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Op-Ed

Market Waves and ADA Research

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How about it, guys and gals! Good job not throwing your computers out of the window and hodling on. I wish I could tell you anything about why we dipped into the BTC four-figure category, but my guess is as good as yours. The cryptocurrency markets work according to fear, and if you stand up to the virtual lion you can make a lot of money. Everything in my last article is up roughly 20-40%. That isn’t my expertise in crypto picking, the wave just came in.

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Nobody knows when it will come back again, so you have to trust your price picking. Everything became not-so-attractive within a morning trade. By the time I looked on the exchanges, everything was low, but not so low that it was attractive to buy. The market tests all of us. We just dropped for regulation whispers. Regulation enforcement could rock this ship off course again, which is why profit taking is so important. I am not telling you to go buy a nice new couch. I am telling you that you saw how quickly a 30-40% gain can happen. When the wave goes back out to sea, that’s when you jump in. I am always ready.

Let’s see, of the unattractive prices, I have been inundated with social media buzz about ADA. I have previously owned some appreciated ADA ,which was wonderful. Speculation can have treasures. However, I became very skeptical of high supply coins, and lessened my exposure. As I continue to learn as quickly as I can about this crazy world, the “P” word came up about ADA, which intrigued me.

ADA

Charles Hoskinson is a very smart man who was part of the Ethereum project, before a difference of opinion drove him out of the loop. He left to work on the Cardano project. IOHK is his development arm that has been contracted to develop Cardano. Emurgo is the commercial arm that supports the business applications on Cardano.

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Difference of opinion people are double edged swords. Just like our old pal Jed at Lumens, the divergent characters can be the ones who open the gates of Valhalla through innovation, or the gates of Hell through hubris. I won’t be able to tell you who Charles is yet, because there simply isn’t enough information. From the things I have listened to, he is a very intelligent man with very distinct goals (plural).

Cardano is an Ethereum-like platform that has advanced smart contract technology, and a unique technical infrastructure. About 97% of the ICO volume was from Japan, and many people are speculating its wide scale adoption through ATMs and payment systems in one of the most tech savvy places in the world. Those are big goals.

Nuts and Bolts

Proof of Stake: This is a much faster, streamlined, and energy efficient method compared to proof of work. When you see people running mining farms and having to calculate electricity costs, you can’t think that this is going to be a sustainable way of doing business. China has been kicking energy hogs out of the country, and I don’t know why we go two steps forward with blockchain, but one step back with big fans and mining farms in low cost areas. It just doesn’t seem like something that is going to carry forward, at least in the way it is being done now.

Ouroboros and the Epoch System: Scheduled mining. The Chain is divided into Epochs. Those Epochs are divided into slots. Not everyone can mine slots at once, and they elect slot leaders who can mine a specific block in their “slot”. I believe this regulated way of mining allows the miner to not to have to play (and cost) the equivalent of an entire Metal Gear Solid story map (12 times in a row) to get anything done, while also giving Cardano the ability to scale it at their own pace, by making more slots in each Epoch, or making more Epochs to fill with slots. That’s the deepest technology jargon you will hear from me. I am attaching the link of a wonderful explanation that would do it 100 times better than I.

Network System: Instead of all data needing to go to all nodes, they have networks of nodes that will store local information to the network, but with the added ability of communicating with other networks. This sounds like the internet of/for miners. Just like the internet in the 1990s, it all has to start with the tech people talking to each other on it. Back then, it was the government. However, people came along and designed software and web browsers that made it a public product, and not a technical one. I am hoping local miner communication/storage is just the beginning of the use of this infrastructure on the blockchain.

Treasury System: This was a fantastic business idea. For each transaction, Cardano places a portion of the revenue into a smart contracts based treasury. The treasury awards money based on people submitting improvement proposals to the network, in which their peers will review their proposal and vote on the ones they believe will most benefit Cardano. If there is a smart contract designed to award money to innovative people in perpetuity at Cardano, I wouldn’t see why someone wouldn’t keep coming back to the well that always has water?

Goals, Goals, and more Goals

“Cardano is home to the Ada cryptocurrency, which can be used to send and receive digital funds. This digital cash represents the future of money, making possible fast, direct transfers that are guaranteed to be secure through the use of cryptography.

Cardano is more than just a cryptocurrency, however, it is a technological platform that will be capable of running financial applications currently used every day by individuals, organisations and governments all around the world.” (Source:https://www.cardanohub.org/en/what-is-cardano/)

There are so many projects within Cardano. I love its goals, but I just want to know which one will make coin holders the most money. Its claim of a “separate computing layer” sounds like the one I like the most for this reason. If we have a long and windy road of being a community coin until we get to business coin, I am not interested. That may not be the case at all, and we begin to see some real commercial use going on. It is quite early.

Conclusion

Overall, Charles has a broad array of global people working for him, making a “better” ADA coin. Right now, I can’t see what a “better” ADA coin is in their minds. There are so many goals listed (Interoperability, Scalability, Sustainability), not to mention sub-sects within the goals. I would love to tell you about target markets and competition, but they are going after everyone! They are trying to design an all-in-one blockchain/crypto that can be the unified solution. I can’t qualify an all-in-one coin on a SWOT analysis.

Time is going to tell us which one of these goals is the focus. Here in lies the bet. I am exposed to ADA, but not in a way I am to the other platforms. With billions in circulating supply, this wasn’t meant to be a gigantic coin like bitcoin. At $0.60, there is certainly money to be made, but this is more a small speculation bet until I hear more about customer types, and primary target markets.

I see a lot of currencies throwing all types of money at technical developers, but not business people. A lot of currencies could brush up their image if they knew how to talk to people who have their coins. If you go on Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den saying your competition is everyone and your market is everyone, you better have a darn good sales pitch. I would start by creating a hierarchy of needs to be completed according to what will derive the most coin holder value, not what is going to be the most revolutionary. Time will tell with Cardano.

 

 

This is not a recommendation to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. I hope this is helping you in your thought process on a flat’ish day so you can reap the benefits of the market at any given time. I hope you make money, but your decisions should never be based on anyone else. I have never heard a rich man say, “I just listened to an article on the internet…and BOOM”. Don’t think that will be you.

Do follow me @raijincrypto on Twitter if you would like to chat on cryptocurrencies.

 

 

 

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 27 rated postsMythological God of Lightning. Cryptocurrency/Blockchain writer, evangelist, and friend. May the odds be ever in our favor.




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Op-Ed

Is Manipulation Behind Bitcoin Cash’s Absurd Rally?

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Although you wouldn’t know it by today’s prices, bitcoin cash (BCH) has topped the crypto market leader board this month. The digital currency more than doubled over the span of 18 days, and in doing so far outpaced the broader market. But a closer examination of the value drivers suggest manipulation could be partly responsible for the rally.

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As a reminder, the author has no vested interest in smearing BCH as I believe it to be one of the more advantageous coins on the market today. That said, the circumstances surrounding the most recent rally are peculiar to say the least.

What’s Up with Bitcoin.com?

A Hacked user informed me earlier this week that Bitcoin.com has been using the “BCH” ticker next to the word “bitcoin”. Normally, the ticker “BTC” is reserved for bitcoin, which is the original blockchain we all know about. Instead, the website quotes “BTC” next to the term “bitcoin core”.

In other words, BCH is quoted next to bitcoin and BTC is referred to as bitcoin core. See here for yourself:

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For most readers of Hacked, the distinction is easily discernible, but for new traders the difference isn’t easily gauged.

The first question I have is, how many people bought bitcoin (BCH) thinking they were receiving actual bitcoin (BTC)?

Bitcoin.com describes itself as the “premier source for everything bitcoin.” Although the website doesn’t appear to offer a full-fledged trading platform, users can purchase bitcoin and bitcoin cash using the following link.

It is unclear how long the website has been referring to BCH as bitcoin. For those of us who’ve been following the market for some time, the way BTC and BCH are quoted is certainly strange.

Antpool

A large cryptocurrency mining group by the name of Antpool has also been accused of pumping BCH in recent weeks. The pool announced about six days ago that it is responsible for confirming more than 8% of all bitcoin cash transactions. In addition to confirming those, Antpool is also said to be burning BCH on a daily basis in order to reduce supply and boost prices.

Of course, crypto pumps do not require such elaborate setups to achieve their goals. Pump-and-dumps can be orchestrated rather easily through a chat group on social media. But Antpool does have a large and privileged position in the BCH ecosystem, which has raised suspicion over its recent actions.

Bitcoin Cash is Overbought, According to Tom Lee

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee recently weighed in on the bitcoin cash phenomenon, concluding that the cryptocurrency was overbought. In his view, investors should stick with bitcoin if they had a choice between Core and Cash.

In a segment on CNBC’s Fast Money, Lee said:

“I prefer not to pick winners and losers when we’re looking at cryptocurrencies like bitcoin/bitcoin Cash… Both have merits but if I was putting new money to work today… I would be a lot more interested in buying a lagger that could attract inflows rather than something that’s potentially overbought.”

Bitcoin cash added around $1,000 to its value between Apr. 6 and 23, with prices peaking near $1,600. The cryptocurrency corrected sharply lower on Wednesday and was still declining as of Thursday’s early-morning session. At the time of writing, BCH/USD was down 4.6% at $1,268.

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 404 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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Decentralization

JP Morgan’s Surprise Cryptocurrency Fees are a Reminder of Why Decentralization Is Sorely Needed

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JP Morgan Chase & Co has been hit with a class-action lawsuit by cryptocurrency traders over allegations of unannounced fees and higher interest rates on purchases of digital currencies. Though the allegations have not been proven, extra fees are a tactic routinely employed by traditional banking institutions. In the case of JP Morgan, this has karma written all over it given the way its chief executive has ridiculed digital assets by associating them with fraud.

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Class Action Lawsuit

Traders from across the United States are seeking statutory damages of $1 million for unannounced interest charges and fees on cryptocurrency transactions between January and February of this year. The named plaintiff in the lawsuit is Brady Tucker, an Idaho resident who paid a total of $163.91 in fees and surprise interest charges over a six-day stretch.

According to information obtained by Reuters, the lawsuit accuses the bank of violating the U.S. Truth in Lending Act, a piece of legislation that requires credit card issuers to inform customers in writing of any notable change in fees.

The lawsuit asserts that Tucker tried to resolve the dispute by calling Chase’s customer support service directly. His request was turned down, prompting him to seek legal help. According to Bloomberg, the case in question is Tucker v. Chase Bank USA NA, 18-cv-3155, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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The Growing Case for Decentralization

Depending on who you ask, the allegations against JP Morgan are akin to cryptocurrency fraud not unlike the kind Jamie Dimon talked about while ridiculing bitcoin. But the irony in Dimon’s comments extend far beyond Chase’s latest dealings.

As the actions of Chase bank and other financial institutions have clearly demonstrated over the years, those who control the size and growth rate of fiat money cannot be trusted to do the right thing. As Nassim Taleb argues in The Black Swan, banks have a tendency of losing as much money as they make in the long run due to shady business practices and high-risk ventures. Decisions like these are easy when you are Too Big to Fail.

Decentralization, like the kind advocated by blockchain startups and cryptocurrencies, allows users to trade directly with each other without having to go through a (predatory) middleman. Decentralized systems not only help participants avoid unnecessary fees, red tape and other forms of unwanted intervention, they are virtually impossible to shut down. In this vein, decentralized currencies give people a fighting chance in their battle against never-ending inflation. As we’ve argued before, this is not only a prudent fight, but a noble one as well.

Cryptocurrencies that rely on decentralization offer society a unique value proposition unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. What’s more, their adoption is not contingent upon us leaving the realm of traditional finance – at least, not yet. That’s because cryptocurrency started off as an obscure and esoteric asset class but has since become a value store for investors. Tomorrow, it will become a viable medium of exchange accepted worldwide.

That said, we are still in the very early days of the crypto revolution and it may be a while still before we can conclusively prove people like Dimon wrong. But crypto backers and investors should take comfort in knowing that big banks rarely lead in disruption these days. They have the resources to play catch-up, which they are clearly doing with blockchain.

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 404 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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Altcoins

Will Dash Be the Bitcoin Killer?

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Well, it has finally happened.  We’ve gone a full week with crypto prices showing positive returns.  OMG, what a big surprise; ether is leading the pack, advancing nearly 15% at the time of this writing.  This is encouraging because it shows that perhaps finally value investors are stepping in and helping set a pricing bottom.  

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It hasn’t hurt a bit that stock and bond market investors have become seasick from all the volatility.  Suddenly, a tiny little weekly Litecoin move of +0.46% or even a 2.47% bitcoin cash gain, looks like pure serenity.  

 

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For a while now our focus has been on relative value and there is very little argument that, after the first quarter price collapse, a whole lot of risk has been taken out of bitcoin, ether, Ripple and thousands of others.

The question is where to go and what to go with from here.  The big crypto names are the safe way to go in the short run, but each has become mired in network limitations on scaling and the concomitant cost issues.  

Yes, transaction fees have dropped like a stone from their prohibitively high levels of December but then transaction volumes have fallen by half and more.  That is not the stuff an investor wants to see.

Both bitcoin and Ethereum hope to solve scaling issues with the Lightning Network and Raiden. But for now, if transaction volume were to suddenly rise, the same network limitations would be there.  So even though the big crypto names offer the safest short term options, does that mean we shouldn’t look further out to find value?

Will Dash Solve Bitcoin’s Problem?

Dash emerged last year as one of the most popular and most valuable altcoins. At the time it was considered a real competitor to bitcoin and the leading cryptocurrency of the future. The price of Dash increased from $11 to over $1,430. Dash had a capitalization of over $11 billion at its December peak. Since then it has tumbled more than 80%.  Is now the time to move into Dash? The timing could be very good but before making that decision, we should consider a few things.

Judgement Time

If a jury of its peers were to grade Dash on its performance in 2017, the majority would say it lived up to its billing.  Using Dash, users could send money instantly using the InstaSend feature that allowed for complete anonymity. At the peak, transaction costs were around $0.60, which were dwarfed by bitcoin’s high of $30. 

Since then, Dash fees have fallen to about $0.20, making them attractive for small sized transactions. All alone this represents a compelling feature of Dash.  Add to that the immediacy of InstaSend and you have the makings of a genuine challenge to Bitcoin.

Caveat Emptor

In appraising Dash’s performance it is useful to look at Metcalfe’s Law, which values social media assets based on a formula of network size.  For Dash, it’s network is processing a tiny fraction of bitcoin’s. The limitations of its network have very likely not yet been tested, so proclaiming Dash the speed king is a bit early. There is still a larger issue to consider.

In the case of Metcalfe’s Law we need to include merchants and other service providers that accept Dash as payment.  That is the big hump for them to overcome before overturning bitcoin. So far, after all, bitcoin is accepted by only about 10,000 or so merchants.  

Further progress by bitcoin is stymied by transaction costs that remain far too high.  Even so look at how many years it has taken bitcoin to attract merchants. Dash faces the same hurdles.

In other words, the trick for Dash is the find a way to gain mass acceptance quickly. That is when the huge $11 billion valuation of last December will begin to be justified. Look over your shoulder bitcoin – faster, lower cost competition is looking to eat your lunch. Dash could be one of those.

 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 75 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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