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The Crypto Market Cap is Sinking as Tether Climbs

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The cryptocurrency market cap risks falling below $100 billion for the first time time since August 2017, highlighting the rapid exodus from digital assets during the course of the year.

Market Update

Crypto valuations have experienced a meteoric fall over the past six weeks, highlighting a momentous shift in investor sentiment. The cryptocurrency market capitalization has declined a staggering $112 billion since Nov. 14, the eve of the bitcoin cash hard fork. On Saturday, the market cap reached a low of $100.4 billion, as bitcoin and its altcoin peers struggled to break free from the bearish grip.

Losses over the past month have pushed tokens like Zcash, VeChain and ICON toward 95-99% declines from their peak. Bitcoin is also experiencing one of its worst retracements in history, though the leading digital currency has an established precedent of major peaks and troughs that stretch all the way back to 2011.

EOS has emerged as a major loser in recent weeks, as block producers have seen their operational incentives wither away. As Hacked reported earlier this week, block producers were barely breaking even at a price-per-coin of $4.14. EOS plunged to $1.50 earlier this month and was last seen trading at $1.83.

The bear market has enabled Tether to reassert itself as the stablecoin of choice for traders, many of whom are sitting on the sidelines until a definitive bottom has been reached. USDT is currently valued at $1.01 for a total market cap of $1.9 billion. It now ranks fourth among active cryptocurrencies, overtaking Stellar, which has fallen to fifth.

Trends and Considerations

The meltdown of the past six weeks has shaken out weak hands from the market. It has also threatened the resolve of some of crypto’s most ardent supporters. As CCN reported last month, investors who bought bitcoin at $1,000 have liquidated their positions during the latest selloff – the nail on the proverbial head of crypto mania.

So-called ‘crypto winter’ has had a damning effect on blockchain startups and miners. Dozens of blockchain companies have announced significant cuts in their workforce, while others have seemingly disappeared entirely. As many as 1.3 million mining devices have been switched off during the latest leg of the downtrend even as bitcoin’s mining difficulty has fallen sharply.

The loss of bitcoin’s $6,000 price floor – i.e., the break-even rate for miners – has had a major impact on the market. The initial drop below this level seems to have been associated with the bitcoin cash hard fork, but it quickly turned into a technical selloff that entered full-blown capitulation shortly thereafter. All signs seem to show further pain ahead for crypto traders, with bitcoin poised to test the $3,000 psychological support.

Current market trends clearly don’t reflect bitcoin’s long-term potential nor do they account for growing rates of adoption among businesses and institutions. Over the next six months, a clearer picture around regulation and institutional participation will likely reveal itself as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules on a highly touted bitcoin ETF and Intercontinental Exchange and Nasdaq enter the market for crypto futures.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Altcoins

Cash Flow Token, PayPie (PPP) Hits 1,000% Growth on $296 Volume

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Higher

Just thirty days away from the longest bear market in cryptocurrency history, one could be forgiven for looking at the altcoin market and assuming we were still in January of 2018.

Every day small cap altcoins are doubling, tripling or quadrupling in value, and several have already gained more than 1,000% this month alone.

The trouble is that most of them are tokens no one has heard of, on exchanges that you’d never sign up to. And even if you did sign up to them, you’d only get there to find the absolute minimum in liquidity, provided by whichever friendly neighbourhood pumper was on duty that day.

PayPie (PPP)

A good example of this phenomena was on display on Thursday night with PayPie (PPP), which hit 904% growth in five minutes, and 1,016% for the week. Irony is never lacking in the crypto space, and PayPie’s proposed role as a cash flow platform seems comical in light of its $296 daily trade volume.

It took just five minutes for PPP to hit 904% growth on Thursday, climbing from the daily low of $0.073341 up to $0.736635 not long after midnight. The weekly low of $0.065958 puts seven-day gains on 1,016% – although it’s difficult to say who exactly is collecting these gains, if anyone at all.

What Is PayPie?

Despite a Bitcointalk forum page which stretches back to 2017 and has 247 pages to its name, no one has posted there since June of last year, over six months ago. In fact, the last post on the page is directly related to PPP’s lack of volume, and the creators’ failure to land the ERC20 token on any new exchanges.

From the project’s website we can gather that PayPie is set up to offer help with cash-flow projections for small and medium-sized businesses. They offer a web app, some monitoring and calculation tools, and email and telephone support for their customers.

Remarkably, not one mention of cryptocurrency, blockchain or the PPP token is made on the company website. No link is posted to a whitepaper, and there is zero mention of team members nor anything tech related. If it wasn’t for the website link on CoinMarketCap there would be no reason to think this was a crypto project, and I still don’t know what PPP is supposed to be used for.

PPP…Past Success

After launching in late 2017, PPP came around just in time to catch the altcoin mega-pump of January 2018, when its trade volume surged to over $1 million, and the coin price reached $3.72.

That’s when ‘development’ was still somewhat active, with occasional communications on Bitcointalk. Since then it has been complete radio silence, although the cash flow company behind PPP continue to post finance tips to their blog, but none of it is crypto related.

Maybe the PPP token is the perfect symbol of 2017’s bubble, when ICO madness caused thousands to attempt to cash in on the crypto gold rush. Despite growing by close to 1,000% in the last twenty-four hours, one gets the feeling this might be one of the last times we hear about PayPie.

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 123 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Altcoins

XRP Price Analysis: XRP/USD Behavior is Demonstrating Strong Downside Vulnerabilities

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  • Ripple’s XRP was trading up with modest gains in the latter part of Wednesday, just some 0.60%.
  • XRP/USD continues to move within a narrowing range-block formation. The price is subject to a breakout, with risks pointing to the downside.

Recent Price Behavior

Ripple’s XRP is seen holding very modest gains of 0.6% in the latter part of Thursday’s session. Price action remains limited, given the narrow trading range, in which it is moving in. There is a lack of commitment from both sellers and buyers, and as a result a range-block formation can be eyed. XRP/USD has been within the confinements of this for the past seven sessions now. Currently, there aren’t any technical suggestions of the bulls recovering and picking up the mid-December momentum again.

Given the above-detailed price behaviour, risks point to the downside. One of the key reasons for this is XRP/USD moved into consolidation mode after a recent hard fall on 10th January. Prior to the drop, the price was trading sideways, which was seen from 19th December, apart from the freak spike to $0.46 on 24th December. A technical breakout was then observed, as mentioned on 10th January, where XRP/USD dropped a huge 20%. Keeping in mind the described recent journey for the price, similar movements are currently playing out.

Range-block

XRP/USD 4-hour chart.

A breakout is imminent, given that price action is getting tighter. It is worth noting the key levels around this range-block. In terms of the lower support, this should be noted at the $0.3200 mark, the recent low area of 13-14th January. The upper part of this technical formation is eyed at $0.3450, the high from 11th and 14th January.

If the bears manage to force a breach of the above-described, then XRP/USD will quickly be forced to give up the psychological $0.3000 mark. A large area of demand is seen tracking from $0.3000-$0.2500. This has proven to find strong buyers on several occasions – December 2017, August and September 2018.

Furthermore, to see XRP/USD fly the way it has in the past will require a serious amount of upside momentum. Given all of this sideways trading and consolidating, the price is building new areas for itself to have to break down. In terms of upside resistance, this should be noted running from $0.3500 up to $0.4000. Lastly, the price as mentioned earlier, was ranging here between 19th December to 10th January.

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 110 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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Bitcoin

MIT and Stanford Professors are Creating the Answer to Bitcoin’s Scalability Issues

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Researchers from America’s most prestigious universities are coming together to create a new cryptocurrency that will overcome bitcoin’s greatest technical challenge: scalability. Although academics have a poor track record of solving real world problems, the researchers have teamed up with Pantera Capital to develop a cryptocurrency that could serve as a viable payment network in the future.

Academics Designing ‘Better Bitcoin’

According to Bloomberg, professors from seven U.S. universities have joined hands to create a new cryptocurrency capable of achieving faster processing speeds without sacrificing decentralization – a core tenant of the blockchain revolution. The so-called Unit-e cryptocurrency is the first project to be carried out by Distributed Technology Research, the non-profit group uniting the academics.

Among the schools represented are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California. They are joined by hedge fund Pantera Capital, which has an impressive track record in generating stellar crypto market investments. Read: How Pantera Capital Engineered a 10,000% Return Investing in Cryptocurrency.

Although several initiatives are underway to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed and scalability, the researchers say the cryptocurrency’s design has inbuilt restrictions that impede on its usefulness as an everyday payment system. The goal of Unit-e is simple but highly ambitious – namely, use blockchain technology to develop a cryptocurrency that can process transactions faster than Visa.

Unit-e is scheduled to go live in the second half of 2019. When released, it will process as many as 10,000 transactions per second, according to DTR. By comparison, Visa processes roughly 1,700 transactions per second.

The Bitcoin Scalability Debate

The issue of scalability is one of the biggest impediments facing bitcoin, so much so that dozens of alternative cryptocurrencies have been designed specifically to address this problem. Some proponents of the original cryptocurrency believe the debate over scalability could be put to rest once Lightning Network achieves full potential. The highly-touted bitcoin scaling solution has seen notable improvements in recent months, including a double-digit percentage gain in processing capacity.

As of Thursday, Lightning Network’s capacity has increased to 529.21 BTC, which is equivalent to just over $1.9 million at today’s prices, according to 1ML. That represents a gain of more than 3% since the last time we covered Lightning Network’s processing power on Dec. 26. At the time, the network saw a 13% surge in processing capability.

Lightning Network has achieved 20,586 channels, an increase of 31.8%. The number of nodes is up nearly 20% to 5,472.

At the core of Lightning Network is the desire to boost bitcoin’s transaction speed while lowering the cost of payments. This is done by creating a second-layer scaling solution that operates as a bidirectional payment channel. Basically, this creates a ‘running’ tab between two accounts, which eliminates the need to record every transaction on the blockchain.

Lightning Network has its fair share of detractors who claim the protocol promotes centralization and suffers from inefficiencies that could allow hackers to target channels holding a high volume of bitcoin. Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos addressed some of these concerns in a YouTube Q&A last February. Click here for more.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 739 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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