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Comparing the Cryptocurrency Bull Market and the Dot-Com Bubble: A Tale of Two Revolutions

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The infamous .com IPOs and the recent cryptocurrency ICOs, Google and Ethereum, Microsoft and Bitcoin, 1999 and 2017 and so on and so on… We can draw several parallels with the euphoric years of the late 90’s in the dot-com segment and today’s blossoming cryptocurrency-blockchain industry. But before we get overly excited about the parallels, we also have to add that although history often rhymes it never repeats itself.

The Number of Technology IPOs before and after the Bubble

There are also huge differences in the structure of the two booms, starting with the more fundamental importance of the Internet as an infrastructure and the money properties of the coins besides their business value. That said, basing one’s investment strategy on past patterns, be it price or behavioral ones, is far from being foolish. Heck, most super-investors and top traders do that for a living; and a good one for that matter.

The ICO boom of 2017

The recent evolution of the number of ICOs (Source:www.techcruch.com)

So are we there yet? Should crypto-investors be worried? Are we at the end of a hype cycle? Let’s look at what we can learn from one of the most devastating bubbles of our lifetime.

How it all Started

Let’s try to understand the logic behind the dot-com boom first. It started with a regime change, much like the introduction of the blockchain technology. People, rightfully so, thought that our lives will be nothing like before the internet, although most of them were a bit off with the timing of those changes, and some of the wildest predictions are still yet to materialize. So, in short, a lot of bright minds saw the revolutionary nature of the connected world way before it changed the way we live and interact with each other, let alone before companies were making a meaningful profit in the segment.

The Dynamics of a Revolution

That realization slowly “infected” the perception of the general public, and that had a profound effect: everyone was convinced that the internet will be everywhere in 10 years, and that led to a buying frenzy in everything that had .com in its name no matter of the concept, the business model or the viability of the project.

Here we are in 2017, and the prophecies regarding the internet have basically come true. Also, there is a ton of things that we couldn’t imagine in 2000 that exist now, based on the technology. When I waited 20 minutes for a short MP3 download, probably I had no Idea about HD streaming services and the internet of things that are common things as of now.

And that’s not a new thing too; the real technological revolutions have huge potentials that are at least in part unforeseen in the early days of the boom. This was the case with computers, electricity, the internet, and probably all the major technological revolutions.

In the case of the blockchain technology, we are probably somewhere where we were with the Internet around 1999. Even the biggest bears admit that the technology is here to stay, and it will be used in a wide variety of industries on a daily basis while having possible applications in now unimaginable fields as well. This should mean that the segment has a bright future ahead and as whole its capitalization will probably rise dramatically from here.

So if the industry has a similar path ahead of it, we have to look at what caused the steep losses for the late investors of the .com boom, and at the possibility of the same thing happening with cryptocurrency investors?

Markets Run Ahead of Themselves

There were two key reasons of the .com bubble and the following bust (granted, we have the benefit of hindsight); first the realization of the revolution came well before the industry matured enough to generate profits anywhere near the amounts that would have justified the lofty valuations that existed towards the end of the bubble.

The second reason is the unconditional buying that was the norm among investors during the late phase of the bubble. If we take a look at the real winners of the internet boom (like Google, Amazon, Microsoft) and the participants of the industries that grew out of it (Apple, Netflix, Facebook), the outlandish projections were not so exaggerated after all, with the segment providing the majority of the most valuable companies today.

The Tech Sector Took the World Over

Global Capitalization List in 2017

That said, a large percentage of the .com companies simply didn’t make it. They failed partly because the vicious competition that investors conveniently ignored, partly because the ideas themselves were not viable, and of course partly because of the fraudulent IPOs, which were only created to milk the unstoppable flow of capital.

The Nasdaq Bubble and its aftermath

The NASDAQ and the Dot-Com Bubble

Now that the NASDAQ is finally at all-time highs, after 15 years of “correction” mind you, investors shouldn’t forget about the companies that are non-existent or at least are not a part of the indices and faded into oblivion. All in all, a large number of investors are still under water nominally, not to mention the real, inflation-adjusted value of the investments placed in 2000.

 The Lessons to Learn for Cryptocurrency Investors

With the above in mind, the current state of the cryptocurrency segment has several dangerous components apart from providing very promising opportunities. One of the earliest and most persistent crypto-bulls called Cryptocurrencies the bubble of his lifetime, as the rally of the past few months catapulted the coins’ market value above the $100 billion mark.

The Market Took of in 2017

Total Value of Cryptocurrencies in 2017  (Source: Coinmarketcap)

The segment’s market capitalization increased 5-fold since the start of the year, and now the gains were shared equally between the largest coins and the smaller players of the segment, as investors rushed to take part in the enormous gains of the cryptocurrency market. The ICO boom definitely resembles the IPO craze of the late 90’s. New coins are popping up in every imaginable sector, and a lot of new investors are piling in, mesmerized by the stellar gains of the whole market.

On the other hand, the attention given by the investing public to coin offerings is nowhere near the levels of the .com bubble and the major players participating in the field are few and far between. That could mean that the top of the current bull market is far away, as there is a huge potential of additional buyers let that could fuel the rally. Still, investing consciously and being selective with long-term holdings will always be rewarding and blindly chasing the market higher will always be dangerous to your financial wealth.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency is Still Small

Bitcoin’s market cap compared to enormous size of the global economy (Source:Howmuch.net)

How To Invest in a Revolution

The already mentioned Novogratz still holds 10% of his wealth in cryptocurrencies, while calling it a huge bubble, and he urges all investors do so themselves. For sure that 10% is almost laughable for some, who might have the 100% (or even more through leverage) of their savings in the segment, but for a diversified portfolio, it’s still a lot.

He is trying to maintain that level of exposure, so he uses advances to reduce his positions and loads up again if prices are tumbling. And oh boy, they can tumble… Just recently, Ethereum (the second largest coin) completed a 50% correction while also falling 75% in 2016. For leveraged players, those dips most likely meant the end of their portfolios, but with a 10% rebalancing rule (or a more aggressive 20% one) they were great opportunities to buy in again.

Ethereum's Stellar Rise

The Volatile Bull Market in Ethereum

Of course, if we take warnings of the NASDAQ on face value—that the popping of the bubble can mean a decade-long correction for the industry, rebalancing won’t do the trick. A selective approach is as, or even more important as controlling your exposure.

If you think that the Ethereum (or maybe Stratis or Neo) network will be the backbone of the blockchain universe than probably putting your money in it and forgetting it for 10 years (or adding a certain amount every month) will be a more than simply lucrative strategy. Also, if you think that Bitcoin (or one of its competitors) will really take over, at least a part of the role of gold as a hard. Safe haven currency, the heights that that currency might reach are unimaginable.

The Apple Bull Market, a Possible Route for the Winners of The Cryptocurrency Revolution

Apple (AAPL) Before and After the Dot-Com Bubble

Combining thorough research, common sense, and money management should be the way to go (start with our ICO analysis series for example) while using some of the old and tested investment rules will likely not hurt.

What’s Next for the Cryptocurrency Market?

So are we calling a top here? No, we are not. We are just trying to warn investors that there is no substitute for conscious investments if you are in for long-term gains, and that you have prepare for the unexpected when it comes to financial markets.  If those who think that the segment is in a bubble are right, those blindly buying ICO’s might be in for a rude awakening when the bubble pops.

The good news is that if you do your research and choose the coins to invest in wisely, the blockchain-megatrend will save you from losses and multiply your investments even if you happen to buy right at the top of the bubble.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 396 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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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. bitsurfer

    July 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Fantastic article, the much wanted comparison that is certainly on everyone’s minds. Thanks Mate!

  2. embersburnbrightly

    July 5, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Superb article, very well-timed and very informative. It really helps to put everything into perspective, and the graphs and other images really helped with that. Thank you!

  3. ruthless_hodler

    July 5, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Mate, this is awesome. Thank you.

  4. jjkateam

    July 7, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Another great article!

  5. Winklevoss

    July 7, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Exactly why we pay for this subscription: some perspective during the FOMO

  6. Chris G

    July 10, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    If I put 10% of my portfolio in crypto, pretty sure my financial advisor would strangle me … that is bold.

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Altcoins

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD Has Big Opportunity to Fly Again

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  • ETH/USD is running at seven consecutive sessions of losses, dropping as much as 25%.
  • Price action is moving within a strong demand area, which could very well see the price rocketing again.

Current Price Action

ETH/USD is stuck within a stubborn downward trend. The price is running at a seven consecutive session losing streak. During this time period, ETH/USD has dropped as much as 25%, falling from $226, down to recent lows of $171.95. This is the biggest weekly loss seen since the bear market back in September.

The price was trading in a consolidation manner; this had been the case after the above-mentioned bear market drop. ETH/USD at the time had dropped as much as 45%, before finally staging a recovery. Since the bounce on 12th September, price action began to form a bearish pennant pattern, which was then firmly broken on 14th November.

ETH/USD daily chart

Buying Opportunity  

At the time of writing, ETH/USD is seen trading deep within a known demand area. Buyers last pilled in and drove the price north, back on 12th September, as detailed above. It had gone on to gain a whopping 50%, following the hammer candlestick reversal confirmation. The demand can be eyed around the $170 territory.

Eyes should be on indications of a reversal, the potential for a signal from a candlestick formation, similarly to the prior mentioned recovery. In terms of the RSI via the daily time frame, ETH/USD is very much in oversold territory. The index seen around the 27 level at the time of writing, which could see the price soon bottoming out.

Upside Targets

Should life be kicked back into the bulls, another retest of the breached pennant pattern would likely be seen. Resistance underneath the pennant should be noted at the psychological $200 mark. The bears firmly ran through this price level on 14th November. Further north, another barrier can be observed at $230 area, a known supply zone.

There has been much debate over the past couple of months, as to whether the cryptocurrency market has hit the bottom. Many believed that this was the case, after the deep September drop. While some were still calling another corrective fall. Once some stabilization from the bulls is seen and recovery picks up momentum, this may be the last of the bears for 2018.

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 54 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Analysis

Bitcoin Update: Bull and Bear Scenarios

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To say that the last two days in crypto have been a bloodbath would be an understatement. Many altcoins have broken critical support areas. Some cryptos even registered new yearly lows. One of those is Bitcoin (BTC/USD).

Bitcoin dropped to as low as $5,188 on Coinbase and lost as much as 20% of its value within 48 hours. The move forced numerous retail traders and long term hodlers to give up their digital assets. It also reinvigorated bears who felt ecstatic that $6,000 support crumbled into pieces. Their renewed confidence gave them the voice to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD). The chatter of Bitcoin trading at $2,000 – $3,000 has been the noisiest in the last 48 hours.

If you’re an ordinary investor who believes in the revolutionary power of Bitcoin, the amount of FUD out there might shake your beliefs. However, is there a grain of truth in what bears are yapping? In this article, we reveal the possible bull and bear scenarios to prepare you for whatever comes next.

The Bullish Scenario

Bulls have a simple task ahead in the next few days. They just need to take Bitcoin above $5,800 before the week closes to preserve the weekly support. This has the potential to invalidate the descending triangle breakdown and create a bear trap. However, with heavy bearish pressure, this is easier said than done.

With that being said, the key levels to watch in addition to $5,800 are 5,500, 5,300, and 5,190. The line in sand is 4,800. Below that, we’ll very likely experience a full-blown and painful bear winter.

As of this writing, Bitcoin is working really hard to establish support at $5,500. This is a positive signal. It works well with our bullish scenario of an inverse head and shoulders reversal pattern on the 15-minute chart.

BTC bullish scenario

In this scenario, bulls have two great chances to make this work. They can create a bullish higher low setup at $5,500 or at $5,300 to complete the right shoulder.

Another play would be a quick relief rally between $5,600 to $5,700. From there, we would likely experience a heavy volume dump to prices between $4,800 – $5,190. With this scenario, we’ll get a solid double bottom structure in the 15-minute chart where bulls can stage a reversal.  

BTC double bottom

This double bottom scenario is where many hodlers would capitulate and at the same time, it would exhaust many sellers. For this to manifest, however, bulls must show that they’re ready to battle to the bitter end so they can close the week above $5,777. Otherwise, bears will continue to rampage unchecked.

The Bearish Scenario

From a technical perspective, the descending triangle breakout has an ultimate target of $2,800. In addition, Bitcoin has firm weekly and monthly support levels at $3,000. These are the reasons that fuel calls for Bitcoin trading at $3,000.

Bitcoin bear scenario

It’s safe to say that this is not a pretty sight.

For this to happen, Bitcoin must close below $5,800 this week and then retest $5,800 – $6,000 next week. This price action would confirm that $6,000 is now a resistance. Therefore, bears would be able to use all the strength of $6,000 as support and flip it into a heavy resistance area.  

If this happens, there’s a strong possibility of a long and painful Bitcoin bear market that can extend for many months. During this period, the market may range trade between $3,000 – $6,000. This is not the scenario that we’re looking for. However, it is always better to prepare for such possibilities.

Bottom Line

Richard Wyckoff said: “The more compact the trading range is, the more likely the stock is under control by professionals, and the greater the possibility for the swift explosive move upward following a spring or a shakeout…watch for them”. This is why we remain bullish in Bitcoin despite the massive dump. After the compact trading range in the last few months, we believe that this is the spring or the shakeout before the explosive move upward.

At this point, we are rooting for the bull scenarios mentioned above but we’re also seriously considering the bearish case. In short, we’re hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst.

 

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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3.7 stars on average, based on 270 rated postsKiril is a CFA Charterholder and financial professional with 5+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and ETFs, as he does his own crypto research and is the subject matter expert at ETFdb.com. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.




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Analysis

Pre-Market Analysis And Chartbook: Dollar Dips on Dovish Powell as Brexit Deal Still in Question

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Friday Market Snapshot

Asset Current Value Daily Change
S&P 500 2,711 -0.83%
DAX 30 11,265 -0.78%
WTI Crude Oil 57.59 1.80%
GOLD 1,221 0.66%
Bitcoin 5,555 -0.53%
EUR/USD 1.1380 0.50%

Today is shaping up to be another wild ride in financial markets after the recent volatile sessions, with currencies, bonds, and equities all experiencing heavy trading. The Brexit process, the confusion regarding the US trade tariffs, and the broad bearish technical shift in risk assets are all contributing to the wild moves, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell also increased uncertainty yesterday.

The central banker hinted on possible pause in the Fed’s tightening cycle next year, citing increased economic headwinds following the open attacks form President Trump regarding the “tight” policies of the bank.

As Mario Draghi confirmed the ECB’s quantitative tightening plans as well, the Greenback lost ground compared to most of its peers, even as the main European currencies continue to be under pressure due to the Brexit chaos.

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Euro and the Pound, which are trading near their yearly lows compared to the Dollar, are stuck in a very volatile broad trading range against each other. The EUR/GBP pair topped out just above 0.90 this year, and although since the August high it drifted back to 0.86, the Pound remains weak from a long-term perspective.

A no-deal Brexit could hurt the British currency more and even a push above the decade-long high near 0.93 could be ahead. Short-term, we expect volatility to remain high in the pair, and in forex markets in general, and a move out of the range could happen soon.

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Another possibly important move started in the USD/JPY pair and in gold in recent days, as the broad risk-off shift helped the Yen, with safe-haven flows favoring the currency and the precious metal again.

Following Powell’s dovish words, the pair could be ready to test the 112 level again, especially should the major stock indices continue lower in the coming week. Below 112, the 111.40 and the 110.70 levels provide support, while strong resistance is ahead near 113.70 and 114.50.

Another Selloff in Stocks as Bearish Pressures Mount

Global stock markets are lower today, despite yesterday’s reversal and late-day rally on Wall Street, which was sparked by renewed trade optimism, following rumors on a possible halt of the US tariffs on Chinese goods.

The rumors were quickly denied, but there is more and more evidence that the Trump administration might be changing its aggressive strategy, while China also seems more flexible in light of the economic slowdown and the turmoil in Chinese assets.

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Brexit chaos is also weighing on equities in Europe and across the globe, with British assets clearly being under pressure, despite the rally attempts on the positive headlines regarding the draft withdrawal plan.

For now, the fate of the plans is still highly uncertain, despite the progress made by Theresa May. The hawkish words of Draghi also added to the bearish pressures today, as the Eurozone CPI was in line with expectations.

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The major US indices all opened lower today, despite the continued decline in Treasury yields, with clear weakness in the tech sector and small-caps. Industrial Production missed the consensus estimate in October, with a monthly growth of only 0.1%, and the previous reading was also revised lower.

The key benchmarks are not far above the October lows, the recent rally attempts all failed, so given the bearish global technical picture, conditions in equity markets remain hostile for bulls.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 396 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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