On August 1, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a hard fork proposal led by Chinese bitcoin mining pool ViaBTC, was forked and hours later, ViaBTC mined the first BCH block. BCH, which was initially developed by a bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer, struggled to gain acceptance from the industry, exchanges and businesses. As a result, its market cap has fallen below $5 billion while the bitcoin price has established its new all-time high at $3,163.
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) August 5, 2017
For all bitcoin holders that have had bitcoin on non-custodial wallet platforms have already been credited with BCH. For users on exchanges and custodial platforms, which handle private keys for their clients, each exchange is handling the BCH hard fork differently. Coinbase for instance, the world’s largest wallet platform and the operator of major digital currency exchange GDAX, announced that it will credit BCH to all user accounts by January of 2018.
David Farmer, the director of communications at Coinbase, stated:
“Over the last several days, we’ve examined all of the relevant issues and have decided to work on adding support for bitcoin cash for Coinbase customers. We are planning to have support for bitcoin cash by January 1, 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time. Once supported, customers will be able to withdraw bitcoin cash. We’ll make a determination at a later date about adding trading support. In the meantime, customer bitcoin cash will remain safely stored on Coinbase.”
Many users and investors remain unsatisfied with the decision of Coinbase to credit user accounts with BCH after nearly five months since the initial execution of the BCH hard fork. However, according to bitcoin analysts and experts including Tone Vays and Paxos principal architect Jimmy Song, such precaution is necessary and investors should be extremely careful throughout the process of claiming BCH.
Vays, a prominent bitcoin trader and well-respected analyst within the cryptocurrency sector, noted that claiming BCH with non-custodial wallet platforms such as hardware wallets, paper wallets and online wallets can impose security risks as they involve private keys of bitcoin wallets. When private keys are exposed, bitcoin can be stolen from users and redirected to external or alternative wallets.
If the Mt. Gox hacking incident is taken for instance, WizSecurity revealed that a hacker working closely with Alexander Vinnick, the owner of now-defunct bitcoin exchange BTC-E, stole the wallet.dat file from the centralized systems of Mt. Gox and like that, $2.21 billion in bitcoin were stolen.
Hence, because the manual claiming process of BCH requires the handling of private keys, investors should instead just hold onto bitcoin, wait for the BCH market to stabilize, more BCH wallets to emerge and then cash out or trade their BCH.
As Vays noted:
“Right now, my backup is pretty secure. I know there is one backup in a Mac that doesn’t turn on, and another back up on a couple of USB thumbdrives. I’m not in a rush to get this bitcoin private key out because right now I know it is safe. The moment I plug this USB drive to some computer, the moment I get it out, the moment I change the wallet.dat file, I bring this bitcoin into the world and that scares me. I’m really keeping my bitcoin private.”
For users and investors that remain unclear and insecure about BCH, all users of bitcoin already have been credited with BCH. The difference between exchanges and non-custodial wallet platforms is that because exchanges control the private keys of users, they control BCH of their users and can decide when to credit them to user accounts. For users on non-custodial wallet platforms, BCH has already been credited.
Another major reason to simply wait until the BCH market stabilizes is that as of current, there exists no legitimate and secure BCH wallet. Thus, when BCH is withdrawn from a wallet or an exchange, there is no alternative BCH wallet that users can utilize apart from exchanges that support BCH/BTC trading to store BCH.
Some leading bitcoin exchanges including U.S.-based Kraken and South Korea’s second largest bitcoin exchange Korbit support BCH/BTC trading and offer wallet services. Trezor, the most popular and widely utilized bitcoin hardware wallet, has also integrated beta BCH wallet for users to withdraw or store their BCH but none of the abovementioned BCH wallets are completely safe as of now.
To sum up, for investors and traders of bitcoin, it will be safer to simply hold onto BCH and wait until the Bitcoin Cash market stabilizes.
Technical Analysis: NEO Jumps as Broad Markets Turns Lower
As the new waves of regulatory changes keep on hitting the segment, the major cryptocurrencies are mostly lower today. After the major update of Ethereum, and the recent surge in the price of Bitcoin, choppy conditions developed, with no clear short-term trend in most of the coins.
NEO is the best performing major today, as it surged back to the $30 level after a frustrating period that was dominated by a downward drift. The coin is now just below the key resistance level, and it could be ready to test the $34 level, with a further target found at $40. The long-term picture still looks positive, with strong support levels at $27 and $25.
NEO/USDT, Daily Chart Analysis
Ethereum is in a consolidation after the encouraging rally towards the end of last week, while Bitcoin is also correction after its stellar rise. The two largest coins pulled the rest of the majors lower, while Ripple remained very volatile after touching the $0.30 level yesterday, trading below the $0.26 again.
Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and IOTA are all a bit lower today, while Ethereum Classic found some relative strength, although it remains stuck in a declining short-term trend. All in all, the segment is still in a clear uptrend, so let’s see which coins are the most promising regarding the short-term picture.
Bitcoin Takes a Breather as Prices Drop Below $5,700
The world’s most talked about digital currency pulled back early Tuesday, a sign that the latest rally is nearing its end.
BTC/USD Price Levels
After a positive start to the week, bitcoin prices have reversed back toward $5,600 on Tuesday. The BTC/USD exchange rate opened up a nearly $200 trading range on Tuesday. At press time, the pair was down 1.3% at $5,653. Bitcoin remains in overbought territory, based on the RSI, with underlying momentum maintained.
Bitcoin’s current price level translates into a market cap of roughly $92.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That nearly triples the Ethereum blockchain, which is currently valued at $31.2 billion. When assessed by market cap, bitcoin and Ethereum combined account for more than two-thirds of the cryptocurrency asset class.
The BTC/USD has registered a five-day gain of 15.%, which is equivalent to $772. The pair’s 52-week range is $627.77 – $5,861.15.
Analysts Struggle to Explain Rally
Analysts and market participants are struggling to explain bitcoin’s latest upsurge. The uptrend seems to have begun around the time of news suggesting Chinese policymakers may soon relax their ban on cryptocurrency. However, this alone doesn’t explain the 18% gain over the past five days.
Another plausible catalyst is the anticipated hard fork of the bitcoin blockchain in November, a plan that would benefit existing holders of the cryptocurrency.
The developers behind the Segwit2x protocol have identified a bitcoin upgrade approximately 90 days after the activation of Segregated Witnesses. The controversial plan, which aims to increase the transaction capacity of the blockchain, will occur at block 494,784.
Bitcoin Gold was also on some traders’ wish list before the blockchain community raised suspicion over the project. Several red flags have been identified by Gert-Jaap Galsbergen, which you can read here.
For now, bitcoin’s bull market appears to be taking a breather. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, it doesn’t take much to stoke investor exuberance in a market that has gained nearly 500% since Jan. 1.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock
Technical Analysis: Ripple Breaks Out Amid Ethereum Upgrade
The major cryptocurrencies are on the rise once again today, with Ethereum’s major Byzantium update being in the center of attention. The second largest blockchain network has been updated through a hard fork, as usual, and the successful lock-in led to an initial surge in the price of the ETH token. The digital currency recovered above the $330 level after Sunday’s pull-back, but so far it failed to durably break-out above the prior swing high just above $340.
With the long-term momentum readings still being neutral, the coin could be on the verge of testing the $380 resistance soon, with the all-time high near $400 being the last major technical obstacle. Below $330 further support is found at $300 and $285.
ETH/USD, Daily Chart Analysis
Bitcoin is also on the rise after dipping below $5500 during the weekend, and the most valuable coin is joined in the rally by Ripple, which most likely finished its short-term correction and could be ready for another leg higher. The other majors are also generally higher, with NEO and IOTA being ahead of the pack, while the rest of the market trading near unchanged. As the broad rally seems to be well and alive, let’s see how the short-term charts are shaping up.
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