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Litecoin Stabilizes Amid Broader Crypto Market Tumult

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Litecoin values have been remarkably stable this week, even as volatility churns the broader cryptocurrency market. Now, investors are celebrating advances that could make Litecoin transactions become more private.

LTC/USD Price Levels

The LTC/USD exchange rate traded within a narrow range on Wednesday. It reached a session high of $63.73, with daily lows limited to $62.56. At press time, LTC/USD was valued at $63.38 for a gain of 1.1%.

Prices have been capped below $70 for the better part of two months. Litecoin lost about a third of its value after China decided to ban cryptocurrency exchanges. The digital currency had traded at record highs prior to the decision.

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Litecoin is the fifth most capitalized cryptocurrency at $3.46 billion. It has a total supply of 53.84 million units, according to CoinMarketCap.

In the broader cryptocurrency market, a tug of war between bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash has led to volatile price moves, with each currency taking turns adding and losing value. On Thursday, bitcoin (BTC/USD) gained the upper hand by climbing back toward $7,300.

Korea Factor

Many analysts say Litecoin is poised for a large breakout thanks to rising demand in South Korea. The Asian country is the world’s leading hub for all things Litecoin. World’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb accounts for more than a quarter of LTC trade flows globally. Recently, local exchange Coinone added Litecoin to its list of available currencies. Just 24 hours later, the platform processed more than $3.2 billion worth of transactions.

South Koreans are active not just in Litecoin, but many of the other less popular coins. They were at the center of the Bitcoin Cash market long before it caught fire, and have shown a greater propensity to back other volatile cryptocurrencies.

Activity in South Korea, which is largely driven by LTC/won pairs, is expected to be a major storyline in Litecoin’s future.

Charlie Lee Weighs In

Liecoin architect Charlie Lee recently told media he “looked forward to adding” new improvements to the blockchain, especially as it pertains to confidential transactions (CT). Lee recently told Greg Maxwell of Xiph.org that he is working on addressing the lack of fungibility facing cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin and Bitcoin. This is at the heart of a broader debate over CT, which would allow transactions to be visible only to the sender, receiver and whichever party they choose to view the information.

In Lee’s view, this upgrade can be accomplished via soft fork of the Litecoin blockchian. He first published this view in a Nov. 14 tweet:

“I’m excited to see progress on Confidential Transactions. Fungibility is the only feature of good money that Bitcoin/Litecoin is missing.

I look forward to adding this to Litecoin when it is ready. And this can be done with a soft fork. Stay tuned!”

Confidential Transactions were first introduced in 2013 by Adam Back. Since then, the phrase has referred to a particular approach to transaction privacy based on additive homomorphic commitments.

Disclaimer: The writer 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 455 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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New York Approval of Crypto Trading App Ignites Price Rally for Bitcoin, Altcoins

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The cryptocurrency market on Monday added $13 billion in the span of one hour after New York’s Department of Financial Services granted Square a digital currency license.

Square Cash App Approved for BitLicense

San Francisco-based startup Square, Inc. announced Monday it has been granted approval by New York regulators to launch its cryptocurrency trading platform in the state. The new crypto service will be offered through Square’s Cash app, which has seven million monthly active users, based on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

The announcement was confirmed by Square in conjunction with an official press release issued by New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS).

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market.,” Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement. “DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.”

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Bitcoin buying launched for Cash users last fall; by January, most users had access to crypto trading platform. Square announced in March it would seek a BitLicense to bring bitcoin trading to the nation’s second-most populous state.

Cash App has reportedly generated $34 million in profit through its bitcoin trading service.

Bitcoin, Cryptos Pop

Cryptocurrencies added roughly $13 billion in value between 12:22 UTC and 13:27 UTC, bringing the total market cap to $289.5 billion. Total trading volumes spiked by more than $1.5 billion over the same period.

At press time, the total value of all cryptos in circulation was $287.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of about $23 billion from last week’s bear market low.

Bitcoin reached a high of $6,781.14 following the Square Cash announcement. It was last seen trading around $6,716, according to BarCart data.

The largest cryptocurrency by capitalization showed signs of breaking down earlier in the day as prices approached $6,300 on the major exchanges. BTC/USD was little changed over the weekend as the bulls failed to extend last week’s modest relief rally.

Despite the latest gain, bitcoin remains about 10% lower for June and is down more than 50% year-to-date.

As an asset class, altcoins rose more than $8 billion Monday afternoon. At $172.2 billion, digital currencies outside of bitcoin represent 60% of the total market.

All coins within the top-ten reported gains. Percentage-wise, Tron was the best performer, rallying 5.4% to $0.045. Ethereum jumped 3.4% to $517.46. Bitcoin cash added nearly 4% to trade at $884.28.

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 455 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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Crypto Critics: Fractured Facts

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I have another confession.  As a long time investor, I believed in the theory of efficient markets. This basically means that every participant in the market has immediate and complete access to all information facts like price, earnings and other data.  

I made the mistake in applying this theory to cryptocurrencies. Lately, this has been a mistake.  Yes it is true that anyone with the time and interest can go about gathering all the facts. But are all facts telling the truth or are they really fractured facts?  Either way they are dictating investor thinking and that is a key to this market.

According to reports on MarketWatch, crypto prices slumped on the release of a 24 page report from the Bank of International Settlements. BIS stated that cryptocurrencies suffered from “a range of shortcomings that would prevent cryptocurrencies from ever fulfilling the lofty expectations that prompted an explosion of interest — and investment — in the would-be asset class”.

The BIS is no small town organization. They serve as a central bank for other banks and they have been doing this since 1930.  When the BIS talks, people take things they say very seriously.

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The doomsday article released Sunday paints an accurate picture of the state of cryptocurrencies today. But what about tomorrow?  Most everyone is familiar with the issues of speed, security and energy consumption, not to mention regulation. But for the BIS to conclude that none of this problems will ever be solved is down right nieve.  It is the equivalent of declaring in 2001 that the Internet was doomed because 90% of users were connect on dial up modems.

Rotten Research

The BIS report is not the first fracturing of facts presented by well regarded organizations that is scaring investors. Remember back in May? We were treated to the research headline: Bitcoin Futures Caused The Crypto Market Crash according to Federal Papers.

Both the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a Stanford University professor released a report concluding the launch of bitcoin futures last December contributed to the ensuing price collapse. Pretty far fetched stuff, and here is why.

Bitcoin futures trading began on December 10. BarChart.com shows the CME traded a measly 932 contracts while the CBOE handled 3,887.  Of that total some 2,828 contracts were still “Open Contracts” on December 29th leaving just 1991 coins to do all the harm. During that final week of December over 1.4 million coins were traded. The findings were simply flawed.

Much like the BIS, when the Federal Reserve speaks, people believe they have done their homework carefully.  Throw in Stanford and that adds further weight to this conclusion.

And Then There Are Those Other Facts

And then there was the revelation last week that, much of bitcoin’s 2017 boom was market manipulation, research says.  In a huge 66 page report it was claimed that at least half of the 2017 rise in bitcoin prices was due to coordinated price manipulation using tether.

The author, University of Texas at Austin finance professor John Griffin, argues that Tether was used to buy bitcoin at key moments when it was declining, which helped “stabilize and manipulate” the cryptocurrency price. BTW: this is the job of the specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Professor Griffin appears to have done an excellent job correlating events without much consideration for the economics involved.  According to Bloomberg’s Aaron Brown, for Professor Griffin to be correct in his assertion that tether pushed up bitcoin prices four basis points per 100 bitcoin, Bitfinex would have needed to spend a boatload to inflate the cryptocurrency.  With Bitcoin at $10,000, for example, that means Bitfinex spends $1 million to push the price up to $10,004.

When you look at things from this perspective, Griffin’s findings look pretty absurd.

Look Closely At The Facts

These days with crypto psychology the worst since Mt. Gox in 2014, it seems like a good time for investors to capitalize on the fractured facts.  Technical analysis shows that cryptocurrencies bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others are hovering around key support levels. It would not be shocking at anytime to find some academic study linking crypto to the common cold.  By the way, it is a fact that last years dramatic crypto price spike came right at the start of the flu season.

A far more relevant fact was last week’s announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission that neither bitcoin or Ethereum were securities. Perhaps equally important is the conclusion that when ICO do not convey an equity ownership position, they too are considered in the same non-security category as bitcoin and Etherrun.  This is a fact.

What we do know is that crypto prices are as low as they have been since well before the spike last December.  Just as the markets recovered from Mt. Gox, the mindset of investors will recover and that is the key.

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 81 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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All Sports’ SOC Token Dips Amid Poor World Cup Showing

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The All Sports SOC token has sunk 11% over the past 24 hours, falling to a three month low of $0.107. This takes All Sports back to a late April valuation, right before its market cap trebled over the course of a week in early May.

AllSports Market Analysis

The SOC token’s poor performance against the dollar today coincides with the failure of a member of its advisory board to secure a win in the World Cup game played last night in Russia.

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Sergio Aguero is listed as a consultant on the All Sports website, and even though he managed to grab a goal last night, his Argentina team ultimately failed to get a win against Iceland.

In all objectivity, the price of SOC tokens had been falling for the last few days, so while the football match may have had something to do with it, it seems unlikely to have had a major impact.

Indeed, the value of the SOC token has crashed 30% in the last three days, after a fairly strong week which saw it trade for $0.15 against the dollar. Its 24 hour volume at that time peaked at $54 million. Today it’s back down to $12 million.

Argentina is the team which Lionel Messi represents, and they were hailed as early favourites for the tournament earlier in the week. Their draw against Iceland was all the more embarrassing for the fact that many of the Icelandic players are amateurs who have full-time jobs in addition to playing football.

Trades against Tether (USDT) have made up more than 60% of SOC’s entire trading volume, with Huobi and OKEx being the main centers of activity. The next most traded pair is SOC/BTC, the majority of which can also be found on Huobi and OKEx.

A Sports Hub

All Sports advertises itself as a future hub for the entire sports industry. Their roadmap details plans to turn their platform into a media, betting and market site; an ambitious aim in an industry that’s worth an untold number of billions or even trillions each year. In the UK alone, the football industry is worth an estimated $5.5 billion a year, and that’s without factoring in the billions spent in bookmakers or on gambling sites.

Footballer Advisory Boards

Grabbing a high-profile footballer to help launch your ICO is becoming all the more common, and All Sports are continuing that trend by listing not just one, but two world-renowned football players on their advisory board page.

Alongside Sergio Aguero is the Chelsea and Belgium superstar Eden Hazard, and their presence on the All Sports website is all the more startling for the fact that they are the only team members listed on the site.

Belgium play their first game of the tournament tomorrow against lowly Panama – a team they will be expected to beat. Here’s hoping that his company’s market performance doesn’t affect his own performance in the game tomorrow.

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 10 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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