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SEC Warning Rattles Crypto Market as Bitcoin Plunges Below $10,000

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Bitcoin was back on the defensive Thursday, as prices dropped below $10,000 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said digital asset exchanges must register with the agency to trade so-called security tokens.

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SEC Issues Stern Warning

The SEC issued the decree in a statement that was published on its website on Wednesday:

“If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’ as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration.”

Regulators have drawn a clear line in the sand in how they deal with security tokens, warning startups that they will scrutinize any token offering that is deemed to fall in line with federal security laws. In other words, classifying a digital asset as a “utility” token instead of a “security” token isn’t enough to circumvent the scrutiny of regulators.

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Regulators also said they were concerned that many online exchanges appear to investors as regulated when they are not:

“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not. Many platforms refer to themselves as “exchanges,” which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange.”

It remains to be seen how the major exchanges will react to the SEC’s warning. Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges must obtain state licenses to operate legally.

Crypto Market Falters

Regulatory unrest triggered a broad retreat in the market on Thursday, with the combined value of cryptocurrencies falling by as much as 8.5% from their session high. At the time of writing, the combined market cap for all coins was $382 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin fell back below $10,000 for the second time in as many days, hitting a session low of $9,121. It would later recover at $9,395 for a loss of around 5.5%.

Every coin in the top ten traded lower on Thursday, with bitcoin cash, Monero and Cardano experiencing the biggest percentage drops.

In terms of overall dominance, bitcoin continued to make up around 42% the total market share. The cryptocurrency has taken a bigger piece of the pie in recent weeks as investors cut speculative bets on altcoins.

The SEC notice wasn’t the only bearish signal for markets this week. On Wednesday, crypto assets plunged double digits on speculation that Binance may have been subject to an orchestrated cyberattack targeting altcoins. After a thorough investigation, Binance assured users it had not been hacked.

Negative headlines concerning regulation and cyber security have deflated a market that was slowly regaining its poise. Prior to the recent reversal, bitcoin had tested highs near $11,700.

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 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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Blockchain

How Blockchain Can Help Companies Face the New GDPR Rules

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The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines governing the European Union (EU) officially come into play on May 25. Businesses and their associated websites had about three years to comply with the new set of rules. The companies that didn’t bother adjusting their data collection methodologies could face stiff fines.

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Most companies issued a new “Terms of Use” to be on the safe side of the road. However, a blockchain system could solve the problem once and for all.

According to the GDPR, companies are expected to follow new guidelines in order to be allowed to operate for European citizens. Those regulations include the ability for the user to consent to their data being processed, the knowledge of who is processing the data and the ability to withdraw consent at any time..

Blockchain can play a vital role in this process. Websites that have users register on a distributed ledger system provide an upper hand, allowing them to be in charge of the data they provide.

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Blockchain’s Role

When applied to systems in need of identity management, blockchain can operate in a level no other protocol can. The way it stores, collects and distributes data is revolutionizing. There is a brand new set of capabilities not available on any existing data protection method.

Blockchain verifies data usage through a complicated combination of public and private signatures, data hashing and encryption. This allows a person’s data and identity to be saved only on his end, rather than on a server. When that data is requested, it has to be provided from the user’s device instead of the main server.

While running on a blockchain system, the user is able to process exchanges personally, meaning the company that wants his data will have to get his consent in order to access them. This allows the user to have absolute control over his information, as well as know the company that uses it, meeting the GDPR’s “Right to Erasure” condition.

The use of blockchain also eliminates the need for massive databases since each user stores his own data. Blockchain makes it possible for each user to connect when needed, allowing companies to keep minimum information on customers and employees. Applying those changes to their products as well allows the company to meet GDPR’s “privacy by design” condition.

Privacy by design is, in essence, a new GDPR provision. According to it, companies are obligated to have platforms that are built on data privacy, with their products or services privacy in the cognizance of the rightful user. With blockchain technology, the process is automatically private, thus meeting the privacy by design criteria.

It remains to be seen if GDPR rules come into place on May 25 and whether fines will actually be levied on websites that do not comply. According to GDPR, the fees may come up to 4% of its annual global turnover, or €20 million, whichever is greater. This amount is enough to deter both small and large companies, although implementation will be key.

Blockchain can be the pioneer system behind the web sooner than we think. GDPR paves the way for greater blockchain adoption at a level that extends far beyond core business functions and cryptocurrency transactions.

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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Coins Lose Ground as Range Trading Continues

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While the weekend rally got bulls hope up that the consolidation phase might have ended, the technical setup hasn’t changed much in the segment, and today all of the major coins are lower again. The losses, which range from 2-5%, are not significant from a long-term standpoint, and most of the top coins are still clearly above the crucial support levels that mark the lower boundaries of the short-term trading ranges.

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With that in mind, traders still shouldn’t change their neutral stance, as there is no clear momentum present that would justify new positions here. Bitcoin continues to slightly outperform most altcoins today, but the divergence is not significant from a technical standpoint. Trading volumes continue to be well below the levels of the recent weeks, and that reinforces the bullish consolidation scenario.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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BTC drifted back below the key $8400-$8600 zone, and it remains stuck the lower boundary of the range today, despite its slight relative strength. As the short-term MACD indicator is neutral, and our trend model is also on a neutral signal, further choppy trading is likely ahead.  Short-term support is found near the intraday low, at $8150, with a stronger zone between $7650-$7800, with further resistance ahead between $9000 and $9200, $10,000, and $10,500.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is trading right at the center of the short-term range, as the coin gave back most of its weekend gains, while losing its relative strength in the process as well. The coin remains on a neutral short-term trend signal similarly to the broader market, with the price action still being consistent with an orderly correction. Resistance is ahead between $735 and $780, at $845 and $900, while support is found between $625 and $645 and between $555 and $575.

Tron Still Outperforms as Correlations Remain High

TRX/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Tron made the most progress among the op coins since bottoming out after the correction, and the coin remains bullish from a short-term perspective despite the current pullback. The $0.075 support/resistance level is in the center of attention, while the late-April high at $0.010 is the next target for the move. As the broader market remains in a corrective phase, but the coin is one of the prime candidates to hit a new high in the coming weeks.

Dash, Monero, Ripple, and Litecoin are still weaker than segment average, while the recently lagging IOTA held the key $1.7 level. For now, there is still no sign of a developing robust leadership, as EOS failed to regain its bullish momentum, and no major joined Tron in the rally.

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 255 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

Crypto Update: Sideways Drift Continues as Bitcoin Fights with the $8400 Level

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The largest coins attempted another rally towards the end of the weekend, but today the, not too strong, momentum faded and the majority of the majors is sliding lower today. The coins are in or close to the recent trading ranges, with the whole segment hovering in or near the recent ranges, without major changes in the technical setups.

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The low-momentum environment means that the coins are still on neutral short-term trend signals, and traders should still wait before entering new positions, as the short-term trend remains corrective. That said, most of the majors are holding up above crucial support levels and the underlying bullish trend is intact while the overbought readings that developed during the late-April rally are being cleared. Out of the top coins, only Tron made significant technical progress, and until a clear leadership develops, choppy conditions will likely continue.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin finally showed some relative strength today, reclaiming the $8400 level, and reaching an intraday maximum near $8600. Despite the move, the coin is now back near the key support level, and with $8700 level still ahead as strong resistance, the trend signal remains neutral.  While the coin drifted out from the declining short-term trend, a new trend hasn’t established yet.

Short-term support is found near $8150, while the $7650-$7800 range provides long-term support, with resistance ahead between $9000 and $9200, $10,000, and $10,500.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum is still hovering around the $700 level, still in a corrective phase following strong April rally, and the coin remains on a neutral trend signal as well. Resistance is still ahead between $735 and $780, with targets above that at $845 and $900, while support is found between $625 and $645 and between $555 and $575.

Total Market Value Stuck Below $400 Billion

IOT/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

As altcoins gave back a large portion of the weekend gains, the total market cap of the coins is at $380 billion again, despite Bitcoin’s stability. On a negative note, the previous leaders of the rally, IOTA and EOS failed to make a move, and the latter is showing weakness today, trading near the correction low. All in all, price action points to further consolidation in the segment, and traders should remain patient until buy signals start ot pop up.

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 255 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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