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Market Overview

Range-Bound Cryptocurrency Market Hovers Around $420 Billion as Trade Volume Drops

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The cryptocurrency market continued lower on Sunday, capping off a volatile weekend for the digital asset class even as the fundamental picture blossomed.

Crypto Market Cap

When taken as a whole, cryptocurrencies were valued at $424 billion Sunday afternoon, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. The total market cap has declined nearly 8% this weekend as the major coins continued to backtrack on technical re-positioning.

The market is down more than 18% from last Tuesday’s swing high of $516.2 billion. However, prices are still up 53% from the early February low near $276 billion. Trade volumes have also declined sharply recently, with 24-hour turnover amounting to just $14.8 billion.

Four out of the top five cryptocurrencies were down on Sunday, although Ethereum was off only half a percent. Bitcoin fell 3.5%, Ripple’s XRP was down 2.2% and bitcoin cash tumbled 2.7%. Meanwhile, Litecoin rebounded more than 4% after a massive reversal dragged prices below $200.

Looking further down the list, Stellar declined 5.2% while Ethereum Classic shed 8.8% (all figures courtesy of CoinMarketCap).

At the time of writing, bitcoin’s share of the market was 38% after peaking at 39.6% last week. That’s a considerable improvement over last month’s all-time low near 32%.

Although bitcoin remains an important proxy of overall market conditions, the bull market has attracted investors to other coins promising to pick up where BTC left off in terms of privacy, scalability and transaction speed.

Optimistic Future

The market’s recent trajectory undervalues a series of positive developments that seem to show a bright future for cryptocurrencies. For starters, Litecoin has announced it will implement the LitePay payment network this month, which will greatly enhance the integration of cryptocurrency within e-commerce.

In terms of technical developments, Coinbase has announced it will integrate Segregated Witness, along with transaction batching. Bitfinex, another leading crypto exchange, also announced plans to adopt the SegWit protocol.

On the regulatory side, the U.S. state of Wyoming unanimously approved two blockchain bills that may serve as a guidepost for the rest of the country. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated his country needs to adopt blockchain technology more assertively to capitalize on future business.

Earlier this month, the South Korean government reaffirmed its commitment to letting market forces dictate cryptocurrency trading, with regulators agreeing to focus only on policies that bring about more transparency.

On the U.S. side of the regulatory debate, the heads of the SEC and CFTC have given no indication that they plan to adopt hostile policies toward cryptocurrencies.

Access to the crypto markets is also improving after popular trading app Robinhood said it will support the digital asset class. The Robinhood Crypto platform, which will be rolled out in five U.S. states initially, received one million registrants in less than a week. Initial access will be limited to residents of California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana and New Hampshire.

 

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 610 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

Stocks Pull Back as China Exits Trade Talks

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Global stock markets have spent the better part of the day in the red, although the losses are muted, and markets are slightly choppy before Wednesday’s Fed meeting. China pulled out of the scheduled trade talks with the US following last week’s tariff-escalation and that put pressure on risk assets globally. Chinese and Japanese markets were closed today, and that also attributed to the lower than usual liquidity and trading activity.

Dow 30 Index Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

European Central bank President Mario Draghi warned of a “vigorous” pick-up in inflation, which triggered a selloff in the dollar and bonds across the globe, while putting more pressure on risk assets too. The dollar almost regained all of its losses since Draghi’s speech and with the looming fed decision in mind, further choppy and nervous trading is expected in the Greenback, especially following the recent surge in Treasury yields.

Russell 2000, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Dow and the S&P 500 both continued to retreat off last week’s record highs, as Friday’s trend resumed, and despite the bounce in the market leading tech giants, the Nasdaq is also lower. On a negative note, small-caps are trading at a 1-month low, as measured by the Russell 2000, which could mean that the US market might be ready to roll over into a correction.

The main European indices are holding on to most of last week’s gains in the meantime, but only the energy segment is clearly positive today, with the help of the strong rally in the price of crude oil.

Dollar and Euro in Focus Before the FED

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The EUR/USD pair will see fireworks for sure this week, and although the pair reached the 1.18 level today, it’s still in a zone with strong resistance and bulls still can’t conclude a successful breakout, with the 1.1675 level still being close form a technical perspective. For now, the short-term uptrend is intact, but a quick move below 1.1750 could mark a reversal.

Emerging market currencies are mixed, with the Turkish Lira trading notably higher thanks to the possible release of Pastor Brunson, who has been a major catalyst for the diplomatic troubles between the US and Turkey. The release of the Pastor could stabilize the currency, but another major global risk-off shift could hurt the vulnerable country again, as yields continue to rise globally.

WTI Crude Oil Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

As Saudi Arabia basically ignored Trump’s call for lower oil prices, the recent strength in the commodity culminated in a break-out to new 10 week highs in the WTI contract, which topped the $72 per barrel level for the first time since early July. Natural gas hit $3, and it is on the verge of breaking out to a new 7-month high too, as the whole energy segment is rallying.

Elsewhere in the commodity segment, the Dollar’s choppy price action led to a mixed picture, with copper pulling back slightly from last week’s highs, while gold is still fighting to stay above the $1200 per ounce level as it has been the case for several weeks now.

Featured image from 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 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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Market Overview

Switzerland Makes It Easier for Blockchain Companies to Open Bank Accounts

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Switzerland is making it easier for blockchain startups to access traditional financial services after several projects decided to leave the country over strict banking laws. The new guidelines are part of a wider initiative to help Switzerland maintain its status as the epicenter of cryptocurrency innovation.

SBA Issues New Guidelines

On Friday, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) announced new guidelines for financial institutions looking to do business with blockchain startups. The rules will make it easier for banks to service the blockchain ecosystem and for the companies themselves to set up bank accounts in the country.

“We believe that with these guidelines, we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, making the dialogue simpler and facilitating the opening of accounts,” SBA strategic adviser Adrian Schatzmann said in a news conference, as quoted by Reuters.

The new measures provide “more clarity not only to banks, but also to startups,” said Oliver Bussmann, head of the Crypto Valley Association.

Although blockchain companies are not barred from opening up Swiss bank accounts, existing regulations make it difficult for them to quality for corporate banking services. Swiss banks have been hesitant to serve the growing sector over fears of violating know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) obligations.

Banks are especially concerned over initial coin offerings (ICOs), the controversial crowdfunding system that allows companies to raise millions of dollars by issuing tokens. Several ICOs have raised funds without conducting AML checks on their investors. Banks that service such firms would be at risk of falling out of line with existing AML guidelines.

Switzerland’s fourth largest bank,  Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB), has already closed the accounts of more than 20 blockchain firms. According to Reuters, only a small handful of the country’s 250 banks ever allowed blockchain companies to deposit the cash equivalent of their token raises.

Under the new guidelines, banks will have the opportunity to distinguish between blockchain firms that carry out ICOs and those that do not. For token projects, KYC and AML guidelines are still enforced.

Crypto Valley Switzerland

Switzerland quickly emerged as a leading hub for the blockchain industry after a government-sponsored institution launched Crypto Valley, an ecosystem based in Zurich and Zug that incubates new cryptocurrency startups. Hacked shined the spotlight on Crypto Valley last October after several dozen high-profile firms set up shop in the region.  Crypto Valley is now home to roughly 530 blockchain companies.

Despite offering a more liberal environment for cryptocurrency startups, Switzerland clamped down on the market in February by issuing more stringent ICO guidelines. This seems to have triggered a mass exodus of cryptocurrency startups, which have since made their way to Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and Cayman Islands. The new rules categorized ICOs into three separate buckets: payment, utility and asset.

SBA is hoping to stem the outflow of blockchain projects by giving them more avenues to traditional banking services. However, with several countries liberalizing their blockchain laws, it remains to seen whether Crypto Valley can maintain its leadership pace.

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 610 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

Stocks Pull Back From Highs as Pound Plunges

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After yesterday’s record-breaking session, US stocks once again broadly opened at all-time highs, even as the momentum of the global rally waned. Chinese stocks kick-started the day by extending their relief rally off their 4-year lows and Europe also ticked higher, although the major indices couldn’t hold on to their early gains. Since the US open stocks are drifting lower, but with no major events scheduled for today, a calm afternoon session is likely on Wall Street.

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The slight weakness came on the heels of the weaker than expected European flash Manufacturing and Services PMIs, while Theresa May’s Brexit ultimatum also weighed on local equities. The Great British Pound fell sharply on the news too, erasing yesterday’s lofty gains and briefly getting close to the 1.30 level, as the Dollar rallied across the board.

NASDAQ 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Nasdaq has been lagging the Dow and the S&P 500 from a short-term perspective and the tech benchmark is once again leading the way lower today. The worse than expected guidance by Micron (MU) from yesterday is weighing on the segment and the market-leading tech giants are also weaker than average.

10-year US Treasury Yield, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

All eyes are still on the bond market, as Treasury yields are near multi-year highs concerning almost all maturities, and with the 10-year yield being very close to signal a trend change in the multi-decade structural downtrend.

While next week’s rate hike by the Fed is near certain, the outlook for the next year will likely be crucial, and given the positive US economic trends and the trade wars’ contained impact, the market’s rate hike expectations are rising across the curve.

Futures and Option Expiries Lead to Choppy Trading

Today is an important day for futures and options traders, as the quarterly contracts are expiring across asset classes, and that has a huge effect on stock and commodity markets as well, with high volumes and volatile trading especially around the key strike prices. Strong trends are rare on these sessions and day-traders should be cautious of sudden volatile spikes in even the most traded assets.

Copper, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities already experienced volatile swings throughout the day, with especially gold being tossed around the $1200 level that has been in the center of attention in the past weeks. Shorts in copper have been squeezed heavily before the end of the week, with the crucial metal surging above key support with the rally in Chinese stocks, while WTI crude oil retreated from a more than two-month high above the $71 per barrel level as the Dollar rallied.

Featured image from 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 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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