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The Effect of Derivatives on Crypto

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Although they have had a slow rollout, derivatives for cryptocurrencies have been gaining support over the last year. Many worried that with Bitcoin ETFs stalling in their adoption, this could extend to derivatives. However, the demand for these products has continued to grow for various reasons we are going to examine in this article.

Derivatives are financial instruments that allow you to speculate on the price movement of a good without having to actually take ownership for that good. Some companies use them in order to hedge their positions and smooth out their income, but at the same time, derivatives were a large part of the volatility that led to the last major recession in 2008.

Current Status of the Market

Right now there are not many big players in the game, but more firms developing their own solutions and releasing them, you can expect to see the competition intensify in the next few months. The landscape includes everyone from privately funded investment funds to public exchanges. A big part of the market is about institutions gaining access to cryptocurrencies in a way that is less risky for their client base.

There are companies like LedgerX, which has experienced continually increasing demand for their cryptocurrency derivative products as 2018 has progressed. But where things get interesting is when existing financial players delve into cryptocurrencies.

The Chicago Board of Exchange (CBOE) started offering Bitcoin futures on December 10th, 2017, and this marked a change in the market. When well-regulated derivatives exchanges begin to acknowledge the legitimacy of cryptocurrency (or at least the high demand from their customers) it is a signal of a larger shifting of the tides in the works.

The plot thickens as recent rumours about Goldman Sachs hiring a cryptocurrency trader seem to be all-but-confirmed. Their goal is to figure out their customers’ direct needs and although they do currently clear Bitcoin futures, they are very cautious about further expansion into the cryptocurrency space.

In terms of sentiment, all of these actions together signal a shift in the way the legacy financial industry views cryptocurrency. A common retort used to be that Bitcoin was not a currency, but now that demand has continued to increase, banks are much more willing to cooperate and cater to their customers.

2nd Order Effects

It may be nice to have cryptocurrency derivative products available, especially for the firms who are making tons of money selling them, but it is also important to think about how this will affect the cryptocurrency market as a whole. Derivatives distribute the risk in a way that allows speculators to make bets without actually owning the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has gained traction, but it is unclear how this sort of institutionalized speculation would affect it in these early stages.

The general argument for derivatives is that they allow for more liquidity and trading volumes of non-blue chip coins. Companies issuing derivatives for these alt-coins would increase the general awareness of these coins and their quality, which could lead to heightened demand for the coins.

Additionally, with every company, exchange, or investor who trades anything cryptocurrency related, regulators feel further pressure to regulate them more fairly. The current “no man’s land” crypto is in can’t last forever, and if the adoption of derivatives helps, then this is a clear benefit.

On the flip side, derivatives allow for bets against Bitcoin as well as the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies without owning them. This could lead to decreased demand, which may affect it negatively, since it hasn’t reached equilibrium like other currencies have.

Cryptocurrencies are an inherently risky asset, and with the introduction of derivatives, there are a lot of different things that could happen in this space. Increased volatility may ensue, but with it may come increased adoption.

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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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Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH/USD Sellers are Stepping Up Downside Pressure; Explosive Breakout is Imminent

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  • ETH/USD is very much close to a breakout of the recent range-block formation.
  • Diar reports that on-chain transaction value on the Ethereum network was seen at an all-time-high in December 2018.

Over the past three sessions for ETH/USD, a pick-up in downside intensity has been demonstrated by the market bears. The price had been moving within a narrowing range-block formation for going on 12 sessions, but this appears to be coming to an end. Sellers are stepping up the pressure, looking for a breakout of the sideways movement seen of late.

Ethereum On-chain Transaction Value at All-Time-High

Source – Diar

Diar in their latest report detailed that on-chain transaction value hit an all-time-high on the Ethereum network. Diar provide weekly institutional publications in addition to data analysis of digital currencies. Further within this latest publication, the on-chain transaction levels had hit 115 million in December 2018. This marked an all-time high, which excludes the activity after a hard fork caused by the DAO hack in 2016.

In terms of monetary value, Diar stated that the total US dollar value on-chain last year was seen at $815 million. This was down from the previous $1.1 billion, reported in 2017. As a result, this was a 97% drop in the on-chain transaction value. The drop from peak in January versus December 2018 was “by and large the cause of an 80% drop in Ethereum’s price”.

Commenting on fees, Diar detailed that they are unlikely to have been a laggard on the growth for the Ethereum network. It already has some of the lowest fees that are observed for transacting on-chain. They added, “the Constantinople upgrade, now pushed back, will bring down fees a great deal further for certain types of transactions that would allow for better storage use”.

Technical Review – ETH/USD

ETH/USD daily chart.

Key daily support eyed around $117.50 has been penetrated in the past few sessions. Signs are starting to show of a gradual shift again in favor of a bearish bias. The price is running towards its third consecutive session in the red, with the critical support earlier detailed under threat. ETH/USD did have a quick spike of around 15% lower on 20th January before retracing back within the range-block. A firm breach and close of the mentioned $117.50, the lower part of the range-block, could be punishing. Eyes will then be on a retest of the big psychological $100 mark.

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 112 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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GBP/USD Price Prediction: Bulls Reclaim 1.2900, Eyes Locked on Another Retest of 1.3000

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  • GBP/USD bulls pick up momentum to the upside, following generally positive tone to Theresa May’s Plan B statement.
  • Next upside targets for the bulls should they firmly breakdown 1.2900 again, will be the psychological 1.3000 mark.

GBP/USD throughout the session on Monday remained very much elevated. This came as market participants were somewhat maintaining an optimistic view. All of which heading into the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the House of Commons, on her Brexit plan b. Of course, this had to be drafted again, given her humiliating defeat at the vote last week, on the initial EU withdrawal plan.

Theresa May Plan B

In terms of her details this time round, she will be going back to Brussels, to seek some amendments to her initial agreement. This needs to be done in order to get a plan through another vote in the commons. Looking at some of the GBP bullish takeaways from this statement; she guaranteed rights for EU citizens at several angles, scraping the application fee EU nationals registering in Britain, discussing the backstop with the DUP this week.

To conclude, PM May appears keen in her language to ensure of a soft-Brexit, rather than one that is hard. All of which supported GBP in its push to session highs, at the time, briefly moving back above 1.2900. The price had given up this area on 18th January, when the bears were reversing the run observed on 17th, where GBP/USD touched to big psychological 1.3000 mark again.

Technical Review – GBP/USD

GBP/USD 60-minute chart. Near-term resistance eyed at 1.2900, with bulls locked in on a retest of 1.3000.

GBP/USD at the time of writing continues to trade around the 1.2900 territory. This price did see a brief period cooling, on touted profit-taking post the statement. Near-term resistance can be seen within this price region, but if convincingly broken down again, then there is decent upside potential. Aside from the supply observed here, there isn’t much in the way of the 1.3000 price region.

Given the renewed optimism around Brexit now, this has assisted in maintaining momentum to the upside for GBP. In terms of support to the downside, a strong area of demand should be noted at 1.2850-25 price region. As can be seen via the 60-minute chart view, this has supported the price since 15th January.

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 112 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 Cash Price Analysis: BCH/USD Rejected Again by Long-running Descending Trend Line

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  • BCH/USD bulls attempted moving above vital descending trend line capping upside; however , they were dealt another rejection.
  • A recent study suggest Bitcoin Cash is not using anywhere near its full block capacity.

 Bitcoin Cash Bulls Fails to Break Big Resistance

Bitcoin Cash price on Monday is trading in minor negative territory, nursing losses of just some 0.5%, at the time of writing. Over the past three sessions, BCH/USD has traded very closely to a descending trend line. The price continues to face rejection when attempting to break above the aforementioned line; however, the bulls do not have enough momentum. This trend line has been in play since 6th November, right at the start of the pick up in downside, at the back end of 2018.

While BCH/USD was confined below the above-mentioned resistance, it fell a chunky 88%. It had dropped from around $650, down to a low of $73.50 on 15th December. Given the current failure to press ahead and break above, the price once again could be knocked back south.

Bitcoin Cash Block Capacity Failure of Use

There is now 500 days’ worth of data to analyze the capacity of Bitcoin Cash when looking at its block size. A recent study conducted by LongHash suggests that the Bitcoin (BTC) blocks on average have been 30x larger than Bitcoin Cash.

Looking at the figures, in terms of Bitcoin Cash, the block size on average has reported to have been just 171 KB since the fork back in August 2017. In real terms, this represents just 2.1% of the total block capacity for BCH. On just one day there the BCH blocks have been more than half full. Back on 15th January 2018, the blocks were able to average 59% of their total capacity, as covered by the recent study.

The study from LongHash further goes on to say, that some will believe that the BCH blocks not nearing their full capacity is a potential positive sign. However, this can also be seen as a lack of interest in Bitcoin Cash, which is somewhat concerning. Most recently, over the past 30 days, the blocks of BCH have averaged just a small 34 KB, which is just around 3.7% of the roughly 923 KB blocks of Bitcoin over that same period.

Technical Review – BCH/USD

BCH/USD daily chart.

Keeping in mind the earlier described rejections for the price, eyes should now note the coming key areas support. Firstly, just ahead of the big psychological $100 mark, at $105, which is an important daily support. The price had last traded around this level between 6-10th December, as it sought comfort at the time, before resuming its move south. If this fails to hold, then a retest of the December low and 2018 low at $73.50 would likely be on the cards.

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 112 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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