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Cryptocurrency Prices Slide as Regulatory Fears Rise

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The bitcoin price has dropped below the psychologically important $9,000 level amid a raid by authorities on No. 1 South Korean bitcoin exchange Upbit. Bitcoin’s sell-off was exacerbated by reports that the trustee of Japan’s shuttered bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was unloading more BTC.

Investors fled Upbit and dragged the bitcoin price down with it to multi-week lows while the other leading cryptocurrencies fell in sympathy. The market cap of the broad cryptocurrency market fell to about $380 billion, shaving nearly $100 billion from last week’s total value, as Bloomberg reported. and revisiting March levels.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Upbit has reportedly been the target of an investigation since March on suspicions that customer funds were transferred from the exchange’s account to one owned by a Upbit official. The police and nearly a dozen investigators reportedly raided the offices of Upbit, the No. 3 cryptocurrency exchange globally based on volume in the past 24-hour period, on Thursday and Friday, combing through the offices in search of a smoking gun tied to allegations of defrauding investors, according to reports citing someone in the Seoul Southern District public prosecutors’ office.

“Upbit is currently under investigation by prosecutors and is cooperating,” said Upbit officials in a statement to customers cited in Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, the exchange noted that customer accounts were deemed “safe”, while transactions including deposits and withdrawals were officially unaffected. But with the nightmares of Mt. Gox and more recently Coincheck not too far in the rearview mirror, investors weren’t taking any chances.

Knee-Jerk Regulation

Cryptocurrency market participants have been trying to avoid any over-regulation in the market by engaging with policymakers, and regulators similarly have said they want to avoid rushing into adding laws that would ultimately stifle innovation. But incidents like this, where there are suspicions of fraud at one of the world’s leading bitcoin exchanges, doesn’t help the regulatory cause.

Making matters worse was the anticipated upcoming sale of thousands of bitcoin and bitcoin cash by the trustee of the now-defunct Mt. Gox exchange. Records indicate that some 8,000 BTC and 8,000 BCH were transferred from the exchange’s trust to cold storage in preparation of a sale.

Prior to the latest setbacks, the cryptocurrency markets were on the comeback trail after a volatile first quarter. South Korean regulators have been cracking down on bitcoin exchanges of late, but there are also murmurings that officials could lift the ban that’s currently in place on initial coin offerings (ICOs), which would be a boon for the market.

Bitcoin and the other leading digital currencies have weathered these types of storms in the past, and if anything it serves as a stark reminder to investors not to keep their funds on any trading platform and instead to transfer them to a hard wallet.

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 70 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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EOS Price Analysis: EOS/USD Back in Unsettled Territory, as Price Runs into Sellers Again

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  • The EOS/USD bulls are unable to sustain any upside momentum following a breach of critical support.
  • Near-term supply is eyed in the early $2.5000 region. A break above would likely open the door for another retest of the big $3.0000.

The EOS price was seen creeping lower again in the early part of trading on Tuesday. This comes after a big jump to the upside seen in the second part of the session on Monday. EOS/USD had gained a chunky double-digits, around 12%, at the close of the daily. Buyers came in after the low print on Sunday 13th at around $2.25. This was within a market demand zone, tracking from $2.25-$2.35, having supported the price on occasions in December and January.

Recap: Big Breach of Critical Support

EOS/USD daily chart.

As a reminder, EOS/USD throughout its most recent bull run, which was seen from 6th December right up to 9th January, was well-supported. An ascending trend line could be observed, providing necessary comfort to the bulls. However, all runs must come to an eventual end, and the bears smashed through this support on 10th January. Given the break through this vital area, it exacerbated the move to the downside. The price had dropped a heavy 22%, taking a big blow after a strong run.

Barriers Blocking Bulls

The bulls have been cut short for now, not being able to have sustained that momentum from the session on Monday. Trading has been extremely choppy since 19th December, via the daily chart view, highlighting a real lack of consistency in either direction. A consecutive streak longer than two days from either bear or bull camp hasn’t happened since the run higher in mid-December. This demonstrates just how mundane and non-committed market participant are for now.

In addition to the last statement above, further technical levels and areas continue to plague direction. To elaborate, there are more areas that the price must deal with now in comparison to the smooth bull run higher seen in 2017. Separately, if looking at 2018, the bears generally had an easy ride south. This is thanks to the cryptocurrency instruments being so young still in age.

Key Near-term Levels

For the bulls to see greater upside, a break of near-term supply within the early $2.5000 region will need to push prices forward. This should open the door to a fast move to see a retest of the breached ascending trend line. In proximity to this is the psychological $3.0000 mark, which has proven to be a huge barrier for the bulls. To the downside, the mentioned demand area of $2.35-$2.25 is critical, and a failure to hold will be very punishing. Lastly, EOS/USD would be subject to a move sub-$2.0000, where support can be eyed. As a further worth case, then $1.5500 to be retested, the December low.

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 106 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 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 106 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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Lite.IM Surpasses Facebook In Race To Support Cryptocurrency Compatible Messenger

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Since the early part of 2018, crypto traders have been bombarded with bad news.  Hacks, broken promises, and overall lack of enthusiasm have resulted in huge losses.  But more than that, some promising cryptocurrencies just haven’t survived.  As traders look to the future, they should begin looking at projects that have the potential to disrupt industries and take them to the next level.  One company that has the potential to accomplish that is Zulu Republic (ZTX).

Zulu Republic is an ecosystem of blockchain tools and platforms, designed as a place where people, businesses, and organizations can thrive on their own terms.  The company’s stated mission is to advance the development of decentralized technologies, to promote human rights and empowerment around the globe, and to reduce the global digital divide.

Well the company is off to a great start with the development of Lite.IM.

What is Lite.IM? 

Lite.IM is a project aimed at expanding global cryptocurrency adoption.  With Lite.IM, users can send, receive, and manage Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and the company’s native currency (ZTX), on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and SMS (in the USA and Canada).  To get started managing these cryptocurrencies on the aforementioned platforms, users simply need to send a text-based command to the Lite.IM bot.  The commands are as follows:

Telegram:  @LiteIM_bot

Facebook Messenger:  @lite.im

SMS (USA and Canada only):  760-LITEIM-0

Competition with Facebook

On December 21st, 2018, Facebook announced that it was developing its own stable cryptocurrency that users would be allowed to exchange through its popular chat service, WhatsApp.  But while Facebook’s initial approach will target users based in India, Lite.IM is open to everyone in the world.  Further, Zulu Republic has previously mentioned that they expect to announce support for WhatsApp in the next few weeks.  It certainly appears as though Lite.IM has the upper hand here.  And that is before even addressing Facebook’s obvious privacy concerns.

When it comes to cryptocurrency, privacy and security have always been two issues at the forefront.  Given the rough year that Facebook has had in that regard, users must certainly be forgiven if they have trouble trusting the social media giant.  In September, 2018, Facebook announced that an attack on its computer network had exposed the personal information of nearly 50 million users.  Apparently, the hackers were able to exploit a feature in Facebook’s code to gain access to user accounts.  Even prior to this announcement, Facebook was already under Congressional scrutiny over revelations that a British analytics firm obtained access to private information from nearly 87 million Facebook users.  Not to mention Facebook’s rumored involvement with Russian election meddling.  Suffice it to say, it has been a tumultuous year for Facebook.

And while users may have concerns trusting Facebook’s ability to handle cryptocurrency data, they shouldn’t have those same concerns with Lite.IM.  Private keys are RSA encrypted with the user’s password.  Lite.IM will never ask for that information nor will it be stored.  Because of this, no third party will ever have access to that valuable information.

Conclusion

The truth of the matter is that Facebook is an absolute giant and has grown at an extraordinary rate since its initial public offering.  Facebook has hired some incredible talent, from executive positions to marketing to development.  And while one should never count them out, I simply wouldn’t be able to trust them with all of the recent issues.  Perhaps in time, after regaining the public’s trust, users could once again look to Facebook as a leader.

Fortunately, users have another strong and dependable option.  Lite.IM will allow users all over the world to manage popular cryptocurrencies via their favorite messenger platform.  Users should continue to stay tuned for future developments.

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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