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Will CME and CBOE Change the Course of Bitcoin Trading?

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bitcoin trading

There has been a lot of media buzz in the investment world around the introduction of bitcoin futures trading. Two of Chicago’s major firms, namely Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group Inc) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), have announced plans for bitcoin futures trading on their respective platforms, with the latter already launching its contract on Sunday. While the main fear regarding future bitcoin trading at this point is price manipulation, investors are skeptical about how the whole situation will pan out.

Fear of Price Manipulation

As mentioned earlier, price manipulation is a big threat to the profitability of bitcoin futures trading. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), they will only play the role of a derivatives regulator and not actually manipulate the underlying cash contract. Exchanges will continue to play a major part in handling the underlying cash contract, keeping it safe from the dangers of manipulation. Since the underlying cash market of bitcoin is not regulated, the CFTC has also warned investors about this fact.

Fig 1

Figure 1: Hypothesised Daily Trend of Bitcoin Values

The Role of CBOE and CME in Bitcoins Trading

The CBOE and CME both have been competing to become the market of choice in the United States. CBOE has already rolled out its bitcoin futures contracts, which they call XBT futures, with a limited free trading offer for the rest of the month for its customers. The rival CME group, on the other hand, is scheduled to release their version of hitcoin futures Dec. 18.

These announcements played a pivotal role last week, influencing traders and institutional investors to perform bitcoin futures trading in a more recognized and secure market. The price of a single unit of bitcoin was also affected, jumping from a formidable $10,000 to a new record high of close to $20,000. The main reason for this can be attributed to investors who understand that the exchanges will bring liquidity and price stability on an otherwise unstable and volatile cryptocurrency.

Here are just some of the ways bitcoin futures trading will change the course of bitcoin trading significantly.

  1. Risk: There’s no denying that bitcoin’s past has been marred by volatile spikes and crashes.  Some of these price changes have occurred over a very short period, enabling traders to recover their positions within a short period of time.  However, with the introduction of CME and CBOE futures trading, the United States markets might prolong the decline through the “domino” effect of selling futures trading.  Moreover, a snowballing effect through selling can affect the entire market.  The Futures Industry Association has already stressed on the bitcoin volatility issue and has requested for some form of “guarantee fund” to clear settlements to the community.
  2. Unstable Exchanges: Besides the CME and CBOE, the majority of bitcoin exchanges in the world come from unregulated markets without proper overseeing or supervision. This is problematic for traders since such exchanges form a reference point in price for the asset. Frequent outages in exchanges are a real threat to bitcoin’s price, often resulting in wild price swings. For instance, Coinbase and IG group, two famous bitcoin exchanges stopped trading on a Friday. As a result, bitcoin’s price shot up and subsequently crashed within 20 minutes.
  3. Increased Volatility: Futures markets work very differently than commodity markets, which draw in a lot of traders as well as speculators. When it comes to bitcoin, the recent Whipsaw in price is unfavorable for the introduction of new traders in the market at this point.
    The increase in speculation surrounding bitcoin price will result in even more price volatility if the number of traders is increased. Many people are of the opinion that the recent parabolic price curves will attract traders with added incentives to play with its price.
  4. Trading Profits: The aspect of trading profits becomes more complicated with the CME’s contract rules. CME’s contracts have price limits which are 20% above or below bitcoin’s reference price. This is done in order to curb unpredictability and regulate volatility.  The sole purpose of these price limits is to minimize the adverse impact of the cryptocurrrency’s wild price swings on futures markets.
    Economists, however, have stated that this might result in an opposite effect, where the trader’s profits are compromised significantly. This is due to the fact that the reference price of the whole bitcoin market is based on exchanges, which are largely operational in unregulated markets.  Such unregulated markets see frequent price swings in excess of 20%. This directly results in futures traders who will no longer benefit from the spike of a greater than 20% increase in bitcoin prices, at the aforementioned exchanges.

Side Effects of Bitcoin Futures Trading on the Market

The bitcoin market is poised to receive institutional money as a result of futures trading.  It will also open up various avenues of asset investment, as many funds that are currently prohibited from dealing in bitcoin-like alternative assets will also be able to participate in the trading exercise.
This, however, can be a major problem, as investors won’t actually be pouring their funds into the bitcoin market, but rather acquire synthetic derivates instead. No extra money goes into bitcoin itself, as these futures do not require ownership of actually bitcoins.

Final Word

The introduction of bitcoin futures trading in two major firms is definitely a blessing as well as a curse.  Both exchanges are seeking to exploit bitcoin’s popularity by attracting interest from Wall Street. Institutional investors have also been keen to trade the asset in a more recognized and regulated environment, which have also seen the increase in CME/CBOE shares by at least 9%. Normal traders are also required to pay higher than normal accounts to backstop their bitcoin trades and allow continued funding for their trade positions. However, it still boils down to the trader’s decision and his or her understanding of the movement of the bitcoin markets, which have in the past experienced significant and unpredictable volatility.

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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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Price Holds Steady as Signs of Bullish Reversal Emerge

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Bitcoin’s price was little changed Thursday, though the technical charts suggest that a bullish reversal is in the works following a successful defense of a key psychological threshold.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price is currently trading at $6,350 on Bitfinex, having gained 1.3% during the session. Compared with 24 hours ago, BTC is virtually unchanged.

At current values, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $109.3 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents more than 53% of the entire market value for cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is trading comfortably above $6,000 after briefly piercing below that level earlier in the week. On Wednesday, the leading digital currency returned above $6,600, a sign that the short-sellers were running out of steam.

With the latest recovery, BTC has crossed the 50-day moving average, with the bulls eyeing yesterday’s high as a short-term target. A return above $6,600 could set the tone for a bigger breakout toward $7,000 in the near future. However, as Hacked previously reported, investors’ psychology remains severely damaged after the latest rout, which means the bulls aren’t out the woods yet.

According to the Relative Strength Index (RSI), bitcoin is gaining momentum after its recent brush with oversold levels.

Bitcoin ETF: More Problems Than Its Worth?

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it would delay a ruling on a keenly awaited bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) – a non-decision that seems to have sparked the latest selloff in cryptocurrencies. (As we’ve reported all week, the selloff seems to have morphed into an ICO cash-out, with those of us still invested in the market diverting our assets into bitcoin.)

According to crypto pioneer Nick Szabo, bitcoin ETFs may not be the ‘holy grail’ investors have been waiting for; instead, they could lower the barrier to entry for “dumb money” to flood the market.

“I for one am not lobbying for an ETF or for Wall Street-managed money in general,” Szabo tweeted earlier this week. “It might cause more problems than it’s worth. The recent sell-off by dumb money has or soon will deprecate many opinionated know-nothings in this space. We don’t need new ones to take their place.”

Several researchers have linked bitcoin futures to increased market manipulation and volatility, a sign that institutional money isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. An ETF, in Szabo’s view, could invite many of the same problems. (Prior to the launch of bitcoin futures, “shorting” the digital currency was virtually impossible.)

Total assets under management held in ETFs crossed the $5 trillion mark earlier this year.

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 548 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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Analysis

Crypto Update: Market Stabilizes but Bulls Not Out of the Woods

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The cryptocurrency segment looks much better than any time in the last 10 days, as the major coins managed to hold up above the liquidation lows hit on Tuesday. While the bounce stabilized the market, there is still substantial fragility following the steep selloff, and until further bullish moves, traders shouldn’t enter full positions.

That said, finally, there are signs of relative strength among the top coins as correlations are slightly lower, and some of the bearish leaders managed to recapture key resistance levels. Litecoin is trading right at the crucial $56 level, while Monero is above the $90 level, and as we noted before the exhaustion of their downtrend is a positive sign or the whole segment.

XMR/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The bounce and the following stability triggered a few upgrades in our trend model after spending almost 1 month in the sell zone, but there are still no majors on a buy signal as the segment-wide downtrend remains intact. Bitcoin remains the strongest coin from a technical perspective, while Ethereum and Ripple, which showed weakness for weeks, are also in better shape, even as they face very strong resistance levels.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum managed to hold up above the $275-$280 level during the overnight pullback, and now it faces the $300 resistance level again, trying to build on the recent rally. While the short-term downtrend is intact, and the oversold longer-term momentum readings could fuel a rally in the coming weeks, but now the coin is in a structural bear market after the break below $400.

The coin is now neutral from a short-term standpoint, but a move below $275 would point to another test of the lows. Further resistance is ahead at $3335 and $360, while strong long-term support is at $260.

Bitcoin Still Below $6500 as XRP Nears $0.30

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Not much has changed for Bitcoin in recent days, but relatively speaking the largest coin showed significant strength. That said, until BTC doesn’t show bullish momentum, traders still shouldn’t enter positions, as the structurally important $5850 level is still not far below the current price level. A move above $6500 would trigger a short-term buy signal, but further strong resistance levels are ahead at $6750 and $7000, while support is still found at $6275 and $6000.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple and Ethereum are in very similar technical setups, and XRP is also facing strong resistance at $0.30 after finding support overnight near $0.275. After the panicky spike below $0.26, the odds of a durable increased, and should the coin stay above the overnight lows, the coin could avoid another short-term sell signal. While traders should still stay away from entering full positions here, a bottoming process might already be underway.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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 318 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Bitcoin Price Defends $6,000 as Crypto Market Cap Returns Above $200 Billion

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Bitcoin rebounded sharply on Wednesday after a bear market breakdown dragged prices to within $100 of yearly lows. Although the technical indicators have improved, significant downside risks remain.

BTC/USD Update

Bitcoin’s price was up 4.6% on Bitfinex to trade at $6,483. The leading digital currency reached a session high of $6,483, having recovered more than 8% from Monday’s swing low. Bitcoin’s 24-hour trade volumes averaged $4.6 billion on Wednesday.

The $6,000 price point has emerged as an important support level for bitcoin. As Hacked previously reported, this level is not only psychologically significant, it represents more or less the break-even rate for miners.

The monthly technical chart shows improving conditions in the bitcoin price, though this should be taken with a grain of salt given the market’s extreme moves as of late.

At current levels, bitcoin has a total market capitalization of $109.8 billion, which represents 53.6% of the total cryptocurrency market.

Altcoins and tokens collectively rose by $8 billion on Wednesday to reach a total value of $94.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The value of all digital assets was $204.6 billion.

The Market’s Next Move

Although predicting bitcoin’s next move is notoriously difficult, a successful defense of the $6,000 floor is an important step in facilitating the next rally. That the yearly low ($5,755) wasn’t breached during the latest downtrend suggests the bulls may be running out of steam.

That said, bitcoin’s dominance rate reveals structural weakness in the cryptocurrency market, not to mention damaged investor psychology. As Hacked reported Tuesday, cash-out from the ICO boom appears to be largely responsible for the latest reversal, a sign that investors were losing confidence in riskier assets. This is further corroborated by Ethereum’s dramatic selloff over the past seven days. The so-called developer’s cryptocurrency has been responsible for three-quarters of initial coin offerings.

According to BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes, investors shouldn’t expect a large price recovery at this stage given the general lack of momentum, volume and stability in the market. Trading volumes – a key proxy for demand in the cryptocurrency market – averaged $13.4 billion on Wednesday, based on latest available data.

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 548 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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