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The Next Leg in Bitcoin’s Bull Market Is Coming as CME Announces Plans for Futures

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Have you had enough of bitcoin’s relentless surge? Well, the digital asset is expected to get a whole lot more expensive now that the world’s biggest exchange has announced plans for bitcoin futures.

Peak Bitcoin? Think Again

In an apparent change of heart, CME Group Inc. has announced plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of 2017. The announcement came a month after the world’s biggest futures exchange dismissed any notion of entering the cryptocurrency space.

The move will allow institutional investors to get in on the world’s hottest asset class using a more conventional market tool. Futures are essentially financial contracts obligating the buyer to buy an asset or the seller to sell the asset. The futures market is largely tied to commodities, equities and Treasury notes.

CME Group’s foray into cryptocurrency is influenced by a recent decision by CBOE Global Markets Inc. to enter the market. CBOE has already announced plans to begin offering bitcoin futures contracts by early 2018. It is currently waiting approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission before moving forward.

According to Bloomberg, the CME futures contract will settle in cash and reflect daily price action from the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate. The Reference Rate is drawn from digital exchanges Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken. Crypto traders will notice that Gemini is missing from the list. That’s because it has already entered into a deal with CBOE.

CME’s chief executive Terrence Duffy issued the following statement on Tuesday:

“As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”

“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” Terry added, according to CNBC.

Bitcoin Climbs to New Record

Bitcoin climbed to new record highs on Tuesday, as investors rallied behind growing institutional demand for digital assets. BTC/USD peaked above $6,400 for a gain of more than 4%. At press time, it was trading around $6,379. The latest rally gave bitcoin a market cap of more than $106 billion. As a result, the total market capitalization for all digital assets above $182 billion for the first time.

As the world’s largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin has skyrocketed more than sixfold this year. Institutional investors have paid close attention to the rally, but have hesitated to enter an unproven market with little regulatory oversight. The introduction of a bitcoin derivative is a major step toward the development of bitcoin as a more established asset class. As such, investors can expect a favorable outlook as institutional cash enters the market.

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 608 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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Crosses 50-Day MA amid Seller’s Fatigue

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Bitcoin is charting a bullish reversal after an impressive Friday rally pushed prices back above the 50-day moving average.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin’s price clocked a high of $6,840.90 on Bitfinex Saturday, the highest in over two weeks. BTC was last seen trading at $6,678, having declined 1.2% from the previous session.

The leading digital currency shot up $400 on Friday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it will delay a ruling on the highly touted VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. The broader market was in a firm uptrend thanks to XRP’s triple-digit surge.

Bitcoin is now trading above the 50-day moving average, an important indicator for the bulls. Relative strength has weakened over the past 24 hours but remains in positive territory.

The bulls have a lot more work to do to ensure a stable recovery in the bitcoin price. Although BTC has successfully defended its key support, the market has been characterized by lower highs since mid-July.

At current values, bitcoin’s total market capitalization has risen to $115.2 billion. However, its share of the overall market has depreciated considerably. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s dominance rate was below 52%, according to CoinMarketCap. It recently peaked above 58%.

Classic Bottom?

Michael Novogratz, the billionaire investor and founder of Galaxy Digital, believes bitcoin is due for a strong comeback as “seller fatigue” takes hold.

Speaking at the second annual “All Markets Summit” hosted by Yahoo Finance, Novogratz said crypto assets will be back on the upswing following the boom-and-bust cycle of the last two years. According to Galaxy Digital’s cryptocurrency index, the market has experienced a “classic bottom” that will make the top-ten coins more attractive in the foreseeable future.

“Bitcoin has held $6,000. Yes, it is off its highs, but it has established itself as a store of value,” Novogratz said, as quoted by Reuters.

The $6,000 price point has proven to be a formidable support zone for bitcoin as it is commonly cited as the break-even point for miners. The launch of bitcoin futures in December has also contributed to a sharp decline in volatility – albeit incremental – which appears to have set the price floor at or around $6,000. Although the market has breached this level on multiple occasions, each breakdown proved to be short-lived.

In terms of institutional adoption, Novogratz believes there are sizable sums of money currently waiting to be invested. This view conforms with the business strategy being employed by Coinbase, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which has developed new custody services to attract institutional investors. Coinbase believes there is currently $10 billion in institutional capital sitting on the sidelines.

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 608 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Stabilizes as Ripple Craze Fades

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The major cryptocurrencies had crazy Friday, with the skyrocketing Ripple in the center of attention. XRP more than doubled in 24 hours, and the coin was up 3 times off its low from earlier this month before entering a correction in the second half of the day. Ripple briefly took over Ethereum as the second largest coin by market capitalization, even as ETH also hit an almost three-week high amid the broad rally in the segment.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

XRP settled down above the $0.50 level near the market cap of ETH, but short-term the coin is severely overbought, and a pullback to the $0.42-$0.46 zone is still very likely even if the coin manages to hold on to its stellar gains and enter long-term rising trend. For now, a long-term trend change is not confirmed, despite the huge bullish move, with most of the segment still being in bearish long-term trends.

That said, the short-term buy signal is still intact in our trend model, and should the overbought readings get cleared, traders could enter new positions again. Support levels are found near $0.54, $0.51, while resistance is ahead near $0.57, $0.64, and $0.75.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin got up to $6750 yesterday, but so far, it failed to overcome the resistance zone near that price level, and the coin is now trading in a shallow short-term correction. BTC needs to stay above the $6500 support to maintain the break-out that followed Ripple’s surge and to remain on a buy signal in our trend model.

The fact that correlations are still declining between the coins is a positive sign, but the overall bearish picture in the segment and Bitcoin’s proximity to the key long-term zone still warrant caution here. Further resistance zones are now ahead near $7000 and between $7200 and $7300, while support below $6500 is still found at $6275, $6000, and near $5850.

Altcoins Pull Back with Ripple, Short-Term Setup Still Promising

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum finally broke above the key $235 support/resistance level thanks to yesterday’s broad rally, and the coin reached the next major resistance zone near $260 as expected after the bullish move. Now the dominant declining trendlines are not far away, so traders should reduce their positions, since the long-term trend is still clearly bearish.

A test of the lows is still in the cards in the coming weeks, and the coin remains on a long-term sell signal despite the short-term rally.  Support is found near $200, $180, at the low near$170, and at $160, while further resistance is ahead between $275 and $$280 and at $300.

Stellar/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Stellar was among the strongest coins during yesterday’s rally, following Ripple higher, but now it is testing the key support/resistance zone between $0.2375 and $0.25 after entering a correction together with the broader market.

That said, the break-out is intact in Stellar, and traders could hold on to their positions here. Support levels are found near $0.21, $0.1930, and $0.1830, while further resistance is ahead near $0.2650 and $0.2850.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 351 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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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 106 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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