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Cryptocurrencies Poised for a Comeback Despite Bithumb Hack, Says Charlie Lee

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The latest hack of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange does not change the market fundamentals for bitcoin or other digital currencies, Charlie Lee told CNBC in an interview on Wednesday. What’s more, the Litecoin founder believes cryptos are poised for a comeback – the only question is when.

Charlie Lee Weighs In

Cryptocurrency prices declined by as much as $8 billion Wednesday on news that South Korea’s Bithumb exchange was attacked. As Lee pointed out to CNBC, investors’ initial reaction was typical given the sentiment-driven nature of the market. The hack of Bithumb or any other digital currency exchange does not affect bitcoin’s underlying value.

“If the exchange does not protect the coins well enough and gets hacked, it doesn’t really change the fundamentals of the coin they are protecting,” he said.

With respect to security, exchanges still have “a lot to improve,” Lee said before adding that strides were being taken to prevent further attacks from taking places. In the case of Bithumb, the company reportedly spent 10 billion won on new security measures recently and beefed up its IT staff far beyond the threshold required for financial institutions.

The latest Bithumb heist resulted in the loss of nearly $31 million of cryptocurrency. The exchange halted deposits and withdrawals and shifted existing balances into cold storage as it investigated the matter. The attack caught the attention of South Korea’s financial regulators, who announced plans to expedite stricter regulations governing digital currency exchanges.

Typical Bear Market

Despite bitcoin’s massive correction over the past six months, it is still doing “really well,” Lee said, reminding investors that bear markets in cryptocurrency are nothing new. However, the difficulty with bitcoin is determining how long the bearish reversal will last.

“This one could be a three to four year market or it could recover tomorrow,” he said.

Analysts have offered a multitude of explanations for bitcoin’s half-year price collapse. Some are convinced that it was caused by the introduction of futures contracts, which allow traders to more easily short the market when this option was virtually impossible before. Others have pinned the blame on bitcoin whales, whom they say have been gradually winding down their positions since the futures contracts launched in December.

Speculation that Tether (USDT) has been artificially inflating bitcoin’s value through Bitfinex has also been posited as a potential cause for the six-month price collapse. The company’s recent audit, which has been labeled “phony” by many in the blockchain community, has only fueled accusations of impropriety. However, as Hacked’s James Waggonner pointed out, Bitfinex would have had to spend millions just to inflate bitcoin’s value by four basis points.

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.

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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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4.6 stars on average, based on 499 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: BTC/Tether

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Tradingview is a web application that allows full charting abilities for free. Different online brokerages have different charting abilities and tools.  Using tradingview.com, I was able to utilize Fibonacci zones with the following levels: 23.6%, 38.2%, 50.0%, 61.8%, and 100.00%. I did not set support or resistance levels because they are irrelevant to this analysis. Using indicators such as volume, moving-average convergence divergence (MACD), and Relative Strength Indicators, we are able to predict the movement in the price of Bitcoin relative to Tether. One Tether (USDT) is equal to one U.S dollar, give or take 3 cents.

This 3 day analysis uses price movements plunging into the 61.8% Fibonacci zone to trigger a buy signal. From there, we verify the buy signal with the MACD indicator below the chart. Notice how the MACD looks like a sell signal, but in fact goes back negative. Moving from a negative spread to a positive spread, triggers the buy signal as the price bounces off of the 61.8% Fibonacci level.

Following the next two days, I conducted another analysis using the same strategy. This time I inserted a support where three touches occur in the price.  Bitcoin’s price took a dive on volume pointing to a massive selloff. We were able to capitalize on this by waiting until the price crossed the Fibonacci barrier into the 61.8% zone. From there, the MACD spread checked out at -8.68. A buy signal was created and we waited until the price neared the top of the 50.0% zone.

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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Michael Genna works in Business Development at Benzinga, a financial media and technology company located in downtown Detroit. He attends Wayne State University, majoring in finance with a minor in economics.




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Bitcoin

Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers Spar on Bitcoin’s Potential

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The bitcoin price is now gunning for $7,500, and after yesterday’s performance, it’s no time to be underestimating the leading cryptocurrency by market cap. It’s been too long since bitcoin’s 10% advance would seem modest in comparison to some of its altcoin peers, but that’s precisely the case today, with coins like Stellar, Cardano and Zcash all advancing between 15%-33%. Bitcoin bulls are coming out of the woodwork, including the likes of billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry, who appeared on CNBC.

Lasry, who is a co-founder of the $9.6 billion investment firm Avenue Capital Group, is calling for bitcoin $40,000. The catalysts will be bitcoin making its way into the mainstream and becoming less cumbersome to trade, the timing for which can be more difficult to predict. Lasry has been a bitcoin bull since at least last year when he reportedly kicked himself for not getting in on the cryptocurrency when it was still trading in the low hundreds of dollars. He told CNBC:

“As it gets more into the mainstream, and as more markets end up allowing it to trade where it’s freely tradable, to me that’s more of the bet.”

While hedge funds are among the institutional investors that are expected to begin pouring capital into the crypto space, Lasry has bitcoin in his personal portfolio, not the firm’s, despite the fact that Avenue Capital is no stranger to risk, as evidenced by distressed debt as its investment strategy. But with companies like Coinbase providing a custody solution, there are going to fewer and fewer reasons for hedge fund traders not to join. Especially given the bullish technical signs that are ahead.

Well, maybe not Lasry’s billionaire peer Ken Griffin, who is at the helm of hedge fund Citadel. He told CNBC he doesn’t believe in bitcoin, and neither do any of his portfolio managers. Griffin finds bitcoin to be a “head scratcher” and even advised the up-and-coming generations to find something more productive to do rather than wasting their money on cryptocurrencies.

Don’t expect Citadel to open a position in bitcoin any time soon, as Griffin told CNBC: “I have a hard time finding myself wanting to be in a position of being a liquidity provider for a product I don’t believe in.”

Moving Average

Meanwhile, with the cryptocurrency market finally out of the doldrums, you might be wondering where it goes from here. Fundstrat Co-Founder Thomas Lee pointed out on CNBC that the bitcoin price currently trading 30% below its 200-day moving average. From a historical perspective in 2011 and 2014, that’s a “positive signal.”

Source: CNBC

Both times that bitcoin was trading 30% below its 200-day moving average, it found a bottom within a month. And looking ahead for the coming six months, “you’re going to do pretty well owning bitcoin here,” Lee said. So basically, he’s advising investors to hold their bitcoin.

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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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4.6 stars on average, based on 23 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Altcoins

Cryptocurrency Market Cap Approaches $300 Billion as Bitcoin, Altcoins Continue Surging

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Cryptocurrencies were nearing an important psychological milestone Wednesday, as surging trade volumes propelled the market to its highest level in five weeks.

Market Update

The digital asset market has tacked on over $26 billion in the last 24 hours to reach $296.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. At this pace, $300 billion is likely within reach in the coming day. Total market prices have been capped below that level since June 12.

Daily trade volumes on global exchanges now exceed $20 billion for the first time since May. Three exchanges processed more than $1 billion worth of trades.

Bitcoin, which was the main catalyst for the rally, has retained a 43% share of the total market. The largest cryptocurrency by trading volumes and market cap is up nearly 11% over the past 24 hours to trade at $7,741. The bitcoin price peaked just below 7,500 overnight.

Altcoins have also picked up the pace, with all the majors reporting solid gains. Ethereum was up 6% as prices approached $500. Ripple XRP gained almost 9% to $0.513.

Stellar Lumens led the double-digit gainers with returns of 28.4% over the last 24 hours. XLM now sits at $0.296.

Cardano’s ADA coin jumped 19.6% to $0.181. Bitcoin cash, the no. 5 currency, rose 10.1% to $872.

Bitcoin Volumes Double

Bitcoin’s trading volumes have virtually doubled over the past week, as positive headlines surrounding adoption and regulation triggered renewed interest in the cryptocurrency. Hacked previously reported that daily trade volumes of $4 billion or greater are needed to sustain a meaningful rally for the bitcoin price. On Wednesday, bitcoin turned over nearly $6.6 billion.

Tether – a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar that is often traded against bitcoin – continues to exhibit higher than normal trade volumes. On Wednesday, USDT trades generated $4.2 billion in volume, which is an all-time high.

Unlike previous rallies that appeared technical in nature, the latest uptrend was sparked by news that a trillion-dollar asset manager was exploring ways to enter the cryptocurrency market.

BlackRock, which controls over $6 trillion in assets, has assembled a working group to explore crypto adoption. In an interview, CEO Larry Fink said his firm is a “big student of blockchain” but that he does not see “huge demand for cryptocurrencies” at the moment.

Fink has changed his tune compared to last year, when he called crypto assets “an index for money laundering.”

Coinbase, a large and influential digital currency exchange, has also fueled positive sentiment after the firm said it had gained regulatory approval to begin listing security tokens. Last week, Coinbase also said it had short-listed five cryptocurrencies for future consideration on its 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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4.6 stars on average, based on 499 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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