It won’t be long before Ethereum’s long-awaited Metropolis upgrade is underway. The hard fork for Byzantium – the first leg in the update – will occur at block 4,370,000, or roughly Oct. 16.
Ethereum’s core development team is optimistic that clients will upgrade their software uniformly, ensuring there is no unintended splits. Clients are required to make all the necessary changes accompanying Byzantium to ensure the upgrade is completed in unison.
The blockchain’s most popular client, Go Ethereum (Geth), has already undergone the upgrade.
Hacked reported last month that, under protocol EIP 649, ether blocks will be mined ten seconds faster than they are currently. To safeguard the integrity of the token, the new protocol will also lower the reward miners receive per block to 3 ETH from 5 ETH.
Hard fork testing began last month on Ropsten, Ethereum’s simulation environment. The test included a trial of several Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs) that will be introduced in the upcoming hard fork.
The development team met over the weekend to discuss the upcoming hard fork, and generally agreed that everything is on track. No other meetings are scheduled before Oct. 16.
A high-profile fork involving bitcoin occurred over the summer, giving rise to Bitcoin Cash (BCH). More than two months later, Bitcoin Cash remains highly volatile.
Ether Prices Gaining Traction
Ether has gained momentum over the weekend, with prices hovering near one-month highs. Prices are currently trending north of $311 for a total market capitalization for $29.6 billion. Ethereum is the world’s No. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap.
Ether has gained nearly 3,600% since the start of January, when one token was valued in the single digits. The asset peaked above $400 in June before approaching that level again in September. Crypto assets are in a broad consolidation phase following China’s regulatory attack on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Featured image from Shutterstock
Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Grinds Higher as Records Tumble in Altcoins
The historical surge in the segment, which is the second such move this year, continued today, with another round of break-outs in some of the major altcoins and tepid gains for BTC investors. Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, and first and foremost Litecoin was leading the charge, with the recent star LTC topping $300, just after a day of hitting the $200 mark.
Litecoin defied all odds after reaching extremely overbought readings, and the coin rode the speculative wave, turning exponential, not unlike IOTA and Bitcoin previously. With the coin being stretched in an unprecedented way on all time-frames, investors could even consider selling their core positions at the current levels, as a deep correction is almost granted in the coming period. The first meaningful support level is found at $125, and a re-test of the $100 level is probable during the next major correction.
LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
Ripple finally ended a long period of relative weakness today, and the only major on a long-term by signal jumped over primary resistance at $0.26 and crossed the $0.30-$0.32 too in the euphoric sentiment. As the coin is not long-term overbought following the 6-month long consolidation, the buy signal in XRP remains intact, with the only major resistance level being found at the all-time high near $0.425.
XRPUSDT/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
Ethereum Flirts With Record Highs as Buterin Compares Crypto Surge to Salvator Mundi Auction
Ethereum prices climbed to fresh records on Tuesday, as crypto mania picked up where it left off before the launch of bitcoin futures over the weekend.
ETH/USD Price Levels
The value of ether touched an intraday high of $522.63, which was the highest level ever recorded for the world’s no. 2 cryptocurrency. Ether’s previous record was set on Saturday when prices crossed $518.
At press time, the coin was valued at around $513 for a gain of more than 8%. That gave ether a total market cap of nearly $50 billion. The cryptocurrency has added more than 4,000% this year, putting it among the world’s top altcoins.
Trade volumes approached $2 billion over the previous 24 hours, which is equivalent to 118,000 bitcoin. Coinbase’s GDAX exchange had the highest turnover, with ETH/USD accounting for more than 9% of the volume. Bitfinex also processed more than 9% of ether transactions via ETH/USD. Meanwhile, Bithumb’s ETH/KRW cross saw 6% of the daily volume.
In all these cases, more than half a billion in ether was transaction.
Ether has successfully traded above $500 on several occasions, but has struggled to maintain those price levels. The previous record high was partly associated with the latest CryptoKitties craze, which promises frictionless trading of digital assets via blockchain.
Looking ahead, ether could struggle to break free from its recently defined trading range between $450 and $500. Although the market is slowly recovering from a congested network, record highs have been much harder to come by in recent months than other cryptocurrencies. By comparison, bitcoin has set multiple record highs over the same period. Several leading altcoins have also managed to climb to new heights on multiple occasions. Ethereum’s rally continues to be very much off-and-on.
Buterin Weighs In
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin recently compared the cryptocurrency market with the Salvator Mundi auction, which raised $450 million in November. The 23-year-old said growing interest in cryptocurrencies was “a reflection of the world at large. Buterin highlighted the growing popularity of CryptoKitties in sending his point across.
“I actually like the digital cat games,” Buterin said in a Dec. 4 tweet about CryptoKitties. “They illustrate very well that the value of a blockchain extends far beyond applications that would literally get shut down by banks or governments if they did not use one.”
Ethereum Use Cases on the Rise
Ethereum’s smart contract capability is being used by Switzerland’s largest banks to prepare for new European financial regulations. UBS announced Monday it has entered into partnership with Barclays, KBC and others to advance the MiFID II data collection initiative. The program will be driven by Ethereum smart contracts and run on the Microsoft Azure platform.
The combination of smart contracts and cloud will ensure banks can meet more stringent regulations on a common platform that will enable industry-wide reconciliation. Presently, these institutions must perform checks independently.
MiFID II will officially launch Jan. 3, 2018, and will replace the current regulatory directive.
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.
Technical Analysis: Litecoin Continues Surge as Bitcoin Tests Highs
With the crypto world being focused on the historical futures launch, the major coins all enjoyed buying following a hectic weekend, and a volatile week as a whole. BTC itself got another boost from the widespread publicity and the volatile correction of the recent days ended, with the most valuable coin bouncing back towards its all-time high.
While the long-term picture remains severely overbought, the short-term picture is not stretched and further gains are possible even amid the elevated correction risk. That said, investors should wait for a more favorable entry point to ad dot their holdings, while traders should control position sizes in the light of the long-term setup. Major support levels are now near $13,000, $11,300, and $10,000, with stronger levels still at $8200 and $7700.
BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
The major altcoins are all up today, but only Monero and Litecoin are still within short-term uptrends, and the segment as a whole is still dangerously overextended, and a deeper correction is very likely in the coming weeks. LTC continued its recent break-out, getting close to the $200 level, and joining the extremely overbought group regarding the long-term momentum, and triggering a long-term sell signal in our trend model. Key support levels are found $100 at $75 and $64, with a weaker primary level at $125.
LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
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