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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

The Flippening: XRP Overtakes Ethereum as Second-Largest Cryptocurrency

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XRP’s sudden and dramatic surge over the past four days has fundamentally altered the composition of the cryptocurrency market. On Friday, the so-called banker’s cryptocurrency overtook Ethereum as the world’s second-largest blockchain, highlighting the latter’s struggle over the past two months.

Market Cap Rankings

The market capitalization for XRP has more than doubled this week and now sits at $23.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The dramatic surge follows a 115% spike in the XRP price since Tuesday.

Ethereum, which has long held the no. 2 spot in the crypto market rankings, has fallen to third spot with a total market cap of $23.3 billion. Ether’s price is up more than 7% on Friday and lags considerably behind XRP over the past five days.

Trading in XRP is up across all major exchanges. XRP’s daily turnover now sits at $2.6 billion, having gained a staggering 800% since Tuesday.

At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization was worth nearly $225 billion. The market was valued at roughly $200 billion just 24 hours ago.

The Flippening

Despite being one of the most polarizing cryptocurrencies on the market, XRP has managed to win over investors who are keenly monitoring institutional adoption of blockchain technology. Ripple Labs, the company behind XRP, has announced hundreds of partnerships over the designed to boost mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

All that came to a head on Monday after a Ripple executive teased the release of the first xRapid product. Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Ripple’s Asia-Pacific and the Middle East unit, told CNBC that a new cryptocurrency offering centered on the xRapid system was due in the “next month or so.” This news helped propel XRP through the stratosphere.

Ethereum, on the other hand, was the center of the most recent market meltdown that saw prices plummet nearly 90% from peak-to-trough. Ether briefly fell below $170 last week as coin offerings continued to liquidate their holdings. According to some analysts, Ethereum is facing an existential crisis amid declining reservation demand and concerns over “economic abstraction.” Although the development community is addressing these concerns, Ethereum’s short-term price trajectory has been extremely volatile.

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 606 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: Surging Ripple Leads Strong Rally, Tops $0.50

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The last 24 hours saw a much-awaited bullish shift in the cryptocurrency segment, as finally, the rally of a major triggered a broad and sustained move in the other top coins as well. Ripple surged by 50% after the initial rally of the bear market lows, and it really took off after yesterday’s buy signal in our trend model, topping the weaker $0.3750 resistance level and the very strong long-term zone near $0.42, which also marked the dominant declining long-term trendline.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Despite the strong rally, a long-term trend change is not confirmed yet, and traders should reduce their positions here, as at least a re-test of the key zone near $0.42 is very likely following the surge, with resistance ahead at $0.54, $0.575, and $0.64. With the move, XRP also got close to take over Ethereum as the second largest coin, with currently around 10% separating the two currencies in market cap.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is also significantly higher today, although the 5% move is dwarfed by Ripple 50% jump. BTC triggered a buy signal overnight, rallying past the $6500 resistance level, and it is currently testing the zone $6750.

The long-term signal is still only neutral, and although the current broad rally is encouraging, the segment is still not out of the woods. Further resistance zones are now ahead at $7000 and between $7200 and $7300, while support below $6500 is still found at $6275, $6000, and near $5850.

Altcoins Still Mixed but Rally Gaining Breadth

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum moved up to the recent swing high and got close to the key resistance level at $235 once again amid the broad rally, but for now a clear break to confirm a new upswing is not completed. That said, the coin is still on a short-term buy signal, and given the improvements in the segment, traders should hold on to their positions here.

A sustained move below $200 would still warn of a re-test of the lows near $170, but a move above $235 could lead to a test of the $260 resistance level and the strong $275-$280 zone.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The outlook for the major altcoins improved, but there are still relatively weak coins, with the likes of ETC, IOTA, LTC, and NEO still not being in good technical positions. That said, Stellar, Cardano, Dash, and EOS also joined the rally, and Monero maintained its short-term buy signal too.

XMR is still below the recent swing low and the $125 resistance level, and well shy of the key long-term zone near $150, but the stability of the coin is encouraging.

Dash/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

After the bullish consolidation period below $200 that we pointed out, Dash moved above the key level following Ripple and the broader market higher. Dash could be part of a bullish leadership, should the current move continue, and although the long-term downtrend is still intact, the coins is now on a short-term buy signal in our trend model, with further support at $190 and $170 and resistance ahead at $215, $225, and $265.

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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Settle Down After End-Of-The-Day Bitcoin Madness

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While the short-term technical setup has been little changed in the cryptocurrency segment in the past 24 hours, a volatile dump&pump period made headlines in Bitcoin. The most valuable coin got smashed lower right before the futures market close, violating the $6275 support and plunging as low as $6100, triggering a downgrade in our trend model to neutral. BTC than surged higher a few minutes later and shot up to the $6500 resistance before settling down near $6400, where it stands today in European trading as well.

The possible manipulation event (or simply a closing imbalance in the futures market) dragged the rest of the market with it, although the moves were less pronounced in altcoins, and today, the market has been calm across the board, with most of the majors sporting modest gains amid the improving sentiment. On a positive note, Ripple is holding on to its gains from Tuesday, and today’s new swing high triggered a buy signal, which is a much-needed positive sign for the still generally bearish segment.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin’s long-term outlook is unchanged but the quick recovery from yesterday’s spike lower is a plus for bulls, even as the $6275 level is still in focus and the coin still haven’t shown strong bullish momentum.

With that in mind, traders should still be cautious with new positions, since the short-term outlook for the segment remains mixed, and BTC continues to trade dangerously close to the key long-term zone near $5850. Below $6275 further support is found at $6000, while resistance is ahead at $6500, $6750, and $7000.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum continues to trade at a very important technical juncture, trying to establish a short-term uptrend after last week’s rally and avoid a re-test of the bear market lows. The fact that Ethereum remained stable amid yesterday’s Bitcoin move, and recovered to its short-term trading range is positive, but the coin has to show bullish momentum soon to remain on a short-term buy signal.

A sustained move below $200 would warn of a re-test of the lows but a new swing high could open up the way towards $235 and $260, with further strong resistance ahead between $275 and $280. Traders could still enter new short-term positions, but full positions are still not recommended given the bearish long-term trend.

Ripple Hits 1-Month High Above $0.35

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple is rallying again today, scoring a new high above the key resistance zone near $0.35 and triggering a buy signal in our trend model with the bullish swing. The next major resistance zone is found near the $0.42 price level, close to the dominant broad declining trendline, with a weaker short-term resistance level at $0.3750, the August spike high, and found at $0.32, $0.313, and $0.30. The coin is still on a long-term sell signal, despite the current move, and traders shouldn’t enter full positions here.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin is trading in a very narrow range today, and volatility declined progressively in since the selloff two weeks ago, which will likely lead to a strong momentum move as early as the coming days. A bullish move would be important for the whole segment, as it could point to a developing leadership, with Monero, Stellar, and Dash also being in possibly bullish setups. Primary resistance is ahead at $56, while support is found near $51.

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 350 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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