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Analysis

Litecoin Pops as Investors Grow Weary of Bitcoin Cash

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Litecoin (LTC) spiked above $50.00 on Thursday, as demand for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) cooled amid growing concerns that it is heading for another crash. According to Bitcoin analyst Tuur Demeester, the next BCH selloff will likely push Litecoin prices sharply higher.

The Bitcoin Hedge?

Demeester refers to Litecoin as the “real Bitcoin hedge” due to its SegWit scaling solution. This means it can easily incorporate other technologies before they make their way to Bitcoin (the Lightning Network is one such example). Litecoin also has many similarities with Bitcoin, which makes it the logical choice for Bitcoin enthusiasts looking to hedge against volatility.

While this concept obviously doesn’t have much data behind it, market participants will have plenty of opportunity to test it. That’s because Bitcoin Cash is seen as increasingly volatile, even by cryptocurrency standards.

Since Bitcoin Cash branched off from its parent on Aug. 1, prices have struggled to demonstrate steady upward momentum. BCH spiked following the hard fork before losing more than half its value a few days later. Prices struggled up until last week, when the market turned higher.

At the time of writing, BCH controls more than $11 billion in assets, placing it third among world cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin takes the top spot at $69.1 billion. Ethereum is second at less than $30 billion.

Litecoin Sees Large Upside

Litecoin’s latest upsurge took prices to a high of $52.91, according to Bitstamp. Prices were last down around 1% at $52.30. At current values, the LTC market is worth roughly $2.7 billion.

The LTC/USD has further upside in store, based on the short-term oscillators. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) has climbed above 60 and the MACD shows continuing upward momentum. Prices are up around 18% over the past month and have returned more than 1,100% year-to-date.

Ripple Spikes and then Falls Again

Litecoin isn’t the only digital coin on the rise. Ripple (XRP) spiked 70% overnight on Wednesday as volume crossed $2 billion. Once again, trading on the Korean peninsula is largely responsible for the dramatic increase. South Korea has been a major driver of the cryptocurrency market as of late amid speculation it will become the second Asian country to regulate the digital payment arena.

Ripple pulled back sharply on Thursday to trade at $0.2492. That represents a drop of 8.5%, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin saw roughly $1.6 billion in volume over the past 24 hours.

Crypto Market Cap Reaches New High

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies topped $152 billion on Thursday, a new record high. The latest record comes despite Bitcoin and Ethereum both trading well off their peak levels.

There are now 11 cryptocurrencies valued at $1 billion or more. Monero is the latest addition. As of Thursday, it is valued at nearly $1.4 billion. BitConnect is also approaching the $1 billion milestone, and was last valued at roughly $831 million.

Total Cryptocurrency Market Cap (CoinMarketCap)

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 606 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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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. bananatrue

    August 24, 2017 at 11:19 am

    If you ever tried making a real payment using Litecoin you’d realize it’s always been way more reliable than Bitcoin since months. It’s no surprise that merchants switched to BTC to LTC because of transaction time and fees. The fact that LTC price isn’t exploded yet reflects the actual short-term speculation rather than long-term investment market IMO.

    BTC’s November fork will be another great test for LTC, let’s see how it goes.
    I know it’s not safe as a trader but I went almost all-in on Litecoin so I hope to be right.

    • Chris G

      August 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Absolutely agree – in fact, much of the time I am trying to move bitcoin in wallets and market platforms, I convert it to litecoin and transfer as litecoin. It’s faster, more reliable etc.

  2. Chris G

    August 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I took profit on LTC at 53, had been waiting for months for the price to move – now I’m largely moved to ETH in the hopes of hitting the 360 target

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Analysis

ETFs: What Is The SEC  Really Thinking?

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As a veteran Wall Street type, I was not surprised at Thursday’s SEC announcement on the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin ETF.  Once again they gave a “no decision”. This pushes the deadline back to December 29, 2018. Don’t be surprised if New Year’s Eve comes and goes and nothing happens before the SEC is forced into a action by the end of February.

Back in August, when the first delay was announced, crypto investors’ reaction was swift and painful.  On Thursday, after a temporary hiccup, prices took a surprisingly positive turn. If we are to believe for just a moment that crypto prices act rationally (or just occasionally) then comes two obvious questions, are crypto ETFs good or bad? Secondly why can’t the SEC come up with an answer?

Never Say Yes

Let’s start with the easy question first: what’s up with the SEC?  Having dealt with this teflon organization for over 30 years, their actions with regard to VanEck-SolidX are the same pattern they have followed forever.  Practically never do they approve anything. Instead they provide two choices: reject or delay. By delaying the VanEck-SolidX application they are accepting the ETF concept in principle but laying out objections that must be corrected.

The result of this regulatory song and dance, don’t expect a decision until the last minute. The reason is that the main issues are not likely to be resolved in time. In fact, I doubt that the ETF proposal gets approval for perhaps as much as another year.  Here is why.

SEC Speak: Obfuscation

According to Jake Chervinsky, attorney for VanEck, the SEC asks “18 multiple part questions covering seven pages.” He adds: “It’s not encouraging to see the SEC ask if the bitcoin futures markets are “of significant size” despite having already concluded last month that they’re not.”

This is a tactic in obfuscation that the SEC loves when an applicant has not provided an adequate response.  In this case there is no objective answer to how liquid a market must be to meet the measure of significance.  Moreover, there is little or nothing that can be done in the short run to create greater liquidity.

The SEC is a political body as much as any agency of the Federal Government.  In raising the issue of liquidity, they can stand behind their role of protecting the public without at the same time hindering public access to a class of assets, even at current depressed levels, is worth $200 billion, more or less.

The SEC Is Right With Their Delays

Does the crypto world really benefit, as this stage of its evolution, by fostering a group of ETFs?  The argument in favor says that this is the way to simply and safely offer the individual investor a way to participate in a diversified portfolio of crypto.  That sounds noble – or is it just something that makes lots of money for those who create them?

But so far, at least from the viewpoint of the SEC, ETF applicants have not created a more secure domain.  More importantly, even if this were not the case, what does the investor gain from investing in a diversified list of crypto when Bitcoin overshadows about every other altcoin?

With nothing against those that believe in the benefits of ETFs, the benefits in current terms is far better for the ETF sponsor that it is for the investor.

Looking just at the math, an individual investor could be just as well off buying Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum and EOS. Admittedly, it is somewhat more complicated finding a place to buy and store Ripple, but with this small portfolio, you cover 75% of the entire crypto asset class. If security is an issue simply go to  blockgeeks.com/cryptocurrency-safe/ and select from a list of hardware wallets.

So whether the SEC gives their approval of VanEck-SolidX in December or February might make a difference if this were 2020 or sometime thereafter.  As for now, it really isn’t critical to the mass acceptance of crypto.

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 105 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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Analysis

Stocks Pull Back From Highs as Pound Plunges

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After yesterday’s record-breaking session, US stocks once again broadly opened at all-time highs, even as the momentum of the global rally waned. Chinese stocks kick-started the day by extending their relief rally off their 4-year lows and Europe also ticked higher, although the major indices couldn’t hold on to their early gains. Since the US open stocks are drifting lower, but with no major events scheduled for today, a calm afternoon session is likely on Wall Street.

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The slight weakness came on the heels of the weaker than expected European flash Manufacturing and Services PMIs, while Theresa May’s Brexit ultimatum also weighed on local equities. The Great British Pound fell sharply on the news too, erasing yesterday’s lofty gains and briefly getting close to the 1.30 level, as the Dollar rallied across the board.

NASDAQ 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Nasdaq has been lagging the Dow and the S&P 500 from a short-term perspective and the tech benchmark is once again leading the way lower today. The worse than expected guidance by Micron (MU) from yesterday is weighing on the segment and the market-leading tech giants are also weaker than average.

10-year US Treasury Yield, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

All eyes are still on the bond market, as Treasury yields are near multi-year highs concerning almost all maturities, and with the 10-year yield being very close to signal a trend change in the multi-decade structural downtrend.

While next week’s rate hike by the Fed is near certain, the outlook for the next year will likely be crucial, and given the positive US economic trends and the trade wars’ contained impact, the market’s rate hike expectations are rising across the curve.

Futures and Option Expiries Lead to Choppy Trading

Today is an important day for futures and options traders, as the quarterly contracts are expiring across asset classes, and that has a huge effect on stock and commodity markets as well, with high volumes and volatile trading especially around the key strike prices. Strong trends are rare on these sessions and day-traders should be cautious of sudden volatile spikes in even the most traded assets.

Copper, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities already experienced volatile swings throughout the day, with especially gold being tossed around the $1200 level that has been in the center of attention in the past weeks. Shorts in copper have been squeezed heavily before the end of the week, with the crucial metal surging above key support with the rally in Chinese stocks, while WTI crude oil retreated from a more than two-month high above the $71 per barrel level as the Dollar rallied.

Featured image from 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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Analysis

The Flippening: XRP Overtakes Ethereum as Second-Largest Cryptocurrency

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XRP’s sudden and dramatic surge over the past four days has fundamentally altered the composition of the cryptocurrency market. On Friday, the so-called banker’s cryptocurrency overtook Ethereum as the world’s second-largest blockchain, highlighting the latter’s struggle over the past two months.

Market Cap Rankings

The market capitalization for XRP has more than doubled this week and now sits at $23.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The dramatic surge follows a 115% spike in the XRP price since Tuesday.

Ethereum, which has long held the no. 2 spot in the crypto market rankings, has fallen to third spot with a total market cap of $23.3 billion. Ether’s price is up more than 7% on Friday and lags considerably behind XRP over the past five days.

Trading in XRP is up across all major exchanges. XRP’s daily turnover now sits at $2.6 billion, having gained a staggering 800% since Tuesday.

At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization was worth nearly $225 billion. The market was valued at roughly $200 billion just 24 hours ago.

The Flippening

Despite being one of the most polarizing cryptocurrencies on the market, XRP has managed to win over investors who are keenly monitoring institutional adoption of blockchain technology. Ripple Labs, the company behind XRP, has announced hundreds of partnerships over the designed to boost mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

All that came to a head on Monday after a Ripple executive teased the release of the first xRapid product. Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Ripple’s Asia-Pacific and the Middle East unit, told CNBC that a new cryptocurrency offering centered on the xRapid system was due in the “next month or so.” This news helped propel XRP through the stratosphere.

Ethereum, on the other hand, was the center of the most recent market meltdown that saw prices plummet nearly 90% from peak-to-trough. Ether briefly fell below $170 last week as coin offerings continued to liquidate their holdings. According to some analysts, Ethereum is facing an existential crisis amid declining reservation demand and concerns over “economic abstraction.” Although the development community is addressing these concerns, Ethereum’s short-term price trajectory has been extremely volatile.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 606 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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