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Week in Review

Week in Review: Cryptocurrencies Steady Following Two-Day Bloodbath as South Korea Weighs New Regulations

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The events of this past week proved once again that cryptocurrency speculation isn’t for the faint of heart. Between Monday and Wednesday, the digital asset class shed $285 billion in an epic flash crash triggered by speculation that South Korea was considering a new ban on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

Carnage in the cryptocurrency market compelled bitcoin’s neveau riche to enter into gold, which has also benefited from a slumping dollar and global uncertainty.

On Wall Street, equities set new record highs as corporate earnings came in better than expected.

Crypto Carnage

The global cryptocurrency market was worth more than $710 billion on Monday. Just two days later, it sunk to a low of $417 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The rapid depreciation was caused by growing concerns over the future of cryptocurrency trading on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s government has assured the market that a blanket ban on trading had not been decided despite comments to the contrary by the Justice Minister. Of course, that didn’t deter mainstream media sources from insinuating that a ban was imminent.

The crypto market has rebounded from its Wednesday low, but remains about $300 billion shy of its all-time high. Bitcoin’s rally has stalled around $11,000 after the token dipped below $10,000 earlier.

Ripple XRP, the fastest growing cryptocurrency of 2017, briefly fell below $1.00 on Wednesday before rebounding at $1.50.

By end of day Friday, altcoins accounted or roughly 66% of the total market cap.

At the time of writing, the global cryptocurrency market was valued at $572 billion.

Bitcoin Traders Snatch Up Gold Bullion

Bloomberg ran a compelling story this week about bitcoin’s nouveau riche entering into gold amid the latest crypto market crash. Although the article spoke of bitcoin’s wealthiest investors, it shined the spotlight on a commodity that has struggled to win back investors amid the latest bull market in stocks and cryptos.

Bullion failed to put up any gains this week, but continues to trade at around four-month highs. On Friday, the February futures contract traded around $1,333.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its next price target is $1,351.00, or last September’s settlement high.

South Korea’s Regulatory Battle

The South Korean government is reportedly considering several measures to stem the tide of speculation in cryptocurrency. However, one of Seoul’s regulators has called a blanket ban on cryptos “impossible in reality.”

In a radio interview, South Korean Fair Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Kim Sang-jo said a ban was highly unlikely.

“There is no applicable legislation [to ban cryptocurrency exchanges],” Kim said, as reported by Finder.com. “Any violation of the electronic commerce laws is not enough in itself to legally force the closure of cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Kim also questioned whether the South Korea even meets the standard definition of a speculative market. In his view, the amount of money pouring into digital currencies is “not stable enough for it to be labelled as speculation.”

Stock Rally Continues

U.S. stocks rose to all new highs this week, extending a bullish new-year run that has added roughly 5% to the benchmark averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite each climbed to record levels on the back of solid quarterly earnings from major Wall Street firms.

As of Friday, 11% of S&P 500 companies had reported fourth-quarter results. Two-thirds reported positive earnings surprises and 85% posted sales figures that were higher than expected.

Wall Street has enjoyed a sustained bull market under President Donald Trump, who has promised to implement a pro-growth agenda centered on lower taxes, infrastructure spending and deregulation. With tax reform out of the way, the Trump administration is now eyeing a new infrastructure blueprint to rebuild American roads, airports and other transportation arteries.

The Week Ahead

Speculation about South Korea will continue to drive the cryptocurrency market next week, as investors look for tangible information about the country’s evolving regulations. Economic data and corporate earnings will also make headlines as the month of January draws to a close.

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 552 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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Week in Review

Weekly Recap: Bitcoin – Beaten, but Not Broken

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It was a week of mega selloffs for cryptocurrencies, as the fallout from regulatory indecisiveness and an apparent cash-out of ICOs dragged the market to its lowest level of the year. The total value of crypto assets bottomed near $189 billion on Monday, possibly signaling the death knell for a large segment of tokens listed on CoinMarketCap.

Despite the latest string of dramatic moves, bitcoin has managed to defend – on multiple occasions, we might add – a key support level commonly associated with the bottom threshold of mining profitability. By the end of the week, the bitcoin price was back above the 50-day moving average and looking poised to break-out of its latest rut.

For altcoins, the picture is less clear. Investors are becoming increasingly risk-averse to this asset class, which now represents less than 48% of the total market.

Crypto Investors Seek Refuge in Bitcoin

A non-decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this month regarding a highly-touted bitcoin ETF triggered a massive selloff of cryptocurrencies. By Monday of this week, the panic sale had morphed into a widespread cash-out of initial coin offerings (ICOs), with altcoins and tokens registering double-digit declines across the board.

Although bitcoin was affected by the market-wide selloff, the leading digital currency emerged with as much as 54.5% of the total capitalization, a sign investors were seeking refuge from more speculative altcoins. The bitcoin price came within $100 of yearly lows, but quickly returned above $6,000 and now sits just below $6,500 on Bitfinex.

Bitcoin’s bullish bias has only strengthened in recent days, a sign that a return to $7,000 is likely in the short-term. Whereas $6,000 has offered a sturdy floor for the bitcoin price, $7,000 has emerged as a psychological barrier amid the recent downturn.

Astonishingly, the bitcoin price is at break-even for the week, with CoinMarketCap even reporting a slight gain compared with seven days ago.

Ethereum, which was down by as much as 36% week-over-week, has trimmed its seven-day loss to 16%. The developer’s cryptocurrency was at the center of the recent selloff, possibly signaling a large-scale exodus from ICOs.

Lira Recovers from Record Lows

The Turkish lira rebounded from record lows this week after Qatar announced an emergency loan package to shore up the country’s struggling financial sector. The lira collapsed earlier this month after the United States doubled down on commodity tariffs against Ankara and imposed fresh sanctions targeting key members of its government.

Turkey was back in Washington’s crosshairs on Friday after the Trump administration threatened to impose more economic sanctions if it does not release a detained American pastor being held on suspicion of espionage.

Turkey’s crisis has triggered widespread selling in other emerging markets amid fears of contagion. Emerging-market stocks and currencies suffered swift blows as a result.

Oil Hits Two-Month Lows

Crude oil is coming off one of its worst weeks in recent memory after U.S. government data showed an unexpectedly large build-up in commercial crude inventories resulting from higher than expected imports. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia confirmed that it raised crude output in July by an average 200,000 barrels per day.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled at $65.01 a barrel on Wednesday, the lowest since June 6.

Surging Dollar Rattles Gold Price

The price of gold plunged this week to its lowest level in 19 months, as investors parked assets in the U.S. dollar and Treasuries.

Gold futures fell below $1,180 a troy ounce on Friday, marking a 14% reversal from this year’s peak. Silver suffered a similar fate, falling more than 4% this week to its lowest since January 2017.

Precious metals crumbled as the dollar rose to 13-month highs against a basket of its peers. Assets like gold and silver are priced in greenbacks, which makes them less attractive for foreign buyers when the dollar rises.

The Week Ahead

Despite the recent correction in cryptocurrencies, the bulls aren’t out of the woods yet. Although bitcoin has managed to hold key support, the broader altcoin universe faces an uphill battle regaining lost market share. Against this backdrop, investors should be keeping close tabs on Ethereum to gauge the market’s outlook on tokens emanating from the recent ICO boom.

In conventional markets, concerns surrounding Turkey and China will be on the front burner next week. Volatility on both of these fault lines has triggered renewed interest in the U.S. dollar, which is currently trading near one-year highs.

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 552 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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Week in Review

Week in Review: As Cryptos Sell-Off, Bitcoin Approaches Major Inflection point

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A decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay a ruling on a keenly awaited bitcoin ETF triggered a fresh selling wave across all major cryptocurrencies on Tuesday. Three days later, the market has yet to engineer a meaningful recovery, with bitcoin eyeing a major inflection point that could dictate its short-term future.

Cryptos See Red

The cryptocurrency market bottomed near $219 billion on Tuesday, the lowest in a year, according to CoinMarketCap. The ensuing recovery only managed to tack on $13 billion in market capitalization as the bears maintained their control of the market. By Friday, the market was worth roughly $226.6 billion, down $37 billion from last week.

With the exception of Tether, the so-called dollar-backed stablecoin, all major cryptocurrencies in the top-ten reported heavy losses over the past seven days. In fact, Cardano’s ADA was the only major not to report double-digit percentage losses.

IOTA declined by a staggering 35% amid fresh controversy at the Berlin-based Foundation. Ripple XRP plunged more than 23% while EOS fell 22%.

Increasingly, the fate of these and other currencies is being dictated by bitcoin, whose share of the overall market swelled to 49.2% on Friday, the highest since December.

Bitcoin: Where Next?

As the market’s most important bellwether, bitcoin’s precipitous decline over the past three weeks has been especially painful. On Tuesday, BTC completed a 28% reversal from the July 24 swing high, pushing prices into oversold territory.

The leading digital currency rallied to a high near $6,630 on Bitfinex Thursday but has since backed off those levels. What’s more, a shaky defense of the most recent swing low ($6,126.50) has raised the specter of a more protracted breakdown below $6,000 – a move that would expose the June low of $5,755.

Based on the above scenario, a return to the previous day’s high is likely needed to engineer a sustainable short-term recovery. Short-term momentum is on the side of the bears, according to the relative strength index (RSI). That being said, daily trading volume of $4.6 billion remains well above the minimum threshold typically reuired for a corrective rally.

U.S. Dollar Hits One-Year High

In traditional markets, the U.S. dollar surged to one-year highs Friday after the collapse of the Turkish lira fueled fresh demand for the greenback. At its lowest point, the lira was down almost 16% against the dollar and 47% in the past 52 weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. dollar index (DXY), which tracks the performance of the greenback against six currencies not including the lira, piked 0.7% to 96.20. The world’s leading currency has returned more than 4.4% in 2018 despite one of the worst starts to a year on record.

Meanwhile, the months-long devaluation of the yuan renminbi continued Friday, as the Chinese currency headed for its ninth consecutive weekly losing streak. The decline comes even after the People’s Bank of China made it costlier to short the yuan.

The Week Ahead

The digital currency market is entering a period of heightened uncertainty as bitcoin eyes a major technical inflection point. As the BTC dominance index clearly demonstrates, wherever bitcoin goes the market will follow.

The market’s 12-month low suggests that crypto psychology is damaged, with investors discounting the wave of positive fundamental developments concerning bitcoin custody. Intercontinental Exchange and Boerse Stuttgart, two of the world’s largest stock exchange operators, have recently announced big plans to bring crypto trading mainstream investors.

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 552 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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Week in Review

Week in Review: Crypto Rally Loses Steam as Bitcoin Falls Below 100-Day MA

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The cryptocurrency market swung sharply lower this week, as bitcoin entered a short-term bearish cycle following a series of technical breakdowns. On Friday, the leading digital currency fell below the 100-day moving average, erasing the prospect of an imminent recovery.

Bitcoin’s liquidity issues were also on display Friday after Hong Kong-based OKEx injected $18 million worth of BTC into an insurance fund to cover losses in the futures market. Exchange volumes have declined steadily over the past two weeks, raising the prospect of more volatile moves in the short term.

Bitcoin Leads Crypto Market Downturn

Bitcoin’s sudden reversal on Tuesday triggered a market-wide decline in asset prices, with altcoins ending the week sharply lower. Digital currencies lost a combined $24 billion in market value over the past seven days. Roughly 68% of the total loss was concentrated in altcoins and tokens.

After a failed recovery attempt, the bitcoin pricep bottomed at $7,281 on Friday, according to Bitfinex. The coin would later recover at $7,400, where it was trading below the 100-day moving average.

In terms of percentage losses, bitcoin is down nearly 8% for the week. Ethereum, bitcoin cash, EOS, Stellar and Cardano were each down double-digits.

As of Friday, the combined value of cryptocurrencies was $264 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The market peaked above $304 billion last month.

OKEx Initiates “Clawback”

Traders in North America awoke on Friday to news that OKEx, a leading Hong Kong-based exchange, was initiating a “clawback” after a wrong-way bet on bitcoin futures left an unidentified user unable to cover losses.

In a statement released on Friday, OKEx announced it had moved to liquidate the position earlier in the week. The long position on bitcoin futures had a notional value of roughly $416 million, according to Bloomberg data. The exchange said it injected 2,500 bitcoins ($18 million) into an insurance fund to help minimize the impact on clients.

The bitcoin whale responsible for the trade was identified by the ID number 2051247. The wrong-way bet was initiated at 2 .m. Hong Kong time on Tuesday.

“Our risk management team immediately contacted the client, requesting the client several times to partially close the positions to reduce the overall market risks,” OKEx said. “However, the client refused to cooperate, which lead to our decision of freezing the client’s account to prevent further positions increasing. Shortly after this preemptive action, unfortunately, the BTC price tumbled, causing the liquidation of the account.”

Apple’s Record Valuation

Apple Inc. made history on Thursday after it became the first U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion, highlighting the iPhone maker’s explosive growth over the past two decades.

Shares of the Cupertino, California-based company briefly crossed $207 on Thursday, catapulting its market cap above the trillion-dollar mark. Apple’s share price has exploded 22% this year, with the latest rally fueled by another stellar earnings report.

Rebounding technology stocks generated an impressive recovery for the Nasdaq. The tech-laden index rose 2.3% between Tuesday and Thursday.

The Week Ahead

The debate over cryptocurrency regulation will rage on next week as investors eye an SEC decision on the latest bitcoin ETF application submitted by VanEck and SolidX. Based on existing timelines, the agency could deliver a ruling as early as Aug. 16. However, many believe the matter will drag on for many more months.

In traditional markets, the threat of all-out trade war between the United States and China appears more imminent now that Beijing has applied retaliatory tariffs. The ongoing trade spat has been a source of concern for much of the year.

On the data front, Chinese trade and inflation data will make headlines next week. The U.S. Department of Commerce will also report the latest on consumer prices.

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 552 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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