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Crypto Regulation: A Tectonic Shift Is Occurring

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What caused the crypto crash that began last December?  There are some observers silly enough to believe it was all the fault of the CBOE by starting the first Bitcoin futures contracts.  Others believe it was just the bursting of a bubble that was long overdue.

Most likely, the ban on crypto exchanges by the Chinese government and the fear of a total ban on ownership played a very big role in starting the selling wave.  That wave has continued practically to this day. But there is evidence that things are changing.

Since the moves by China, virtually every publication worth its weight in Satoshi has been fueling fears of suffocating governmental regulation.  We’re taking nothing away from these folks because regulation is a big factor for investors.

Barron’s: Regulate Out of Existence

After reading last weeks edition of Barron’s I concluded we have reached the worst in the mania over regulation.  Three of the world’s most “respected” economists, according to Barron’s, Joseph Stiglitz, Nouriel Roubini and Kenneth Rogoff, put the kibosh on crypto on the sole basis that it will be “regulated into oblivion”.  This is just the sort of editorial approach that Barron’s has long been known for.

Of course, there was the volatility versus storehouse of value argument and the declaration that nobody uses Bitcoin as a medium of exchange so it can never be worth anything. The shortcoming of so many economists is their insistence on being chained to history.  

It Is All About Money

After a period of largely negative regulatory developments during the past seven months, signs are emerging that things are changing as governments get more familiar with the benefits of nurturing blockchain technology and crypto. In the end, it is all about governments finally figuring ways to make money from crypto. Once that occurs, they realize, we are all in the same boat.

The Regulatory Paradox

This brings things to what some observers refer to the government regulation paradox. In other words, investors need government to deter price manipulation and other scams. But the unregulated autonomous nature is a big reason that investors bought into crypto in the first place.  So far the trick has been to find a middle ground.

If you take a long look at the issue there is a new trend emerging.  One by one governments are beginning to appreciate the importance of blockchain technology and the role of cryptocurrencies.  The initial adversarial role is being replaced with a more cooperative attitude. Crypto values aren’t going to increase exponentially overnight as a result. Nevertheless, having cooperative regulators is critical to mass acceptance.  Here are a few encouraging signs.

SEC declares Bitcoin and Ether Non Securities

It has been some time now that the US Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that neither Bitcoin or Ether were securities.  The idea is that, so long as there is no conveyance of ownership, everybody is safe. This includes most ICOs as well even though a formal ruling has yet to be given.  This clears up a giant cloud that investors have pretty much ignored.

Changing Government Attitudes in Switzerland

As the U.S. and other countries attempt to exert greater AML and KYC rules, projects are leaving in favor of places like Singapore, Malta and Gibraltar where a connection to the international banking system is available. Information coming from Switzerland predicts that by year end, Swiss banks will be open to dealing with crypto.  As the traditional home of banking secrecy, Switzerland is the ideal place for crypto to make inroads. For the Swiss economy, it is all about finance. Last year, ICO projects brought in almost $1.5 billion that Swiss bankers were losing out on. This could prove to be a landmark decision.

Upstaging China

On any given day, Asia can account for a big share of global crypto trading.  Seven months ago the Chinese government actions threatened the health of the market.  This is understandingly leading governments elsewhere to open their doors.

Improving Asian Trading

Asian regulators are standing by to take advantage of any serious restrictions in China. In Thailand, the securities industry association is working with regulators to establish a joint cryptocurrency exchange and is working with the Thai SEC to get an operating license.  And this month the SEC approved a new two-tier vetting procedure to create accredited ICOs.

All this was made possible because the Thai government wasted no time in declaring crypto as digital assets and skipped the endless debate.  Sometimes a government dictatorship has its advantages.

And finally, signs of improvement in Japanese regulations are being reported that could lead to creating a market for crypto ETFs.

Wrapping Up

It is entirely possible that government regulation could be one of the most boring topics in the history of mankind. But we can all agree that it has hurt every long term crypto investor. We can also agree that there has been a lot of “piling on” by the media this entire year. So I decided to take on a thankless task in the interest of providing some balance to opinions of professors Stiglitz, Roubini and Rogoff. Thanks for keeping me company.

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 96 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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Altcoins

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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Surges 10% but Downtrend Still Intact

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Following two days of almost constant selling, the cryptocurrency segment experienced an oversold rally, with the major coins recovering a small part of their recent losses. The technical setup is little changed so far, with the steep short-term trendlines being intact in most cases, and with the key resistance levels towering ahead of the top altcoins.

That said, as the longer-term charts have become clearly oversold, and as the selloff accelerated with signs of forced liquidations across the board, such as huge volumes and very high correlations between the majors, a durable bottom could already be forming in the segment. The next few days will be crucial in deciding that, as a successful test of the lows, and the formation of a relatively strong leadership could set up a broader short-term trend change.

For now, our trend model remains on a sell signal in case of the top coins, with Bitcoin being the closest to a reversal from a technical perspective. Ethereum bounced off the $260 level, Ripple found support near $0.26, while BTC recovered above $6275 but been stopped by the $6500 resistance, failing to trigger an upgrade in the trend model.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum surged higher after the US close yesterday and although it failed to add to those gains in early trading today, the coin is holding up just above the $275-$280 zone, but the steep downtrend is clearly in place. ETH has been very weak for more than a month, and especially since breaking below the $400 level last week, and more signs of strength would be needed for a trend change. Key resistance is ahead at $300, while further support below $260 is found at $235.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

On a positive note, Bitcoin joined the oversold rally after holding up well above the $6000 level and the key long-term zone near $5850. The coin also moved above declining trendline, but for now, the pattern of lower lows and lower highs is intact and the coin remains on a short-term sell signal.

BTC is clearly in the strongest technical position among the majors, and it could be the leader in a recovery, should it manage to build a bottom in the coming weeks.  Resistance above $6500 is ahead at $6750, and $7000, while further support is found between $5000 and $5100.

Correlations Remain High as Bearish Conditions Persist

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Ripple managed to hold up above its spike low below the strong $0.26 level and the bounce took it as high as $0.30, the steep downtrend remains intact and bulls would need further confirmation before entering new positions here. The coin is still deeply oversold from a longer-term perspective, and we expect a more durable bottom to form soon. Further resistance is ahead at $0.32, while support below $0.26 is found near $0.23.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Looking at the bearish leaders, most of the coins are in very similar setups, as correlations are still very high, and Litecoin and Monero are still slightly more promising than the likes of Dash, Neo, and IOTA, which remain very weak from a technical standpoint. LTC is trading near its recent swing low at $56 and should the coin manage to hold above that durably, a short-term bottom could form, which would be a positive sign for the segment.

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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 317 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

Crypto Market Cap Falls Below $200 for the First Time Since November Amid ICO Backlash

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Cryptocurrencies extended their selloff overnight Tuesday, as the total market capitalization pierced below $200 billion for the first time since November. The decline was far-reaching and severe, with 78 of the top 80 altcoins recording double-digit percentage losses.

Crypto Market Update

Roughly $26 billion was wiped from the cryptocurrency market overnight, a sign that the bears were firmly in control and not giving up their position anytime soon. The market bottomed at $189.6 billion late Monday and has since recovered to around $193 billion. Twenty-four hours ago, coins were collectively worth more than $217 billion.

Below are two snapshots of the crypto top-50, as reported by CoinMarketCap.

Although the declines were largely concentrated in altcoins, bitcoin also experienced a tumultuous overnight session, with prices coming within $100 of a new yearly low. The bitcoin price bottomed at $5,858.60 on Bitfinex but has since recovered above $6,100.

Ethereum’s downward spiral intensified Tuesday, with prices crashing to fresh 14-month lows. At press time, ether was down 16.6% at $267. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has shed more than 35% over the past seven days.

The Market’s Next Move

The rout in altcoins has left bitcoin with a 54.1% share of the total cryptocurrency market – the highest since December. Although this gives bitcoin a stronger gravitational pull on other digital assets, it’s also an indicator that investors are shifting their portfolios away from more speculative altcoins and tokens.

As Bloomberg pointed out on Monday, Ethereum’s massive decline could be a sign that ICOs are cashing out. If this is true, ether could face a deeper short-term correction as token offerings fizzle out.

Biswa Das, the head of quantitative hedge fund BloomWater Capital, said the following of ICOs:

“These startups are raising a lot of funds but they don’t have treasury management or enough cash management experience, so they’re selling too early and causing a lot of pressure in the market. It was fine last year but right now the market is so fragile that it causes a lot of pressure.”

The cryptocurrency market has lost a staggering $140 billion since June 1, and a look at bitcoin’s technical chart suggests more pain could be on the way. The bitcoin price faces a critical support test at $5,800; a break below that level could expose the digital currency, and the broader market, to new yearly lows as early as this week.

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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