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Cryptocurrency Is Top of Mind for at Least One EU Commissioner

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A European Union commissioner is planning to hold a “high level roundtable” on cryptocurrency, according to a press release that was published following Tuesday’s Ecofin meeting. Valdis Dombrovskis, who currently serves as Vice President for Euro and Social Dialogue, says he plans to table the issue with a group of officials that have yet to be named.

Ecofin Addresses Need for Cryptocurrency Regulation

The Economic and Financial Affairs (Ecofin) Council concluded its monthly session on Tuesday with plans to continue a discussion on cryptocurrencies. Remarks published on the EU website quoting Dombrovskis suggested that officials were closely monitoring developments in the cryptocurrency market, and are looking for ways to police the ever-evolving landscape.

“In terms of financial services legislation: I made some suggestions on how the EU should approach cryptocurrencies,” Dombrovskis said, according to the release.

He added: “Make no mistake: We want Europe to embrace the opportunities of blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies. But to do so, we must be vigilant and prevent cryptocurrencies from becoming a token for unlawful behaviour.”

Dombrovskis also said that the full ramifications of cryptocurrencies are not yet understood. For this reason, he plans to invite “key authorities and the private sector” to a roundtable discussion shortly to assess the situation over the long term.

New Legislation on the Way?

Last week, Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna indicated the EU may soon unveil new regulations targeting cryptocurrencies. Although he didn’t specify what measures would be adopted, Gramegna expressed concerns over money laundering.

Despite hinting at new regulations, the Finance Minister didn’t offer any details about whether new legislation was being proposed. In terms of regulations (or lack thereof), the EU has been one of the more favorable jurisdictions for cryptocurrency traders as well as blockchain companies.

Some cryptocurrencies make it difficult or virtually impossible to track payments over the blockchain, a feature that no doubt appeals to elements of the criminal underworld. Monero has already emerged as one of the more popular coins for ransomware attacks. Experts say Zcash also offers unique protection against surveillance because it obscures the actually wallet address of the sender.

South Korea recently became the latest jurisdiction to clamp down on cryptocurrencies, although the new measures pale in comparison to what had been speculated earlier by the media. On Tuesday, Seoul announced it would ban anonymous cryptocurrency accounts beginning Jan. 30.

Elsewhere, China has already banned cryptocurrency trading while Russia is mulling a similar approach. Earlier this month, the Russian Finance Ministry drafted new legislation to legalize cryptocurrency trading on major exchanges, with plans to table the bill to a vote next month.

As recent market activity clearly demonstrated, investors are concerned that lawmakers will go too far in regulating cryptocurrencies. Without access to the major cryptocurrency exchanges, traders won’t be able to fund their accounts as easily as before. Although traders have many ways to circumnavigate a ban, heavy sales usually follow any announcement of new regulatory hurdles.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 738 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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GBP Price Prediction: British Pound Jumps on Growing Backing for PM May’s Brexit Deal Ahead of Vote

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  • GBP catches a bid across the board as Prime Minister Theresa May gains ERG support.
  • Despite session gains, GBP/USD technically has vulnerabilities to downside risks, given rising channel formation.

GBP Bulls Awaken

The British pound (GBP) saw a decent jump to the upside on Monday, after an initially very choppy directionless start to the session. The buying swooping into GBP/USD came on the back of a growing number of ministers set to back Prime Minister Theresa May. Specifically, attention was grabbed after closely followed political watcher Robert Peston tweeted that “influential Tory Brexiter MP tells me he and his ERG Brexiter colleagues will be voting with Theresa May and the government all day tomorrow”. This is significant as the ERG is a very influential Brexit research group, which was previously plotting ways to oust PM May.

GBP/USD jumped to its highest level seen since 22nd November. The pair had seen an initial spike of 85 pips to the upside. Gains were capped however by a known strong area of supply; this can be seen tracking from 1.2870 up to 1.2930. The price has not been above here since 15th November 2018, and the bulls having faltered here on several occasions attempting to move above. Should GBP/USD manage to move above this zone, it would be a very strong signal that it is out of the bear market. Technically, this would be largely attractive for inviting further buyers to come in.

A detailed analysis of the upcoming Brexit vote can be viewed here: This Tuesday Will Be Zero Hour For the British Pound

Price Remains Confined Within Channel

GBP/USD daily chart. Price action remains within the confinements of a rising channel.

Another key technical observation is an ascending channel formation, which can be viewed via the daily chart. The GBP/USD pair has been moving within this since 12th December 2018, having gained over 400 pips since it took shape. The daily candle today briefly spiked above the upper tracking trend line of the pattern. However, the price was squeezed back within the confinements of this. Touted profit-taking kicked in towards the close of the European markets. This is not too surprising, as participants maintain an element of caution heading into the high-profile vote.

Given the nature of the above-described formation, should it play out to the textbook, vulnerabilities still point to a breakout south. This move would be heavily assisted should the British Prime Minister lose the meaningful vote on Tuesday. In terms of key levels to note, to the upside, a break above the 1.2930 supply zone will invite large buying pressure. To the downside, a breach of 1.2650, the lower support of the channel, will open flood gates to selling.

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 107 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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USD/CAD Price Prediction: North American Pair Down Almost 500 Pips but the Bears are Not Done Yet

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  • Bank of Canada kept rates unchanged and delivered a cautious tone in their rhetoric.
  • Federal Reserve speaker Bostic says rates could go up or down.

Bank of Canada Monetary Decision Review

The Bank of Canada today kept rates unchanged, largely in line with market expectations. In terms of the accompanying rhetoric with the monetary policy decision, it was somewhat cautious. Growth forecasts were seen generally lower across the board. The new expectation for 2019 GDP is now seen at 1.7% versus previous forecast of 2.1%. However, they do see a pick-up in 2020 to 2.1% versus the prior forecast of 1.9%. In terms of inflation, the expectation is for it to be below 2% for much of 2019, due to lower gas prices.

In addition, the bank stated that the drop observed in global oil prices had a material impact on the outlook. It further noted that consumer spending and housing investment was weaker than expected. On the above, the central bank was then vague with a statement, not really providing much clue on time line with regards to future rate moves. The BOC said, “weighing all of these factors, Governing Council continues to judge that the policy interest rate will need to rise over time into a neutral range to achieve the inflation target.”

Dovish Fed Speakers            

Elsewhere, relating to the USD, Fed speaker Bostic hit the newswires, he said rates could move up or down, signaling that the central bank needs to be patient and seek greater clarity on economic risks. On the back of these comments, weakness hit the USD with quite some force across the board. Markets are trying to gauge how much the Fed is now taking steps back, a big shift in their prior stance seen during their initial rate hiking cycle. Later into the session, the Fed’s Rosengren then echoed a similar tone to the initial dovish rhetoric of Bostic. Both of which are following Fed Chair Jerome Powell last week, who suggested of possibilities to adjust the Fed’s balance sheet if need be.

USD/CAD Analysis

USD/CAD daily chart. Room for further pressure to the downside, given dovish Fed and government shutdown.

Despite the cautious tone from the Bank of Canada, the reaction was generally muted. However, as the session progressed, USD/CAD continued to edge south. This was helped not by the BOC, but the above-detailed dovish commentary from a couple of Fed members.

As pointed out in the last USD/CAD write up on Hacked, the bears did smash through that vital ascending trend line. This was significant as it had been providing support since October 2018, comforting the price on each time it met the trend line.

Selling pressure has been intense; over the past six sessions, USD/CAD has dropped almost 500 pips. In terms of cushion, the price has managed to catch some at a daily support level, eyed around 1.3278. Should the daily candlestick hold above this support, then there may be room for a small pullback. Eyes would then be on resistance around the 1.3310 price area.

Ultimately, given the political mess with the government shutdown in the U.S., there may still be room for a squeeze lower. The price could see a full reversal of the uptrend, which start back in October 2018. This would potentially see USD/CAD back down to levels of around 1.2800.

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 107 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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GBP/JPY Price Prediction: Pressure on the Pound Likely to Intensify Ahead of Next Week

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  • GBP pressure to the downside could start to pick up pace, heading into the vote on Theresa May’s deal with the EU.
  • GBP/JPY has a chunky amount of room to potentially free-fall, depending on Brexit developments.

Theresa May’s Deal with EU Vote

The British pound (GBP) is heading towards a critical event next week. Members of UK parliament will be voting on Theresa May’s draft withdrawal agreement with the EU. As a reminder, this was originally set for 11th December, however the PM was forced to delay this, as she was facing defeat. Despite this having been postponed the first time round, things remain very much up in the air. There is still a strong potential that she will not gather enough support to see this deal pass.

Prime Minister May only has a week now to try corral required support for her deal. She must gather enough support in order to get it passed through parliament. In terms of the schedule of events, the vote will be preceded by four days of debating within the House of Commons. This will be commencing on Wednesday 9th January.

GBP/JPY

GBP/JPY daily chart. The price is vulnerable to further downside shocks.

Looking at GBP/JPY via the daily time frame, the candlestick for the session today – 8th January – is a bearish signal to say the least. A strong area of demand was initially seen at the range of 140.50-139.50. Most recently the price was consolidating around this region, from 21st to 31st December 2018. This was the case until the hard sellers smashed through. On 2nd January, a breach through the active support occurred, inviting chunky selling activity into play. GBP/JPY was hit once again harder on 3rd January, a continuation of the first breakout, but exacerbated by the mini ‘flash crash’, which was seen across all JPY instruments.

GBP/JPY monthly chart. Eyes on potential retest of huge monthly support area, seen at mini flash crash low print.

Keeping in mind the above, the price did initially retest the breached demand zone and was hit with a rejection. This technically signals further potential downside to come. Given how aggressive GBP/JPY can be generally, with the Brexit pressure further intensifying now, this could be extremely vulnerable. As a result, bear targets are somewhat deep. Firstly, the 136.00 figure, which is the low area of 4th January. Further to the south, eyes would then even be on a fast move back towards the flash crash low print, 130.70. This area is big in terms of monthly support, it came into action back in the months of July, August and September 2016.

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 107 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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