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Crypto Slumber: Time To Wake Up?

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How many times this year did we hope for stability in the crypto market?  Well, now we are having all the quiet and calm anyone could ever want. But what good is stability anyway? The answer to that question is easy: lots of things.  

For one thing we have learned that mass acceptance of crypto as a medium of exchange has been thwarted by the perception of wild gyrations in the price of Bitcoin.  Limited scalability thus far hasn’t helped. Imagine yourself as a retailer willing to accept payment in the form of Bitcoin. Two minutes after closing out a transaction the value of Bitcoin drops 5%. It takes over an hour to convert your Bitcoin to fiat. In that time the price drops another 3%.  End of story, you’re screwed.

Stability has another benefit.  It is a signal that speculators are out of the market leaving long term investors with the opportunity to read and digest fundamental news before reacting in a rational manner.

Of course if you are a day trader or swing trader, volatility is how you make you money or lose your shirt.  If you are a broker with access to the CBOE or other commodities exchange, volatility gives you a reason to talk your customer into trading Bitcoin futures contracts.

Restoring Calm

Taking a look at price movements over the past week, things look altogether quiet. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin is trading around $6555, essentially unchanged on the week.  Others like Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin are off slightly.

This tranquility in fact is not new.  For all the media headlines about huge losses and wild volatility in crypto, the last 8 months have been almost boring.  The price decline in Bitcoin since way back in February has been a mere 9%. That is nothing to brag about but it is nowhere near as bad as the fall from last December.  And remember Bitcoin is still up 50% from a year ago at this time.

All Hail To Yale

Are investors losing interest in crypto?  The reason for asking this question reflects the crypto markets seemingly indifference to some pretty positive news. First consider the news on Friday coming from Yale University.  When one the most conservative Ivy League universities announces they are part of a group seeking to invest $400 million in a new cryptocurrency fund, that is big news.

Among the more interesting details in the Bloomberg News report is the decision by Yale’s $30 billion endowment–the second largest among U.S. educational institutions to earmark a surprising 60 percent of its investment capital in 2019 for “alternative investments”.  Of course not all of that will go into any one asset class but that is not the key issue.

Institutional investors have been underperforming the overall stock and bond markets for some time and are looking to alternative investments as a means of getting ahead.  If a high profile institution like Yale is setting the stage, other big names will follow.

Ripple Making Loud Noise

In addition to the news from Yale, Ripple hosted a conference this week in SFO. It was a huge show complete with ex President Bill Clinton.  We all know how Clinton can captivate an audience, but here is something that is every bit as important. Here is how The Street reported the scene:

“Contrary to stereotypes of your average Bitcoin enthusiast, the week’s events brought out just as many Ferragamo-clad bankers as crypto cowboys. And they revealed an industry growing beyond its underground roots and angling to take on the establishment.”

This is not the type of loud publicity where some talking head is predicting Bitcoin will hit $25,000 by year end. These are serious business folks with lots of fiat to invest.

Even The Technicians Are Becoming More Bullish

It wasn’t long ago that the majority of headlines offered by technical analysts was doom and despair.  In fairness to all parties, they have been right. But after nearly nine months of base building (some would call failed rallies), the technical community appears to be turning the corner.  Just take a look at a recent headline. “The Bulls Are Wedging Out The Bears For Bitcoin”.  Evidence keeps building that the worst is behind.

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 112 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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Why Investors Should Pay Attention to Kyber Network

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The current cryptocurrency ecosystem isn’t nearly as well-connected as it should be. Some coins are very difficult to exchange, and others are very hard to find on any of the common centralized exchanges. This often leads to users going to services like Binance, but in an industry as innovative as the blockchain industry, some new methods have popped up that show promise.

Decentralized exchanges have been popping up everywhere, but Kyber Network has formulated a unique approach to the liquidity and volume problems that currently plague most of these exchanges.

Kyber Network’s Mission

The basic need for Kyber Network comes from the idea that the current evolution of the blockchain ecosystem is incomplete and there is much more that could (and should) be done. The regulations currently in place have made it difficult for centralized exchanges to effectively list new coins, and many crypto-enthusiasts end up stuck with a high variety of digital assets.

Centralization is generally something that the cryptocurrency industry would like to avoid. As we’ve seen in the last few years, many of the current trading exchanges have a ton of inefficiency, as well as security issues and some bureaucracy. This is where much of the need for decentralized exchanges has originated.

Kyber Network’s top innovation is the elimination of order books in favour of using large reserves. There are numerous reserves in place for each currency, which creates redundancy and reduces centralization. This also allows for instant exchanges, which is helpful since many of the top criticisms of decentralized exchanges was the latency issues that often manifest. Although to be clear, Kyber doesn’t refer to itself as a decentralized exchange, but does generally compete in the same space with them.

The Mechanics of Kyber Network

Kyber Network basically operates as an exchange that allows for the fluid transfer of tokens between individuals, allowing them to give and receive in different tokens. This is great when the person sending has Ethereum, and the person receiving wishes only to hold Stellar Lumens.

The way it works is there are reserve entities that hold large amounts of tokens and are compensated a small fee (or a spread) in exchange for providing liquidity to users.

KNC is the Kyber Network token, and it is generally charged to the reserve entities as a cost of doing business on the network. Each time an exchange occurs, a small transaction fee is charged to the reserve. Reserves make their money on the spreads, and then tokens are charged from the reserve managers.

Recent Performance

2018 has seen Kyber place a significant focus on partnerships and continuing to develop their trading breadth. They partnerships include exchanges and wallets that include OasisDEX, Peepeth, ETHIS, Etheremon, Secrypto, Midas Protocol Wallet and Weswap. Additionally, they are now on the final phase of the development of their platform, which includes supporting the trading of options and forwards contracts.

The KNC token has recently been added to Poloniex, but is trading around $0.38, which represents an approximate drop of 95% from it’s all-time high. It is around 20% above its all-time low, and this makes it a strong buying opportunity right now. KNC can be bought on Binance and a few other altcoin trading exchanges, and serves to be a strong bet if you believe in the mechanics of its trading exchange.

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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A Few Lessons From Last Week

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There is an adage on Wall Street.  It is quite old. It was passed down to me from my grandfather last Wednesday.  It goes something like this. When the cops raid the brothel, they take everybody including the piano player.  

No matter when the notion originated, it applies directly, and painfully, to last week’s experience with stocks, bonds and crypto assets. Between early Wednesday and Thursdays New York closing, most major US indices dropped a fast five percent.  Friday showed a tepid rebound with the tech heavy NASDAQ posting a 2.3% one day recovery followed by the S&P 500 with a meager 1.2% upward move. Otherwise there wasn’t much good happening.

The story in crypto land wasn’t any better.  In truth it was worse. Taking just the two big guys during the same Wednesday/Thursday time period, things were dismal.  Bitcoin lost 6% in price before staging a weak 1.1% recovery on Friday. Ether dropped 15.6% on Wednesday, then managed a 3.2% Friday bounce.

Nobody escaped untouched unless you were a short seller in which case, congrats! Having lots of company is hardly any consolation for having to deal with investment losses, even if there are only accounting losses.  Nevertheless, everyone who had the ability to read understood the stock market was on a record breaking binge and thus vulnerable.

The only binge connected to crypto prices was a 10 month long hangover from the record levels of late last year.  So should the Wall Street adage be applied here making crypto take on the role of piano player? Or to present the question in a different way, is the piano player merely an innocent victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

The Stock Market Correction Is Not Over

Stock market corrections are never pleasant but many veteran strategist consider them to be a necessary and even healthy part of the investment process.  Last week’s 5% drop was not even pronounced enough to qualify as a bona fide correction. That requires something even more than the 8%+ drop that took place back in February.  

In the very short term, there is little in economic news that is likely to upset the market this coming week but that doesn’t change the fact that interest rates are putting pressure in bond prices and $80 oil prices aren’t helping the inflation picture either.  Finally, there is the uncertainty created by the midterm elections. Making short run market predictions is a fools game, but this one is an exception.

What Does This Say About Crypto Values?

After events of the last week where already depressed crypto values get beaten down even further than stocks and bonds, that is not a good sign.  One of the reasons for this had to be last weeks report from Diar Ltd. showing how Coinbase’s active customers have dropped 80% from record levels of $24 billion in the fourth quarter of last year to $3 billion in the third quarter of 2018.  News of this study was reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday. So this could well have been the fundamental culprit. If so, the timing could not have been better for the short sellers.

No Longer Trending?

The folks at Diar Ltd. are spot on in their analysis but does this mean the end for crypto? Don’t count on it.  In fact there is a positive side to their findings. The most important point is the crypto prices (except for Wednesday) have become increasingly stable.  This stability will serve long term investors well as it will calm the nerves of regulators and merchants inclined to use crypto as a medium of exchange.

The drop off in activity at Coinbase is not surprising.  Speculators have lost interest. Recently we wrote an article about the competition for investor attention between crypto and cannabis.  There is loads of anecdotal evidence suggesting that this is contributing to crypto interest declining.

Here is just two points to remember.  This week on October 17, cannabis becomes legal for the first time throughout Canada. Investors are acutely aware of this bonanza.  During one of the worst weeks in the stock market, US listed cannabis stocks like Medmen Enterprises (MMNFF: $5.84) gained 35% while APHRIA (APHQF: $14.65) added over 13%.  Both stocks experienced greatly accelerated volume. This is an example of just two of many cannabis opportunities that are challenging crypto for investment capital. So the piano player may not be so innocent: he could just be smoking a little ganja.

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 112 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 Share Spoils as Global Volume Hits 3-Month Low; Bitcoin Price Remains Stable

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Very little new money has entered the crypto market in the last seven days, with volumes instead falling from $16.8 billion down to $8.9 billion. That’s the lowest that global trade volumes has fallen since July 15th – almost exactly three months ago.

For those curious what happened the last time trade volumes hit such a low point, the previous drop to the $8 billion range was soon followed by a 25% market wide surge. That was during the spike of late July, and those losses were soon wiped out again in August, when global markets sunk by one third.

Since Bitcoin’s descent from the $6,800 range down to the current $6,300 range, BTC has remained just as steady as it was from before October 10th’s dip. BTC has traded within a tight range for the past few days, never once deviating from between $6,240 and $6,340 – a 1.6% band.

Altcoins Share the Spoils

Instead, the majority of market gains have found their way to the altcoin market. While Tron (TRX) leads the major alts with its consistent growth recorded over the past few weeks, the biggest change in the market cap top one-hundred for Sunday goes to Komodo (KMD).

Komodo (KMD)

Komodo (KMD) saw its dollar valuation by just under 13% across Sunday, with the KMD coin jumping from a price of $0.993784 recorded on Sunday morning, up to the $1.12 valuation reached on the same evening.

That leaves KMD just a hop, skip and jump away from the pre-October dip price of $1.18, and marks one of the stronger recoveries from what was termed ‘Thursday, Bloody Thursday’ by some.

KMD volumes followed the rest of the market as they descended by 98% over the last few days, falling from the $3.5 million range down to $350,000. Today’s surge saw volumes rise once more as they climbed to $1.3 million by Sunday evening. Just under 70% of total KMD trades are against BTC today, in an unusual sign of Bitcoin dominance (which recently rose to 54% globally).

DigixDAO, Polymath and Aelf

The other top performers in the top one-hundred have proved to be the smaller altcoins, which often surge first following a market dip. It’s something approaching a lottery trying to guess which altcoin is going to pump, and there’s little to connect today’s market growers.

DigixDAO (DGD), a cryptocurrency backed by physical stores of gold, saw 6% growth over the previous twenty-four period.

Polymath (POLY), a project which seeks to tokenize securities on the blockchain, also climbed by just over 6%, helped in no small part by the 33% of trades coming from the POLY/KRW pair.

Finally, Aelf (ELF), a blockchain-based cloud-computing network, hit just over 5% growth for Sunday. Although, that barely makes up for the 20% loss recorded just a few days ago on October 10th.

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 78 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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