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Market Overview

What’s the Big Deal?

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So everybody seems to be worried about this issue with Tether. If you’re not familiar with the situation, here’s an excellent article that explains the whole story.

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Several clients have already approached me asking what the ramifications could be, but honestly, I really don’t see the big deal.

Firstly, the US Government has been creating USD out of thin air for the better part of the last decade without having any major negative impact on the Dollar’s price or it’s ability to be used as a medium of exchange.

Secondly, even if market players do lose confidence in Tether and it goes to zero, what’s the worst-case scenario for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? All it means is that alternative investors will prefer to rotate out of Tether and into other coins.

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The biggest impact that I can see is on the exchanges who use Tether as their base currency. But please… the exchanges aren’t hurting at the moment. We saw coincheck in Japan just got hacked for nearly half a Billion Dollars only to announce the next day that they will pay it back from their own ample pocket.

Perhaps I’m missing something, as I often do, but from what I see, the faster this whole thing shakes out the better.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

Record Breaking Stocks

2 Euro Headwinds

Red Cryptos

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of February 1st. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Despite the pullback in the stock market at the beginning of the week. January has ended by breaking several records on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones has closed it’s 10th consecutive month in the green, making it the longest streak of monthly gains since 1959 and the S&P500 has had its best start of the year since 1997.

The US Dollar, on the other hand, is not having a fab year and has extended the losses seen in 2017.

As if things weren’t bad enough for the buck. Janet Yellen got a bit aggressive yesterday on inflation. Stating that it may be coming sooner than expected. Yellen out!!

On the one hand, that could be good for the Dollar since the Fed will likely raise their rates quicker once Jerome Powell takes over, on the other hand it means that inflation is coming.

I might need to rethink what I wrote in the opening letter about the US and inflation. :/

Over to Europe

The Dax in Germany has been rather patient as they wait for Angela Merkel to put her government together. The country has been in political deadlock since the elections on September 24th.

The stocks did in fact rally after Merkel’s apparent victory (yellow circle) however it seems to have been flip-flopping and hasn’t made any significant moves since then.

The Euro on the other hand has been rather strong. Perhaps in the face of a weaker Dollar, or due to a tighter stance from the European Central Bank.

Either way, over the next month focus will likely shift to their fourth largest economy. Elections are coming in Italy on March 4th and things don’t look pretty.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (yellow) has been gaining strength but more notably, the center-left Democratic Party (red) has been losing popularity.

Europe seems to be impervious to political risk ever since Marine Le Pen’s defeat in France. It’s not clear why more people aren’t talking about the Italians at this point.

Crypto Watch

As I’m writing, things are rather red in crypto-land. Despite what it looks like on the short term charts and the FUD on the front pages, January’s loss needs to be seen as a reaction to the gains from November and December.

Here’s a chart that was posted yesterday by @Liamdavies, who sees this entire falling wedge as a bullish indicator.

Of course, we always need to hammer home the risk disclaimers when it comes to crypto, there is always a chance of everything going to zero, which is why it pays to diversify, diversify, diversify!!!

Use proper money management. If more than 20% of your overall assets is on cryptocurrencies you are taking an enormous risk!!!

Rather, the best way to go is to spread your investments across the different stocks, indices, currencies, commodities, and ETFs that are on the platform. This can be done simply copying other investors with more experience or by using some of the copyfunds that are in the platform.

On Monday, our CEO and founder Yoni Assia will be hosting a webinar to deliver his outlook for 2018. Space is limited so if you’d like to be in the live event, please register now.

As always, let me know if you need assistance or if you have any questions. Have an amazing day ahead!!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

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 Comments

  1. Baja Surfer

    February 1, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I see comments about Tether like “I really don’t see the big deal” from very smart people and it worries me.

    I’m not sure how old you are but I’m old… I started programming Basic/DOS in 1982 and my first video game was pong… so I’ve lived through a lot of technology up/downs, and I’ve seen my fair share of investment schemes/fraud collapse, and Tether has all the red flags of a scheme/fraud… it’s not about financial stability, using wash trading to build reserves, it’s about honesty and transparency, they have breached their fiduciary responsibility with their customers by not being audited, why would you not hold them accountable? If this was Apple, Google or any other legitimate company you would call them out in a heartbeat.

    Now I know many people are invested in cryptos on an emotional level, so it may cloud their judgment, but this statement:

    “Firstly, the US Government has been creating USD out of thin air for the better part of the last decade without having any major negative impact on the Dollar’s price or it’s ability to be used as a medium of exchange.”

    Are you really trying to compare a government with physical assets to Tether? Which is backed by no physical assets. This is irresponsible. Yes, from a macro perspective the monetary policy of the US dollar is unsustainable, and there will be a reckoning, but comparing Tether is not even close.

    Tether as a company has a responsibility to fulfill their promises to customers, just like any other business, and as a prudent investor, you should know this, it’s not personal, it’s business. You provide one example of a company you invest in other than Tether that has failed to meet their commitments to investors/customers and not be audited.

    • Mati Greenspan

      February 1, 2018 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Mr. Surfer,

      Love this reply!! Thanks a lot for taking the time to write it. In fact, this is exactly what I was looking for when I wrote that “I might be missing something.”

      In fact, I was born in 1983 so still have a lot to learn. 🙂

      My main question is.. ok, let’s say this is a huge scandal as it does appear to be, what’s the worst case scenario?

      I don’t see volumes on Tether as large enough to have any lasting impact on the market. So perhaps you can answer, what would a complete blow up look like? How would it impact the exchanges?.. more importantly, how would it impact the price of BTC ETH and the rest?

      Thanks,
      Mati

  2. Baja Surfer

    February 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    These are great questions, and I believe these are the questions everyone should be trying to answer:

    Let’s say this is a huge scandal as it does appear to be, what’s the worst case scenario?

    What would a complete blow up look like?

    How would it impact the exchanges?

    Would it impact the price of BTC ETH and the rest?

    Here’s a viewpoint from someome that does a lot of research (https://www.tradingview.com/chart/BTCUSD/mfQ7rG2F-BTC-India-and-Tether-Just-Another-Distraction/):

    FACTS:
    #1 Bitcoin’ is NOT the only coin traded in Tether. So this statement is misleading to say the least. Around 60% of the Tether market is traded paired with bitcoin’ but the other 40% is among a basket of other currencies. I’m sure it fluctuates from exchange to exchange but bottom line its not traded paired with bitcoin -9.85% only.

    #2 Tether is simply a crypto currency “pegged” or supposed to be backed by the dollar.

    #3 Tether is 0.4% of the overall crypto market cap and 0.7% of the alt coin market cap with a 2.2 billion dollar cap.

    #4 It works just like every other fiat currency in which it is simply a median of exchange

    Now lets assume Tether is a complete scam and there is not $1 USD in any bank account to back it.
    Tether would lose 100% of it’s market 2.2 Billion dollar market cap instantly. Does this mean that Bitcoin’ is doomed?

    NO! Now it may bring to light the corruption in the space which may adversely affect bitcoin’ and the market as a whole temporarily, but it does not change the fundamentals of bitcoin’. So it is simply a coin that is backed in faith by the faith of another currency. The irony! So in my opinion, unless you own Tether’ directly I personally am not worried and would use the fallout as a buying opportunity.

    And I concur, the numbers indicate it’s not going to destroy the market, but you know the market is an emotional being… so for us as traders/investors it’s up to us to understand the numbers for the “intrinsic value” (and that’s a whole different discussion) and not dismiss facts as FUD.

  3. dbenn8

    February 1, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Hey all, the major concern in this NYTimes article is that these valueless Tether have been used to repeatedly prop up the Bitcoin market. I think they are claiming that many times that Bitcoin has started to fall in price, $100Mil worth of tether have been added to the ecosystem and used to start buying BTC to push its value back up.

    So, the concern here is that BTC’s fundamental value is actually much lower than the market has been valuing it at, since zero value tether have been used by the exchanges to prop up its price when it falls.

    As we know, Alts are pretty strongly tied to BTC, so it could theoretically be propping up this entire giant rise in market cap…

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/bitfinex-bitcoin-price.html

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Market Overview

Rome wasn’t built in a day

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As blockchain week in New York winds down, we’re seeing several articles like this one

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What the writers of these articles fail to realize is the underlying principle behind the so-called “consensus effect” and what it’s all about.

This is not “pump” and it was never about speculation or crypto trader exuberance. The theory championed by Tom Lee and others is about the construction of infrastructure.

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During the event, we witnessed a flurry of exciting product launches, new partnerships, groundbreaking initiations, and investment commitments. These are the type of things that tend to have a large impact on market prices, but not instantly.

In the last three years, we have seen that bitcoin stayed flat for weeks after the Consensus conference and then took off about a month later. This graphic does a rather good job of displaying the delayed fuse…

Our CEO and co-founder of eToro Yoni Assia took the center stage several times during the conference and this morning wrote us a powerful letter. Here is small excerpt…

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Rome Rebuilt
  • Chinese Stocks Boost
  • The Bitcoin Chart

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of May 18th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

In the last hour, Italy’s Five Star Movement has announced that they’ve finalized a contract with the League, and will vote on it shortly. It looks like the nation will finally have a working government, possibly as soon as this weekend.

The good news is that it seems they will not be asking the EU to write off their €250 billion debt. The idea was gaining traction within the country, but as we saw with Greece not too long ago, it would be very difficult to get any European leaders to simply erase a mountain of debt.

Some of the highlights of the deal do include….

A quick glimpse at Italian bond yields shows that investors aren’t exactly thrilled with the new plan.

Putting it in perspective, we can see that the new updates are far more impactful than the recent election…

eToro’s top Italian analyst writes…

The main issue is: how do they think they will get the necessary financial coverage for those reforms? (Citizenship Income, Pension Fornero’s Law, Flat Tax)
Do they really think that Brussels will allow them to create new spending initiatives (immigration for example) without batting an eyelid?
It does not seem like the new coalition will have the necessary strength to get the weight in a Europe to affect any real change.

-Gabriel Debach
eToro, Italian Market Analyst

No Worries

If the international markets are concerned about any of this, it sure isn’t showing up in asset prices today. Stocks are mostly flat around the world, with the exception of the China50, which is flying…

This could be due to a softer outlook for the US-China trade negotiations, or possibly just because the index is currently 15% from the top.

Either way, it’s the only real mover today other than crypto.

Crypto Drop

Digital assets went through a mild sell-off last night. Bitcoin fell through support at $8,250 and is now barely holding $8k.

The good news is that the alleged Upbit scandal that smacked EOS and the rest of the crypto markets seems to be resolved now. Bad news always travels faster than good news. Though there was a sell-off when this news hit, the resolution doesn’t seem to be having an opposite effect.

Nothing affects sentiment like price, and as the price drops it is important to put things into perspective. This graph shows the long-term trend line that’s been a foundation of support for the market in the last few months.

Judging by this, it is a distinct possibility that we’ll be testing this line again circa $7,100. The blue line (200DMA) and the round level of $10k will certainly be a hard walnut to crack, but if we do somehow get on top of it…

Let’s have an amazing weekend!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

 

Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

eToro: @MatiGreenspan | Twitter: @MatiGreenspan | LinkedIn: MatiGreenspan | Facebook:MatiGreenspan

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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Market Overview

Market Update: Stocks Give Up Gains as Treasury Yields Climb

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U.S. stocks struggled to hold gains Thursday, as rising bond yields pressured the major indexes ahead of a planned interest-rate hike next month.

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Stocks Drift Lower in Afternoon Trade

All of Wall Street’s major indexes closed well off their daily highs, with the S&P 500 Index finishing down 0.1% at 2,720.13. Only four of 11 primary sectors reported clear-cut gains, with energy shares jumping more than 1%. On the opposite side of the ledger, utilities and telecom were the biggest decliners.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 54.95 points, or 0.2%, to close at 24,713.98. Meanwhile, the technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.2% to 7,382.47.

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The CBOE VIX – a measure of anticipated volatility over the next 30 days – held lower on Thursday, reflecting underlying calm on Wall Street. The so-called “fear index” closed at 13.43 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic mean.

Stocks were pressured once again by rising bond yields, with investors continuing to bet on higher interest rates to tame inflation. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury more leaked at 3.1% Thursday, the highest since 2011.

Geopolitics Drive Commodities

Geopolitics was the main focus for commodity traders Thursday, as investors became more convinced that Iranian sanctions would limit crude exports from the Persian Gulf.

According to some analysts, restoring sanctions on Iran could disrupt oil shipments from the country by as many as 1 million barrels per day.  Others say the impact won’t be nearly as severe given continued support for the Iran nuclear deal by China and America’s European allies.

Oil prices on Thursday rose to their highest level since 2014, with Brent crude topping $80 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. In New York, West Texas intermediate (WTI) broke above $72 a barrel.

Crude prices rallied even as the U.S. dollar reached its highest level in five months. A stronger dollar often dissuades international investors from purchasing commodities denominated in the U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar index (DXY) reached a daily high of 93.57.

Cryptocurrency Prices Struggle for Direction

The cryptocurrency market fell deeper below $400 billion on Thursday, as prices failed to build off overnight gains. The market’s total capitalization fell to $376 billion after peaking at around $390 billion, latest figure from CoinMarketCap show.

Digital currencies have struggled for momentum in recent weeks even as the value proposition for investing increased. The blockchain industry is brimming with confidence on signs of wider institutional adoption, growing use cases and support for innovation from governmental agencies.

Though bitcoin prices have struggled below $9,000 this week, a former trader at JPMorgan Chase recently predicted new record highs for the digital currency this year.

Danny Masters, who now chairs investment firm CoinShares, believes prices are destined for $20,000 this year as market structures continually improve.

“We need to see the custody solutions come and be provided. We need indices and we need performance measures where we can actually start to understand what we’re talking about and measure our performance,” Masters said, as quoted by CCN.

Bitcoin drifted 1.5% lower on Thursday to trade around $8,200.

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 403 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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Market Overview

US Dollar Unhinged

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Hi Everybody,

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One of the trickiest questions I’ve ever been asked by a journalist was: Aren’t cryptocurrencies just an easy way for rogue governments to skirt international sanctions?

I was stumped. Certainly, we can all see the value in a currency that operates independently of governments and banks, but does that mean that adherence to globally recognized standards is history?

For the ICO market, we’ve seen that many of the more obvious scams were called out rather quickly by the community. Unfortunately, some may have fallen foul of these scams, not nearly as much money has been lost as it has in other types of scams.

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After some consideration, the above argument bears similarities to that around free speech. Should we allow people to voice harmful opinions? The classic answer to that is “yes.” For fear of repressing the oppressed, we should allow all to speak and let the validity of their arguments carry, or drown.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Higher Yields
  • Italian Exposure
  • Unhinged Crypto

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of May 17th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Bond Yields are tracking higher today, which does seem to be weighing down on the stock market at the moment.

Here’s a snapshot of the 10 year yield…

…and here are the stock markets over the last two weeks….

As you can see, the rally is having a difficult time climbing higher in the face of higher borrowing costs. Of course, the bond moves in the US are rather small compared to what’s happening in Italy right now.

The Italian 10-year has gone from 1.71 to 2.11 in the last month. For cryptotraders this may not seem like much but for the bond market that currently houses much of the world’s investments, this is a massive movement.

Within Italy itself, the situation is potentially explosive. Here we can see overall exposure that various banks have to Italian bonds. Notice the overwhelming presence of triple digit numbers here?

The silver lining here is that the fear of contagion is now far less than it was a few years back as it seems that most of the debt is confined to domestic banks.

Many thanks to one of our Italian traders on eToro for tagging me in this post

We’ve also recently highlighted the Turkish Lira, so here’s a current look at that. As you can see, it’s still falling sharply.

(Reminder: Inverted graph)

Crypto Unhinged

Though the possibility of the US Dollar losing its status as the global reserve currency is extremely low, over the course of history these types of things have happened before.

In the crypto market however, anomalies are far more commonplace. Stable coins are designed to allow people to transact using cryptocurrencies while reducing the risk that lies in the extreme volatility prevalent in this particular market.

Sometimes, things don’t exactly go according to plan though. Even though the TrueUSD coin seems to be more decentralized and transparent than previous versions of this concept, market forces can sometimes be stronger than economic theories.

In this case, the coin was introduced to a new platform, one of the largest in the industry, rather suddenly. This surge in volume caused the price to spike by 35% in the span of three hours, and it took the market an additional 10 hours to bring it back it’s intended level and even out.

The moral of the story is that though we can’t ever tell the future, we can make decisions on our investments to take advantage of both short term and long term shifts in valuation.

If your risk is all in one place than you’re either going to have a very good or a very bad time, probably both depending on the day. However, the more you diversify your portfolio into many different types of investments, the more you reduce your risk and in the end, you’ll likely be able to sleep a lot better at night.

As always, please continue sending me your excellent questions and comments. Let’s have an amazing day!

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

eToro: @MatiGreenspan | Twitter: @MatiGreenspan | LinkedIn: MatiGreenspan | Facebook:MatiGreenspan

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 85 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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