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Cryptocurrency Market Sheds Billions Over the Weekend

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The value of all cryptocurrency plunged more than 9% over the weekend, declining from a high of $179 billion to $162.5 billion. Analysts say the correction does very little to alter the technology’s upward trajectory, and may in fact be a way to encourage new buyers to enter the market.

Cryptocurrency Market: Onward and Upward

Even with the latest correction, the cryptocurrency market has increased nearly 60% over the past month and is up 823% since the beginning of the year. There are now 11 digital currency assets with a market cap of at least $1 billion, with the top-100 having a minimum value of $38.7 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

That being said, market dislocations are a major concern for investors. Market dislocation is a condition where investors cease to price assets correctly on an absolute and relative basis. This condition seems to have inflicted bitcoin cash (BCH), which launched on Aug. 1 after a minority of the blockchain community rejected the SegWit2x protocol. Bitcoin cash has faced extreme volatility over its short history as markets struggle to find what it’s really worth.

Bitcoin Prices Rejected Near $5,000

Bitcoin (BTC/USD) approached a new milestone Saturday after prices came within a few dollars of $5,000.00. The BTC/USD briefly touched a session high of $4,991.00 before plunging more than $400 on Sunday.

According to Breadwallet co-founder Aaron Lasher, bitcoin’s market cap could reach $5 trillion in the next decade. In an interview with Market Watch, Lasher acknowledged that the cryptocurrency market is in a bubble, but that the long-term trend is up. However, the path higher will be highly volatile, and may include a brutal bear market correction.

Russia Sees First Criminal Case Involving Bitcoin

Bitcoin was in the headlines last week after Russian police arrested three people for illegally trading in the digital currency. The transactions were reportedly worth 500 million rubles, or roughly $9 million U.S. The Ministry of Internal Affairs says the defendants are being charged with “Illegal Banking.”

Although Russian authorities are keeping an open mind on cryptocurrency, they also want to show it will not be tolerated as a money laundering unit. Russian courts have already set a precedent for blocking bitcoin exchanges, but have not pursued criminal charges.

The cryptocurrency debate is heating up around the world. Earlier this year, Japan formally recognized bitcoin as a form of money. South Korea also appears to be moving in that same direction.

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 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Monero Price Analysis: The Choice of Cyber Criminals, XMR/USD is Vulnerable to Full Reversal

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  • Monero price on Thursday was hit with steep losses, dropping as much as 5% in the session.
  • Trend Micro, a security intelligence firm, finds a Monero hacking tool for installing mining malware.

XMR/USD: Recent Price Behavior

Monero’s XMR price has been cooling over the last day, having dropped around 5% at the time of writing on Thursday. The move south comes after a decent run higher over the past couple of weeks. XMR/USD jumped almost 30% from 7th February up to 19th February, before easing away from the high print. The price did manage to hit its highest level seen since 10th January.

Security Intelligence Identifies Monero Hacking Tool

Researchers at Trend Micro, a security intelligence firm, have detailed that there is a notable surge in a Monero hack-tool installation. It reportedly attempts to exploit a vulnerability seen on Windows SMB, which has been patched up since 2017. Organizations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Italy are said to be the ones targeted, according to the researchers.

The blog published via Trend Micro details that the tool seems to be a merger of existing threats. In particular, it has targeted Microsoft Windows users – MIMIKATZ and RADMIN. As per Trend Micro:

“Between the last week of January to February, we noticed an increase in hack tool installation attempts. That dropped seemingly random files into the Windows directory. Initially appearing unrelated, the analysis showed the final payload to be a Monero cryptocurrency-mining malware variant. It scans for open port 445 and exploits a Windows SMB Server Vulnerability MS17-010 (patched in 2017) for its infection and propagation routines.”

The research does not come as much of a surprise, given the raft of Monero mining malware threats seen over the past year. Cyber criminals have strong favor for the altcoin given its privacy and anonymity, in addition to the ease of mining it on devices as simple as laptops and smartphones.

Technical Review – XMR/USD

XMR/USD daily chart.

Given the current edging south, eyes are now on the next area of support, which can be seen below at the prior acting range-block formation. XMR/USD between 11th Jan to 8th February was moving within a narrowing daily range. The area above this is now acting as support, as seen between 10-17th February. This came into play after a breakout and retest of the breached block. In terms of the comfort area, it is seen tracking from $47.50 down to $42.00. The bear pressure may prove to be too much for the support and force a breach. Another potential retest of the low down at $38.80 could be called into action.

Lastly, resistance to the upside is observed from the $53-$60 price range, which is the near-term supply and high area from 24th December to early January 2019. Further north, there can also be a chunky barrier seen ahead of the psychological $100 mark, tracking from $75-$95 range.

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 125 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Litecoin Leads Pullback in Majors

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The major cryptocurrencies are all lower today following the test of the recent swing highs. Yesterday, the early leader of the current short-term uptrend, Litecoin hit the key $51 resistance, and today the coin pulled back sharply, triggering a broad correction in the segment. The leaders of the rally are all notably lower, but they are still holding on to the bulk of their recent gains, and the rising short-term trendlines are all intact.

From a short-term technical perspective, the current pullback is orderly, and as the coins clear the overbought momentum readings, traders could re-enter smaller, speculative positions with strict risk management rules. The long-term technical picture continues to warrant caution, and bear market rules still apply despite the consolidation of the recent months.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin’s performance continues to be an important tell for the whole segment, and after yesterday’s downgrade in our trend model, the coin’s pullback is weighing on the whole market today. That said, volume patterns and price action in general, are still in line with a short-term uptrend, and traders could be looking for re-entry points and the overbought momentum readings get cleared.

The key $51 resistance level, which halted yesterday’s move, could be in focus again in the coming days, while a deeper correction could see the test of the $44 level. For now, our trend model remains on a neutral short-term signal, while the long-term signal is still clearly negative, with further support levels found near $44 and $38, and with strong resistance also ahead near the $56 level.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin remained within its short-term consolidation pattern, as the $3850 level provided support, so far, during the broad pullback in the segment. The MACD indicator is now pointing to an ongoing short-term correction, but the relatively weak short-term uptrend is still clearly intact.

Traders could hold on to their positions here despite the pullback, as the momentum indicators haven’t reached extreme overbought levels, leaving our trend model on a short-term buy signal, but we would with entering new positions until the pullback runs its course. While the long-term technical outlook is clearly negative for BTC here, a move above the key $4000-$4050 zone could lead to a test of the next major zone near $4450, while support below $3850 is still found near $3600 and just above $3450.

Ethereum and EOS Remain Stable as Ripple Fails to Show Strength

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum continues to trade in a bullish short-term correction pattern near the $145 resistance level. The uptrend is clearly intact in the coin, and although the short-term momentum indicators continue to show overbought readings the rally could soon continue, with the $160 price level still being in sight. Support levels are still found near $130 and $112, while the next major resistance zone is found near $180, and the long-term downtrend is still in no danger here.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS, which has also been among the leaders of the rally, continue to show stability amid today’s pullback, but as it got severely overbought during the recent upswing, our tend model is on a neutral signal. Traders should wait for the correction to run its course before re-entering their positions, since the long-term setup in EOS still warrants caution. Support is found near the current price level at $3.80, at $350 and near $3, while resistance is now ahead near $4 and $4.50.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple remains the primary concern for bulls here, as the relatively weak coin failed to show signs of stability falling back to the vicinity of the $0.32 level. The coin got stuck below the dominant bearish short-term trendline, and our trend model is now on a short-term sell signal, despite the broad rally in the segment.

With the long-term technicals still being hostile even in the case of a new swing low in the coming week, traders should remain cautious with XRP and focus on the stronger currencies with regards to trading positions. Below $0.32, further support zones are found near $0.30, $0.28, and $0.26, while short-term targets are still ahead near $0.3550, and $$0.3750.

Featured image from Shutterstock

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 469 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

Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Bulls Run into Resistance and Profit Taking Following IBM Boost

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  • Stellar’s XLM price was seen cooling in the session on Thursday, as the bulls ran into a barrier of resistance.
  • IBM detailed it has several letters of intent from banks to leverage IBM-Stellar technology.

Stellar’s XLM price has managed to pick itself up from the recent low area, where it was moving within the total abyss. The decent falling for XLM/USD was pushing it into totally unknown territory, where the price has not traded before. A low was produced down at $0.07330000 before the bulls kick-started the recovery. It has now gained a chunky 30% over the last two weeks, with upside momentum particularly gathering decent pace in the past four sessions.

The most recent jump north came following the price escaping a nine-session range-block formation. The low of the mentioned range was observed down at $0.07590000, with the high up at $0.08330000; the bulls forced a breach of this level on 18th February. Upon the move above, a fresh wave of buying pressure came into play, with XLM/USD moving to its highest level in almost four weeks. At the time of writing a pullback can be observed, which could be potential profit-taking after the decent run.

Several Banks to Join IBM’s Stellar-based Service

According to a representative from IBM, several confirmations have been received from banks on their intent to incorporate digital assets, including their own stablecoins via IBM World Wire and Stellar. The head of Blockchain at IBM Jesse Lund said:

“We’ve got a launch announcement coming out soon. We’re going to be supporting more than 50 countries out of the gate, 30-40 currencies, and enough market makers to drag along 30 or 40 banks. So we’ll have a significant portion of the world covered. Our goal is to continue to expand that network and to provide global coverage within 3-5 years where you can actually send remittances in a consistent way, immediately, at a very low cost, from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.”

Several banks have confirmed their plans to release digital assets, including their own stablecoins, based on IBM World Wire and Stellar. According to the IBM representative, the company has already received several letters of intent from a number of banks around the world.

Technical Review – XLM/USD

XLM/USD daily chart.

Given the recent price cooling, eyes will be on a possible return down to the breached range-block area. A move as described would complete the technical breakout and retest of the mentioned zone. Should this fail to provide necessary comfort to the falling price, then eyes will be on another test of the low, $0.07330000. If a further breach is observed here, then this opens the door once again to a move within an unknown territory, moving within the abyss.

Looking to the upside, if XLM/USD completes the break retest scenario and the bulls capitalize on this, then a decent push back north may be seen. A near-term supply area tracks above from around $0.09350000 up to $0.0980000. Should the bulls force a break above the mentioned supply, then a retest of the 2019 high area would be eyed. In other words, a move back within the range of $0.13-0.1400000.

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 125 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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