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Let’s Take the Power Back!

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It seems clear by now to many of us that the next leap in the evolution of technology will be that of decentralization.

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The innovation of distributed ledger technology “blockchain” has shown us that centralized money, power, and data are inherently weak and that by spreading out these things over an entire network we can strengthen all of them and make them more effective.

Why then do the entire industry and the cutting edge cryptotraders, all rely on the same stupid centralized website to get our information and pricing?

I’m as guilty as everyone else on this and find myself logging into coinmarketcap.com several times a day to check pricing. I’ve seen them cited over and over again in articles as if they’re some kind of authority and it’s gotten out of hand.

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CMC caused the market to crash on Monday. Whether this was intentional or not remains to be discovered. For myself and all of you reading, I propose that we boycott this website effective immediately.

I’m sick and tired of their banner adds that intentionally promote scammy ICOs and sick and tired of them having total authority over a market that should be free, especially where there are so many other great websites that can give us the information we need just as quickly and just as efficiently.
 
@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Action in The Bonds
  • Japan Exiting?
  • Ethereum is the Safer

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 10th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Usually, the bond markets are the most boring market to be involved in. As an incredibly low risk asset, the volatility is often times non-existent.

Yesterday however, there was some sudden sell off in US treasury bonds. Here we can see the TLT 20 year bond, which is trading on eToro.

What bond traders like to watch are the yields, which trade inversely to the price. Seeing the Yield on the US 10 Year spiking above 2.5%, for the first time since March, was enough to raise a few eyebrows on Wall Street.

Nevertheless, with eyebrows raised investors kept plowing into buy positions on the stock market. The S&P500 has closed with a record high every day this year making it one of the strongest starts for stocks ever.

What caused the bonds to sell-off?

Many analysts are pointing to “monetary tightening.” The central banks of the world are in the slow process of raising interest rates and gradually trying to reverse the “loose money” policy that has been in place since 2009.

The Bank of Japan, who until now has been the most aggressive champion of quantitative easing, showed a tiny sign that they might be reducing their monthly bond buying practices.

In their monthly purchases yesterday they bought a total of ¥190 Billion, instead of the ¥200 Billion that they bought last month.

That’s it. A tiny difference, less than $90 million difference from one month to the next has the entire bond market in a tizzy.

Though the Stocks don’t seem to be affected much, the currency markets certainly have been.

The USDJPY fell quite quickly below the current range (dotted blue line) and below the psychological level of 112 Yens to the Dollar.

Finally some action!!!

Let’s Talk about Crypto

The crypto market is also seeing somewhat of a selloff. The overwhelming gains we saw in Ripple’s XRP token’s over the few weeks are being rapidly clawed back. It looks like XRP has found some sort of floor at $1.50 but we’ll see how that develops.

It should be noted, that even if XRP retraces all the way to $1.10, it will still be worth 5 times what it was a month ago.

For those of you who got in early and are still hodling, awesome!! For those of you who got in late and are now hurting, I feel you and I’ve been there before. Next time please try to be more diverse in your investments and try to take a more long term approach to the markets.

The pullback isn’t just in XRP though. In fact, the only cryptocurrency that seems to be in green today is Ethereum. As we’ve noted several times in past updates, Ethereum is acting as the safe haven in this market.

Bitcoin Mining

It seems we have an update on the status of bitcoin mining in China. Official documents from the Chinese authorities obtained by the Financial Times indicate that China will in fact be cracking down on Bitcoin miners.

This is particularly concerning because most mining is still done in China. Though many other countries have plans to ramp up their operations, these things take time and none are fully operational just yet.

This news comes at a particularly bad time for the world’s first cryptocurrency as the backlog of unconfirmed transactions known as the mempool just does not want to clear. Even though the number of transactions processed by the bitcoin blockchain is coming down, there are still about 170,000 unconfirmed transactions at any given time.

The thing to watch is the hashrate. To bitcoin’s benefit, the computing power of the network has grown drastically over the last few months. If it starts to falter now it will be a very bad sign for bitcoin indeed.

The SegWit solution could still save bitcoin but the possibilities of this happening seem increasingly slim. Alas, only 10% of miners have gotten onboard so far.

Even though I love bitcoin, the amount of energy it currently uses to facilitate the blockchain is quite excessive. If the protocol cannot be updated to make it more efficient, perhaps it’s best that the way be cleared for other more efficient cryptos.

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. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

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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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Chris G

    January 10, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I’m with you on CMC

  2. Parentesi

    January 10, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    CMC sucks. yes! I barely go there, only to look at the Market Cap mainly or to get info on a token, to see website info, what markets it is on. But now after they kicked out some asian platforms, it lets me think they are somewhat doing whatever they please and not e reliable source at all. Good to read others think the same.

    As of Etherium staying stable sort fo and other going down. NEO is doing very well too, OMG too and a lot of others. Just the focus in the West is very much on the big five and some surroundings.
    ETH, XBT, BCH, LTC, XRP ect…
    If you do not look at them, but rather for real applications possibility’s, your swings become lower and more stable.

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Altcoins

NEO Shows Poise While Other Cryptocurrencies Struggle

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NEO has quietly emerged as one of 2018’s best performing cryptocurrencies, defying multiple market selloffs en route to new highs. The so-called Ethereum of China has also carved out a name for itself in the fast-growing ICO market, where it is now among a small handful of blockchains enabling startups to raise capital through the popular crowdfunding model.

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New Record Highs

NEO was the only major cryptocurrency to spike this weekend, even as bitcoin and Ethereum suffered declines. The coin pushed higher on Monday, hitting a new record of $205.46. It would later consolidate around $190 for a gain of 17%.

The latest rally gives NEO a market cap of $11.8 billion, putting it eighth among active cryptocurrencies. Trade volumes over the last 24 hours reached $1.5 billion with 65 million tokens in circulation. The majority of the turnover occurred on just two exchanges: Upbit and Binance.

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With the gain, NEO’s value has appreciated around 120% year-to-date. That’s nearly double the price growth of Ethereum, a comparable platform that recently took back the second seed on the crypto market cap leader board.

Ethereum of China

NEO’s trajectory over the last six months has mirrored Ethereum’s both in terms of value and project development. Its success is partly owed to ether, as both cryptocurrencies are based on smart contracts. NEO differs from Ethereum on several fronts, including the execution of C# code, which makes it more attractive for developers.

Beyond the hype, NEO provides developers with the toolbox to advance the smart economy by digitizing assets and automating the management of those assets through smart contracts. It is perhaps the only cryptocurrency that can succeed in a heavily regulated China, which only recently tightened the noose on cryptocurrency miners as part of its broad offensive against digital assets.

With the exception of Stellar Lumens, NEO is perhaps the only cryptocurrency not named Ethereum that is making inroads into the ICO market. Dozens of token raises have launched on the NEO platform, including 27 in the span of two days. Although China has banned ICOs, there’s a possibility that regulators may one day introduce a centralized model that will allow the government to oversee the entire process.

According to at least one metric, ICOs raised more than $6 billion last year, with December being the most successful month yet with more than $1.6 billion raised.

While this is merely speculation at this point, the Chinese ban on cryptocurrency was initiated just before the 19th National Congress of the National Party. The event, held every five years, is usually a showdown between communists die-hards who want to maintain the old system of central planning and those who are seeking more liberal reforms.

Regardless of China’s regulatory future, NEO appears poised to capitalize on any opportunity involving public blockchain. The company certainly has that ambition, and has shown no issue following national guidelines.

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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Ripple Crashes to 2018 Lows Amid Lingering Doubts Over South Korean Regulation

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Ripple took the plunge on Monday, falling to its lowest level in nearly three weeks as investors continued to ponder South Korea’s regulatory shakeup of the cryptocurrency market.

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XRP/USD Price Levels

Ripple’s native XRP token touched a session low of $1.47 on Monday, which represented a decline of more than 16%. The coin’s price was last seen hovering at $1.58 for a loss of 10%.

XRP briefly traded at its lowest level since Dec. 29. The token is currently testing the Jan. 11 low of around $1.57.

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At present values, Ripple is capitalized at $62 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s roughly half of Ethereum, the world’s no. 2 digital currency system. Ripple had briefly claimed the second spot in the crypto charts before a brisk selloff knocked it from record highs.

Ripple ran into volatility last week after CoinMarketCap removed several South Korean exchanges from its listing due to “extreme divergences in prices from the rest of the world.” The action prompted a multi-billion-dollar selloff of XRP, which is traded heavily on the Korean peninsula.

Why is Ripple Plunging?

It has been a roller coaster two months for Ripple. The cryptocurrency has managed to distance itself from other altcoins thanks to growing institutional support from major banks, credit cards and clearing houses. News of major partnerships sent XRP north of $3.30 after New Year’s day. The gains were quickly followed by profit-taking that was followed by a sharp correction in the cryptocurrency market.

The latest drop is largely attributed to fears over pending South Korean regulations governing cryptocurrency. Hacked reported earlier that central authorities were looking to shut down anonymous trading on domestic exchanges, not ban cryptocurrencies entirely.

The initial shockwave was triggered by Justice Minister Park Sang-ki, who announced Thursday that his department was proposing a bill to regulate the crypto market. The Korean government later said it was considering a response to what it believes to be excessive speculation, but had not reached a decision.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Ripple’s record-breaking gains have been largely driven by South Korean trade desks. Of the nearly $2 billion in XRP tokens transacted Monday, roughly 55% were traded using the won, according to CoinMarketCap. Bithumb continues to be the biggest platform for XRP trades, followed by Upbit and HitBTC. Bithumb and Upbit are both based in South Korea.

It hasn’t been entirely negative for Ripple. The company recently announced a partnership with MoneyGram that will provide the remittance firm with instant liquidity. The partnership appears to be a pilot program, with MoneyGram testing XRP payment flows via xRapid, the cryptocurrency’s blockchain solution for real-time liquidity.

XRP has the ability to settle transactions within seconds, thereby enabling faster cross-border flows. Its potential is currently being explored across Asia’s financial district, giving XRP the unofficial distinction of being the banker’s cryptocurrency.

Ripple’s fundamentals as a transaction agent suggest it still has room to grow in a highly diverse cryptocurrency market. There’s also speculation that U.S.-based exchange Coinbase is considering XRP for its platform. The exchange only supports four cryptocurrencies at the moment, including bitcoin, Ethereum, bitcoin cash and Litecoin.

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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Tron Cryptocurrency to Partner With ‘Chinese Netflix’

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Cryptocurrency bloomer Tron (TRX) has announced a major partnership with a firm it calls the ‘Chinese Netflix’, a move that some say could set the project up for even more growth.

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Strategic Partnership

Tron founder Justin Sun took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce a new partnership deal with Baofeng, which is listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange. Sun, who has made quite the name for himself through clever marketing hype, issued the following statement:

“We #TRON are proud to announce the partnership with Baofeng group,” Sun tweeted Wednesday. “Baofeng, aka Chinese Netflix, boasts more than 200 million users as a video portal giant and has achieved 8 billion [Chinese yuan] listing in Shenzhen stock exchange (300431.SZ).”

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Tron seeks to create a digital content platform directly on the blockchain. The primary goal of the platform is to give content creators new ways of owning and distributing their work without having to deal with intermediaries like Apple Store.

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The company recently announced a partnership with Singapore bicycle-sharing system oBike. There’s also speculation it could enter an agreement with Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

Just last week, Tron became the latest altcoin to surge in value, joining the likes of Ripple and Litecoin near the top of the market cap chart. The project briefly overtook Litecoin in terms of overall market cap, which may have emboldened Sun to take a jab at LTC founder Charlie Lee.

In a Jan. 4 tweet, Sun seemed to criticize Lee for selling his Litecoin. In the same message, he reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the project through at least year 2020. Lee, aka @SatoshiLite, fired back with the following message:

“Congrats @justinsuntron, but you’re making the wrong comparison. You’ve printed over 34% for yourself ($6B!) versus LTC that I bought and mined. I also didn’t sell for 6 years, yet you’ve only locked yours up for only 2 years. Lock it up for 6 years if you’re really confident!”

TRX Price Levels

After a massive new-year surge, Tron’s value has drifted lower in recent days, placing it 11th among active cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $8.1 billion. The TRX token was last down 3.6% at around 12 cents U.S., according to CoinMarketCap. That’s around half peak levels from last week.

The Hong Kong-registered Binance was responsible for the vast majority of the $1.5 billion turnover in TRX.  The platform processed 50.5% of the total daily volume via TRX/BTC. An additional 22.8% of the daily volume came from the broker’s TRX/ETH cross.

Of course, Sun has also been vocal about the recent price drop in TRX. In a Wednesday tweet, he said the recent fluctuation in the cryptocurrency’s price was due to CoinMarketCap’s decision to exclude Korean exchanges from its pricing mechanism.

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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