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Op-Ed

I’m Upset I Can’t Buy More

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There is too much great stuff on sale. Americans will know what I am talking about. This is like going to the dollar store for gold bricks. Last night was crazy. When Ethereum is hovering at 3 figure levels, that is enough to make my eyes dilate. I hope everyone was ready for it, and you got some good bottom dollar coin. However, after digging and digging, I haven’t found a REALLY good reason why the market is down.

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It was a sell off partially based on some markets beginning to be regulated. China repeating the same things for anyone’s guess as to why. You “shut down” your markets in September. China, we get it. Factory workers and teenagers need foreign cars though, and I will not be standing for all this smoke screen news!

I believe China is calming the seas before they jump in. They want to set the rules, and be fused into its oversight. A government full of mature adults is going to have a tough time figuring out how this one is going to work from a technical perspective. People who do these things are not plentiful. Trust me, I have tried finding one.

Why I am not nervous about Chinese volume is Alibaba. After some of the strongest words we’ve seen from their government, why now would Jack Ma say he is beginning to look into blockchain for Alibaba? I haven’t known many to defy the government over there, clearly he is comfortable enough that he will use technology to better his Chinese business. I am very curious as to how. I will give my guess and a couple good prices that I saw.

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NEO 

Did you look at it when I first spoke about it? I hope you did. You will see that this platform is very very good for making businesses, and has a centralized structure that can be controlled. A company with a Chinese national used to doing government business has a centralized platform. Handful of nodes. They control who. This already looks like a fantastic auction house for someone to buy (“regulate”). It came very close on my exchanges to $200. It is now $117 as of this writing. The supply is 100,000,000 total. On par with Ethereum.

China likes the “There is only one game in town and we know them” deal. If there is even a whiff of that being the case, 100,000,000 could be eaten up very quickly. If they successfully launch coins/Dapps, their currency is very well infused to benefit. Wouldn’t any coin holder love to see a website ask for NEO as payment for their ICO/ACO? I think that some blockchains are designed to be controlled. I don’t think NEO is the one wearing a tie die shirt talking about freedom, I think this coin has a crew cut and is ready to serve his country. Just one man’s opinion.

Ripple

This one always frustrates me. How it is $1 is beyond me. I have heard so many things about how XRP isn’t really utilized by the corporate customers and I should “look into it”. No, I am not going to look into it. Here is what I do know. Brad Garlinghouse was on CNBC and works right across the street from Coinbase. A powerful top-10 American currency with bank relationships is not going to be denied it’s place on the American exchange. You saw what happened to bitcoin cash. Access means everything. This is a company that people actually trust. If you see the articles on Ripple, they aren’t negative! Bitcoin has had drug seizure arrests in the news, and we all know about Silk Road. Brad has just been coming out with more bank friends. The more they hear brand names and Ripple together, the more popcorn I buy for the Coinbase open. Once again, one mans opinion. $1.02 as of this writing.

Lumens

I can’t stop writing about this platform. It is 36 cents, with half the circulating supply as Ripple. This is literally Ripple! The guy who was behind Ripple forked it and here is Lumens. Banking the unbanked is the wrapper, NextGen brokerage house is the candy bar. Once I heard mass customization of government compliant coins, my mind hasn’t really stopped. Currently, I don’t think the developer community is at the level of a major platform, and I also don’t think we have hit a critical mass of people who can do this stuff. I think the more kids in college who look into this stuff during their engineering degree, the more people we will have to help business people. I am a businessman, and for the second time in this article I am telling you finding someone to do this is very difficult. Scarcity is very important to note when a lot of money is on the line

I dont ignore rock bottom prices. I saw $155! Litecoin is being used already, it is a functioning business with a supply on par with bitcoin. It is super fast to use as a currency and transfer vehicle. There are people accepting this as payment. Mark Cuban said he will begin accepting bitcoin and Ethereum for Dallas Mavericks basketball games. I don’t think there is a way he won’t add Litecoin too. I am not saying the Dallas Mavericks fans will begin crypto’ing up, I am saying businesses – brick and mortar and e-commerce accept Litecoin, and that number will grow. That doesn’t scream $155 to me.

 

Conclusion

This doesn’t seem like a one or two day storm to me. These are sustained low prices, and I think we saw a lot of money move out. This doesn’t mean anything. The only things you should look for are facts. Some finance ministers opinion on the way things ought to be isn’t a declaration of law. When we hear the distinct declaration from the government officials in charge, we then can quantify the issue it will cause. Emotions have no bearing on long term prices, and I think there are a whole lot of feelings in the room right now.

 

None of what I have said is a recommendation to buy or sell securities. I own some, but I am a lightning god and a risky son of a B. You saw the drop. People lost rent payments. People have to pay back loans they took out. This is scary stuff. When the market is unregulated, dumb people can get very hurt within an instant at no fault of anyone else. That hurt is called selling. Please be careful, and keep your emotions in check. Best of luck.

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 27 rated postsMythological God of Lightning. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain writer, evangelist, and friend. May the odds be ever in our favor.




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Op-Ed

Is Manipulation Behind Bitcoin Cash’s Absurd Rally?

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Although you wouldn’t know it by today’s prices, bitcoin cash (BCH) has topped the crypto market leader board this month. The digital currency more than doubled over the span of 18 days, and in doing so far outpaced the broader market. But a closer examination of the value drivers suggest manipulation could be partly responsible for the rally.

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As a reminder, the author has no vested interest in smearing BCH as I believe it to be one of the more advantageous coins on the market today. That said, the circumstances surrounding the most recent rally are peculiar to say the least.

What’s Up with Bitcoin.com?

A Hacked user informed me earlier this week that Bitcoin.com has been using the “BCH” ticker next to the word “bitcoin”. Normally, the ticker “BTC” is reserved for bitcoin, which is the original blockchain we all know about. Instead, the website quotes “BTC” next to the term “bitcoin core”.

In other words, BCH is quoted next to bitcoin and BTC is referred to as bitcoin core. See here for yourself:

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For most readers of Hacked, the distinction is easily discernible, but for new traders the difference isn’t easily gauged.

The first question I have is, how many people bought bitcoin (BCH) thinking they were receiving actual bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin.com describes itself as the “premier source for everything bitcoin.” Although the website doesn’t appear to offer a full-fledged trading platform, users can purchase bitcoin and bitcoin cash using the following link.

It is unclear how long the website has been referring to BCH as bitcoin. For those of us who’ve been following the market for some time, the way BTC and BCH are quoted is certainly strange.

Antpool

A large cryptocurrency mining group by the name of Antpool has also been accused of pumping BCH in recent weeks. The pool announced about six days ago that it is responsible for confirming more than 8% of all bitcoin cash transactions. In addition to confirming those, Antpool is also said to be burning BCH on a daily basis in order to reduce supply and boost prices.

Of course, crypto pumps do not require such elaborate setups to achieve their goals. Pump-and-dumps can be orchestrated rather easily through a chat group on social media. But Antpool does have a large and privileged position in the BCH ecosystem, which has raised suspicion over its recent actions.

Bitcoin Cash is Overbought, According to Tom Lee

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee recently weighed in on the bitcoin cash phenomenon, concluding that the cryptocurrency was overbought. In his view, investors should stick with bitcoin if they had a choice between Core and Cash.

In a segment on CNBC’s Fast Money, Lee said:

“I prefer not to pick winners and losers when we’re looking at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin/bitcoin Cash… Both have merits but if I was putting new money to work today… I would be a lot more interested in buying a lagger that could attract inflows rather than something that’s potentially overbought.”

Bitcoin cash added around $1,000 to its value between Apr. 6 and 23, with prices peaking near $1,600. The cryptocurrency corrected sharply lower on Wednesday and was still declining as of Thursday’s early-morning session. At the time of writing, BCH/USD was down 4.6% at $1,268.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 403 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Decentralization

JP Morgan’s Surprise Cryptocurrency Fees are a Reminder of Why Decentralization Is Sorely Needed

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JP Morgan Chase & Co has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by cryptocurrency traders over allegations of unannounced fees and higher interest rates on purchases of digital currencies. Though the allegations have not been proven, extra fees are a tactic routinely employed by traditional banking institutions. In the case of JP Morgan, this has karma written all over it given the way its chief executive has ridiculed digital assets by associating them with fraud.

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Class Action Lawsuit

Traders from across the United States are seeking statutory damages of $1 million for unannounced interest charges and fees on cryptocurrency transactions between January and February of this year. The named plaintiff in the lawsuit is Brady Tucker, an Idaho resident who paid a total of $163.91 in fees and surprise interest charges over a six-day stretch.

According to information obtained by Reuters, the lawsuit accuses the bank of violating the U.S. Truth in Lending Act, a piece of legislation that requires credit card issuers to inform customers in writing of any notable change in fees.

The lawsuit asserts that Tucker tried to resolve the dispute by calling Chase’s customer support service directly. His request was turned down, prompting him to seek legal help. According to Bloomberg, the case in question is Tucker v. Chase Bank USA NA, 18-cv-3155, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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The Growing Case for Decentralization

Depending on who you ask, the allegations against JP Morgan are akin to cryptocurrency fraud not unlike the kind Jamie Dimon talked about while ridiculing bitcoin. But the irony in Dimon’s comments extend far beyond Chase’s latest dealings.

As the actions of Chase bank and other financial institutions have clearly demonstrated over the years, those who control the size and growth rate of fiat money cannot be trusted to do the right thing. As Nassim Taleb argues in The Black Swan, banks have a tendency of losing as much money as they make in the long run due to shady business practices and high-risk ventures. Decisions like these are easy when you are Too Big to Fail.

Decentralization, like the kind advocated by blockchain startups and cryptocurrencies, allows users to trade directly with each other without having to go through a (predatory) middleman. Decentralized systems not only help participants avoid unnecessary fees, red tape and other forms of unwanted intervention, they are virtually impossible to shut down. In this vein, decentralized currencies give people a fighting chance in their battle against never-ending inflation. As we’ve argued before, this is not only a prudent fight, but a noble one as well.

Cryptocurrencies that rely on decentralization offer society a unique value proposition unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. What’s more, their adoption is not contingent upon us leaving the realm of traditional finance – at least, not yet. That’s because cryptocurrency started off as an obscure and esoteric asset class but has since become a value store for investors. Tomorrow, it will become a viable medium of exchange accepted worldwide.

That said, we are still in the very early days of the crypto revolution and it may be a while still before we can conclusively prove people like Dimon wrong. But crypto backers and investors should take comfort in knowing that big banks rarely lead in disruption these days. They have the resources to play catch-up, which they are clearly doing with blockchain.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 403 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Altcoins

Will Dash Be the Bitcoin Killer?

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Well, it has finally happened.  We’ve gone a full week with crypto prices showing positive returns.  OMG, what a big surprise; ether is leading the pack, advancing nearly 15% at the time of this writing.  This is encouraging because it shows that perhaps finally value investors are stepping in and helping set a pricing bottom.  

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It hasn’t hurt a bit that stock and bond market investors have become seasick from all the volatility.  Suddenly, a tiny little weekly Litecoin move of +0.46% or even a 2.47% bitcoin cash gain, looks like pure serenity.  

 

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For a while now our focus has been on relative value and there is very little argument that, after the first quarter price collapse, a whole lot of risk has been taken out of bitcoin, ether, Ripple and thousands of others.

The question is where to go and what to go with from here.  The big crypto names are the safe way to go in the short run, but each has become mired in network limitations on scaling and the concomitant cost issues.  

Yes, transaction fees have dropped like a stone from their prohibitively high levels of December but then transaction volumes have fallen by half and more.  That is not the stuff an investor wants to see.

Both bitcoin and Ethereum hope to solve scaling issues with the Lightning Network and Raiden. But for now, if transaction volume were to suddenly rise, the same network limitations would be there.  So even though the big crypto names offer the safest short term options, does that mean we shouldn’t look further out to find value?

Will Dash Solve Bitcoin’s Problem?

Dash emerged last year as one of the most popular and most valuable altcoins. At the time it was considered a real competitor to bitcoin and the leading cryptocurrency of the future. The price of Dash increased from $11 to over $1,430. Dash had a capitalization of over $11 billion at its December peak. Since then it has tumbled more than 80%.  Is now the time to move into Dash? The timing could be very good but before making that decision, we should consider a few things.

Judgement Time

If a jury of its peers were to grade Dash on its performance in 2017, the majority would say it lived up to its billing.  Using Dash, users could send money instantly using the InstaSend feature that allowed for complete anonymity. At the peak, transaction costs were around $0.60, which were dwarfed by bitcoin’s high of $30. 

Since then, Dash fees have fallen to about $0.20, making them attractive for small sized transactions. All alone this represents a compelling feature of Dash.  Add to that the immediacy of InstaSend and you have the makings of a genuine challenge to Bitcoin.

Caveat Emptor

In appraising Dash’s performance it is useful to look at Metcalfe’s Law, which values social media assets based on a formula of network size.  For Dash, it’s network is processing a tiny fraction of bitcoin’s. The limitations of its network have very likely not yet been tested, so proclaiming Dash the speed king is a bit early. There is still a larger issue to consider.

In the case of Metcalfe’s Law we need to include merchants and other service providers that accept Dash as payment.  That is the big hump for them to overcome before overturning bitcoin. So far, after all, bitcoin is accepted by only about 10,000 or so merchants.  

Further progress by bitcoin is stymied by transaction costs that remain far too high.  Even so look at how many years it has taken bitcoin to attract merchants. Dash faces the same hurdles.

In other words, the trick for Dash is the find a way to gain mass acceptance quickly. That is when the huge $11 billion valuation of last December will begin to be justified. Look over your shoulder bitcoin – faster, lower cost competition is looking to eat your lunch. Dash could be one of those.

 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 75 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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