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Zcash, the Privacy-Focused Cryptocurrency, Rockets to New Highs

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Privacy advocates cheered another meteoric rise for Zcash early Monday, as the zero-knowledge proof cryptocurrency rose to record highs. Like other movers over the weekend, South Korean trading desks were the major catalysts for the rally.

Zcash Blows Past $800

The value of Zcash (ZEC) traded as high as $875 against the dollar, according to CoinMarketCap. Prices were last quoted at around $745, a gain of more than $200, or 37%.

The gain puts Zcash at a market cap of around $2.5 billion, or 23rd on the active list of cryptocurrencies.

South Korean Pay Huge Premium

The cryptocurrency was trading at a huge premium on South Korean exchanges, with Bithumb quoting a price of $1,110. Frenzied demand for digital assets in the Asian country have seen payment premiums rise in excess of 30% for the major altcoins. At last check, all the major altcoins as well as bitcoin are trading much higher than the global average.

Bithumb accounted for nearly 38% of ZEC transactions on Monday, which was by far the highest of any exchange.

South Korea’s love affair with cryptocurrency comes despite fresh calls within government to rein in the digital asset class. Legislative changes initiated last month make it illegal to trade cryptocurrency anonymously. New trading accounts on any of the major exchanges has also been barred. The government also prohibits bans, minors and foreigners from accessing the cryptocurrency market on South Korean soil.

The measures came after lawmakers held an emergency meeting to discuss “virtual currency emergency measures,” according to local Hankyung publication.

The country’s three biggest exchanges – Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit – process 10 billion won in sales each day. More than 1 million users access these exchanges on a daily basis.

“If it’s not private, it’s not safe”

Former CIA employee and privacy advocate Edward Snowden has referred to Zcash as the future of private trade. In a Dec. 19 tweet, the renowned whistleblower said “zero-knowledge proofs may be the future of private trade.”

The tweet quoted a Sept. 28 post, where Snowden said the following: “Zcash’s privacy tech makes it the most interesting bitcoin alternative. Bitcoin is great, but “if it’s not private, it’s not safe.”

Zcash gives users the option of having “shielded” and “transparent” addresses. As the names imply, transparent addresses are visible on the blockchain for anyone to see. Coins stored in shielded accounts are not.

An empirical study carried out by University of Michigan-Dearborn researcher Jeffrey Quesnelle revealed no major vulnerabilities in Zcash’s underlying infrastructure. But like other fin-tech privacy tools, the cryptocurrency can fail to protect if used the wrong way.

Of course, these features make Zcash more appealing for the criminal underworld, which is beginning to disavow bitcoin in favor of more anonymous cryptocurrencies. Analysts have pointed to Zcash and Monero as potential currencies to be exploited by dark web criminals.

Monero doesn’t quite have the same privacy specifications as Zcash. Whereas Monero generates fake addresses to obscure the sender’s identity, Zcash uses encryption to obscure the sender’s actual address.

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 670 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Litecoin Price Analysis: One Last Safety Net Ahead of $20 Territory

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  • Litecoin has been further slammed, dropping 35% over the past two weeks of trading.
  • Should near-term demand area of $35-33 fail to hold, it will be very punishing.

The Litecoin price remains firmly on the back foot, one of the standout under-performers in this current bear market, against some of the other major altcoins. LTC/USD has dropped a chunky 35% over the past going on 2 weeks now. Market bears have been pilling in since the big rejection, after trying to escape out of a bearish pennant pattern. This was attempted on 7th November, the upper trend line of the pennant proved to be too tough.

LTC/USD daily chart

Just a few sessions ago, LTC/USD collapsed through the lower support on the above-mentioned pattern. This was seen around the $49 mark, where the bears came pilling through to further crumble Litecoin. The price plummeted through a strong prior acting demand zone. It was tracking from the big psychological $50 area, down to $47 territory. Bulls had propped LTC/USD on occasions in August, September and October, leading the price on to make decent gains from the noted zone.

LTC/USD 4-hour chart

Between 15-18th November, price action did enter a temporary form of consolidation. As mentioned in the previous article , LTC/USD was trading within a range block, which was very much vulnerable to a breakout south, having since proved to be the case. It was eyed also as a bearish flag pattern set up, where sellers took a deep breather, ahead of the continued deep move south. LTC/USD lost over 15% from that consolidation area to current levels.

Key Support

LTC/USD weekly chart

Looking to the downside, eyes are locked in on the price range of $35 down to $33. The LTC/USD pair had consolidated within this area from June to August 2017, before being off on its journey north. In September 2017 this demand area proved required support for the bulls to continue their stampede higher. A failure to hold here will be very punishing to say the least. LTC/USD could be forced back down to $29 territory. The price was last seen here in June 2017.

Upside Barriers

There are now some big challenges ahead for LTC/USD, if it wants to return to heightened levels. During this bear market observed throughout this year, price action has formed new areas of resistance. It has all been uncharted territory, and unlike the 2017 bull run, there will be barriers that need to be broken for greater upside. The gains seen last year were not too challenging to achieve, as there was no history there for the bulls to deal with.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 55 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Crypto Market Cap Plummets $42 Billion Over Six Days as Bitcoin Targets $5,000

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A staggering selloff in the cryptocurrency market over the past six days has investors searching for an elusive bottom on major assets like bitcoin, bitcoin cash and Ethereum. However, the breakdown of key technical levels, combined with the complete disregard for fundamentals, suggest the bottoming process has not yet concluded.

Crypto Selloff Deepens

The combined value all coins in circulation broke below $169 billion on Monday for the first time since October 2017. The selloff broke the floor wide open on last week’s bottom of $175 billion, setting the stage for a deeper correction in the short-term.

Trading volumes across major exchanges rose over the 24-hour cycle to reach a high of $17 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. In terms of adjusted volumes, Binance was the largest cryptocurrency exchange with daily turnover of $1 billion. OKEx processed $939 million worth of transactions, based on latest available data. Both exchanges saw their daily turnover jump more than 67%. Bitfinex experienced the most dramatic upsurge in volume, as turnover spiked 243% to $503.6 million.

OKEx was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons Monday, as users lashed out against the exchange for prematurely closing open positions on bitcoin cash futures contracts. The closing of the contracts on Nov. 14 occurred without warning, leading to sizable losses across its userbase. The decision to force early settlement reflected ongoing confusion about how to handle the bitcoin cash hard fork.

Kraken has already credited bitcoin SV tokens to existing BCH holders but has warned of extreme risks of trading the new coin. In a Sunday blog post, the exchange described a number of “red flags” associated with SV, including a lack of wallets to support replay protection and “temporarily constrained” supply. It’s also likely that a large chunk of BCH SV holders will dump the currency with any notable price increase.

Bitmain founder and ardent ABC backer Jihan Wu has publicly expressed his desire to dump SV as quickly as possible.

“I am wondering when I can deposit my BSV token into exchange to sell,” the billionaire tweeted Saturday.

Battle Over Bitcoin Cash Intensifies

The battle over bitcoin cash has direct implications on bitcoin, the leading digital currency whose market cap has plunged by nearly $20 billion over the six-day selloff. Craig Steven Wright, one of the main backers of the bitcoin SV chain, has threatened to tank BTC if its miners switch over to bitcoin ABC, which is the main implementation of the BCH hard fork.

Bitcoin is also being influenced by Roger Ver’s decision to divert the entire bitcoin.com mining pool to ABC, a move that angered some users who say they never intended to mine bitcoin cash. The hash war exposes bitcoin cash to security risks as pools associated with bitcoin SV chain mine threaten to mine empty blocks or carry out 51% attacks. According to CCN, several pools and individual miners are likely to take an opportunistic approach via chain surfing, which automatically changes between chains based on block difficulty.

Price Outlook

In the meantime, market observers have set a new price target for bitcoin at $5,000. Based on latest price action, a drop below that level is likely in the short-run as the psychological $5,000 support comes under attack.

As for bitcoin cash, prices hemorrhaged another 8% on Monday to reach a new seven-month low of $352. The fourth-largest cryptocurrency is down a whopping 33% compared with last week – losses that outpaced all major cryptocurrencies in the top-20. BCH risks a further drop to the low $300s and possibly below that threshold should the hash war continue unabated.

Ethereum emerged as one of the biggest losers of the Monday selloff, with declines exceeding 11%. Ether is currently trading hands at $155, the lowest since May 2017.

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 670 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Tron Price Analysis: TRX/USD Forced to Seek Help from Major Demand Area Despite New Developments

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  • TRX/USD under heavy downside pressure, dropping double digits. That is 13 consecutive sessions of losses.
  • The price is within a known chunky buying area and a failure to attract the bulls could be catastrophic.

TRX/USD took a heavy beating on Monday, down as much as 12% in early part of the session. This downside pressure is seen across the market. This is a continuation of the trend observed last week despite being provided some relief over the weekend, as the pressure subsided. Given the further fall observed, TRX/USD has been forced back within a vital area of support. Failure to hold could be catastrophic. Despite this selling, there have been some positive developments around the Tron foundation.

Tron News Flow

Tron (TRX) recently launched what’s known as the ‘Tron Accelerator’. This is an incubator which looks to “empower developers and foster innovation within the blockchain industry.” The Tron Accelerator will feed of funds directly from the Tron Foundation, a gesture aimed at helping fund decentralized applications (dApps) that are in their start-up phase. Furthermore, their ultimate goal is to accelerate growth of dApps on the Tron platform.

The Tron Accelerator program has a pool of $1 million, which will be awarded and split up between 56 winning projects. The Tron foundation will have a prize ceremony, which will be held in January 17-18 2019, taking place at the Tron niTROn Summit in San Francisco. Noteworthy, this will be Tron’s first international summit. The full details of the Tron’s accelerator program is detailed on its own separate site.

Technical Review – TRX/USD

TRX/USD daily chart

TRX/USD is currently running at 13 consecutive sessions in the red, as the pressure intensifies from the market bears. The price has now lost as much as 30% at the time of writing over the course of this period. This stubborn trend to the downside commenced on 7th November, after the price retested and was then rejected by a breached ascending trend line. It played out to the textbook with the breakout and retest to then invite further selling pressure.

Downside Support

The price is trading within an important demand zone, which is tracking from $0.01800 down to $0.01650. The past few occasions TRX/USD has been forced down to this territory as bulls have managed to drive the price back north. Most recently on 12th September, TRX/USD went on to gradually gain around 65%, over a few weeks’ period.  Elsewhere, on 14th August, similar moves were seen, some 70%, over two weeks. There is an opportunity here for the bulls, but failure to hold would be very punishing.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 55 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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