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Money Supply and Bitcoin Distribution

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Supply and demand are the two most important forces in any market. As the first thing that kids learn when they begin studying economics, it is a tool that can be applied to almost anything

The company Chainalysis provides analysis of recent occurrences on the blockchain and how they affect the overall economics of the market. Although Bitcoin is thought to be anonymous in the layman’s world, those familiar with the technology will tell you it is easily traceable with the right tools. Chainalysis uses compliance and investigation software to break down the trends on a macro-scale.

Segmenting Bitcoin Holders

It is tempting to think of investors as a homogeneous aggregate of hardcore Bitcoin enthusiasts, but the reality is much more complicated than that. Chainalysis classifies the coin on a spectrum according to how liquid the coins are. The range starts at the level of speculators and goes all the way to lost coins (or those that haven’t even been mined yet).

The most liquid category is that of the speculators (or traders). They are short term investors, and are mostly looking to make a quick buck before selling out of their position. The rise of so many trading platforms is clear enough evidence that this segment is continuing to increase. As of April 2018, it composed 35% of the current money supply.

Bitcoins used in transactions are the second-most liquid type of Bitcoin. In a way, these Bitcoin are being used for the reason Bitcoin was originally invented for: facilitating economic exchanges without the involvement of a bank. These can often be estimated based on the movements of the wallets belonging to major services.

Investment coins, or the coins held by long-term investors (HODL’ers) are the least liquid of the coins in circulation. Yes, there are the 4 million unmined coins and 2.3 million lost coins, but these coins are actually held by investors, but are not expected to surface any time soon.

The lost coins are estimated based on the amount of time it has been since the wallet in question last spent Bitcoin. Users aren’t expected to report it every time they lose the private key to their wallet, so the best method of estimating this portion of the money supply is by using 2014 as a cut-off date for lost wallets. It is always possible the owner of the wallet is a long-term holder, but this is an inexact science.

What Do the Trends Mean?

One of the more interesting observations is that the proportion of Bitcoin used to make transactions by major services has remained stable over time. This could mean several things – the services could be managing their wallets carefully, or the industry’s zero-sum structure could prevent the share of money supply from growing too high.

Investment coins actually used to compose a much larger proportion of the money supply, but over the last year their share has decreased from 72% to approximately 50% of the share. This is likely a reflection of the increased trading activity and rent-seeking on the part of speculators.

Another implication here is that investors have cashed out of their holdings in a meaningful way. This can be interpreted in one of two ways: either the investors lost faith in Bitcoin, or they wished to lower their adjusted cost base in the coin by buying back their coins on the dip.

To put things in monetary rather than percentage terms, during the crash of early 2018 investors sold off $30 billion of Bitcoin. This Bitcoin was picked up by speculators, which is a sign that even more volatility can be expected in the Bitcoin space in the future now. These speculators are putting a downward pressure on the coin by not holding long-term, and more investors take a long-term view on Bitcoin, we can expect these trends to continue.

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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  1. Mister.Ticot

    July 11, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    What about the people who recently bought coin with investing in mind? Having held the coin for only a short duration now, wouldn’t they be count as part in speculators category in those statistics?

    Another way to put it: can those numbers give away people intention when they recently bought the coin?

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Maintains Range Formation as BTC Dominance Grows

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Bitcoin’s price continues to trade in a narrow range formation as of Friday morning, extending a period of relative calm for the digital currency and potentially weakening the case for an imminent bearish reversal.

Steady Trading

Bitcoin is presently trading at $3,651.98, based on aggregate data provided by CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of 0.6% over the past 24 hours. Over the past week, BTC has declined by a little more than 1%, though it has maintained a steady trading range north of $3,500 during that period. Prices peaked near the $3,750 range on Monday before the rally lost steam later in the week.

The hourly chart view, based on Bitstamp exchange data, shows weak underlying momentum. This raises doubts about the possibility of a strong weekend bounce back toward Monday highs. That being said, bitcoin’s weekly stretch of relative calm alleviates the risk of an imminent correction back down to December lows.

Interestingly enough, bitcoin’s stable trading range has been accompanied by a noticeable rise in trading volume. Since Sunday, virtual exchange trading has exceeded $5 billion. In the most recent 24-hour cycle, roughly $5.3 billion worth of BTC traded hands.

BitMEX continues to be the largest exchange market for bitcoin trades, though its share has dwindled significantly. As Hacked reported on Tuesday, the exchange is permanently closing U.S. accounts amid growing regulatory scrutiny.

Bitcoin Dominance Rises

At nearly $64 billion, bitcoin is easily the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Its share of the overall market has increased slightly since the beginning of the year as altcoins and tokens struggle to emerge from its strong gravitational pull. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s dominance rate was 52.4%.

The following chart highlights bitcoin’s share of the overall crypto market during the last 12 months. As you can see, BTC accounts for a bigger slice during bearish trends.

During bear-market trends, altcoins and tokens tend to mirror bitcoin’s trajectory. Although there are notable exceptions, particularly for coins like XRP and recently, Ethereum, the market is strongly correlated with BTC during periods of instability.

For bitcoin at least, the volatility regime has declined significantly over the past month. On Thursday, bitcoin’s 30-day volatility index fell to 4.17%, the lowest since Nov. 23. The volatility tracker from bitvol.info measures the extent to which the asset’s price varies over time.

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 740 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

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 740 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 740 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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