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Understanding Cryptocurrency Price Factors

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By now everyone is well aware of the incredible run that the cryptocurrency market has had this year, with bitcoin recently smashing past the $10,000 mark. Despite this however, the price journey of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is not simply just a vertical path upwards. The price of bitcoin experienced both major lows and highs, which were caused by a variety of factors. This article will take an in-depth look at how these factors can affect the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies alike.

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It is first important to make a clear distinction between the price and value of a cryptocurrency. The price of any cryptocurrency is simply the monetary cost of purchasing it, whereas the value of a cryptocurrency is its perceived benefits and usefulness. The price of a cryptocurrency is not tied to its value but instead, its perceived value. It is from this perception of value that many of the factors determining the price of a cryptocurrency usually operates.

Supply & Demand

Starting from the basics, the supply and demand of any cryptocurrency will undoubtedly influence its price. A cryptocurrency that has a lot of supply, but little demand will see very little price movement. Whereas, a cryptocurrency with a limited supply, but is very sought after will see significant price movement upwards. To some extent, this particular factor is the driving force of bitcoin’s upward trajectory. The circulating supply of bitcoin is approximately 16.7 million,this is relatively low compared to the sheer amount of bitcoin that buyers are demanding. Because of the higher levels of demand relative to its supply, the price of bitcoin increases to reflect this relationship.

Utility

Ultimately, many people will buy and sell a cryptocurrency based on its utility. In this context, utility simply means the usefulness of something. In general, the more useful a cryptocurrency is in solving a problem, the more likely that it will be bought, because a cryptocurrency that is seen as useful will also be perceived as being valuable. Take Ethereum for example, Ethereum is an open platform technology that allows developers to build and launch their very own decentralized applications (dapps).

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Many people see the Ethereum project as being useful, because the project has produced some very interesting dapps that try and solve certain problems, such as TenX with cryptocurrency spending, or EtherTweet with a censorship resistant social media platform. This in turn presents Ethereum as being a much more valuable project, because not only does Ethereum make these dapps possible, but these dapps will require the purchasing of ETH (Ethereum’s cryptocurrency) to build them in the first place, causing an upward pressure in its price.

Utility is one of the most important factors to look for when deciding to invest in a cryptocurrency. If a cryptocurrency solves an issue i.e. it is extremely useful, but that is not reflected in its price, then that cryptocurrency is undervalued. This is a good indicator that, regardless of its undervalued price now, once the market begins to realize just how important the coin is, then it is likely that the cryptocurrency will see an eventual increase in its price.

Market Sentiment

Positive or negative market news can also be a deciding factor as to if a coin’s price moves up or down. The reason for this is that, depending on the market news, sentiment as to the perceived value of a coin can change. A good illustration of this point is Mt. Gox. For those that do not know, Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange that was based in Japan. Mt. Gox played an integral part of the bitcoin ecosystem, handling around 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide. However, following a security breach that resulted in about 850,000 bitcoins either being lost or stolen, Mt. Gox suspended trading and went into liquidation. During the tumultuous period face by Mt. Gox, bitcoin prices fell by 36%, reflecting negative market sentiment surrounding bitcoin at that time. In sum, the perceived value of bitcoin was negatively impacted as a direct result of the Mt. Gox incident.

Despite the sell-off that occurred during and following the aftermath of Mt. Gox, bitcoin was obviously able to recover. This scenario demonstrates the power of the utility factor. Despite the sell-off that bitcoin experienced, bitcoin’s utility remained the same. bitcoin still solved an important problem, it was a borderless payment system that could facilitate instantaneous transactions worldwide, at a very low cost. The market again gradually realized the usefulness of this, and subsequently bought back into bitcoin. The utility of a cryptocurrency has one of the most important long-term impacts on the price of a cryptocurrency. It will only be the cryptocurrencies that solve an important problem well that will remain competitive in the marketplace.

Mining Difficulty

For proof-of-work (PoW) blockchains such as bitcoin, the mining difficulty of a coin can have an effect on its price. In brief, mining difficulty is simply the measure of how difficult it is to find a hash value below a given target hash. A thorough explanation of proof-of-work and mining difficulty can be found here. Initially, a low mining difficulty indicates that a cryptocurrency is easy to mine, which means that it is easier to increase the supply of that cryptocurrency, which would place a down pressure on its price. However, increased mining difficulty means that it is harder to increase the supply of the cryptocurrency, which, when compared to rising demand, may cause an upward movement in the price of the cryptocurrency. This factor requires that you have technical knowledge of the cryptocurrency that you may choose to invest in, as it may play a vital role in its price movements in the future.  

In conclusion, these are just some of the core factors that can influence a cryptocurrency’s price movement. What is important to take away from this article, is that price movements are, to a considerable extent, tied to the perceived value of the coin in the marketplace. Any event that may occur, either good or bad, will affect the perceived value of a cryptocurrency, which will subsequently affect its price. This is an important principle that the cryptocurrency market largely currently operates on.

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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Bisade Asolo is the co-founder of Mycryptopedia.com, a website dedicated to teaching everyone about cryptocurrency and blockchain. He believes that cryptocurrency and blockchain is revolutionary and can't wait to see how it will disrupt our lives. He also can't wait to buy his first Lambo and go to the moon!




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How to Spend Bitcoin

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Exit strategies of cryptocurrency

So you’ve owned bitcoin for a while and have even made a little money on it. It has been fun watching the market value of bitcoin go up, but now you need to buy a few things and don’t have any fiat currency. This means it’s time to spend your bitcoin.

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There are major paths to spending your bitcoin. You can either find a place that directly accepts cryptocurrency, use a wallet that converts the cryptocurrency to fiat currency before paying, or convert your cryptocurrency back to fiat currency yourself before paying.

Find a Place that Accepts Bitcoin

As simple as this sounds, bitcoin is still not widely accepted by merchants, online or brick-and-mortar, in the world. You will have to seek out merchants who accept bitcoin and then hope they have what you’re looking for.

In addition to simply paying for a good or service, you could trying gambling or donating your bitcoin. Casinos have started permitting deposits using bitcoin, and the result has worked out relatively well so far, so this is expected to continue. Donations are possible for certain charities,

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Paying Online

Merchants such as Microsoft, Overstock, Newegg, and Dell are probably the largest companies who work with bitcoin. The hope is Amazon will begin to accept it in the future, but for now this is a great start and opens up a lot of options for users looking to spend their bitcoin.

The biggest reason why these companies are willing to accept it is it is an appreciating good and there are lower fees than if a user buys something with a credit card. Credit card companies take a percentage cut which hurts the company in the long-run. In this sense, bitcoin is disrupting those companies as well.

In terms of large platforms, PayPal and Shopify both have an integrated bitcoin payment capability. This will have an even larger effect than the previously mentioned merchants accepting bitcoin because of the scalability of the use. It will allow a large percentage of merchants to accept the cryptocurrency with little to no work, and will therefore greatly increase the utility of bitcoin.

Paying in Person

It is rare you will find a store that accepts bitcoin by happenstance. Right now, this occurs more often as a form of gimmick or promotion that will get a store or restaurant publicity. Some places have put out QR codes for tips or donations, but this is the exception and shouldn’t be counted on.

If you are intent on spending your bitcoin in person – meaning you transfer the money directly from your wallet to the merchant’s wallet, then do your research ahead of time. Coinmap.com is a service which provides an aggregation of all the known stores who accept bitcoin.

Use a Wallet

Now that cryptocurrencies have reached somewhat of a critical mass, we are seeing a lot more businesses pop up with the goal of making it easier to spend your bitcoin. There is a huge opportunity in being able to unlock the utility of bitcoin as a medium of transfer, and these businesses are working on doing just that.

Companies like TenX and Monaco whose sole goal is unlocking the spending power of bitcoin. These companies work to integrate their platform so when you use their version of a credit card, it converts your cryptocurrency into the appropriate currency and spends it. Their product depends on cheap conversion fees and maximum convenience.

Even if you had never held bitcoin before, having a credit card that could spend your money in the appropriate fiat currency and minimize your fees would be a superior value proposition. These companies know what ails most consumers and want to make it easier to manage all your finances in a centralized manner.

Basically, they are using the opportunity afforded by cryptocurrency’s inconvenience to leverage their platform so they can replace the service offering of big banks. By providing flawless currency management, helping to manage spending, and enabling frictionless instant payments, they become the best option in the market.

Convert it Yourself

Sometimes the easiest way to spend your bitcoin is to just convert it back to fiat currency and spend it yourself. This would be done over an online exchange, but requires less of a time investment and is more convenient. You will have enjoyed an increase in the market value of your investment, and even though this might be the most inefficient in terms of transaction fees, it gives you the most freedom to spend your cryptocurrency on whatever you wish.

Conclusion

Every day it becomes slightly easier for you to spend bitcoin. Businesses want to make it as easy as possible for people to pay with it, not to mention the fact that it doesn’t cost them as much as if you were to use credit cards. Online payment processors and wallet start-ups are both working to make it a simpler process to utilize bitcoin freely. As a result, a few years from now you will probably find there is minimal friction when you go to spend bitcoin. In a way, this is what technologists mean when they talk about bitcoin being widely adopted.

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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A Beginner’s Guide to TRON (TRX) Cryptocurrency

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The following article is a re-write of content originally developed by Coincentral.com: What is Tron (TRX) Cryptocurrency? | Beginner’s Guide

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Since the inception of the very first bitcoin in 2008 and right after the rapid increase in bitcoin’s price, numerous other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple, etc have been launched and introduced to the gargantuan market of cryptocurrency trading. Among the thousands of cryptocurrencies available at the moment, TRON has gained considerable popularity in the last few months. This cryptocurrency was first introduced to the market as an initial coin offering (ICO) on September 9, 2017, by a Singapore based non-profit organization.

By definition, TRON refers to an open source blockchain-based protocol specifically designed for the digital entertainment industry spread across the globe. It offers a decentralized platform that shares various entertainment content by leveraging a blockchain and peer-to-peer (P2P) network technology.

With its official cryptocurrency Tronix (TRX), this decentralized platform aims to mitigate the plenary control of the internet by a paltry number of corporations such as Google, Facebook and  Amazon by handing ownership of the data pool to the user. As per TRON’s whitepaper, the sole purpose of this cryptocurrency is to become an asset for humankind rather than turning into a profit-making tool for cryptocurrency traders.

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The Technology behind TRON

TRON incorporates a blockchain based peer-to-peer technology which basically means that like other cryptocurrencies, it is capable of eliminating the middleman. From another aspect, TRON’s technology is a distributed storage facility that allows its users to access entertainment content from every part around the world without seeking assistance from GooglePlay Store or Apple Store. As a result, the content producers are able to receive funds directly from the consumers quickly.

As a cryptocurrency platform, TRON is capable of supporting multifarious blockchain networks and smart contracts including bitcoin, Qtum, Ethereum, EOS, and various other smart contracts. With this innovative technology and Peiwo App, TRON has become the first smart contract blockchain protocol that possesses over 10 million wallet holders all across the globe.

Stages of TRX:

TRON incorporates several stages or phases as it implements multiple blockchain technologies. It is currently on Exodus stage but in the coming years, this cryptocurrency is supposed to incorporate five more phases:

  1. Exodus: This modus operandi of this phase is quite similar to that of IPFS (a peer-to-peer hypermedia platform that is capable of making webs faster). As mentioned earlier, TRON is currently in this phase and the principal objective of Exodus is to provide a simple distributed file sharing facility. In this phase, TRON cannot leverage any blockchain technology on its current platform.
  2. Odyssey: This is the second phase of TRON and it intends to incentivize the creation and early adoption of a propriety community of entertainment contain creators. The Odyssey phase will be similar to the proof of stake paradigm. In this phase, the scale of reimbursement for creation is linked to a metric which follows a tipping scheme instead of views or clicks. The reason for eliminating the click or view system is to ensure authentication. Clicks can be produced in a bulk if there is a click farm or automated body involved. In this phase, the users of TRON will be able to make transactions by using TRX via unidirectional payment channels similar to µRaiden.
  3. Great Voyage: The third phase of TRON will be a personal ICO based on the advantages of blockchain network. Income payment, dividend management, and management of supporters would be the three principal objectives of this phase. Great Voyage would be able to transform this cryptocurrency from “fan economy” to “fan finance”. To achieve these goals, a personalized blockchain platform of TRON would be created in this phase.
  4. Apollo: This phase will also exhibit similar characteristics as Great Voyage. Like the third phase, Apollo would also offer an individual ICO to its users and an Ethereum-like platform. In this phase, TRON will be able to launch its own tokens that users would be able to emply for decentralized trading. Through this decentralized trading, the economic vitality of the entire system is likely to be increased considerably. However, there is also a possibility of a slight ramification where the network would not be able to validate the uniqueness of every token individually. To prevent this situation, TRON is likely to introduce a sophisticated security system that would successfully obliterate malicious websites, Sybil attacks, and hack attacks.
  5. Star Trek: The fifth phase or the Star Trek phase is actually quite similar to the technology of Augur that is basically a gaming platform. In this phase, the content platform of TRON would be transformed into a decentralized gaming platform with autonomous gaming as well as predicting functions. As the current value of the global gaming market is more than $450 billion, this phase is likely to provide TRON the impetus it needs to reach a desirable market capitalization.
  6. Eternity: As the sixth and final stage of this cryptocurrency, Eternity would basically deal with the fundraising and monetize depending on the growth of its community. In this phase, the investors would be able to put their money in globally popular games.

The Advantages of TRX

The TRX cryptocurrency of TRON can provide the following advantages to its users:

  1. Data liberation: The users or data creators would have the fundamental ownership of the entertainment contents and other related data instead of middlemen like Google Play Store or Apple.
  2. Personal ICO: The liberty to dole out individual digital assets.
  3. Gaming and market forecasting: TRX comes with a distributed digital asset that allows market forecasting and gaming for the investors.

TRX Market Cap, Circulation, and Trading History:

At this very moment, the market capitalization of this cryptocurrency is circa $7.5 billion, which is a steep rise from its market cap $6.47 billion just a few days ago. As on December 18, 2017, Sun announced that $34.2 billion worth TRON token is locked up until January 2020. At the moment, 1 TRX is equivalent to $0.114084.

TRX Price Surge

Buying and Storing TRX

Interested traders can access TRX in exchanges like Binance and Liqui, where they can trade them for bitcoin or Ethereum. In exchanges like Bitstamp or Coinbase, TRON is also tradable.

For storing TRX, hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S or Trezor will be appropriate as TRX is an ERC-20 Token.

Conclusion

Although it’s still early days, TRON’s native Tronix token has shown significant promise to become a viable cryptocurrency of the future. The recent large upswing in its value suggests TRX could have a pivotal role to play in the overall market.

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 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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Trading 101: What is the Best Trading Software?

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Trading software

As we all know, any kind of professional activity requires its own set of tools and equipment. Trading is no exception to this. It is also true that the more demanding your use is, the more expensive the required equipment tends to get. Still, when compared to other jobs you could take up, the equipment required to trade, whether it is in crypto, stocks, or forex, is quite cheap.

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You have wide options available when it comes to choosing a platform to trade on. Cryptocurrency traders usually use an exchange with its own decent web-based trading interface, thus reducing the need for other platforms that forex and stock traders have traditionally used.

Many cryptocurrency traders instead opt to do their charting on a separate platform, and then place their orders directly on the exchange. In fact, separating trading and charting is a good practice that I usually recommend because it keeps you from making impulse trades when you are doing your analysis. If you instead do your analysis on a separate platform, and then need to log in to your broker to place the trade, chances are you will have time to reflect over what you are doing and thus reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.

Trading software packages also vary widely in price, from free basic packages to extremely expensive options designed for institutions. In this article, I will cover two of the most popular platforms for retail traders that are available for a relatively low cost.

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TradingView

Perhaps the most popular charting software for technical analysis right now is TradingView. This platform has earned the top spot over the past few years for very good reason, with the main one being its social experience.

TradingView lets users publish their own trade ideas for the rest of the community to see and rate. Ideas are usually based on technical analysis, and are drawn directly on the charts using the built-in tools for technical analysis.

While TradingView used to be a community mainly consisting of forex traders, a huge number of cryptocurrency traders have also come to the platform over the past year. The charting tool now supports a large selection of cryptocurrency trading pairs, and their “Cryptocurrencies” chat has become one of the most popular chats on the platform.

Lots of technical analysis enthusiasts will claim that TradingView is simply the best charting platform available today. It is simple enough for beginners to understand, while at the same offers all of the features an advanced trader would ever ask for.

You can start using TradingView for free today, and choose to upgrade to one of their paid plans later once you become comfortable with the platform. Although their prices have increased over the past few years, TradingView is still reasonably priced considering how powerful the platform is.

TradingView has the following subscription plans (month-to-month subscriptions):

  • FREE
  • PRO: US$14.95/month
  • PRO+: US$29.95/month
  • PREMIUM: US$59.95/month

All plans offer better prices if you opt for a 2-year subscription period. Personally, I feel that their PRO+ plan offers the most bang for the buck.

MetaTrader

While TradingView is a web-based platform that runs directly in your browser, MetaTrader is a more traditional kind of trading software that you need to download on your computer. Originally built by Russian company MetaQuotes Software, MetaTrader is by far the most popular trading software for retail forex and CFD traders in the world.

We have previously talked about how you can profit from having robots trade for you, and this is probably what the MetaTrader platform has become best known for. You have the option of tracking the trades of a free robot, or paying for access to a (presumably) better one. You can also track the trades made by other human traders in the same way, also known as copy-trading.

MetaTrader users can also put their coding skills to work and develop their own trading robots or custom technical indicators. The end result of your work can either be used by yourself or sold to other users on the built-in marketplace.

As a new trader, it is really important that you don’t blindly buy into the promises of trading robots you come across, and that you are aware of their limitations. As Jonas explained in his recent article, oftentimes these robots will perform fantastic for a short amount of time before they eventually fail miserably, causing you to lose all the money you initially gained. Trading robots are sometimes optimized to perform perfectly in past market conditions, but that does not necessarily mean that they will perform equally well in the future. This is one of the big pitfalls of algorithmic trading, often referred to by traders as “curve-fitting” or “over-optimization.”

Lastly, there is no doubt that MetaTrader has a more advanced feel to it than TradingView, and it is also more complicated to learn how to use it. That alone, however, does not mean that it is a better platform to use.

MetaTrader or TradingView – which one should you go for?

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to think of MetaTrader and TradingView as complements of each other. You could for example use TradingView solely as a technical analysis tool and a social network for staying in touch with other traders, while placing your trades in MetaTrader (if your broker supports that platform).

Many traders who used to be hardcore supporters of MetaTrader have switched to TradingView, at least for their charting work. The most obvious reason for doing that is probably that TradingView runs in the cloud, and therefore automatically backs up everything you do on the platform. If your computer breaks down while using TradingView, you can simply get a new one and continue where you left off. With MetaTrader however, everything is saved locally on your hard drive, meaning everything you have done will be lost when your computer crashes.

For those active in the forex market, most brokers will offer their own web-based trading platform in addition to the MetaTrader platform. I would recommend starting with the web-based solution to learn the game at first. MetaTrader may feel overwhelming to start with, and there is no need to make things more difficult than they already are.

Once you have gained more confidence in the markets, you can try out MetaTrader if you feel the need for more advanced functionality or want to test out trading robots. If you instead prefer to do your own technical analysis, TradingView has you covered with pretty much everything you will ever need. By doing it this way and taking things one step at a time, your learning curve will become more manageable and your odds of success greatly improved.

Featured image from Pixabay.

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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4.2 stars on average, based on 20 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He mainly follows the stock and forex markets, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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