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Has the Crypto Market Finally Turned a Corner?

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Bitcoin and the broader crypto universe traded firmly higher on Wednesday as South Korea left little doubt about its intent to foster a vibrant market. Not only are the South Koreans not banning cryptocurrency trading, they have shifted their focus to making the market more transparent.

Market Extends Recovery

The total value of cryptocurrencies reached a high of $455 billion on Wednesday, just $3 billion shy of their February high. At the time of writing, the market was worth $452.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of more than $30 billion over the past day.

All the major coins posted strong gains on Wednesday, with Litecoin jumping more than 30% to reach its highest level in a month. The coin was last seen trading at $208.65 for a market cap of $11.5 billion.

Earlier we speculated that Litecoin could be even more undervalued than the broader market ahead of the planned launch of LitePay later this month. The new payment platform attempts to solve the payments trap currently inflicting most digital currencies. According to the official website, LitePay will allow retailers to “accept payments from customers anywhere in the world.”

Meanwhile, the value of bitcoin jumped to $9,300 for the first time in two weeks, taking its total market cap to nearly $157 billion.

Broad gains on Wednesday were accompanied by higher trade volumes across the digital asset class. Roughly $23.4 billion worth of transactions were carried out over the past 24 hours, much higher than recent levels.

Market Outlook Improves, but Risks Remain

The cryptocurrency market has entered a consolidation phase as volatility continues to recede. The important question for traders is whether the recent bout of good news is enough to offset a dominant downtrend that extends back to the middle of January.

That being said, the cryptocurrency market has recovered roughly $175 billion from its swing low earlier this month, a significant achievement given the general lack of interest from speculators in recent weeks.

Wednesday’s announcement from South Korea that it has no plans to ban cryptocurrency trading is also significant, and follows recent testimony from U.S. regulators echoing similar sentiment. Although regulators are concerned about the cryptocurrency market, they have no intent to shut them down – at least, not in South Korea or the United States.

However, ICOs may be singing a different tune as U.S. lawmakers continue to warn about dubious “utility” token labels. Washington’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made it abundantly clear that it will be keeping a close eye on this market. Token issuers have quickly taken notice, with many omitting U.S. investors from their list of eligible participants.

Depending on who you ask, the ICO market is heating up at the start of the year, with billions flowing into token raises. However, conflicting data from ICOWatchlist.com shows that the market came to an abrupt halt in January, with only $52 million raised.

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 546 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 Price Defends $6,000 as Crypto Market Cap Returns Above $200 Billion

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Bitcoin rebounded sharply on Wednesday after a bear market breakdown dragged prices to within $100 of yearly lows. Although the technical indicators have improved, significant downside risks remain.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin’s price was up 4.6% on Bitfinex to trade at $6,483. The leading digital currency reached a session high of $6,483, having recovered more than 8% from Monday’s swing low. Bitcoin’s 24-hour trade volumes averaged $4.6 billion on Wednesday.

The $6,000 price point has emerged as an important support level for bitcoin. As Hacked previously reported, this level is not only psychologically significant, it represents more or less the break-even rate for miners.

The monthly technical chart shows improving conditions in the bitcoin price, though this should be taken with a grain of salt given the market’s extreme moves as of late.

At current levels, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $109.8 billion, which represents 53.6% of the total cryptocurrency market.

Altcoins and tokens collectively rose by $8 billion on Wednesday to reach a total value of $94.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The value of all digital assets was $204.6 billion.

The Market’s Next Move

Although predicting bitcoin’s next move is notoriously difficult, a successful defense of the $6,000 floor is an important step in facilitating the next rally. That the yearly low ($5,755) wasn’t breached during the latest downtrend suggests the bulls may be running out of steam.

That said, bitcoin’s dominance rate reveals structural weakness in the cryptocurrency market, not to mention damaged investor psychology. As Hacked reported Tuesday, cash-out from the ICO boom appears to be largely responsible for the latest reversal, a sign that investors were losing confidence in riskier assets. This is further corroborated by Ethereum’s dramatic selloff over the past seven days. The so-called developer’s cryptocurrency has been responsible for three-quarters of initial coin offerings.

According to BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes, investors shouldn’t expect a large price recovery at this stage given the general lack of momentum, volume and stability in the market. Trading volumes – a key proxy for demand in the cryptocurrency market – averaged $13.4 billion on Wednesday, based on latest available data.

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 546 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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Augur (REP) Backtracks to 16-Month Lows; Aurora (AOA) Falls Away

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Augur (REP) fell 24% throughout Tuesday on its way to a token valuation last seen in April of last year. Daily volumes have halved for the decentralized prediction market platform as today’s sell-off accelerates the process that began on August 7th with the Bitcoin drop-off.

Augur Backtracks to April 2017

In one of the most elongated price reversals in the market cap top one hundred, Augur has gone beyond mere yearly lows in its descent to the price of $15.16, recorded just a few hours ago. That’s down from the daily high of $19.96 recorded 24 hours ago – it has been nothing but descent for Augur since then.

The weekly numbers look no better, with 42% losses for the week. The month looks much better in comparison, with 46% losses over thirty days, thus showing the extent of just how bad this past week has been. A rebound is being attempted at the time of writing, as the price pushes back up to the $15.30 range.

Augur made a splash in the daily news cycle in recent weeks with its assassination markets – a feature open to be used, or created by any user on the Augur platform. The heat died down after the initial splash, which saw around $1.5 million worth of bets placed on various markets.

Sudden Influx From Korea

After seeing no more than a $3-$5 million daily volume for the entire week, Augur suddenly felt a sudden influx of $60 million on August 13th. The volume peaked overnight at $61 million before a massive reduction sent it back down to $27 million from which it continues to fall.

Right now, $23 million of that sum is coming from REP/KRW trades emanating from Bithumb – that’s 81.5% of the daily volume. The subsequent REP price on Bithumb has climbed as high as $167, although that price has been excluded from CMC’s readings.

Aurora Falls Off

The worst losses for the day have come from Aurora (AOA) which is down 45% at the time of writing. Aurora has been sinking all week long to the tune of 66% losses over seven days.

Aurora was listed on Kucoin in June, and has been hailed (by some) as (yet another) contender for Ethereum’s crown as king of the dApps. But besides a recently launched bug bounty program not much seems to be happening over at Aurora at the moment.

While it’s fun to speculate on why Aurora has taken the worst of the hit, it may have something to do with the fact that it is only available for trading on one exchange – the aforementioned Kucoin. Today on Kucoin AOA/ETH trades were the most popular; perhaps a sign that the current low Ethereum prices proved more attractive than holding onto AOA for any longer.

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 38 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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The Long-Awaited Altcoin Extinction Event May Be Near

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The cryptocurrency market is undergoing a major paradigm shift as low-quality altcoins embark on a mass extinction event, according to Xapo President Ted Rogers. This view, which is shared by industry titans like Vitalik Buterin, suggests things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Mass Extinction

In a Monday tweet, Rogers warned that more than 90% of altcoins and tokens could disappear in the not-too-distant future.

“We could be in the midst of the extinction-level event for “cryptoassets” that many maximalists have predicted. 90%+ of CoinMarketCap list will disappear eventually – might as well happen now.  Meantime, lower BTC price means incredible opportunity to buy more bitcoin,” he said.

Rogers’ tweet echoes previous comments by Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, who believes that 90% of tokens listed on CoinMarketCap will go to zero. Buterin made the comments back in October during the historic run-up in cryptocurrency prices.

Whereas Buterin emphasized the emergence of higher quality coin offerings following a mass-scale correction, Rogers believes now is the ideal time to buy more bitcoin. The leading digital currency continues to cannibalize altcoins with its share of the total market crossing 54% on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, there were 1,833 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. A couple hundred were added to the website’s tracker in the last few weeks.

ICO Cash-Out?

Crypto assets have shed roughly $220 billion over the past three months and are trading at less than a quarter of their all-time highs. Although the recent meltdown originated last Tuesday when the SEC communicated its non-decision on the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF, the extent of the selloff suggests there are other factors in play.

With the bulk of the declines concentrated in altcoins and tokens, many are blaming the latest rout on a large-scale cash-out of initial coin offerings (ICOs). This has direct implications on Ethereum, which is one of the most important bellwethers of the ICO market.

The ether price has experienced an unprecedented drop over the past seven days, losing more than a third of its value to trade at its lowest level in 14 months. Previously, the developer’s cryptocurrency had shown resilience in the face of broader market moves.

While ICOs have raised more than $6.6 billion this year, investors appear to be selling too early. Short holding periods are placing significant pressure on the market.

Although the path forward is paved with uncertainty, a structural shift in the ICO market will ultimately benefit cryptocurrencies. As Buterin said last October, “there are some good ideas, there are a lot of very bad ideas, and there’s a lot of very, very bad ideas, and quite a few scams as well.” Cleaning up this image is a good thing even with the accompanying pain it has produced.

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 546 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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