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Investment Recommendations April 27th

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Oil: Short-Term Sell (Update)

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WTI Crude Oil Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The quick dip lower below crucial support today, following the failed rally above the $50 level yesterday, justifies the lowering of the initial stop-loss level. Yesterday’s highs serve as an optimal resistance just above $50 for the new level.

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The re-test of the $47.10 is increasingly likely, as the bearish momentum remains strong. A possible break below the $47 level could open up the road to the crucial $44 support, as the growing US production numbers, and the questionable OPEC-cut extension continues to weigh heavily on the commodity.

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ICO

ICO Analysis: Grid+

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Let’s get one thing straight, Grid+ and Power Ledger are NOT offering the exact same product. The reason why I started with this disclaimer is that this is most prominent question being asked wherever Grid+ is being discussed. For our readers not familiar with Power Ledger, you can check out our review here.

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While both Grid+ and Power Ledger are designed to shake up the energy market, the difference lies in their approach towards solving the problem. Power Ledger’s core product revolves around creating marketplaces where people will be able to sell their excess energy to those who need it. Power Ledger focuses on peer-to-peer energy trading as their main value proposition. On the other hand, the long-term vision of Grid+ involves creating a marketplace for energy trading, they are more focused on reducing the costs of retail electricity.

So, what does Grid+ plan to do?

Grid+ focuses on disrupting the existing utilities, where they aim to remove the intermediaries and sell electricity at wholesale rates to the end users.
The 4 major elements of electricity supply chain are energy generators, transmitters, distributors and the utilities. Utilities are responsible for administering and billing customers, and their associated costs are a significant overhead to the end user’s electricity bill as discussed in the whitepaper:

An energy utility buys electricity in the wholesale markets, pays the distribution system operator a fee for getting the electricity to the customer, and then bills the customer for the service at a large markup over their cost of goods sold. Typically only about 50% of the cost of retail electricity is used to pay for the electrical energy itself. The other half is tied up in administrative burden, marketing, and risk management associated with bad debts.

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By operating as a utility itself or licensing its technology to electricity generators, Grid+ will be able to bring down the cost of retail electricity significantly. Grid+ will automate the processes of billing and settlement which are largely manual and a significant portion of the overhead costs. By using the Ethereum-based smart contracts, payments will get recorded automatically without any payment processors. For the Texas market, Grid+ will bring the cost of $0.115/kWh down to $0.068/kWh, which translates to a customer saving ~38% on electricity.

Smart Agent

At the core of Grid+ technology is the Smart Agent. The Smart Agent is an internet enabled proprietary hardware, which users will have to buy to participate in the Grid+ ecosystem. The Smart Agent will read from the household smart meter and pay for the electricity usage in real-time. The users do not need to have any understanding of the blockchain technology, the Smart Agent takes care of that.

Longer Term Vision

As the costs of storage/batteries drop it will be in the economic interest of the consumer to buy batteries to store excess electricity. Once this occurs there will be situations where customers will not want to interact with wholesale markets directly, but rather trade energy locally. The Smart Agents will calculate the user’s energy requirements and sell excess energy in a peer-to-peer manner. Also since the middlemen aka the utilities are removed, users can directly view prices shown by the wholesale distributors, which vary according to the supply and demand. This will enable users to perform price arbitrage of electricity i.e. buy low and sell high!

The Token and Crowraise

Grid+ will operate with a two-token model, with each token being ERC-20 compliant. The BOLT token will be treated by Grid+ as a stable-coin, redeemable by Grid+ customers for $1 worth of energy from Grid+ and backed by USD deposits. The GRID token will allow Grid+ customers to purchase electricity from Grid+ at wholesale price. In particular, each GRID token may be redeemed by a Grid+ customer for 500 kWh of electricity from Grid+ at the wholesale price available to Grid+ in the jurisdiction in which the customer is located at the time such electricity is actually purchased.

The GRID token will be distributed during the ICO, with a fixed number of 300 million tokens scheduled to be minted. As mentioned above, the GRID token will be a credit on the GRID+ platform, redeemable for the right to purchase 500 kWh of electricity at wholesale price available to GRID+. Once redeemed, the tokens will be burned thus increasing value for the existing token holders. The price pegged BOLT tokens will be used to carry out transactions on the platform.

The crowdsale begins on October 30th. Of the total 300 million tokens, 90 million are available for sale. Each GRID token is priced at $1.15 for the ICO with a hardcap of $75 million USD.

The Team

Grid+ is a part of Consensys, which is a “hub” for similar blockchain based projects. Along with Grid+, Consensys is behind many other well known projects like BTC Relay and BlockApps.

ConsenSys has spent two years working with some of the brightest minds in the energy space, which has culminated in the formation of Grid+. The Grid+ team leverages experience from other ConsenSys teams, Ethereum startups, and massive Fortune Global 50 energy companies to design a system that will fundamentally change the way consumers interact with their energy providers.

The cofounders and the team have been selected to lead the Grid+ project after proper vetting by ConsenSys. There are 8 team members and 9 advisors listed. Ethereum cofounder Joseph Lubin is one of the advisors.

Verdict

Grid+ does not necessarily focus on clean energy or for that matter any “type” of energy. The core product is focused on disrupting the energy grid and providing cheap electricity to the end users, no matter where the electricity comes from. Grid+ might turn out to be a big boon for hydrocarbon power companies, as they would be able to sell electricity at rates cheaper than renewables. But then Grid+ is just a utility which is simply billing the customers and doing the administrative works. The benefits coming in for customers are also great. The project is actually improving an inefficient system and claims to lower electricity bills by almost 35-40%. Around $40 million USD have already been raised in the presale, which shows there is a considerable interest for the project.

The only point of concern is some ambiguity around the GRID token. The token has no other value apart from being a sort of coupon for getting 500 kWh electricity at wholesale prices. But since the same condition applies for GRID tokens all over the world, and electricity prices show a wide variation based on geographies; how would the token be valued by the markets? There would always be an upper cap to the value of the tokens, from a “trader” view, this coin will never be actually worth more than 20-30% of 500kWh of electricity at retail value. Currently the token is valued at $1.15 for the ICO, and it will immediately start trading at a price which is equal to the delta of the wholesale and retail price of 500 kWh electricity, which according to many estimates could vary from $4-7 making the ICO price a bargain.

Risks

  • The GRID tokens are nothing more than coupons for cheap electricity and will always have an upper cap. -1.5
  • The project can only operate in deregulated markets. At present there are only 2 states with deregulated electricity markets in the US. -2
  • There is some initial investment for users in the form of buying Smart Agents, which might prove to be a barrier. -0.5
  • There is no working product like Power Ledger has. They have not even applied for the creation of utility yet. -3

Growth Potential

  • From a business perspective, there is a good potential for Grid+ to grow considering the potential benefits for power generation companies and the end users. +3
  • Being a part of Consensys lends a huge credibility to the project. +2
  • $40 million USD have already been raised in the presale, $13 million raise by Power Ledger pales in comparison. +2
  • As the GRID tokens can immediately be redeemed for 500 kWh of wholesale priced electricity, the current token price of $1.15 is at a discount to the expected future price. +4

Disposition

We arrive at a score of +4 for Grid+. This is lower than the +6.35 we gave to Power Ledger. The absence of a working product and ambiguity surrounding GRID token’s valuation reduces the rating for Grid6.

Investment Details

The ICO begins on Oct 30th at 12pm EST. You can participate in the ICO here.

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Market Overview

Financials Fight Back (Crypto is after their lunch)

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Hooray! The world has a new iPhone. Or at least it will in November. Just like all previous models, Apple claims that this is the most technologically advanced smartphone that they’ve ever created. Well, that makes sense. Who would spend time and money putting out something that is less technologically advanced?

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One way that this phone will be more impressive than their previous models is the price. At $999 per unit (£999 in the UK), this will be the most expensive iPhone ever.

Call me a chump but I’ll probably still be buying one along with a few shares in the world’s most expensive and most impressive tech company.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

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Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of September 13th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Market Overview

Stocks in the United States pushed higher yesterday led proudly by the financial sector. Financial stocks across the globe have gained close to 2% in the last 24 hours.

The reason for the move is somewhat unclear. Damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are sure to cost the insurance companies big bucks and according to Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, revenues from trading across the banking sector are expected to drop sharply.

Though Jamie didn’t directly blame Bitcoin for the drop in revenues he did have some harsh words about the world’s favorite cryptocurrency as part of the same speech. He called it a fraud and said that it’s only useful for drug dealers, murderers, or citizens of Venezuela and North Korea.

This attack on Bitcoin from Dimon is somewhat strange given the level that JP Morgan has embraced and invested in blockchain technology. Not only are they heavily involved in the Hyperledger project, they have also started to develop their own Ethereum like blockchain called Quorum.

He later clarified the statements and you can watch it in this interview with CNBC.

It’s almost as if Dimon was intentionally trying to jawbone the digital currency. He waited for the right time to attack and gave it all he got. Nevermind that some of the things he said don’t even make sense, in the follow up statement he even went so far as to throw his own daughter under the bus.

His comments stung the crypto community and prices immediately began to fall. Bitcoin itself bore the brunt of the attack falling close to $200 within the first hour after the statement and eventually crossing below $4000 a coin for the first time since August 22nd.

The effect wasn’t limited to Bitcoin though. The entire crypto market lost approximately $10 Billion in value before a recovery this morning.

The crypto market is particularly fragile at the moment as we await further clarification from the People’s Bank of China and whether they are about to slam the ban hammer down on cryptocurrency exchanges.

In the meantime, long term traders in eToro have not given up their positions and continue to hodl, while the big money is still waiting on the side looking for a bit of a better entry point.

Still, no matter how many crypto critics there are out there, not very many are willing to sell short. As Dimon says, the price could reach $100,000 per coin even though it’s not backed by any government.

Let’s have an awesome day!

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.

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

Bitcoin Fork Takes a Big Bite as the Market looks for Logic

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If you are depending on fundamentals to trade any digital currency you will end up frustrated and broke.  In reality, digital currencies do not have the kind of fundamentals like stocks, and in this early phase of fat tail volatility, you can only depend on technical support and resistance levels to guide you. Anticipating and translating the media cycle news will not help you make money in digital currencies.  Staying with the trend in assets is a proven winning strategy.

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I can tell you much of the chatter today about the selloff in Ethereum is related to the Bitcoin fork, now I have zero idea if that should pressure prices lower, but it did, and it spread to all DC ( digital currencies ).  I noted also during this decline that all of the important support levels for DC top 25 are intact.  Let me also say that if you are trading digital currencies from the short side, or day trading them, you are a member of an elite club that is currently the fastest game in town, and you are holding firecrackers in your digital wallets.

The Trend is Your Friend

During trending markets, it is always practical to trade with the trend versus bucking it, so if you are involved in these currencies you will find it more manageable to trade from the long side.  I suggest you watch the next up-move and watch how these DC’s (Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash) have melt ups.  This frenzied buying reflects the trend, and as long as the support levels remain intact ($165 in ETH) the melt ups will continue.

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The chatter about the Bitcoin fork is irrelevant, and the movement in DC could have easily been related to Trump Jr releasing his email string to wolving reporters.  If you look at the stock market today as soon as Jr tweeted all assets sold off.  So the Bitcoin fork is just an unnecessary piece of silverware at an epicurean buffet.  You don’t need a fork, just load up the plate, run back to your table, and trade all DC from the long side with the trend.  Pick a digital currency and become an expert, it is important to be a ground floor follower in any asset class.  This way you are super experienced when volatility hits and will allow you to make better decisions; with this comes profit.

Fundamentals on the Sideline?

Fundamentals will have little connection to pricing for the next few years, developing trade-able fundamental metrics related to expected actions is a fool’s journey.  Stop looking at how they made the sausage.  Invest in digital currency as an asset class for the long-term.  Know that stocks like Amazon traded with the trend for a decade, real estate had 1 or 2 blips in the last 20 years, and buying pullbacks in assets is a proven winning strategy.  Over trading is for losers, cocktail chatter about how they make the digital sausage is mind numbing.  Research an asset, have a long-term investing plan, and stick to it.  Stay long any good asset, and it will be what is was intended to be – a long-term investment that will bring you security – not an unnecessary salad fork at your table.

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