Finding a Golden Opportunity

Hi Everyone,

Yet another attack struck the cryptocurrency market recently, this one claiming around $18 million from the Bitcoin Gold network.

The innovation of blockchain is that transactions are secured by utilizing the power of the network. The second major fork of Bitcoin, known as Bitcoin Gold or (BTG), is not on the eToro platform at the moment, precisely because the network is simply not big enough at this time.

Both BTG and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) were created to give Bitcoin a larger block size, an idea that the Bitcoin Core community rejected. With all the thousands of cryptocurrencies out there, the question arises, how many bitcoin forks do we actually need?

In this video from earlier this week, you can see the backers of Bitcoin Gold arguing with a well-known backer of BCH Craig Wright. The video ends with the BTG spokesperson saying to Craig “goodbye Fake-Toshi” a disapproving nickname that he received for previously claiming to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto.

Even though BTG seemed to come away with the upper hand in the video, it’s losing against BCH on the ground.

In the graph below, we can see the total mining power (hashrate) of all three Bitcoin tokens mentioned above (BTC, BCH, and BTG). As you can see, BTG is simply a flat line at the bottom, indicating that there are very few miners actually supporting the network.

The distinct lack of miners left the network vulnerable to attack and the hackers were easily able to add enough hashrate to write the blocks however they like.

It should be noted that even though BTC enjoys the most hashrate by far, BCH actually has marginally lower fees. This is why people keep saying that Bitcoin is moving to be more of a store of value.

So if payments is the question, we need to look at the top three contenders. In this case that would be Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash. As you can see, in the last few months, the competition has been getting tight, with all three coins charging less than 20 cents per transaction.

Ultimately, the natural way of the market is to push out the weakest contenders. For now, the payments market is dominated by Visa & MasterCard, who at the moment are charging vendors about 2.5% to 3% per transaction.

As the average credit card transaction is about $80, the average fee comes out to approximately $2.20, which is more than 5 times higher than Bitcoin itself.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Trump Pulls Out
  • Happy GDPR Day
  • Vitalik is Tweeting again!

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of May 25th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

A big part of my job and the job of other financial bloggers is to try and gauge the impact of any given news event on actual market prices. When doing this, it’s important to always remember that correlation does not equal causation.

A perfect example would be this news that came out yesterday…

The purple circle on this chart shows the exact time that the news broke on Bloomberg.

As is clear from the chart, the market has been falling for several days, and though there was a spike down shortly after the announcement, it would be difficult to prove that the news caused the movement.

On the other hand, there was an event yesterday that I believe did have a direct and measurable impact on the markets. Here we can see Donald Trump’s letter to Kim Jong Un announcing that he was calling off their June 12th Singapore meeting.

For your convenience, I’ve pinpointed the exact time that the letter went viral on social media on this chart of gold.

Even though the price spiked before the announcement it does seem that this little event was able to give it the strength to push the market above the $1,300 psychological barrier.

The news also seems to have had an impact on the global stock indices as depicted here.

Final Fantasy

With all the news and simultaneous stories coming out right now, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which ones translate into investment opportunities.

For example, the Brexit saga in the UK right now doesn’t seem to have changed much for the Pound. Yes, the British Pound sold off against the US Dollar, but the USD is getting stronger across the board. If we look at the Pound’s strength against the Euro, we can see that little has changed in the last few months.

We are getting ever closer to the March 2019 Brexit though, so we hope things are sorted out pretty soon. In any case, we should get more clarity soon when the Brexit Bill is back in front of the UK Parliament.

New Spending Government

Over to Italy, where earlier this week we saw that the new Prime Minister has been confirmed by the President. So Italy should soon have a government. Even though it’s clear that the new parliament will try to increase spending in a country that has more than its fair share of debt, it seems that what’s happening in Italy is staying in Italy, at least as far as the global markets are concerned.

Roll-Back

Yesterday the Trump administration did a huge roll-back of the Dodd-Frank regulations, which were put in place by Obama to prevent another crisis similar to 2008.

The immediate impact will probably be that medium-sized banks will be free to take on more risk. Wheather this will end up increasing systemic risk of the entire system is currently being debated, but even if it does, that’s not something that would usually cause an immediate impact on the markets, that’s “future America’s” problem.

Happy GDPR Day!!

I’d like to wish you a very happy GDPR day!! Please enjoy the abundance of emails informing you that the privacy policy of just about every company that holds your personal data has been updated. Good luck reading through it all.

This is something that might impact the market over the next few weeks because it’s been reported that many companies are still not fully compliant. The market impact will largely depend on how EU officials choose to deal with these type of infractions.

TRY Time

The Turkish Lira has been almost as volatile as many of the major cryptocurrencies over the last month. So if you like high risk, feel free to day-trade it. Just please be cautious and use proper money management.

Increased Chatter (Vitalik is Tweeting)

For traditional markets, more chatter means a conference happening in Stockholm, which will include a panel with both Fed Chair Jerome Powel and the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. This is about as good as it gets for central bank watchers and is not to be missed.

In crypto, it’s relevant to note the Ethereum community is having a lot more open dialogue lately on Twitter. As a decentralized platform, they’ve always been rather transparent about their conversations.

Vitalik likes to remain silent though for fear of having too much influence over the direction of the network. Over the last few months, he’s been especially hands-off and limiting himself to only retweets, presumably to emphasize a point made in the original tweet.

In the last few days however, it seems that he’s been engaging a lot more directly, especially with people contributing to the development of the Ethereum network. The community has been waiting for the famous Casper upgrade that will take Ether to a new level. Lately’ we’ve heard that the code for this upgrade has already been written and is currently in final review. Let’s hope for a smooth release.

Long Weekend

Really sorry for the long winded email. I hope that the information here will help you make better decisions in your portfolio, especially going into the long weekend.

For those of you in the UK and USA, I want to wish you a happy holiday in advance and to everyone a wonderful weekend!

For anyone who got through the entire post. Feel free to tag me, you probably deserve some sort of prize. 🙂

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

 

eToro: @MatiGreenspan | Twitter: @MatiGreenspan | LinkedIn: MatiGreenspan