETC broke-out of its short-term correction yesterday, staying ahead of the rest of the market in this cycle, and it rallied up to the next major resistance zone near $43, with only the all-time high remaining ahead as an obstacle before a new record high.

As we noted yesterday, the coin now is now not in the optimal long-term buy range, and it got downgraded to neutral in our trend model as well after turning bullish on the 2nd of February. That said, further gains are likely, and traders should still play the trend, but long-term investors could already cash in on some of the gains.

Apart from ETH and XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, IOTA, and EOS are also lagging the leaders today, while NEO also failed to substantially move above its short-term correction, despite yesterday’s strength.

Given the positive signs, we expect the rally to continue in the segment, even if several altcoins continue the current correction in the coming days.

Stay tuned for our detailed technical analysis later on today.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 101 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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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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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Tests Weekend High as Consolidation Continues

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The major cryptocurrencies entered a shallow correction during the weekend, and most of the coins are still trading below their prior rally highs, with only Ethereum Classic registering new highs. BTC is also very close to its Saturday high, as it is still leading the market higher, outperforming both Ethereum and Ripple.

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Bitcoin is still slightly overbought form a short-term perspective and the correction could still continue in the coming days, with key support zones found near $10,000 and between the $9000 and $9200 levels. That said, the price action in the most valuable coin and the broader segment is still in line with the bullish scenario, and we expect the trend to continue after the correction. Above the $11,300 level further resistance is ahead at $13,000 and $14,250.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Among the other relatively strong coins, Litecoin and Monero are also holding up well, while NEO is also showing short-term strength, diverging slightly from Ethereum which it has been correlating with in recent weeks.

Monero is also trading close to the weekend highs, as is working its way through the overbought short-term momentum readings. The coin is well above the previously dominant trendline, in clear short-term uptrend. Traders and investors could be looking for entry points during the correction, with strong support at $300, $280, and $240.

XMR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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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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4.7 stars on average, based on 101 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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