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Crypto Markets: Bloodied But Not Broken

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As legend has it, prize fighter Jake Lamotta returns to his corner at the end of round four of one of his early boxing matches with blood all over and his face was a mess.  Trying his best, his trainer tells Jake, you’re doing great kid, they haven’t laid a glove on you. To which Lamotta replies, well you better keep an eye on the referee because somebody is beating the crap out of me.

Lately, those of us who have a passion for the world of cryptocurrencies are feeling that somebody is beating the crap out of us. Trouble is, it is hard to figure out why.  Just as we are about to land a punch with the SEC declaring that bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities, ditto that for ICOs that do not convey an equity interest in the issuer, whamo prices drop to 2018 lows.  

The Other Side Of The Coin

We read of the recent hack of a tiny South Korean crypto exchange and pundits blame this for helping to push prices lower.  However, the market seemed to completely ignore this week’s progress in the Mt. Gox litigation. There is actually a decent prospect that investors that held $450 million in bitcoin at 2014 prices will be compensated in nitcoin.  If my arithmetic is working right, this is good news considering the 2014 Blbitcoin price was less than $2.00.

Institutionalizing Crypto

While most eyes last week were fixated on falling prices, exchange giant Coinbase let it be known that it was preparing a crypto custody service.  This may appear as a boring administrative step but that is hardly the case. This move is being heralded as the final step in opening crypto to institutional buyers.

Before Coinbase’s solution the problem has been that, despite the highly secure nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the wallets where they are stored are a regular target for hackers.

For investors, making cryptos more accessible to institutional investors is every bit as important as adding retail merchants that accept crypto for goods and services.  

Finding Crypto Support From Unexpected Places

Last Friday various media outlets point out how The U.S. Supreme Court mentioned bitcoin and cryptocurrency while issuing a ruling on a seemingly unrelated case. Here is what the U.S. Supreme Court had to say on June 21st in the case of Wisconsin Central LTD v. United States:

“What we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are, our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange, perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency.”

In spite of the current oversupply of naysayers, the legacy of crypto is increasing daily. Now even the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is collecting and publishing prices of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. A year ago at this time, such a notion would have been absurd.    

Suspension Of Efficient Market Thinking

For those who have been kind to follow these ramblings know that I am a big believer in the theory of efficient markets.  The key to this theory is that people have all the available information about a particular investment asset and act upon is rationally.  Of course, this is not to say that everybody reads the information in the same way. That is what makes for buyers and sellers.

Lately, there has been a complete suspension of an efficient market for crypto. All coins and tokens have been dumped without regard for fundamentally positive events, some of which we mentioned above.  Since the vast majority of crypto is owned by individuals, the wisdom of the crowd (or in this case mob) psychology prevails. The last time this was the case it was bitcoin alone that lost some 80% of it’s value starting late in 2013.  But that took more than a year to play out. Since the infamous $19,000+ peak, bitcoin has lost 68% so history is getting close to repeating itself.

It may also be a sign that a bottom in prices may be getting closer. The values are clearly there to be had. Now if only those of us who have a longer term view can find other who share a similar view.

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 88 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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ZenCash Price Sees Strong Performance After Supernode Upgrade

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ZenCash (ZEN) is one of the small handful of coins in the market cap top-100 to have recorded clear gains over the last twenty-four hours, as most of the altcoins struggle to maintain Bitcoin’s relative stability.

ZEN coins are currently up around 4% for the day, climbing from a price of $27.90 yesterday to the current value of $29.98 this morning. That doesn’t necessarily tell the whole tale however, as ZenCash has been fluctuating wildly all day long.

At one point in the last twenty-four hours ZEN coins peaked at $31.95, before falling back down to $28.31. A couple of hours later and the coin jumped back up to $31.16, before eventually levelling out.

Even at the current retracement, ZenCash is still up a ridiculous 39.9% for the week, after climbing from July 13th’s valuation of $20.71. The monthly numbers are even better – showing a 48% growth over the space of thirty days since June 20th’s price of $19.52.

We could probably count on one hand the number of coins in the top-100 to have recovered their valuations for the month, and ZenCash – unexpectedly perhaps – is among them.

Supernode Upgrade

The official ZenCash Twitter team have had a lot to announce in the last twenty-four hours, will an upgrade to their network having just recently been completed. The upgrade targeted many areas of the protocol, but perhaps the biggest difference is the addition of ‘supernodes’.

The Twitter team dropped the following announcement less than twenty hours ago:

“It’s a wrap! Zen’s mandatory software upgrade executed flawlessly! The updated software included significant code improvements and adjusted the rewards to add a new node class: Super Nodes. Special thanks to our miners and node operators!”

Perhaps the best explanation of supernodes comes from ZenCash themselves, in what sounds like a juiced-up version of masternode operators:

“Like Secure Nodes, the Super Node network has enhanced point-to-point encryption. Super Nodes will be tasked with managing key network and system functions such as hosting multiple services on sidechains, tracking and measuring Secure Node uptime, and queuing the node payment schedule for miners.”

Supernode Requirements

ZEN’s supernodes come with many of the same technical requirements as masternodes, although the hardware specifications are not necessarily as beefy as one would assume.

ZenCash say that just 8GB of RAM is required to run a supernode, along with a 100GB storage space. Likewise, a multi-core CPU is hardly an expensive purchase in this day and age, while the requirement to be online and running 96% of the time is actually a lot less than many masternodes, which often demand 99-100% uptime.

According to this tweet from the ZEN team, supernodes are up and running and ready to earn 10% of the block rewards:

“Super Node earnings start TODAY. Thanks for helping us test the servers and infrastructure during the ramp-up period!”

Ultimately, the success of ZenCash’s upgrade appears to have given them legs when most of the market has lost theirs.

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 25 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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TenX: Look What’s Going On

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How is this for an attention getter? The price of TenX had jumped almost 250% since late June to around the $1.22 level.

Since it peaked at $5.00 around Christmas time, TenX investors have lost big time. So, is the recent action grounds for excitement? I believe the answer is yes. After taking a close look, there are some very cool things about TenX. Of course there is always a difference between a flashy whitepaper and a finished product, but TenX could deliver some interesting stuff. So stay with me and let’s take a look.

The Basic Structure

Just for starters, TenX is a debit card driven wallet. But that is only part of the story. The founders claim to offer a major game changer by enabling users to spend their blockchain assets through their mobile phone or a physical debit card. That is a very cool way facilitate mass acceptance of crypto, but TenX is hardly the first.

There are already quite a few including Xapo, Bitwala, Monaco, Tokencard and Wirex that have been around for several years. On the other hand, TenX’s ICO raised $64 million taking the #8 ranking in 2017 for the biggest raise. Presumably somebody back then looked at all the competition and decided to place their bets on TenX.

Uniqueness

On the surface, TenX is a project to make a better mouse trap. They claim to be the only company to be able to make multiple cryptocurrencies instantly spendable. If you do some digging you will see how others like Bitwala, Monaco and Tokencard focus solely on Bitcoin or Ether. TenX’s current list includes Bitcoin, Ether and Dash. The idea is to eventually include virtually any blockchain asset.

To make this all happen the COMET network is under development. The acronym stands for Routing Protocol and Cross-chain Payment Channels. The goal is to create a trustless, instantaneous network that is, above all else, lowest cost provider.

At the outset, the TenX app or physical debit card will be accepted in roundly 200 countries and 36 million locations.

TenX Promises To Be Cheaper

In addition to accepting Bitcoin, Ether and Dash, TenX also incorporates both MasterCard and Visa. All customer assets are held in crypto form until the last moment before being converted to the designated fiat currency. Cardholder transaction fees are free. Instead, holders receive 0.1% refund on purchases.

Milestones

The release of the iOS and Android version of the mobile app started in October of last year and both versions of the mobile application available for download in all countries.

One of the nice things is the ease of signing up with the app that is a lesson in user friendliness that most crypto exchanges could draw a lesson from. The only drawback for some potential users is the requirement to list both place of residence as well as place of citizenship. For most this is not a big deal but could offend some crypto purists.

As of April, TenX offered full support for BTC, ETH and Litecoin (LTC). Later this year, the intent is to add additional support for all other ERC20 tokens as well as Ripple.

The next step is for TenX to receive approval for a banking license. When this takes place, TenX will be able to issue it’s own debit or even credit card without dependence on the Visa or MasterCard networks or other third party issuers. In my view, that is when the real fun begins for investors.

Management

Having over $60 million from their ICO enables the project to be fully staffed. In addition to four co-founders, there are sixteen engineers, a dozen members on the operations side, seven in Legal & Compliance, six in product design and development and over a half dozen in related capacities. In other words, this is company appears well beyond the whitepaper stage and capable of delivering on their bold promises.

 Why The Price Tumbled

In early January, just as the crypto selling wave was going into high gear, Visa announced that it was terminating its relationship with the payment processing company WaveCrest. Affected cards under association with WaveCrest included CryptoPay, Bitwala and TenX. At first the Visa decision appeared to be cryptocurrency related.

After the noise quieted down it became clear that the move was strictly related to WaveCrest. The WaveCrest termination does not affect other card programs approved by Visa that use fiat funds converted from cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, the damage had been done by the time all facts were known. TenX’s relationship with Visa remained valid.

Keep An Eye On TenX

So to restate the question, what’s going on with TenX: quite a bit actually. The real question remains, is the recent price spike the beginning of a major move? Fundamentally, things look promising and in the long run that will create higher value. So this is name on which to do your homework.

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 88 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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Stellar XLM Surpasses Litecoin for Sixth Spot in Crypto Market Rankings

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Stellar’s massive gains over the past 48 hours have catapulted XLM to sixth spot in the crypto market ranking, surpassing Litecoin for the first time.

XLM Price Levels and Comparisons

The market capitalization for Stellar has ballooned $1.4 billion since Tuesday, with the price of a single Lumen reaching a high near $0.32, according to CoinMarketCap. At press time, the cryptocurrency was trading at $0.308, having gained nearly 2% over the past 24 hours and more than a third since Tuesday.

By comparison, the broader cryptocurrency market has gained 7% since 13:00 UTC on Tuesday, when the uptrend first began.

At current price levels, Stellar has a total market capitalization of $5.7 billion – some $700 million higher than the next cryptocurrency, Litecoin. Charlie Lee’s Litecoin project has now been upended by two cryptocurrencies this year: EOS and Stellar.

Stellar and EOS were ranked 12th and 13th, respectively, last December as Litecoin held on to the fifth spot. EOS is currently the highest of the three in terms of trade volumes.

The IBM Catalyst

Although Stellar’s bullish reversal cannot be divorced from the broader market’s sudden rally, the coin is also benefiting from enterprise adoption of the XLM protocol. As Hacked reported on Tuesday, IBM has joined forces with a fin-tech startup to launch a stablecoin on the Stellar network. Since the announcement was made, XLM’s trade volumes have grown four-fold.

Just two months ago, IBM also announced it was using Stellar to launch a new cryptocurrency that will tokenize carbon credits. The new token is intended to help companies account for carbon credits, which have been difficult to quantify.

Stellar and IBM have emerged as natural allies in the quest for a more reliable global payment network. Long before these new projects were announced, IBM had been working with Stellar to launch a network of 12 currency corridors spanning Australia, New Zealand and the smaller island states of the South Pacific. IBM’s banking network is using the Stellar network to move money across vast distances in near real-time.

The list of initial coin offerings (ICOs) launching on the Stellar network is also growing. CoinLauncher currently lists 16 past and future projects that are relying on the platform to launch their own cryptocurrency. Back in November, Smartlands became the first ICO to launch on the Stellar network.

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 502 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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