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Minor Bounce Lifts Bitcoin Price Back Above $3,200; Waves Making Big Moves

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Cryptocurrencies levitated off yearly lows Sunday, with Litecoin and bitcoin SV emerging the biggest winners following an early weekend retreat. Another shake-up in the top-20 suggests 2019 will be a pivotal year for altcoins and tokens, which have struggled to remain relevant in the face of increasing bitcoin dominance and declining interest among retail investors.

Bitcoin Recovers

The leading digital currency experienced a modest relief rally on Sunday after setting a new yearly low the previous morning. BTC is currently valued at $3,266, having gained 2% on the day. The price peaked just above $3,305 earlier in the session.

Trading in BTC on virtual currency exchanges has declined sharply over the weekend; on Sunday, total daily turnover reached $3.8 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Spot trading as a share of overall market activity rose to more than 80% with BTC/USDT, ETH/USD and BTC/KRW the most dominant pairs.

With a market cap of nearly $57 billion, bitcoin exerts a strong gravitational pull on altcoins and tokens. Bitcoin’s share of the overall market cap, now at 55%, has risen steadily during the latest leg of the bear market.

Bitcoin SV Leads Rally

In terms of best individual performers, bitcoin SV launched an 18% gain on Sunday as the protocol’s backers remained committed to achieving market dominance in the long term. Craig Steven Wright, one of SV’s most prominent backers, says he’s in it for the long haul in the wake of last month’s hard fork. This comes despite overwhelming support for bitcoin cash ABC, the primary implementation of the BCH hard fork.

Wright appears no longer keen on attacking the competing protocol but will instead focus on brand and business development to attract new users.

In its short history, SV has demonstrated an ability to move inversely with the broader market. This has allowed it to quickly scale the market cap rankings but also fall just as quickly. On Sunday, the coin was worth $77.50 for a total value of nearly $1.4 billion.

Waves Skyrockets

Waves coin briefly cracked the top-20, adding to a string of gains since the end of November that have set the digital currency apart from its peers. At the time of writing, Waves had slipped back to 22nd place with a value of $2.47 and a market cap of $247.4 million. Astonishingly, the cryptocurrency has gained nearly 160% since Nov. 25. Over the same stretch, the broader cryptocurrency market fell by 13%.

As a token customization platform, Waves operates its own decentralized exchange where new tokens can trade alongside major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Litecoin. At last check, the decentralized exchange had 69 crypto listings and over 20,000 custom tokens.

CCN reported a 50% surge in Waves coin last week following a mobile wallet upgrade that allows users to buy cryptocurrency with credit cards. This may have contributed to the rise of trading volume in Waves coin.

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.

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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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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MIT and Stanford Professors are Creating the Answer to Bitcoin’s Scalability Issues

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Researchers from America’s most prestigious universities are coming together to create a new cryptocurrency that will overcome bitcoin’s greatest technical challenge: scalability. Although academics have a poor track record of solving real world problems, the researchers have teamed up with Pantera Capital to develop a cryptocurrency that could serve as a viable payment network in the future.

Academics Designing ‘Better Bitcoin’

According to Bloomberg, professors from seven U.S. universities have joined hands to create a new cryptocurrency capable of achieving faster processing speeds without sacrificing decentralization – a core tenant of the blockchain revolution. The so-called Unit-e cryptocurrency is the first project to be carried out by Distributed Technology Research, the non-profit group uniting the academics.

Among the schools represented are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California. They are joined by hedge fund Pantera Capital, which has an impressive track record in generating stellar crypto market investments. Read: How Pantera Capital Engineered a 10,000% Return Investing in Cryptocurrency.

Although several initiatives are underway to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed and scalability, the researchers say the cryptocurrency’s design has inbuilt restrictions that impede on its usefulness as an everyday payment system. The goal of Unit-e is simple but highly ambitious – namely, use blockchain technology to develop a cryptocurrency that can process transactions faster than Visa.

Unit-e is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2019. When released, it will process as many as 10,000 transactions per second, according to DTR. By comparison, Visa processes roughly 1,700 transactions per second.

The Bitcoin Scalability Debate

The issue of scalability is one of the biggest impediments facing bitcoin, so much so that dozens of alternative cryptocurrencies have been designed specifically to address this problem. Some proponents of the original cryptocurrency believe the debate over scalability could be put to rest once Lightning Network achieves full potential. The highly-touted bitcoin scaling solution has seen notable improvements in recent months, including a double-digit percentage gain in processing capacity.

As of Thursday, Lightning Network’s capacity has increased to 529.21 BTC, which is equivalent to just over $1.9 million at today’s prices, according to 1ML. That represents a gain of more than 3% since the last time we covered Lightning Network’s processing power on Dec. 26. At the time, the network saw a 13% surge in processing capability.

Lightning Network has achieved 20,586 channels, an increase of 31.8%. The number of nodes is up nearly 20% to 5,472.

At the core of Lightning Network is the desire to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed while lowering the cost of payments. This is done by creating a second-layer scaling solution that operates as a bidirectional payment channel. Basically, this creates a ‘running’ tab between two accounts, which eliminates the need to record every transaction on the blockchain.

Lightning Network has its fair share of detractors who claim the protocol promotes centralization and suffers from inefficiencies that could allow hackers to target channels holding a high volume of bitcoin. Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos addressed some of these concerns in a YouTube Q&A last February. Click here for more.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Clings to $3,600 as the Search for a Bottom Continues

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Bitcoin’s price continued to drift sideways on Thursday, as a lack of trading catalysts kept markets subdued following an active start to the week.

Stuck in a Range

After breaking out to the upside at the start of the week, bitcoin has managed to trade within a narrow range over the past 48 hours. The leading digital currency by market cap is currently valued at $3,628.23, down 1.3% from the previous day. Trading volumes remain elevated near $5.2 billion despite a sharp drop off in volatility.

Bitcoin’s 30-day volatility index, courtesy of bitvol.info, declined to 4.25% on Wednesday. Volatility has been in firm retreat since December, when it peaked at nine-month highs.

That being said, bitcoin’s narrow trading range reflects a lack of direction in the market as opposed to newfound stability. A failure to break above $3,700 in the short term could put BTC on the backfoot and vulnerable to fresh waves of selling. This is fairly consistent with the trading patterns we’ve observed since the onset of the bear market last year.

At current values, bitcoin has an overall market capitalization of $63.4 billion. Its dominance rate has strengthened to 52.4%, which reflects broad pressures on altcoins and tokens.

Read: Bitcoin’s Year of Accumulation

Search for a Bottom Continues

Although some analysts have already called bitcoin’s bottom, others are convinced that new lows are likely before the market makes a definitive turn. Jani Ziedans, an analyst at Cracked Market, believes bitcoin is demonstrating a lethargic base, which signals weak underlying demand. This continues to be the case insofar as bitcoin struggles in the mid-$3,000 range.

Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano has also stated that bitcoin will probably fall below $3,000 before the bottoming process finally concludes. This comes despite a more than 30% bounce from the December low near $3,100. Read more: Crypto Markets Search for Catalysts as Bitcoin Lightning Network Sees a Surge in Capacity.

Nevertheless, 2019 looks to be a year of accumulation for bitcoin as prices consolidate in the $2,000-$4,000 range. The anticipated influx of institutional investors, combined with the sharp rise in circulation on virtual exchanges, means trading in BTC is likely to grow as the year progresses. According to analyst Willy Woo, these and other factors may put bitcoin on the path to recovery by the third quarter.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Sideways Drift Continues but Sellers Still in Control

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While the bounce on Monday gave some hope to crypto bulls that last week’s plunge was just a correction in an ongoing broader counter-trend move, so far, we haven’t seen meaningful follow-through. That means that the bearish short- and long-term trends are still dominant in the segment and sellers are clearly in control of every major top coin.

Also, while volatility is relatively low, correlations are still elevated, and volume patterns are bearish as well, so our trend model remains on sell signals with regards to the overwhelming majority of coin on all time-frames. Traders and investors are still advised to stay away from entering new positions, as we have no evidence the bear market is over, and at least the test of the lows is likely in the coming months.

That said, a quick recovery above the primary resistance levels would be a positive sign here, but until we see signs of technical strength, the defensive approach is warranted as bearish risks remain very high here.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin’s relative stability is still the only positive sign among the top coins, but BTC also lacks bullish momentum and it failed to leave the close vicinity of the key $3600 support level. The $3850 resistance is out of reach, for now, and given the clearly bearish long-term setup, traders and investors shouldn’t enter positions here.

A move above that level would be a positive sign for bulls, with further zones between $4000 and $4050, and near $4450, but we still expect a move towards the support levels near $3250 and $3000 in the coming weeks, even if a broader bottoming process might already be underway.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While Ethereum spiked higher again towards the $130 resistance level today, the move failed again and bulls failed to make technical progress, with the recent low still being in danger. A sustained push above $130 could still signal a failed break-down pattern, but the lack of bullish momentum points to a continuation of the decline.  Key support is found near $120 and between $95 and $100, while further resistance is ahead at $145, $160, and near $180.

Altcoins Unchanged and Bearish After Choppy Day

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The volatility compression continued in all of the major altcoins as well, but the broad selling pressure is still apparent in the segment. Litecoin failed to get close to the primary resistance zone near $34.50 despite the early-week rally attempt, and it continues to threaten with a move below the key $30-$30.50 support zone.

A breach of support would likely trigger a move towards the $26 level, with the oversold short-term momentum readings now being cleared in the market of LTC. Further strong resistance is ahead near $38 and $44 and with support found near $23, and traders and investors still shouldn’t enter positions here.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple has been showing signs of relative weakness again today, after the brief period of stability and the technical picture continues to be negative on all time-frames, and our trend model is also on short- and long-term sell signals. The $0.32 price level is still in focus, and we still expect a move below $0.30, with strong support found near the $0.26 level, with resistance ahead near $0.3550 and $0.3750.

DASH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dash remained among the relatively weaker majors as well, and it still hovering around the $70 price level after bottoming out close to $67.50. A test of the bear market low near $56 seems very likely in the coming weeks, and only a move above the strong resistance zone between $76.50 and $80 would change the short-term outlook for the coin.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 443 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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