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Risks abound with Ethereum and its Application Developers

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Ethereum is a public, peer-to-peer network with its own unique digital currency called Ether. It was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2014 and it aimed to be a platform on which smart contracts can be built and executed. The Ethereum blockchain is modeled in a way that would enable it to store different categories of data. The computer programs operating on the Ethereum blockchain accesses and uses this data. These computer programs are called decentralized apps, or “Dapps”.

Risks with Ethereum

Figure 1: Understanding Dapps

Applications of Ethereum

Several innovative applications are being developed using the Ethereum blockchain. These are:

  1. Improving the quality of web
  2. Establishment of virtual web
  3. Managing unique identity
  4. Shaping business models
  5. Micro-blogging
  6. Empowering artists
  7. Crowdfunding

Risks being faced by Ethereum and its applications

Even though the blockchain technology has earned a significant amount of popularity in recent times, there are several issues that it has been facing:

Infectious licensing:

One of the major issues that application developers face while using Ethereum is that of open-source licensing. Most of these developers do not pay heed to the risks of using open-source software. This particular risk of open-source licensing is unique to Ethereum as it is non-existent in the case of Bitcoin. Utilizations of Ethereum entail a number of business and legal issues. One of the most pivotal issues that an Ethereum based app developer is likely to face is that of the right to own and use Ethereum. The Ethereum Foundation declares that Ethereum is both open-source and free after the definition of the Free Software Foundation. This implies that the application developers will be granted the licenses to operate, copy, distribute and upgrade the software. After this point, however, uncertainty arises. That is because “free” software does not necessarily mean that the software would be free of cost. These restrictions are particularly disruptive and complicated in the case of the business model of Ethereum.

Open source software is divided into two broad categories namely permissive and restrictive. Unlike the permissive licenses which have minimal restrictions imposed on them, the restrictive licenses limit a licensee’s ability to distribute modified versions of the works under commercial or non-open source terms. Restrictive licenses also termed as copyleft licenses or “viral licenses” as these have the potential to “infect” a software product with the terms of the open-source software of the underlying copyleft programs. This leaves a licensee unable to distribute a modified or derivative version of the works. Hence the use of open-source software is laden with risks which need to be mitigated before the licensing any open-source product. The gravest form of risk that may arise out of the use of open source software is that an application developer may put the entire proprietary value of a project in jeopardy.

Conflicting views:

The Ethereum foundation currently uses a wide range of open source licenses, each of which corresponds to different components of Ethereum. The foundation has not yet decided on one definite open-source license which will be used to design the core of the Ethereum in the future. The Ethereum Foundation has stated that the core of Ethereum will be released under the three most liberal licenses namely Mit License, Mozilla Public Licence, and LGPL. However, the latter two are actually weak copyleft licenses. Currently, cpp – Ethereum’s core libraries are licensed under GPL which is a strong copyleft license.  This results in a conflict with the foundation’s indication that the license of the final core of Ethereum has not yet been finalized. The uncertainty regarding the finalization of the licensing scheme poses significant threats to the developers.

Technical risks:

  • Grayscale Investments report that there is no guarantee that the Ethereum Foundation’s proof-of-stake model named Casper will match up to the security and scalability level of the verified proof-of-work models.
  • Long-term security loopholes and some fundamental flaws are likely to be discovered in its applications.

Resource and cash flow risks:

  • The scarcity of funds is likely to be a limitation for Ethereum.
  • It has not succeeded in attracting sufficient VC investment.

Competition risks:

  • The existing market share and future business prospects of Bitcoin poses a major threat to Ethereum. Bitcoin already has established a strong foothold in China. And then you have NEO.
  • The threat of a potential new entrant in the market is another risk that Ethereum faces.

Regulatory risks:

  • Governments could restrict the market of cryptocurrencies.
  • Governments could demand permission system or provide institutional support to a rival system.
  • Governments could intervene in the issuance of assets, initial public offerings or crowd shares.

Barriers to adoption:

  • The PR mechanism of Ethereum is inefficient.
  • A large section of the general population is not familiar or interested in the concept of Dapps.
  • Ethereum still has not earned a place on any major stock listing.

A few other risks are:

  • The irreversible transaction of cash makes it a risky venture.
  • Ethereum is not accredited to any entity. Hence if somebody loses their Ethereum, the service provider can do nothing to refund him.
  • Finally, the size of its customer base determines its valuation. That means, if demand for Ethereum is generated from only a few people and businesses, its valuation will be diminished significantly.
  • Ethereum does not have a fixed supply cap. It is more volatile than other currencies as its valuation can move both up or down in a very short span of time. The 24-hour variance of Ether has been reported to be 11 percent.
  • A report from Grayscale Investments highlights that there are risks associated with large quantities of ETH being held by entities like the Ethereum foundation and the DAO hacker. The report has also cited issues with the fact that since a concentrated group of developers purchased 72 million of the 89.4 million ETH outstanding during the 2014 pre-sale, any fall in the ETH’s supply rate could result in concerns about the issue of centralization.

There are several risks abound with Ethereum.

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 9 rated postsHira Saeed is a tech geek girl with a passion to write on latest technology trends. She is the Founder of Tech Geeks community in Pakistan and also runs her copywriting and social media agency, Digital Doers. Follow her on @heerasaeed.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Pop Higher as Consolidation Continues

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Trading activity increased in the major coins today, amid a mixed news flow, and for now, bulls scored a small victory following last week’s bearish price action. Bitcoin, Ethereum and most of the largest digital currencies gained several percents, despite the weekend’s deterioration, and although the technical setup didn’t change significantly, an immediate breakdown has been averted.

The discouraging BIS report that has been making waves today wasn’t enough to push the coins below support, but for now, the short-term strength left the trading range intact with the primary resistance levels still keeping a lid on prices. Given the uncertain long-term picture, the coming weeks will be crucial for the largest coins and the whole segment alike, with Bitcoin being in the center of attention after its long period of relative weakness.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin held up above the April low, despite the bearish short-term picture, and the coin the highest price level in a week, breaching the $6750 level in the process. While the most valuable coin fared relatively well today, it clearly remains a laggard from a broader perspective, and it is still trading in a declining short-term trend, with several strong resistance levels just ahead.

The $5850 is the key from a long-term perspective, with further support levels at $6500 and $6275 and resistance ahead at $7000 and $7350.

Bearish Rotation Among Altcoins

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

On a negative note, the leaders of the latest rally were among the weaker coins today, and that is a sign of bearish rotation in a segment, and until major resistance levels are broken traders shouldn’t enter new positions here. Ethereum managed to rally above $500 yet again, but it remained below week’s bounce high, leaving the trading range intact, while the declining short-term trend is also still dominant.  Strong resistance is still ahead between $555 and $575, while support below $500 is found at $450, $400, and $380.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS, which is one of the strongest majors technically speaking also edged higher today, but it remains stuck in the declining short-term pattern, and below key support/resistance zone near $12. The coin is well below last week’s high and until a confirmed short-term trend change, traders shouldn’t enter positions here.

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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Altcoins

Crypto Critics: Fractured Facts

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I have another confession.  As a long time investor, I believed in the theory of efficient markets. This basically means that every participant in the market has immediate and complete access to all information facts like price, earnings and other data.  

I made the mistake in applying this theory to cryptocurrencies. Lately, this has been a mistake.  Yes it is true that anyone with the time and interest can go about gathering all the facts. But are all facts telling the truth or are they really fractured facts?  Either way they are dictating investor thinking and that is a key to this market.

According to reports on MarketWatch, crypto prices slumped on the release of a 24 page report from the Bank of International Settlements. BIS stated that cryptocurrencies suffered from “a range of shortcomings that would prevent cryptocurrencies from ever fulfilling the lofty expectations that prompted an explosion of interest — and investment — in the would-be asset class”.

The BIS is no small town organization. They serve as a central bank for other banks and they have been doing this since 1930.  When the BIS talks, people take things they say very seriously.

The doomsday article released Sunday paints an accurate picture of the state of cryptocurrencies today. But what about tomorrow?  Most everyone is familiar with the issues of speed, security and energy consumption, not to mention regulation. But for the BIS to conclude that none of this problems will ever be solved is down right nieve.  It is the equivalent of declaring in 2001 that the Internet was doomed because 90% of users were connect on dial up modems.

Rotten Research

The BIS report is not the first fracturing of facts presented by well regarded organizations that is scaring investors. Remember back in May? We were treated to the research headline: Bitcoin Futures Caused The Crypto Market Crash according to Federal Papers.

Both the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a Stanford University professor released a report concluding the launch of bitcoin futures last December contributed to the ensuing price collapse. Pretty far fetched stuff, and here is why.

Bitcoin futures trading began on December 10. BarChart.com shows the CME traded a measly 932 contracts while the CBOE handled 3,887.  Of that total some 2,828 contracts were still “Open Contracts” on December 29th leaving just 1991 coins to do all the harm. During that final week of December over 1.4 million coins were traded. The findings were simply flawed.

Much like the BIS, when the Federal Reserve speaks, people believe they have done their homework carefully.  Throw in Stanford and that adds further weight to this conclusion.

And Then There Are Those Other Facts

And then there was the revelation last week that, much of bitcoin’s 2017 boom was market manipulation, research says.  In a huge 66 page report it was claimed that at least half of the 2017 rise in bitcoin prices was due to coordinated price manipulation using tether.

The author, University of Texas at Austin finance professor John Griffin, argues that Tether was used to buy bitcoin at key moments when it was declining, which helped “stabilize and manipulate” the cryptocurrency price. BTW: this is the job of the specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Professor Griffin appears to have done an excellent job correlating events without much consideration for the economics involved.  According to Bloomberg’s Aaron Brown, for Professor Griffin to be correct in his assertion that tether pushed up bitcoin prices four basis points per 100 bitcoin, Bitfinex would have needed to spend a boatload to inflate the cryptocurrency.  With Bitcoin at $10,000, for example, that means Bitfinex spends $1 million to push the price up to $10,004.

When you look at things from this perspective, Griffin’s findings look pretty absurd.

Look Closely At The Facts

These days with crypto psychology the worst since Mt. Gox in 2014, it seems like a good time for investors to capitalize on the fractured facts.  Technical analysis shows that cryptocurrencies bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others are hovering around key support levels. It would not be shocking at anytime to find some academic study linking crypto to the common cold.  By the way, it is a fact that last years dramatic crypto price spike came right at the start of the flu season.

A far more relevant fact was last week’s announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission that neither bitcoin or Ethereum were securities. Perhaps equally important is the conclusion that when ICO do not convey an equity ownership position, they too are considered in the same non-security category as bitcoin and Etherrun.  This is a fact.

What we do know is that crypto prices are as low as they have been since well before the spike last December.  Just as the markets recovered from Mt. Gox, the mindset of investors will recover and that is the key.

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 82 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Consolidate Above Support but Downtrend Still Intact

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It has been a very quiet weekend for the major cryptocurrencies so far, as the predominantly bearish week ended with range trading and a collapse in volumes across the board. Most of the top coins failed to gain back the ground they lost during the steep selloff, with only Binance Coin and VeChain showing meaningful bullish momentum.

The relatively strong Ethereum, EOS, and Ripple remained stable, with ETH hovering around the $500 level, EOS trading north of the key $10 support despite the network’s technical issues, and Ripple being stuck in a narrow range just below the widely-watched $0.54 resistance level. The total capitalization of the market has been virtually unchanged at $280 billion, as both Bitcoin and Ethereum flatlined.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is trading right at the short-term support level near $6500, holding up just above the April low, with the crucial long-term support zone near $5850 that is vital for the whole segment. The coin is clearly in a short-term downtrend, while also being relatively weak on all time frames. The oversold short-term momentum readings are now cleared and that could point to a test of the lows in the coming days.

 

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum also cleared the short-term oversold readings, but it failed to leave the vicinity of the $500 support/resistance level. Despite the coin’s undoubted relative strength, and the still bullish long-term setup, the short-term trend signal remains a sell, and the declining trend is intact. Traders should still not enter new positions here, while investors could add to their holdings on the short-term selloffs. Strong resistance is ahead between $555 and $575, while further support is found at $450, $400, and $380.

Divide Widens between Leaders and Laggards

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Although short-term correlations skyrocketed during last week’s decline, the divergence between the relatively strong and weak coins got even more pronounced, with the likes of Litecoin, Dash, and Monero severely lagging the broader market. Litecoin got stuck below the $100 level after the breakdown last week, and it is below the long-term base pattern, as it failed to show relative strength during the weekend. Immediate support is found at $90, but new lows are likely in the coming days, as the short-term downtrend remains dominant. 

BNB/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

As a positive outlier, Binance Coin remained bullish amid the broad decline, holding on to the relative strength that it has been showing for several weeks. The coin’s stability is encouraging, and it’s nearing its rally highs with today’s surge, while having a good chance of resuming its uptrend, even as another segment-wide selloff could cause a jump in volatility again.

For now, the market is torn between bullish and bearish forces, and investors should focus on the technicals of BTC and ETH, while also keeping an eye on the leaders of the rally for signs of sutained strenght.

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 277 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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