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ICO Analysis: bitJob

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As we said in our analysis of Wolk yesterday, the mantra of disruption is to disrupt and dis-intermediate. We can’t stress enough how important the last point is, and yet we fear that many ICOs are missing it, forcing themselves into an intermediary or middleman role that will simply be flipped upside down on the next wave of disruption. The bitJob ICO is going live not long from time of writing, so we must be quick to get to the heart of it and see if it’s a basket for our eggs or not.

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bitJob Overview

Freelance marketplaces are a thing that are ripe for disruption. Fiverr.com, for instance, takes 20% of the revenues that workers earn. Blockchain technologies can drastically reduce costs, and decentralized services can make them more viable. As such, anything which presents itself as a crypto version of Fiverr or Freelancer.com or Upwork or any of them is bound to pique the author’s interest.

In bitJob, the technology’s disposition appears important to the designers. They intend for clients – as in, the people who would be hiring people – to use a centralized server run by them. On the other end, they want a decentralized to be available for everyone using the platform. They believe that maintaining a more standardized, centralized infrastructure at the outset will improve adoption, and on this point they may be right. It’s no secret that many people like to use web wallets despite the risks. The same will be true of decentralized applications – people will prefer the easiest route forward, even if it means using something centralized to eventually transition to something not.

It is very simple: a student looking to provide services online connects to the marketplace, chooses from a list of professionals jobs for relevant work, provides quality delivery, and receives immediate payment of his choice, in cryptocurrency or fiat money.

bitJob addresses a criticism which says that there are no obvious benefits to them using a blockchain, pointing out that the lower cost of moving money on a decentralized ledger is far lower, among other things, like the fact that building a decentralized, blockchain-integrated platform early is better than playing catch-up when it becomes the norm. This is all sensible, but in general, we get the feeling that we’re being distracted from the fundamentals. How exactly do you intend to make money?

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We built a fantastic affiliate program tht will strengthen the relationship between bitJob and the students: students’ unions will receive a commission from each transaction their students engage in. We have launched pilot agreements with leading student associations in Israel, in addition to a number of employers who were more than happy to participate. We are also negotiating with several leading job search engines to ensure a continuous flow of quality jobs.

We see. Layers of intermediation. One problem from the top is that these affiliate fees are compensated somehow, we will have a look at the confusing chart in a moment, and some students may be wise enough to view this as an unnecessary expense. Students are free to use the existing centralized marketplaces, after all. The real challenge for any platform which wants to enable freelancers to find clients is that it have enough of said clients. Despite the fact that Fiverr takes 20% of people’s earnings, it’s still likely the best option for many providers, by virtue of the fact that their odds of getting paying customers is much higher. The same is true of Freelancer, and Upwork. A great way to thwart all this is to, as much as possible, be friendly to the idea that clients should be able to use whichever platform has what they need. This is to say that probably the real masterful technology in this space will be one that enables both providers and clients to freely navigate between the various middlemen, and then the thing that would obsolete that would be something which allowed the two parties to directly communicate without any intermediation at all. (Something like OpenBazaar, perhaps?)

bitJob also points out that lower transaction costs mean that people in depressed regions of the world will be able to participate, as both providers and clients. While individually their revenues may be small, collectively the size of that market is functionally unknown until someone like bitJob actually does reach it in an all-encompassing way.

There is no need for bitJob to spend money on hardware, infrastructure, or tech staff. Platforms like Ethereum offer such infrastructure, which has minimal cost only when used. Any new technological advances within the Ethereum community will be available to the platform as soon as they are created. It would be impossible for a business that facilitates freelance jobs to simultaneously invent systems that can be competitive in the global market. Due to the competitive nature of technology in global markets, it is very likely that a new platform similar to Ethereum will someday appear — offering new abilities, gaining market share, and offering competitive pricing — thus creating an environment conducive to experimentation and to inexpensive operation.

This part seems a bit ridiculous. No tech staff? What if something goes wrong in the client system? Who fixes it when it breaks? And therefore, what is the money for? Just build it once and run it forever? We reject this notion off-hand. In terms of our points, this disposition against actually building a product is expensive for bitJob.

bitJob Token

bitJob describes its acceptance of a variety of currencies as a good thing, but for the token holder, it makes the proposition sort of a non-starter. Their justification for the creation of the token is rather weak, perhaps the only valid or acceptable argument in that section of their whitepaper is that branding their own token gives people some incentive to be in some sort of exclusive network, and that it gives them help in approaching student unions and other affiliates. As we said before, we’re most interested in platforms which have foreseen the future disruptions they may themselves face, and we’re not noticing an awareness of that here at all.

A total of 128 million tokens are going up for sale today at a rate of 0.0011261261Eth each, with a tiered bonus structure related to the number of tokens sold, as shown below:

bitJob Flaw

The justification for the token goes like this: in the future, decentralized applications and blockchains are going to be commonplace, so we should be prepared for that. While this is true, it does mean that if you are not going to provide some forced inherent value for your token (such as a limited supply complimented with a specific purpose that no other token can perform, to put it in very few words), and therefore can’t float a good demand proposition for said token, it’s hard to see why investors should throw Ether at it.

bitJob Team

What they lack in experience, they make up for in numbers. bitJob has a fairly large team to compensate. We must stress that our problems with bitJob are not in the implementation of the business strategy itself, but in the way that the token is assigned insufficient importance to really drum up demand. This is to say, we’re going to give them the team points, at least. The four co-founders are Dror Medalion, Bogdan Fiedur, Aviad Gindi, and Elad Kofman. Two have experience in blockchain development, one has spent most of his career building affiliate systems (intermediaries between customer and producer), and one is a currently active mutual fund manager. Collectively, they appear to be in the right positions.

As we noted earlier, the company has no intention of building a staff to maintain the software going forward. Perhaps their intent is to hire out the work through the platform? There’s a thought, but we don’t get that impression in our overview. Nevertheless, hype is a powerful force, and we note that with the current buzz around cryptocurrencies, it’s highly likely that student association and individual student interest will increase the talent pool sufficiently. The rubber hits the road when companies actually begin to use the service – bitJob may casually allude to partnerships with companies that are eager, but none of these are listed on the website, nor in the whitepaper. We certainly believe that companies can make use of a service which enables part-time jobs and micro-transactions, but we need a bit more proof than that.

The Verdict

We think the only play is a short play with this token, because on the long-scale, unless they force the use of the token in the system, and only focus on making it easy for the students to get to fiat cash, preference for the token will be hard to develop, and demand for it is what makes it actually valuable. Students may find themselves getting paid an increasingly worthless token, and just choose the fiat option where available. Commitment to the system seems hard to develop when it’s as trivial to go elsewhere. All of this is bad news for anyone aiming to hold this token long-term.

Risk

  • See directly above, we think it elucidates a deduction of 5.75 (possible 6) points.

Growth Potential

  • We think they gathered the right people, which is important, this model allows up to 4 points for that.
  • We think their marketing is strong, and that marketing is the primary measuring stick for these types of marketplaces. We give 3 points on these grounds.
  • For short-term traders, our primary focus here, we think the bonus structure may provide enough arbitrage for an early exit, but wouldn’t hold our breath on this one. +2
  • We do see student participation actually happening, and we applaud them laying the groundwork to get partnerships with student associations in place. As mentioned in the main body of this article, we fear that the several layers of mediation may fatigue actual providers and even clients. +1.5

Disposition

We’re not overly excited about bitJob. We arrive at a 4.75, with the caveat that short traders who are flexible enough should be able to take a small profit, if they’re interested, but there’s a hazard of a total drop-off that would make this difficult. At a base token price of over .001 (no matter the bonus structure), we see a potential immediate depression with little hope of recovery. Fair warning is considered served.

Investment Details

The sale opens in a few hours, and information about on how to contribute is copiously available at https://stu.bitjob.io/.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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Analysis

Bitcoin’s Record-Breaking Rally Continues as Prices Cross $8,100

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Bitcoin surged to new highs on Sunday, as the world’s largest crypto by market cap continued to generate bids following the cancellation of Segwit2x.

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BTC/USD Price Levels

The value of a single bitcoin reached a daily high of $8,110.59, its best level on record. At press time, BTC/USD was valued at around $8,002 for a gain of 4%.

With the gain, bitcoin’s market cap now exceeds $133 billion. That’s roughly $100 billion greater than Ethereum, the market’s second most valuable cryptocurrency.

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Bitcoin has added more than $1,100 over the past five sessions. It was down around $5,600 just one week ago.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a digital currency alternative that broke away from the original blockchain Aug. 1, was down 5.1% at $1,185. BTC and BCH locked horns earlier this month after the Segwit2x hard fork was abandoned.

$10,000 and Beyond?

Institutional clearing platform LedgerX has initiated its first long-term bitcoin futures option, which is set to expire Dec. 28, 2018. In setting up the option, LedgerX is assuming a price of $10,000 at the time of expiration. That’s a 25% premium on current levels.

Investors who buy the option are essentially saying they believe prices will exceed $10,000 by the time of expiration.

Bitcoin is being helped by growing institutional demand for the digital currency, as hedge funds, day traders and other mainstream investment outfits look to access this burgeoning asset class. CBOE and CME Group have each announced plans to integrate bitcoin into more conventional investment vehicles in the coming months.

The rush of institutional money into bitcoin is a sure sign that the digital asset class is becoming too big to ignore. The value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation has already exceeded $230 billion, with more than a dozen coins valued at $1 billion or more. Nine others have a market cap of $500 million or greater.

Coinbase Responds

The rise of institutional capital has also compelled Coinbase to introduce a custodial service targeted at account holders with more than $10 million in assets. This service targets hedge funds and other institutions that have remained largely on the sidelines of the crypto revolution.

In a recent blog post, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced that the new service will launch sometime next year.

“When we speak with these institutions, they tell us that the number one thing preventing them from getting started is the existence of a digital asset custodian that they can trust to store client funds securely,” Armstrong wrote.

In addition to maintaining the minimum $10 million asset requirement, institutions must pay a $100,000 setup fee to gain access tot he Custodial program. In response, institutional investors will receive assurance that their assets are secure.

The Coinbase Custody website lists broad support for bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), as well as ERC20 tokens. The ERC20 protocol has emerged as the favorite for startups launching initial coin offerings (ICOs), a controversial crowdfunding model that has already overtaken early stage venture capital.

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 money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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Cryptocurrencies

Is Ethereum Ready to Play Catch Up With Bitcoin?

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In mid-June of this year, the difference between the market capitalization of bitcoin and Ethereum had narrowed down to less than $8 billion. This had many market participants excited. They expected Ethereum to dethrone bitcoin as the leader, a move popularly termed as flippening.

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Key observations

  1. Ethereum has hugely underperformed bitcoin
  2. The chart pattern suggests that Ethereum is likely to play catch up in the next few months
  3. Stay on the long side of Ethereum to benefit from the bullish setup

However, fast forward five months and the difference in the market capitalization of the top two cryptocurrencies has increased to about $96 billion. This shows that while bitcoin has raced ahead in the past few months, Ethereum has hugely lagged behind.

However, is the underperformance about to end?

The chart pattern shows that Ethereum is likely to embark on a rally of its own that can carry it to $645 to $670 levels in the next few months. Let’s see how we arrived at these levels.

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Ethereum opened trading at $8.16 on January 1, 2017. It started its rally in March and by June 12, it reached a high of $420, an astronomical rally of about 5047%. Thereafter, it entered a period of consolidation, digesting the gains.

On the charts, Ethereum has formed a large symmetrical triangle, which usually acts as a continuation pattern. The breakout is generally in the direction of the long-term trend, or the trend that was prevailing before the pattern formed. In this case, the sharp move from January to June confirms that the cryptocurrency was in an uptrend before forming the triangle.

However, this is not a fool proof trade because sometimes the symmetrical triangle acts as a reversal pattern. Therefore, the best way to play this trade is to wait for a breakout of the triangle before initiating any trade.

Where can we take an entry?

Currently, the resistance line of the triangle is at about $378 levels, a level close to today’s intraday highs. The bears are likely to strongly defend this level. However, if the bulls breakout of $378 and manage to close above the resistance line, the trade on the long side will set up.

Different traders use different methods to confirm whether the breakout is valid or not. Some wait until price moves 3% above the breakout level, others wait for three consecutive closes above the resistance level.

However, we have observed that the best breakouts never look back, hence, waiting for three days may lead to a missed opportunity. Therefore, we can wait for a closing above the resistance line of the triangle and initiate the long positions on the following day.

The breakout can face resistance at $400 and $420. However, we expect the virtual currency to scale both these resistances and rally towards its pattern target zone of $645 to $670.

Notwithstanding, even the most reliable patterns can fail. Therefore, our stop loss will be kept at $340. We don’t want to hang on to the trade if it falls back into the triangle. We shall raise our stops to breakeven as soon as Ethereum breaks out to new lifetime highs. From thereon, we shall trail the stops higher to protect our paper profits.

Note

The chart pattern suggests a resumption of the long-term uptrend in Ethereum. However, this will not get confirmed until the cryptocurrency breaks out and sustains above $380. Therefore, please initiate positions only on a breakout and close above the triangle. Entering presumptive trades may result in losses.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Analysis

Long-Term Cryptocurrency Analysis: Bitcoin Flirts with $8000 as Altcoin Bull Persists

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Bitcoin’s swift recovery was the main topic of the week, as the most valuable coin not just regained its steep losses, but hit a marginal new high towards the end of the period. The entire segment is experiencing capital inflows as the total value of the coins climbed above $230 billion for the first time ever after finally leaving the vicinity of the $200 billion mark.

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BTC breached the $8000 level before turning slightly lower on Friday, but despite the severely overbought daily chart, it is still trading near its all-time highs. As the long-term picture still suggests a deeper correction, investors should wait with opening new positions and traders should also control position sizes here. Key support levels are found at $7700, $7000, and $6700, while the recent key break-out level at $5000 still hasn’t been re-tested.

BTC/USD, Daily Chart Analysis

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Dash is still the most bullish altcoin from a technical standpoint, despite this week’s short-term correction, as the coin is trading above its prior all-time high, and this weekend, it looks ready to test the break-out high near $500. Support levels are still found at $400, $360, and $330, and as the long-term picture is approaching overbought territory, investors should only hold on to their positions here.

DASH/USD, Daily Chart Analysis

The other major altcoins are also mostly in bullish setups, with some of them already in the latter stages of this cycle, like Monero and IOTA, but elsewhere in the segment, there are still opportunities for both traders and investors. Let’s see the detailed long-term view.

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