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Op-Ed

Will 2018 Live Up to the Cryptocurrency Craze?

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2018 review

The world of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin and Ethereum, has experienced an extremely volatile market in 2017. The Cryptocurrency craze created by the skyrocketing prices of Bitcoin has intrigued the ‘ordinary’ to follow the news wire and even trade the crypto assets. Many see cryptocurrency trading as an easy way to earn money. But, the highly volatile market demands the trader to have some knowledge of the technical and fundamental aspects in order to be successful.

Blockchain technology will keep disrupting more avenues

The term “blockchain” has been doing the rounds across several financial circles and markets. Analysts and financial speculators are convinced that blockchain technology will be at the heart of all emerging technological advancements next year along with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. Apart from this, blockchain technology is expected to to give way to a more cyber secure environment in the near future, which will be a critical development for the sector.

The last quarter of 2017 saw major corporate and financial institutes announce plans for blockchain related projects. Many renowned banks, financial institutions and other market players like Deutsche Bank, NASDAQ, DBS Bank, U.S. Federal Reserve, Wall Street and ASX have already started the process of implementing the blockchain technology in the transaction process. Talks around many institutions are about incorporating bitcoin and other such cryptocurrencies to purchase and sell day-to-day commodities. For example, a person can refuel his or her car by paying in bitcoins. This wide-scale blockchain adoption can be attributed to the level of security it possesses, almost unparalleled with any other system.

What to expect in 2018?

2018 is expected to be a breakthrough period for blockchain development and adoption. It is expected that zero-trust security models will re-emerge next year, as enterprise systems scramble for finding new ways of authentication. Hence, blockchain holds the key to fool-proof cyber security, providing a concrete system for data and funds accessibility.

Some interesting applications of blockchain and Internet of things (IoT) are expected to debut next year, contributing hugely to the cyber security sector.  2017 saw significant hack attacks on financial institutions, the banking sector, and even the cryptocurrency exchanges. Blockchain can be the key component to remedy this situation. It is slated to become the sole implementer of the zero-trust policy, which will pave the way for cybersecurity in the future.

What about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

There is considerable speculation making its way through the markets about the future of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Although it is difficult to predict the future of the market, the trader has several tools at their disposal to understand where the market is headed. In the following sections, we will focus on the year 2018 and what potential developments could influence price action for the major cryptocurrencies.

To recap: the shift from 2016 to 2017 saw the growth of the bitcoin bubble. The question now is: will the bitcoin bubble continue to grow in 2018? By the looks of it, bitcoin still has legs to grow. The flood of countless other altcoins on the market suggests demand for cryptos will remain high for the foreseeable future. Of course, this is not a prediction, but an observation about where the market could potentially go in the near future.

And more security threats?

Along with growth in the number of cryptocurrencies there has also been a rapid increase of threats and hacks of the crypto coins and cryptocurrency exchanges. It is well known that the totalitarian government of North Korea is financing at least some of these hacks. Recently, South Korean exchange Youbit faced multiple security breaches, leading it to eventually declare bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, crypto firm NiceHash recently reported the loss of about $64 million worth of bitcoin. Till now, it has been estimated that nearly 980,000 bitcoins (more than $15 billion based on current prices) have become the victim of burglary. So, the security issues have not been completely resolved when it comes to the safety of trading cryptocurrencies. Presently, South Korea and a few other nations are thinking about implementing taxes and some regulations to curb the cyber attacks and to regulate excessive trading. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. The silver lining, in this case, is the steps being taken to improve the security system of exchanges that will hopefully allow for a safer trading of cryptocurrencies in 2018.

There is also the issue of scalability of the most renowned cryptocurrencies—bitcoin and Ethereum. The forks have managed to increase the block size, which in turn has increased the speed of the transactions. The cryptocurrency software developers look forward to completely solving the transaction issues. It remains to be seen whether this will require more forks, and whether the blockchain community will embrace the newly created coins.

Also, some more currencies to trade…

Some cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin and Ethereum to look out for in 2018:

  • Litecoin (LTC): Litecoin was created in 2011 and currently shows a market cap north of $18 billion. Litecoin creator Charles Lee wants is putting more effort into his crpyo asset in 2018. One of his chief motivations is increasing transaction speed.
  • Monero (XMR): The creator of Monero is anonymous, just like that of bitcoin. With Monero, all the details of the transaction are saved on the public ledger but it is difficult to connect the sender to the receiver or to the size of the transaction. This means that the transaction details are completely untraceable. This has made it more vulnerable as it is easier for the hacker to escape.
  • Neo: Neo is often considered to be the “Ethereum of China”. The creator of Neo is Da Hongfei, the CEO of Onchain. Erik Zhang is the co-founder.
  • Cardano (Ada): Cardano was created in October 2017 and already has a market cap above $12 billion. The blockchain developer Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) created this cryptocurrency. The next phase of Cardano’s framework is going to be released in 2018.
  • Ripple (XRP): Ripple was developed by Ryan Fugger, Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen in 2012. Ripple has played a crucial role in linking banks and corporations to the blockchain technology and thus cryptocurrencies.
  • Iota (MIOTA): Iota, unlike other cryptocurrencies, does not have any trading fees, blocks or miners. The objective of Iota is to become the support for machine-to-machine payments in the IoT (Internet of Things) economy.
  • Bitcoin Cash: Bitcoin cash has come a long way since its altcoin days. Created on August 2017, it is one of bitcoin’s most recent forks.

Several cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity rapidly, a sign that the crypto craze will continue to grow in 2018. Investors should keep a close eye on the market cap of altcoins, as this provides a good bellwether of underlying demand for cryptocurrencies not named bitcoin.

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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Articles

Are Crypto News Sites Allowing Freedom Of Thought?

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As the interest in cryptocurrencies has exploded during the past couple years, crypto news sites have been on the rise.  These sites are quickly becoming an invaluable resource for traders who enjoy learning about new crypto projects and trade ideas.  The content distributed through these platforms is typically created by a combination of full-time staff and guest contributors/bloggers.  Many of these writers also have a lot of experience in crypto trading so the articles are extremely beneficial for readers.

One thing that readers should always keep in mind is that the content from these sites normally represents the independent thoughts of the writer.  This is important because writers/traders aren’t infallible.  They can make mistakes like all of us.  So, the best approach for readers is to try to attain a diversity of thought.  A diversity of thought means to gather as much information as possible, from a wide selection of sources.  This is absolutely necessary before reaching a conclusion on a certain topic.

But what happens when a website prevents writers from writing about specific topics?  A colleague of mine recently tried publishing an article at Coinnounce.  The writer wanted to publish an article about the buying opportunity that the Bitcoin crash was affording investors.  Normally an article is rejected for legitimate reasons such as poor grammar, plagiarism, or promotional work.  Unfortunately, Coinnounce cited that the website was bearish on Bitcoin and that they wouldn’t be publishing bullish articles.  Even more troubling is that when Bitcoin rebounded in price, Coinnounce reached out to my colleague and told him they would now be willing to publish the bullish article.

When I found out about the rejection and the reason given, I decided to browse the Coinnounce website (which I had never heard of) to find out what kinds of articles were being published.  And sure enough, the articles were nearly all bearish in some fashion.  The problem with this approach is that nobody knows where Bitcoin is going.  It’s 100% speculation.  What actually matters is the logic presented in the article that helps back up a prediction.  So, while Coinnounce is free to run its business as it sees fit, the website (or the articles published) should have a disclaimer that the information presented represents the thoughts of the website’s owners/editors.  Otherwise, readers may not have a clear understanding of what is being presented.

The point of this article is not to call out Coinnounce.  Rather, the point is to make sure readers are aware that some sites may have different motivations than others.  It’s important to read from a variety of sources to get as much information as possible.  This is true not just for cryptocurrency markets, but for everything in life.  I’m proud to write for Hacked which runs an open and honest platform.  The articles written do represent the thoughts and feelings of the writers.  So, while the editors may not always come to the same conclusions that the articles do, they will never suppress freedom of thought.

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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Op-Ed

The Underlying Assets are Getting Squeezed

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An interesting phenomenon has emerged in the last 3 or 4 months. It appears as if many of the core underlying investment assets of the economy are getting steadily killed in the markets. This is observable in FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) as well as commodities like crude oil and iron ore.

Additionally, Bitcoin has continued to get hammered during this absolute beat down on the economy. Many pundits have come out and talked about how this is the “end of Bitcoin” or how this is Bitcoin finally finding its true value, but something far more important is at work here.

Deleveraging During the Credit Squeeze

For anyone who hasn’t been reading the news over the last several months, the actions of the Fed (and other central banks) have been under considerable analysis. The previous decade has seen some of the easiest money in the history of our economy. Easy money refers to the cost of borrowing. The lower the cost (interest rate), the easier the money is considered to be.

So as we start to see the credit markets change in a way that makes it a lot harder to borrow money, a credit crunch begins. This is when there is a shortage of credit (lending) and borrowers are forced to pay back parts of their loans, or at least not take out any new ones. And as a direct result, they can’t afford to maintain certain investment positions.

Their inability to maintain these positions means they need to sell off their holdings in the same way a short squeeze causes short sellers to need to buy back the security they were shorting. A credit crunch closes a lot of positions.

The economy-wide effect this is having is both predictable and scary, because we don’t know how far all these underlying assets are going to fall before they stabilize. In the mean time, there will be drastic political effects as a result. The policies of central banks have come under scrutiny in recent months thanks to comments by President Trump, and now that a tighter monetary policy is being put into play, we are going to see much lower dollar liquidity in the future.

Zooming in on Bitcoin

So with all of these assets “puking on themselves”, or deleveraging, we are seeing some interesting dynamics unfold. In Bitcoin, capitulation is occurring on both sides of the asset, which is exactly what is necessary to reverse this trend in the future.

You can see traders instinctively realize that the “dead cat bounce” that normally occurs as shorts get squeezed out in the $4k range is much more muted now. This is because many of the shorts have already closed their position. Longs are doing the same as they bought in at what they thought was the bottom, even as recent times have proven them to be mistaken.

This is going to work out as a good thing for Bitcoin in the long-term, as it could be the end of the massive downmarket it has experienced all year and a new time to shine. At the very least, it could create a good “bottom” for opportunistic buyers to hop in and average their costs down a bit.

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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Altcoins

60 Minutes Showcases Potential of DNA and Genetic Genealogy; Opportunity for Crypto Investors

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DNA Storage

Throughout the years, 60 Minutes has been responsible for reporting on some of the biggest stories in the world.  Many of the most memorable episodes have involved world leader interviews, stories on endangered animals, profiles of famous celebrities, and occasionally, segments on promising developments in business and science.  A week ago, 60 Minutes had a very interesting report on how the authorities used Genetic genealogy to solve the case of the Golden State Killer, and how the authorities plan to keep using this new field to solve more cold cases in the future.

On April 25, 2018, authorities in Sacramento announced that they had solved the notorious case of the Golden State Killer.  Authorities were able to use a promising new technique called Genetic genealogy to help identify 72-year-old former police officer, Joseph DeAngelo, as the suspected killer.

Genetic Genealogy

Genetic genealogy is a mixture of high-tech DNA analysis, high speed computer technology, and family genealogy.  The end goal is to determine the level and type of genetic relationship between individuals.

In the case of the Golden State Killer, DNA came into play because the killer had committed at least 12 murders, 50 rapes, and many home burglaries.  Investigators were able to obtain DNA from the killer at one of the reported crime scenes.  After many years of frustrating dead ends, a cold case investigator submitted the obtained DNA sample to GEDmatch.  GEDmatch is the largest public genealogy database in the world.  After uploading the sample, authorities were able to generate a handful of leads which eventually led to the front doors of Joseph DeAngelo.

In addition to the Golden State Killer case, authorities have used Genetic genealogy to make arrests in at least 11 other cold cases.  While the science appears to be sound, there is a legal question that has yet to be answered.  There is no doubt that attorneys for the accused will raise the question of privacy and whether using databases, thought to be private, should be legal.

Opportunity for Crypto Investors

While I’ve invested in equities and crypto for many years with varying degrees of success, I’ve never had the opportunity to invest at the beginning of a new frontier.  Fortunately, the opportunity has come.  Encrypgen (DNA) is a genomic blockchain network that provides customers and partners with best-in-class, next generation, blockchain security for protecting, sharing and re-marketing genomic data.  This creates a fair marketplace for a person’s DNA that can be stored private and sold (if a person wishes to do that).

Over the past few months, Encrypgen has been gaining attention in the mainstream media because of their revolutionary technology as well as the fact that their closest competition is still years away.

In August, Encrypgen released a beta version of its Gene-Chain.  The Gene-Chain allows consumers to upload their genetic profile and for researchers to purchase that genetic data.  Within the next 2 weeks, the company plans to release the full version of the Gene-Chain which will officially make them a new pioneer in the field of genomic blockchain security.

With the DNA token hovering at approximately 5 cents, the time is running out to accumulate at bargain basement prices.  I fully expect the token to achieve utility in the next several months which will cause a rocket-like explosion in the token price.  There is no looking back now, only forward, and I love what I see.

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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Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

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