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Hot Crypto Topics For 2018

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It is pretty hard to understate what 2017 has meant for investors. The S&P 500 had one of it best years in more than five appreciating 20% to a record near 2700. The global economy continued to recover from the last vestige of the 2008 financial crisis. Everybody has the right to feel financially more secure.

But if you were for fortunate to be a crypto investor, you have cause to celebrate like never before. Bitcoin rewarded you with a 1660%+ price appreciation, Ethereum gained a monster 10,200%+ while Litecoin turned in a 6,500%+ price increase.

And these are just the majors. Returns with some of the successful ICOs were even more spectacular. Of course not every ICO paid off and some fell victim unscrupulous operators. Nevertheless, 2017 was a golden year.

When prices increase as much as they have it is easy to get fixated solely on price alone and forget about the underlying forces that represent true value.

So what will be the fundamental forced in 2018? It is hard to know the future so far out because it is evolving so quickly, but here are some thoughts on several very important issues.

 The Need For Speed

 Turning away from the ton of good things that happened in 2017, there are the twin issues of slow speed and high transaction fees. It is a thorny situation. Each of us can appreciate the need to any system to be successful has to be capable of scaling. Appreciating the higher energy consumed can be a bit more obtuse but it a big deal.

The promise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin going back to the beginning was “fast and free” As the table below illustrates, transaction speeds are stalling and falling short of the promise.

The high transaction costs for all cryptocurrencies is presently a major deterrent to broader acceptance. Depending on how you work the math, performing a transfer in bitcoin can be more the using a fiat currency and using the traditional banking system.

Presumably the solution to faster transaction speeds would be less energy consumed which in turn would allow competition to drive down fees.

At present even 10-15 transactions per second is not nearly enough to meet projected demand in the future. Finding a solution is important to everyone from the major currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin down to companies linked to each.

Some help for Ethereum may be on the way in 2018 when Casper is fully in action.

Casper changes the Ethereum verification process from “Proof of Work” to “Proof of Stake”. One of the issues Casper addresses is high-energy consumption.

Part of the issue spills over into security. In order to maintain adequate security of Ethereum POW protocol involves very high operating costs. Casper dramatically lowers these costs.

Experts who have deep knowledge of Casper claim that honest miners will be able to cheaply validate while attackers somehow will still face extremely high costs.

Casper addresses this problem. In doing so, Casper puts Ethereum in a much stronger position to serve the world. The more users, the more demand for Ether and that, of course means even more upward Ether price pressure.

And then there is the Ethereum Raiden Network. This is Ethereum’s version of bitcoins Lightning Network. The technical definition of Raiden is allowing off-chain scaling solutions for performing so called ERC20-compliant token transfers

Raiden supposedly enables near-instant, low fee, scalable transactions. The operative words here are off-chain scaling and privacy preserving. This is an option to watch closely in 2018 to see if Raiden can live up to some big promises.

Could Terabyte Blocks Be The Big Solution

 It is only a research paper but the founder of Lokad Joannes Vermorel has come up with a possible answer by creating terabyte size blocks. His idea has only focused on transactions for bitcoin cash but if it works there you can bet that adaptations for other currencies will follow.

 Joannes argues that terabyte blocks could not only be fast but economical. He explains how terabyte blocks could scale to far more than the current 1MB blocks size or about 3-4 transactions per second.

According to his research paper a terabyte block could contain around 7 million transactions per second. That relates to 50 daily transactions for virtually every human on planet earth. That promise alone is what makes Vermorel’s idea worth keeping an eye on.

How difficult it will be to translate Joannes idea into a real world application and then be adapt to cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin cash is anybody’s guess. One thing is certain, transaction speed and costs are likely to be hot topics in the New Year.

Remember, one of the original selling points of bitcoin was that transactions were fast and free. At present neither of these two promises are being consistently met. Even so, the possibilities are so fascinating that it keeps our attention glued to events that will shape the future. Whatever 2018 brings we will share our views and hope your prosperity continues.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 115 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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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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Bitcoin Runs into Minor Resistance After Setting Fresh Six-Month High

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Bitcoin’s price declined slightly on Thursday, mere hours after setting a new six-week high. Despite the modest retreat, the leading digital currency is charting a bullish path based on price action and the momentum indicators.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price peaked at $4,145.00 on Bitfinex, the highest since early January when it reached $4,175. At the time of writing, the BTC/USD exchange rate was valued at $4,000, having declined 1.4% on the day.

As the following chart shows, the 20-period moving average crossed the 50-day period moving average earlier this week. This bullish crossover is usually a positive sign for buyers. The MACD has weakened in the last 24 hours but remains in positive territory.

At current levels, bitcoin is still on track to test the December high above $4,200. A clean break above this level would instill greater confidence in the bulls, possibly setting up a challenge of the long-term downtrend.

The path higher is paved with obstacles. Above $4,200, bitcoin would need to rally above $5,000 and eventually $5,500 to negate the long-term downtrend. Read more: Has Bitcoin Bottomed? A Closer Look at the Bullish and Bearish Cases.

Trade volumes have moderated in the last 48 hours but remain well above average. Virtual exchanges handled $8.6 billion worth of BTC trades on Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. BitMEX was the single largest market, accounting for nearly 15% of the total volume. Spot exchanges accounted for the remaining balance.

Bitcoin’s Growing Appeal

Despite a devastating bear market, interest in bitcoin appears to be on the rise among millennials and younger generations. According to a survey of 1,000 online traders from eToro, 43% of millennials have more trust in cryptocurrency exchanges than the U.S. stock market. Members of Gen X are far more inclined to trust stock exchanges at a rate of 77%.

Crypto exchanges have been the target of relentless attack from cyber criminals looking to take advantage the nascent market. Billions of dollars have already been compromised. In 2017 alone, 11 major hacks resulted in the theft of $472.4 million. Last year, Japanese exchange Coincheck was taken for $530 million after hackers targeted 260,000 NEM holders.

The shift in attitude among millennials and other younger cohorts reflects a growing distrust of banks, which are the traditional power brokers of society. Earlier this week, a French court fined Swiss bank UBS $5.1 billion for aggravated money laundering and illegal bank soliciting. French media called it a record fine.

Many in the crypto community invest in alternative assets as a way to combat the traditional gears of finance. Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital has popularized the phrase, “Long bitcoin, short the bankers” as a way of highlighting this paradigm shift.

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. Chart via TradingView. 

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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Crypto Update: Coins Test Swing Highs Litecoin Runs Into Resistance

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The major cryptocurrencies continue to trade with a bullish bias after establishing a new short-term uptrend this week. The top coins are all holding on to the bulk of their recent gains, even as most of them entered consolidation patterns on the heels of the strong rally in the segment. With still only Ripple lagging the broader market notably, the immediate outlook remains positive, despite the still bearish long-term picture.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Today, the initially leading Litecoin shined again, pushing past the $50 level and hitting the long-term resistance zone near $51. As LTC is overbought due to its recent lofty gains, the coin is now only on a neutral short-term signal in our trend model, since the bearish long-term setup continues to warrant caution for bulls here.

That said, the rising short-term trend is intact, and should the coin clear the overbought momentum readings, traders could enter small, speculative positions using strict risk management rules. Support levels are now found near $47, $44, and $38, while the next major resistance zone is ahead near the $56 price level.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin entered a consolidation pattern today, as we expected, after touching the longer-term zone resistance zone between $4000 and $4050. The momentum indicators hint on further consolidation, and in light of hostile long-term setup, traders should wait for the overbought readings to be cleared before entering new short-term positions.

Below the initial level $3850 support, further levels are found near $3600 and just above $3450, while the next resistance zone above $4050 is ahead near $4450. The short-term uptrend is intact in BTC, and our trend model remains on a short-term buy signal.

Ethereum Tries to Form Swing Low while Ripple Fights Trendline

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum entered a shallow correction after hitting the resistance zone near $145, but the price action and the volume patterns continue to support the bullish short-term case. The $160 price level remains a viable target for bulls but the momentum indicators continue to show overbought readings. The short-term uptrend is intact and our trend model is still on a short-term buy signal as well. Support levels are found near $130 and $112 while above $160 resistance is ahead near $180.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Only a few of the major altcoins managed to follow Litecoin to a new swing high today, but EOS slightly extended its rally, despite being severely overbought from a short-term perspective. While the new high is a positive sign for the coming period, EOS remains only neutral in our trend model, and traders should wait for the oversold readings to be cleared before entering new positions.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the leadership of the rally is still healthy, Ripple continues to lag the leaders, still fighting with the declining trendline that stopped the recent rally attempt in the coin. XRP is holding up above the $0.32 level, but it’s stuck below the recent swing high, and traders should still focus on the relatively stronger coins despite the short-term buy signal in our trend model.

From a long-term perspective, technicals remain negative, and a move towards the $0.28 and $0.26 levels remains likely. Further support zones are found near $0.32 and $0.30, 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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