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Is Zcash the Swiss Bank Account of Cryptos?

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In a market with over 1,500 cryptocurrencies, investors are always on the prowl for the next breakout asset. According to asset manager Grayscale Investments, Zcash (ZEC) could be poised for exponential gains over the next seven years.

$60,000 Zcash?

Zcash, the privacy-focused cryptocurrency, could reach $60,000 in 2025, based on a financial model put together by Grayscale researcher Matthew Beck. With Zcash currently trading at around $408, that represents a 150-fold increase in price. Although gains of this magnitude aren’t unheard of in cryptocurrency, Beck’s time horizon suggests we are in the midst of a bull market that still has many years left to go.

However, the financial model has one huge caveat: it assumes that Zcash will represent 10% of offshore wealth by 2025. Although this sounds absurd given the current market landscape, Beck argues that the coin’s potential extends far beyond its existing utility.

Like bitcoin and Ethereum before it, Zcash has been lauded for its safe haven properties. Combined with its privacy features, it could become the haven of choice for investors looking to hedge against inflation and political risks.

Beck argues:

“[T]he privacy-enhanced features that ZEC offers perhaps make it even more resilient as a store-of-value than BTC, since selective disclosure reduces susceptibility to government intervention. We think of ZEC as the first globally accessible “offshore” investment opportunity, or a Swiss bank account in your pocket, so to speak.”

To arrive at levels anywhere near where Grayscale has forecast, Zcash will have to contend with a myriad of market forces, which include regulation and mainstream adoption. Interestingly, Grayscale has been supporting the adoption of Zcash since the fall when it first added the coin to its portfolio.

Enhanced Privacy Features

Regardless of whether Zcash hits $60,000 or not, the coin’s privacy features have drawn the attention of security experts, whistleblowers and even cyber criminals. The cryptocurrency employs zero-knowledge proofs and enhanced encryption techniques that obscure the sender’s address. This feature goes above and beyond other privacy coins, such as Monero, which may generate fake addresses to hide the original sender’s true identity.

There are already signs that the criminal underworld is beginning to catch on to ZEC and other privacy-focused coins to evade law enforcement. Currencies such as ZEC and Monero are said to go above and beyond the privacy currently offered by bitcoin and other leading altcoins.

ZEC Price Levels

The value of Zcash rose 3% to $405 on Thursday for a total market cap of $1.3 billion. The cryptocurrency is on track for a large weekly decline, having lost nearly 15% over the past five sessions. ZEC is currently trading at around half of its historic high, which was obtained earlier this month.

Daily turnover in ZEC averaged $76.5 million on Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. Crypto exchanges HitBTC and Huobi each processed roughly one-fifth of the daily transactions. Bitfinex, Binance and Bitrex were also active markets for holders of ZEC.

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 494 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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. khaddafi

    February 1, 2018 at 9:11 am

    write below the article: The writer owns ZEC.. Come on, Monero has proven itself on the darkwebs. You think criminals hop over to a different coin that has not proven itself?

    • douglash

      February 1, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Zcash’s privacy is better than monero’s.

  2. xuantrong1972

    February 1, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Analysis of recent weeks ineffective?

  3. 1trev27

    February 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Also, don’t forget ZenCash which was forked from ZCash last year to provide more security (with secure nodes) and get rid of the enormous founder reward.

  4. amg893

    February 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    We also have the bitcoin private fork coming up later this month. Would you guys mind having a bit more of a look into this?

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Cryptocurrency Market Rebounds as Trade Volumes Recover from Yearly Low

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Cryptocurrency prices were seeing green Sunday, as market activity rebounded from the lowest level of the year with bitcoin and the major altcoins making tepid progress.

Crypto Market Update

Every cryptocurrency in the top-20 by market capitalization was trading in positive territory Sunday. As a result, the total market capitalization of all digital currencies rose by $6 billion to $254.5 billion. Bitcoin’s share of the pie remains roughly 43%.

The bitcoin price edged up 1.7% to $6,363, with the bulls continuing to defend the critical $6,000 level despite repeated downturns.

Ethereum, the no. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap, rose 2.4% to $447.

Bitcoin cash jumped 3% to $719. BCH has shown poise over the past five days even as accusations of node centralization continue to grow.

Ripple XRP rose 1.9% to $0.445. Meanwhile, EOS gained 2.4% to $7.13.

Volumes Hit 2018 Lows

Daily turnover in the cryptocurrency market bottomed fell to around $8.8 billion on Saturday, the lowest since November, according to CoinMarketCap data. Daily trade volumes rose by as much as 20% Sunday, reaching $10.5 billion. At the time of writing, 24-hour volumes were valued just under $9.9 billion.

Since the April downturn, trading volumes have thwarted multiple rally attempts for cryptocurrency prices. Daily turnover has crossed the $20 billion mark only once since June.

As Hacked previously reported, tepid volumes reflect a general decline in retail trading activity on major digital currency exchanges. This is further corroborated by the sharp drop in Google search results for terms like “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency.” Basically, the half-year market downturn has spooked new traders from entering the market.

Amid the downturn, exchanges like Coinbase have reported a drop-off in app downloads as fewer traders show interest in buying cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, trading apps like Robinhood are still growing thanks to a suite of service offerings that extend far beyond cryptocurrency. Robinhood began offering cryptocurrency back in February but still maintains a thriving platform for traditional markets, such as stocks and ETFs.

Several leading exchanges have announced plans to relocate to jurisdictions with friendlier policies toward cryptocurrency. Malta, a tiny Mediterranean island state, has managed to lure Binance and OKEx to its shores thanks to favorable regulations.

As Hacked’s James Waggoner recently showed, much of the downturn in crypto trading activity has been associated with fears of a regulatory clampdown in jurisdictions like the United States and South Korea. In the case of China, those fears were realized last September when policymakers issued a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

However, a “tectonic shift” in regulatory thinking is currently underway, which could pave the way for a renewed uptrend in cryptocurrency markets. Case in point: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared bitcoin and Ethereum to be non-securities. So long as there is no conveyance of ownership, ICOs may also fall under this favorable regulatory purview.

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 494 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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Bitcoin Cash Price Shows Poise as Accusations of Centralization Grow

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Bitcoin cash (BCH) traded within a narrow range Saturday even as opponents of the virtual currency hurled accusations of centralization against its developers.

BCH Price Levels

The bitcoin cash price was little changed on Saturday, reflecting a subdued trading environment in the broader market. At press time, BCH/USD was trading around $703, virtually unchanged compared with 24 hours ago. At current levels, bitcoin cash is capitalized at $12.1 billion, according to data provider CoinMarketCap. Daily trade volumes amounted to $274.5 million.

The fifth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has shown poise over the past five days, with prices fluctuating between $671 and $706. Like other cryptocurrencies, bitcoin cash experienced a sharp reversal last Monday, knocking prices from more than two-week highs.

Bitcoin Cash Highly Centralized: Bitpico

Hacker group Bitpico has uncovered massive node centralization of the Bitcoin Cash network, and has taken to Twitter to uncover IP addresses of the platform’s nodes. One screenshot of Bitpico’s discovery showed 98% of the IP addresses associated with bitcoin cash were “sitting in the same server rack,” the group tweeted earlier this week.

In response, a Twitter user by the name of Melik Manukyan showed that the BCH servers were hosted on a cloud farm belonging to Alibaba.

The group  claimed that 49% (or one-half of 98%) of all Bitcoin Cash network nodes were running on the Alibaba cloud farm.

If confirmed, centralization of the Bitcoin Cash network would mark a significant departure from the original bitcoin, which was envisioned as having no central authority (as an aside, the backers of bitcoin cash claim that BCH is the original crypto chain).  Satoshi Nakomoto said as much in the original bitcoin whitepaper published in 2008:

“By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that starts a new coin owned by the creator of the block. This adds an incentive for nodes to support the network, and provides a way to initially distribute coins into circulation, since there is no central authority to issue them.
The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended.”

Last month, Bitpico announced it was planning to launch an attack on the BCH network with the goal of dividing it. The group says the coordinate strike will inflict grief on Roger Ver, one of bitcoin cash’s most ardent supporters.

Ver was revealed as the owner of bitcoin.com back in 2015. As Hacked reported back in April, manipulation involving bitcoin.com may have contributed to BCH’s massive rally. You can read the full story here.

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 494 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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Steem Price Down 19% Over Week as Hardfork 20 on the Horizon

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Steem – one of three internal currencies on the Steemit social media platform – has had a fairly miserable week and has ended up with 19% losses from this time seven days ago.

During that time STEEM coins dipped from a value of $1.63 to $1.31 – the price at the time of writing.

Over the course of the last 24 hours Steem has fallen by close to 5%, and it now seems likely that Steem’s 36th place ranking on Coinmarketcap is under threat from today’s strongest performer in the top-100 – Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Early Growth

July actually began well well for Steem, as the coin spiked in value to the tune of 61% over the course of three days between June 29th and July 1st. Yet the early July high of $1.86 is nothing compared to the April high of $4.62 – during which time the daily volumes reached $150 million. That’s significantly higher than today’s volume of $1.5 million – a mere 1% of that recorded during the April peak.

The price during January’s peak was $8.01, which leaves Steem in the uncomfortable position of being 83% in the red over the last seven months.

Hardfork 20

At the start of the month the Steemit team released details on the upcoming ‘Hardfork 20’. The post detailed the team’s intention to overhaul some of Steemit systems with the update in a bid to:

“…create a system that 1) more efficiently allocates blockchain resources; 2) more accurately measures the true cost of running the blockchain; and 3) enables Steem developers to create more predictable user experiences.”

The resources in question are those which are awarded to users for their participation on the platform. Steemit is a social media site which runs on a blockchain, and instead of likes and upvotes, posts are rewarded with cryptocurrency.

There are currently three internal currencies on Steemit – STEEM, Steem Dollars (SBD) and Steem Power. Both STEEM and SBD can be traded in and out of the platform, while Steem Power represents ‘locked in’ funds, which measure network influence. Steem Power can only be withdrawn incrementally over a period of three months.

App Coin

The STEEM coin’s poor performance in recent times has a ripple effect which extends further than the trading floor. Since the Steemit platform operates on the blockchain, the platform expands or contracts in value along with its primary currency – STEEM.

This means that a user could earn $50 for a post on Monday, and by the time the pay-out is made a week later, the value of STEEM has dropped and now the post is worth less. If we take the previous week’s numbers for example, then we see that a $50 post would now be worth only $40. Ultimately the platform rises or falls with the cryptocurrency… but that works both ways. If enough people can get on board with the idea of blockchain-based social media then the STEEM currency would benefit from the increased use.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 22 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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