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Goldman Sachs to Embrace Bitcoin?

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The bitcoin revolution may be too good to pass up for one of Wall Street’s biggest firms. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has announced that it is considering a new trading operation dedicated to BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

Goldman Sachs Weighs Digital Currency

The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Goldman Sachs is in fact interested in bitcoin, and is currently exploring whether to begin trading the instrument. To clarify matters, a Goldman spokeswoman has this to say:

“In response to client interest in digital currencies we are exploring how best to serve them in this space.”

Though the firm has acknowledged it may not proceed, the fact that it’s interested could boost bitcoin’s standing in the mainstream investment community.

However, it’s not like bitcoin needs Wall Street’s approval. The world’s No. 1 digital token has more than quadrupled this year. Bitcoin is widely regarded as the face of the cryptocurrency market, which now extends to over 1,100 digital tokens.

Goldman’s open-minded approach to cryptocurrency is a welcomed break from the vitriol being spewed by other industry players. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon recently called bitcoin a “fraud” and said he would fire any employee who dabbled in it. Less than a week later, it was confirmed that J.P. was already trading bitcoin on behalf of customers.

Big Banks Already Dabble in Blockchain

Despite Jamie Dimon’s adversarial outlook on bitcoin, his bank has already dabbled in the blockchain, the revolutionary technology behind cryptocurrency. Goldman Sachs has also explored the blockchain and its potential to reshape financial services.

Blockchain has enjoyed broad mainstream appeal, with governments and central banks experimenting with it. In fact, the author is of the opinion that interest in blockchain has been partly responsible for the rapid rise of cryptocurrency. Regardless of your views on digital currency, the technology behind it is too powerful to pass up.

The global cryptocurrency market is worth nearly $150 billion. As digital tokens proliferate, they will become harder for the major institutions to ignore.

Bitcoin values approached $4,500 on Monday, having gained more than 11% compared to last week.

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 742 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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Altcoins

Crypto Markets Get a Boost Heading Into the Weekend as Debate Over Bitcoin ETF Intensifies

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Cryptocurrency prices rose on Saturday, alleviating the risk of an imminent pullback following days of mostly lateral moves. As history has shown, longer periods of sideways trading are often followed by brisk selloffs in bitcoin and altcoins.

Flush of Green

The biggest cryptocurrencies all reported gains at the start of the weekend. Bitcoin, the largest by market cap, climbed back above $3,700 in a show of momentum for the bulls. At last check, the bitcoin price was valued at $3,744.11, having gained 2.5% from Friday.

Bitcoin’s price broke out on Monday but failed to generate sustained bids throughout the week. As a result, it spent most of that period hovering between $3,600-$3,700. Bitcoin faces a major long-term support at $3,550; a break below this key level could be a momentum killer for the bulls.

The leading digital currency continues to be a good barometer for the overall market. With a market dominance rate of 52.5%, bitcoin has a direct impact on how altcoins and tokens perform. It comes as no surprise that coins other than bitcoin rose by more than $2 billion on Saturday, according to CoinMarketCap.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies improved to $124.7 billion, up markedly from a 24-hour low of $120.9 billion.

Litecoin was the top gainer among major cryptos, rising 4.4% to $32.65. XRP added 1.7% to $0.3313, Ethereum climbed 2.5% to $125.01 and bitcoin cash rose 1.4$% to $130.70.

Outside the top-ten, IOTA rose 4.1% to $0.3246. NEO advanced 5% to trade at $8.09.

Bitcoin ETF Debate Continues

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a big decision to make in roughly five weeks: approve or reject the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Unlike previous crypto ETF applications, the VanEck-SolidX application proposes a physically-settled bitcoin fund that addresses many of the SEC’s ongoing concerns around investor protection and market manipulation.

Some investors are clinging to the hope that SEC approval of the VanEck-SolidX product will give the market a much needed boost by the end of the first quarter. But the impact of the approval/rejection could depend largely on how the market performs heading into the decision, now slated for Feb. 27. As Hacked reported last month: “The rejection of an ETF approval could affect the market if the price of Bitcoin has been increasing in anticipation of the announcement.” More here.

The consensus among analysts and market observers is that the SEC is unlikely to approve any bitcoin ETF this year. This view was recently echoed by bitcoin bull and CNBC contributor Brian Kelly, who says the bitcoin futures market isn’t mature enough to allow for an ETF to be approved. He didn’t comment specifically on the VanEck application, which has been designed as an alternative to futures-linked products by holding a repository of physical BTC as opposed to derivatives.

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) named crypto as one of six regulatory focal points for 2019. In a recently released report, OCIE said: “Given the significant growth and risks presented in this market, OCIE will continue to monitor the offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets, and where the products are securities, examine for regulatory compliance.”

For more on this story, read: As Race for Bitcoin ETF Heats Up, SEC Identifies Cryptocurrency as a Top Priority in 2019.

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 742 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Drift Lower but Damage Remains Limited

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The major cryptocurrencies continue to trade in narrow ranges following last week’s decline and this week’s failed rally attempt. While Bitcoin is stuck near the $3600 support, the other top coins have been losing ground today, with Ethereum dipping below the $120 level, Ripple violating the $0.32 price level and Litecoin testing the $30-$30.50 support zone yet again.

Trading volumes and volatility remain very low across the board, but correlations are still high between the majors, and despite the quiet environment, we haven’t seen bullish signs in the market. That said, the trading ranges that developed this week are still intact, and although the overwhelmingly bearish long-term picture still makes the continuation of the decline more likely, a failed break-down pattern could still develop in the segment, should the top coins recover above their weekly highs in the coming days.

For now, our trend model remains on sell signals on both time-frames in case of most of the majors, and traders and investors should still stay away from entering new positions here, with still no bullish leadership being present.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is still relatively stable even in the very quiet environment, and the most valuable coin is trading right at the $3600 support/resistance level. BTC formed a volatility compression pattern in recent days, and that formation points to a more significant move in the coming days, with a move out of it being inevitable as soon as this weekend.

Bulls are still looking for a move above $3850, towards the key zone between $4000 and $4050, but the bearish long-term setup continues to favor a dip below $3600, with support zones still found near $3250 and $3000, and traders and investors should still not enter positions here.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum failed to get close to the $130 resistance level again, and as it dipped below primary support, the test of the swing low near $112 is likely in the coming days. The coin remains on sell signals on both time-frames in our trend model, and a move towards the key support zone and between $95 and $100 is likely in the coming weeks, barring a quick reversal above $130. Further resistance is ahead at $145, $160, and near $180 while the bear market low is found near $80

Ripple Under Pressure Again in Weak Environment

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Altcoins continue to trade without a clear direction despite today’s dip, but the bearish drift of the recent days means that the key support levels could be in focus during the weekend, should the volatility compression finally end. The few major coins showing signs of strength haven’t been able to maintain the bullish momentum, like EOS, which gave back yesterday’s gains today.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the market of Ripple is still very quiet, the coin fell below the $32 support yet again, and it remains relatively weak compared to its closest peers. It is also on sell signals on both time-frames in our trend model, and a dip below $0.30 will likely be the next significant move. Further strong support is found near the $0.26 level, with resistance ahead near $0.3550 and $0.3750.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin is trading just above the key $30-$30.50 support zone, and it sill failed to get anywhere near the next major zone near the $34.50 price level. Given the hostile long-term setup and the short-term sell signal our trend model, traders should stay away from the coin here, with a move toward the $26 level being likely in the coming weeks. Further strong resistance is ahead near $38 and $44 and with another support level found near $23.

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 444 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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Maintains Range Formation as BTC Dominance Grows

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Bitcoin’s price continues to trade in a narrow range formation as of Friday morning, extending a period of relative calm for the digital currency and potentially weakening the case for an imminent bearish reversal.

Steady Trading

Bitcoin is presently trading at $3,651.98, based on aggregate data provided by CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of 0.6% over the past 24 hours. Over the past week, BTC has declined by a little more than 1%, though it has maintained a steady trading range north of $3,500 during that period. Prices peaked near the $3,750 range on Monday before the rally lost steam later in the week.

The hourly chart view, based on Bitstamp exchange data, shows weak underlying momentum. This raises doubts about the possibility of a strong weekend bounce back toward Monday highs. That being said, bitcoin’s weekly stretch of relative calm alleviates the risk of an imminent correction back down to December lows.

Interestingly enough, bitcoin’s stable trading range has been accompanied by a noticeable rise in trading volume. Since Sunday, virtual exchange trading has exceeded $5 billion. In the most recent 24-hour cycle, roughly $5.3 billion worth of BTC traded hands.

BitMEX continues to be the largest exchange market for bitcoin trades, though its share has dwindled significantly. As Hacked reported on Tuesday, the exchange is permanently closing U.S. accounts amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

Bitcoin Dominance Rises

At nearly $64 billion, bitcoin is easily the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Its share of the overall market has increased slightly since the beginning of the year as altcoins and tokens struggle to emerge from its strong gravitational pull. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s dominance rate was 52.4%.

The following chart highlights bitcoin’s share of the overall crypto market during the last 12 months. As you can see, BTC accounts for a bigger slice during bearish trends.

During bear-market trends, altcoins and tokens tend to mirror bitcoin’s trajectory. Although there are notable exceptions, particularly for coins like XRP and recently, Ethereum, the market is strongly correlated with BTC during periods of instability.

For bitcoin at least, the volatility regime has declined significantly over the past month. On Thursday, bitcoin’s 30-day volatility index fell to 4.17%, the lowest since Nov. 23. The volatility tracker from bitvol.info measures the extent to which the asset’s price varies over time.

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 742 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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