Bitcoin Sets Yearly Low Below $4,400, Recovers Slightly as Altcoins Continue to Drop

After yesterday’s widespread market carnage, Bitcoin has continued to drop and is showing little sign of a pending recovery. Bitcoin’s latest drop to fresh 2018 lows has dragged altcoins even further down, and market sentiment is sitting at a yearly low as investors lose hope.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading down 7% at its current price of $4,780, but has recovered slightly from its intraday lows of under $4,400. Bitcoin has been falling ever since it failed to decisively breach the $6,500 level earlier this month, and today’s slight bounce was the first major one Bitcoin has seen since it started its decline.
BTC’s latest leg down, which first began yesterday when it fell below $5,000 and continued well into today, has been perpetuated by increased trading volume, which has surmounted to nearly $9 billion on the aggregated markets. This is up significantly from its volume levels earlier this week while BTC was trading in the mid-$5,000 region, where its 24-hour trading volume was just over $4 billion.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap is currently sitting at approximately $155 billion, down from its November highs of $220 billion.
Related Reading: Analyst: Too Early to Write off Bitcoin, SEC Had Negligible Effect on Crypto Markets
Altcoins Sink to New 2018 Lows as Bitcoin Plunges
Bitcoin’s price drop over the past few days has led the markets, with most altcoins trading down significantly over the past week.
The market drop has been led by Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which have seen massive drops of 35% and 60% respectively from their November highs.
Ethereum, which dropped from monthly highs of $220 to its current price of $143, may be seeing the result of ICO projects selling off their remaining ETH holdings in an effort to protect their funds, although this claim, which has been echoed by several pundits and analysts, is purely speculative and there is little data to support it.
Bitcoin Cash has been spiraling downwards ever since its hard fork event occurred, which initially seemed like a good thing for BCH’s price.
In late-October and early-November, BCH’s price climbed from under $420 to highs of over $630 due to the imminent hard fork event, but around this price enthusiasm died off and traders began taking profits, which pushed its price down.
Following the hard fork event, BCH continued to spiral downwards, which was perpetuated by Bitcoin’s crash, leading its price near its all-time-lows of $208.
XRP has been a market outlier over the past few days and has been relatively stable during these turbulent market conditions.
At the time of writing, XRP is trading down 8% at its current price of $0.452. Although its price has fallen slightly today, it has held up significantly well over the past few days and is only trading down 16% from its monthly highs of $0.54. Although this seems like a large drop, it has been one of the best performing altcoins in the market.
Over the coming days and weeks, the market’s price movements will give investors increased clarity as to whether or not this is simply capitulation or a sign of what is to come in 2019.
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KPMG Report Lays Out Incredibly Bullish Case for Crypto Assets

A recent report from “Big Four” auditor, KPMG, details the key challenges facing cryptocurrencies, and importantly notes that digital assets are a “big deal.”
The report comes as institutions and corporations are becoming increasingly interested in cryptocurrencies as an investment class.
The KPMG report opens with a section titled “Cryptoassets are a big deal,” explaining that despite the markets still being nascent and small, waves of new entrants and increased public interest have led their parabolic upwards rise over the past several years, and their growth has made them “impossible to ignore.”
In this opening section, the report’s authors note a few key developments in the cryptocurrency industry that have increased their intrinsic values, citing the release of multiple stablecoins backed by major financial institutions, and the entrance of traditional financial service companies into the markets, like Fidelity.
“In 2018, we are seeing a wave of new entrants in the market such as security token platforms, stablecoins, and even established financial services institutions that are launching crypto products and services. Cryptoassets are now impossible to ignore.”
The Case for Crypto
Following KPMG’s introduction to the cryptocurrency markets and industry, they offer readers a bullish look at the future of cryptocurrencies in a section titled “The case for crypto and institutionalization.”
In this section, the authors open with a candid look at the problems that cryptocurrencies are trying to solve, citing issues with traditional means of wealth storage, fundraising, currency transfers, and the non-digital nature of assets in a digital world as the main issues that are solved by cryptocurrencies.
“So, is crypto a solution looking for a problem? No, there are real problems in the global financial services ecosystem that cryptoassets are looking to address. More participation from the broader financial services ecosystem, will help drive trust and scale for the tokenized economy and help the crypto market grow and mature,” KPMG explains.
Furthermore, the auditing giant notes that the future success of cryptocurrencies as both an asset and a tool is based on whether or not it can efficiently reduce the friction and inefficiencies that exist in the current financial ecosystem on a large scale.
“The staying power of many cryptoassets will be defined by their ability to reduce friction and inefficiencies that currently exist within the global economy,” KPMG said, further adding that their volatility is seen as being the main barrier to this, but that the issue of volatility will likely subside as the markets mature.
“While volatility is certainly a problem, it is important to recognize that these assets are still fairly immature and will become less volatile as they mature.”
Related Reading: Survey: Four in 10 Brits Don’t Think Crypto Will Be Used as Cash or Card
Crypto Creating an Open Financial System
The next section in the report, titled “Creating an open financial system and why institutionalization is key,” tackles that issue of how cryptocurrencies can increase the transparency and accessibility of the world’s financial system, and is authored by two Coinbase executives.
In this section, Jeff Horowitz, the chief compliance officer at Coinbase, and Eric Scro, the vice president of finance at Coinbase, explain that in less developed countries, cryptocurrencies act as a gateway to traditional financial services for users in countries like Argentina.
“Let’s take the example of Argentina, where they currently see hyperinflation. A globally accessible, decentralized store of value could have a significantly stabilizing impact on
the country’s economy. Bitcoin could potentially represent such a store of value in the future,” the two men noted.
But in order for cryptocurrencies to increase the global accessibility and transparency of the financial ecosystem, cryptoassets need to be institutionalized, which will in turn increase their liquidity, accessibility, and utility, and for this to happen global regulators need to step in and seriously discuss the role crypto can play in the future financial system.
“Regulatory agencies are also beginning to seriously discuss cryptoassets, which could help drive institutional participation, encouraging the marketplace to think about how engagement with these assets fits into both existing rules and regulations and new frameworks that may be needed for crypto. The focus on crypto innovation must not come at the expense of security, compliance, and consumer protection,” they further explained.
Although increased regulation is critical for the future of cryptocurrencies, it is also cited in the KPMG report as being one of the main factors that is leading to stagnation due to the uncertainty it has caused, along with an increase in fraudulent activity and unclarity due to possible and unclear tax implications associated with the possession and trading of digital assets.
Although the markets are caught in a persisting bear market, with Bitcoin sitting at fresh 2018 lows, it is becoming increasingly clear that cryptocurrencies are becoming a serious asset class that will likely help shape the future of our world’s financial system.
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Cryptocurrencies Plummet, Bitcoin Likely to Fall Further Says Analyst

After a week of poor performance, Bitcoin has continued its descent, and has now crashed below its previous 2018 lows of $5,500, setting fresh lows at $5,100. Bitcoin’s unprecedented drop has led many major altcoins to fall 10% or more, and according to one analyst, more blood is likely to come in the near future.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading down 9% at its current price of $5,100, setting a new year-to-date low. BTC’s latest drop comes less than one week after it fell from the $6,300 region, where it had relative stability, down to lows of $5,400.
The latest market carnage has led the overall cryptocurrency market cap to fall to just over $167 billion, a level that hasn’t been seen since October of 2016.
While speaking to MarketWatch, Stephen Innes, the head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, said that the regulatory hurdles that Bitcoin will face in the coming months will likely push its price below $5,000, opening the gates for even greater losses.
“The digital token fell as much as 6.3% to $5,202, having plunged through a critical resistance level Wednesday after a period of relative tranquility. I remain incredibly bearish on BTC with the $1,000 level looking as likely as $10,000. But this is from a longstanding and unwavering view that regulators and the banking system will continue to push back against the rise of virtual markets, and will undoubtedly burst crypto’s balloon as the $5,000 cliff edge is approaching fast.”
It remains unclear as to whether or not Bitcoin’s bulls will be able to defend $5,000, which appears to be a critical psychological level.
Related Reading: Tokens Plummet 15-20% Following SEC’s Crackdown on ICOs, Dark Days Ahead
Altcoins Plunge, XRP Holds Steady
As usual, BTC’s price led the general markets, causing many altcoins to drop 10% or more over the past 24-hour trading period. The plunge has, so far, been led by Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR), which are trading down 11.6%, 10.4%, 12%, and 15% respectively.
XRP, however, has been able to avoid much of the carnage so far, and is currently trading down 3% at its current price of just under $0.50. Coinciding with Bitcoin’s drop last night, XRP fell to lows of $0.47, but quickly recovered to highs of over $0.50 before settling at its current price.
In addition to avoiding today’s widespread losses, XRP has also recovered much of the value it lost from last week’s market drop, when it fell from approximately $0.52 to lows of $0.42, before climbing back towards its current levels.
Because of XRP’s stellar performance over the past week, it has solidified its position as the number two cryptocurrency by market capitalization, which is currently sitting $4 billion higher than that of ETH’s.
The next few days will prove to be critical for bulls who are looking to regain market dominance by pushing Bitcoin’s price back up, as if it breaks below $5,000 there will likely be significantly larger drops to come.
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Oxfam Officially Launches Blockchain-Based Program That Empowers Farmers

Oxfam has officially launched their blockchain-based program, called BlocRice, that is aimed at giving farmers significantly more negotiation power and to increase the efficiency of the supply chain by connecting buyers and suppliers directly through their system.
The new program, which has undergone successful trials in Cambodia, has a primary goal of increasing revenues for farmers, who can be severely underpaid, by allowing them to form agricultural cooperatives that operate similarly to labor unions, that ensure that agriculture product prices rise across the board.
Solinn Lim, the country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, spoke about the launch of the BlocRice initiative, explaining that it will promote the use of smart contracts between organic rice farmers and exporters in Cambodia, and buyers in the Netherlands.
“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” Lim explained.
The use of blockchain-based smart contracts will be cohesive between all the parties in the supply chain, and Oxfam has already negotiated and facilitated the use of these products between rice farmers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, exporters in Cambodia, and SanoRice, the Dutch rice cracker manufacturer.
Lim added that all the information regarding the sourcing, transportation, and use of the rice, will be shared through a central, blockchain-based, system that will allow for a more cohesive and transparent relationship between all involved parties.
“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,” she explained.
Furthermore, BlocRice’s modernization of the rice ecosystem will also introduce cashless payments to farmers, many of which previously did not have bank accounts, using accounts provided by Acleda bank.
Related Reading: Oxfam to Empower Cambodian Rice Farmers with Blockchain
The Positive Benefits of Blockchain on Humanity
Oxfam’s latest initiative provides a perfect example of how blockchain technology can enhance lives by empowering individuals and rebalancing power-relationships between parties participating in business relationships, including trade.
Song Saran, the CEO of Amru Rice, one of the companies that will be participating in BlocRice as an exporter, spoke about the positive impacts of the initiative, saying that it will “increase transparency, traceability, fairness and trust in the supply chain by and enhance the livelihoods of farmers.”
Saran further added that although the BlocRice initiative will initially be exclusive to rise products, the same system and concept could easily be applied to other products and even other industries, adding that if it’s successful, it could be expanded to all of the communities currently exporting through Amru Rice.
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“Crypto Hangover” Causes Nvidia’s Stock to Tumble 17%

Following a week of widespread carnage in the cryptocurrency markets, traditional retail stocks involved with the crypto sector are feeling the burn as well, with the California-based computer chip maker, Nvidia’s (NVDA) price tanking on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Nvidia’s plunge came about after the company reported Q3 results that were significantly below what analysts and investors had expected, causing a sharp selloff that forced its price down 17% to its current price of $167.94.
Nvidia’s ties to the cryptocurrency industry have contributed to its recent drop, with Bitcoin recently setting fresh 2018 lows when it gradually declined from $6,500 to $6,200, and then sharply dropped to its current price of $5,600.
A sizable portion of their revenue comes from their cryptocurrency mining hardware, which enables miners to efficiently use computing power to solve complex mathematical equations that power cryptocurrencies and rewards those miners with digital assets.
Although the crypto boom in 2017 and early-2018 proved to be beneficial for Nvidia, the preceding crash is now negatively affecting their revenue stream.
Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, spoke to investors about the negative effects of the cryptocurrency markets on a conference call on Thursday, saying that “the crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected.”
Due to a combination of declining cryptocurrency-based sales, and less purchase orders from major gaming customers, like Nintendo, Nvidia is now estimating that their revenues for the current holiday season will drop to $2.7 billion, down significantly from analysts’ previous estimates of $3.4 billion.
Related Reading: Nvidia Pulls Out of Crypto Mining Citing Low Revenue, While Bitmain Tops Their Profits
Effects of Crypto Drop Impacting Multiple Retail Stocks 
The persisting cryptocurrency bear market is impacting multiple traditional retail stocks, with one of Nvidia’s main rivals, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) dropping nearly 5% on Nasdaq today, also reporting lower-than-expected earnings to customers.
SBI Holdings, a Japan-based financial consortium, is another company whose stock performance is being impacted by the recent crypto drop, with their stock falling over 3% today, and currently trading down 15% from its one-month highs.
SBI has been quickly getting incredibly involved in the cryptocurrency markets, launching a digital asset exchange under their subsidiary, SBI Virtual Currencies, and launching a Ripple-based mobile app, called MoneyTap, to facilitate rapid, blockchain-based, transfers.
Although long-term, their involvement with the cryptocurrency markets and Ripple in particular, could prove to be highly lucrative, the current speculative nature of the nascent cryptocurrency industry is disconcerting investors who are used to the ebb and flow of more traditional industries.
At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency markets have posted slight gains from their recent lows, with most major cryptocurrencies trading up slightly at the time of writing, with Bitcoin trading up 1.1%, Ripple trading up 2.1%, Ethereum trading up 0.5%, and Bitcoin Cash trading down just over 3%.
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Report: ICO Funding Stumbles in Q3, Regulation a Primary Factor

A recent report details just how weak initial coin offering (ICO) fundraising is becoming amidst the persisting 2018 crypto bear market, with Q3 being the least successful fundraising quarter for ICOs so far this year.
ICO Fundraising Drops Sharply in Q3
The report, which was conducted by independent research firm, ICORating, notes that a total of just over $1.8 billion was raised by a total of 597 ICO projects in Q3 2018, down significantly from the over $8.3 billion that was raised in Q2 2018.
Earlier this year, investors were clamoring to throw money into just about any ICO project that asked for it, but the persisting bear market and poor performance of tokens has led to increased fundraising difficulty, with 57% of ICO projects not being able to raise more than $100,000 USD.
Although most ICO tokens that are available for trading have had a terrible year, the report also explains that only 4% of ICO tokens have actually been listed on exchanges, making them an incredibly illiquid and risky investment.
Related Reading: German Regulator Advises Investors to “Keep Their Hands Off” ICOs
Factors Behind ICO Fundraising Drop
The report specifically notes that there are multiple primary factors contributing to the drop in ICO fundraising, including the high frequency of scams and fraud, uncertainty regarding regulation, a decline in value of some of the most hyped ICO products from earlier this year, and a general disappointment in the state of the markets.
A lack of transparency within many projects is one source of fear for investors, as it leads to increased uncertainty regarding how trustworthy the team leading the project is. The fear that stems from a lack of transparency in the industry is due to the amount of news regarding ICO-related exit scams.
“The market in Q3 shows signs of overall disappointment in traditional ICOs as a means of venture financing… The key problem with ICOs is that a vast number of them are scams or scam-like projects…”
Furthermore, regulatory uncertainty regarding the ICO industry is a huge contributing factor behind the drop in fundraising, as it is likely that many of the tokens resulting from ICOs are in fact securities products.
The report discusses this factor, saying that “a vast number of them [ICOs] are scams or scam-like projects, and the fact that some tokens sold were actually securities, meaning that they violate U.S securities law, forcing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take action.”
Recently, the U.S. SEC released a report that said reducing ICO-related fraud is among their top priorities.
In the SEC’s annual 2018 enforcement report, the regulatory authority explained that the complex technological nature of ICOs makes them the perfect venue for scamming unsuspecting retail investors, and their international nature makes it difficult to enforce existing laws that are being violated by nefarious projects.
“Additionally, in partnership with the Division’s Cyber Unit and Microcap Fraud Task Force, as well as the Division of Corporation Finance’s Digital Asset Working Group, the RSTF has launched a lead-generation and referral initiative involving trading suspensions related to companies that purport to be in the cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology space,” the SEC explained.
Although ICOs were a popular fundraising method in 2017 and early-2018, as regulations begin unfolding they may increasingly become an inefficient and legally dangerous way for projects to raise money.
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How Low Can It Go? Bitcoin Settles Below $5,600 as Altcoins Continue to Drop

Following yesterday’s widespread and significant drop across the entire cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has settled below $5,600, the lowest price it has seen this year, and many altcoins have continued dropping.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 8% at its current price of $5,560, recovering slightly from its low point of $5,350, which as of now is BTC’s lowest price of the year. Bitcoin’s massive drop over the past couple of days has caused its market cap to fall below $100 billion to its current levels of nearly $97 million.
Following the drop, trading volume has continued rising, likely signaling that further volatility could be on the way. Prior to dropping yesterday, Bitcoin’s trading volume was stable around $4.4 billion, but it has since nearly doubled to its current levels of approximately $8.7 billion.
Altcoins Continue Falling
Bitcoin’s drop has led to significant declines amongst the altcoin markets, with many coins trading down nearly 20% yesterday.
At the time of writing, XRP is one of today’s best performing altcoins, currently trading up nearly 1% over a 24-hour trading period, with its current price showing relative stability at nearly $0.47.
The recent drop has led XRP to lows of $0.43, from which it has recovered. XRP’s good performance despite the drop has allowed it to claim the coveted number two spot in the crypto markets from Ethereum (ETH), which is currently behind XRP’s market cap by approximately $300 million.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), is currently trading down over 5% at its current price of $430 despite today’s hard fork event. Clearly, investors are not that interested in the units resulting from this hard fork, as its price has been crashing ever since it reached highs of $635 in early-November.
Donald Bullers, the North American representative for Elastos, a blockchain-based security service, explained that BCH’s hard fork event may be partially to blame for the crypto markets poor performance, saying to MarketWatch that:
“Price volatility is not unusual in the crypto landscape—however, [Wednesday’s] dip is significant enough to prompt industry players to stop and take stock of the reasons why. It’s safe to say that Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork was stirring uncertainty amongst crypto investors, and forecasters across crypto and traditional markets alike have predicted a prolonged bear market heading into 2019.”
Brian Kelly, cryptocurrency enthusiast and analyst, expressed a similar sentiment while speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, saying:
“When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing. So, we’ve got ourselves a crypto civil war.”
Kelly further added that downward spirals tend to perpetuate themselves.
“People started selling. That triggered stops. Everybody got concerned. And that’s what happened today — the entire market sell-down,” he said.
It is likely that the recent market carnage has significantly hampered the chances of an end-of-year rally, and the persisting bear market may continue well into 2019.
Related Reading: Tumultuous Crypto Market: Bitcoin Market Cap Finds YTD Low Under $100 Billion
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Bitcoin Falls to Lowest Monthly Level to $5,850, Leads to Widespread Market Carnage

Bitcoin has fallen to its lowest levels in the past month and has officially broken through the bottom of its previously established trading range between $6,200 and $6,700. Bitcoin’s drop has led to a widespread market loss, with most major altcoins trading down 10% or more.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading down 7% at its current price of $5,850, the lowest price it has seen in a month. Today’s drop has decisively pushed its price below its previously established support level of $6,200, which it has held on multiple occasions in the past couple of months.
It now appears that Bitcoin will test its yearly lows of approximately $5,800, and an end-of-year rally is looking significantly less likely.
Ricky Li, the co-founder of Altonomy, a cryptocurrency trading and asset management firm, spoke to MarketWatch about BTC’s latest price action, explaining that it is unlikely that it will see any immediate positive price action due to a lack of interest from retail traders.
 “Bitcoin is not only going through low volatility, but also very low volume. It’s at the lowest trading volume in 2018, especially the spot market. This signals a very low retail participation. So without enough external funding or retail participation, the market is probably going to stay around the current price with low volatility and volume in the near future,” Li said.
Related Reading: Bitcoin Drifts Lower Under $6,400 as Altcoins Have Mixed Trading Session

Altcoins Experience First Massive Drop in Months
Altcoins, many of which have seen positive pricing action in the months and weeks prior, have been the worst affected by today’s drop, many of which are nearing drops of 20%.
At the time of writing, XRP is trading down over 15%, at its current price of $0.438. Yesterday, XRP was retesting highs of approximately $0.53, and its pricing action was looking bright. Today’s drop is now bringing yearly lows back into play, with XRP’s year-to-date low hovering around $0.25.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which is undergoing its controversial hard fork event tomorrow, is also having a terrible day, currently trading down over 17% at its current price of $434.76, virtually erasing all its previous gains that resulted from hype surrounding the hard fork event.
BCH rose from lows of $415 in late October to highs of $635 in early-November, before crashing to its current price. The high selling volume preceding the hard fork event likely signals that investors are not interested in the crypto units resulting from tomorrow’s hard fork event.
Ironically, Tether (USDT) has also seen some volatility today, temporarily moving above the ever-so-important $1.00 figure that it has been struggling to reach, before crashing back to its current price of $0.98. This signals that traders are rapidly buying and exchanging USDT units in order to execute trades and could signal that there is more volatility to be seen in the day ahead.
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Bitmain Restructures Leadership Board Positions Ahead of IPO

According to recent reports, Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant, Bitmain, is undergoing a major leadership shuffle as the company restructures its board of directors ahead of its imminent IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).
Bitmain’s upcoming IPO is expected to set a record for the cryptocurrency industry and will likely solidify Bitmain’s market share of the mining industry and help further position the company as one of the largest cryptocurrency-related companies in the world.
Recent reports from a Chinese-based cryptocurrency news outlet, 8Btc, claim that four out of six directors have resigned from Bitmain’s board ahead of the IPO, with the company’s founder and CEO, Jihan Wu, resigning as the board’s executive director, and now serving as the supervisor.
A lawyer familiar with the company spoke to 8Btc, saying that Jihan’s position change has forced him to forfeit his voting rights.
“As a director, Jihan had the right to vote when the board makes decisions. However, after changing to a supervisor, his power becomes smaller that he can no longer vote. As thus, Wu will be unable to participate in the business decision-making but only serve as a supervisor,” the unnamed lawyer explained.
The report importantly noted that the shakeup of the board does not affect the roles that the leaving members play in the company itself, and that their departure from Bitmain is isolated to the board.
The report explained this, saying that:
“According to a securities authority close to Bitmain, media reports about the company’s directors quitting the board was misread. The main body of Bitmain to be listed is Bitmain Technology Holdings Limited, while the personnel change happens in a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bitmain.”
Although the reasons behind the restructuring of the board remain somewhat unclear, it is likely that it is in an effort to meet requirements from regulators or exchanges that may require companies to streamline their management operations prior to their listing.
“Companies preparing for IPO usually set up new board of directors to meet the requirements of listing regulations and simplify the board structure to facilitate management. The board adjustment is only a simplification of the structure of its wholly owned subsidiary,” an unnamed securities authority with knowledge of the situation said.
Related Reading: IPO of Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain Could Pose More Risks Than Benefits
Structural Changes Come Amidst Possible Bitmain Strategy Shift
There are multiple major events that could be attributing the board of director shakeup at Bitmain, mainly consisting of the recent release of their advanced Antminer S15 setup, and the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
Bitmain’s crypto reserves have been hammered over the past year, mainly due to their decision to shift the bulk of their reserves from Bitcoin (BTC) to Bitcoin Cash (BCH). This decision has been costly thus far, as BCH has significantly underperformed BTC in 2018.
It is unclear how the mining giant will deal with their share of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, as Wu has been a notable proponent of the official Bitcoin Cash version, and a critic of the Craig Wright-affiliated Bitcoin SV, who is behind the imminent BCH hard fork.
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Bitcoin Drifts Lower Under $6,400 as Altcoins Have Mixed Trading Session

Bitcoin drifted lower on Tuesday leading to a mixed trading session for altcoins. Most major cryptocurrencies by market capitalization are currently trading sideways, either trading up or down by a marginal percentage.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 0.5% at its current price of $6,370. It is beginning to gradually drift nearer to its historical region of support in the $6,200 region, which must be defended by bulls or else it runs the risk of falling to its year-to-date lows in the $5,800 region.
Altcoin Markets Post Mix Results Amidst Bitcoin Stability
Although Bitcoin has been gradually declining over the past couple of days, it has not led the altcoin markets, which have beared witnesses to incredibly mixed trading over the past weeks. The most volatile altcoins of this week have been primarily Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP), and Basic Attention Token (BAT).
Bitcoin Cash has been one of the most volatile major altcoins recently, mainly due to increased trading volume stemming from its upcoming hard fork event that is scheduled to occur on November 15th.
This event caused BCH’s price to see a massive price rise earlier this month, rising from lows of $413 to highs of $636 on the aggregated markets, a staggering 54% rise over a one-week period, from October 31st to November 7th.
Since then, however, BCH has gradually drifted downwards, to lows to $510 before jumping slightly to $540 earlier today. It has since fallen and appears to have stabilized at its current price of $530.
XRP has had a somewhat volatile week that has been good for investors, rising from weekly lows of $0.48 to its current price of $0.521. XRP’s positive price action comes as the cryptocurrency sees increased adoption rates in Asia, with Japan’s MUFG Bank signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazil-based bank, Banco Bradesco S.A., creating a new payment corridor that will be powered by Ripple-based technology.
Basic Attention Token has also had an incredibly volatile week, and is one of today’s best performing alts, currently trading up 3.5%. BAT’s volatility can be largely attributed to its recent Coinbase listing, which led to a major price rise prior to the listing, rising from $0.23 to $0.37, and then falling sharply to $0.24 after it was listed on Coinbase’s consumer platform.
Also, NEM (XEM) has seen positive price action today, stabilizing above $0.10 after yesterday’s massive gains. Yesterday, NEM spiked after Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck, announced that they were resuming NEM trading on their platform nearly a year after they closed their operations after being a victim of the notorious $500 million hack.
Related Reading: NEM Skyrockets as Coincheck Resumes Trading, Altcoins Trade Up Amidst Bitcoin Stability
Although altcoins have seen mixed trading while Bitcoin trades sideways, they will likely go back to following Bitcoin’s lead after it breaks above, or below, its long-established trading range.
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Ripple Moves XRP Security Lawsuit to Federal Court, Attorneys Call It Brilliant

Ripple Labs is now attempting to move a lawsuit against them regarding the status of XRP as a potential security into a federal court, which is being lauded as a brilliant strategic move by a notable attorney familiar with the situation.
The lawsuit against Ripple Labs was first brought about by plaintiffs. They are accusing the blockchain company of offering investors an unregistered security product (XRP) that has been maliciously manipulated by Ripple in order for them to maximize their profits from the distribution and sale of these tokens.
Although the lawsuit itself is trivial and is being brought about primarily by some neophyte investors, who were burned after purchasing XRP at incredibly high prices, the results of it could be incredibly impactful for XRP and its investors.
If it were to be ruled as an unregistered securities product by the courts, it would lose much of its practicality as a settlement tool, and would be delisted from most major exchanges, significantly drying up its liquidity.
Because of the importance of this case’s outcome, Ripple has enlisted major law firm Skadden, to represent XRP, as well as notable attorneys from Debevoise & Plimpton, including former SEC chair Mary Jo White and former SEC enforcement chief Andrew Ceresney.
Late Wednsday, Skadden filed a notice of removal, arguing that the case should be moved to a federal court due to the San Mateo Superior Court judge’s merging of another lawsuit being brought against Ripple by an Israeli resident into a California consolidated class action.
The law firm noted that the merging of the case with an international plaintiff makes it eligible for consolidation to a federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act:
“A putative class action may be removed to the appropriate federal district court if (1) the action purports to be a ‘class’ action brought on behalf of 100 or more members; (2) any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any defendant; and (3) the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.”
Related Reading: Ripple on Coinbase Rumours Swell as XRP Chases Ethereum’s Second Spot
Ripple’s Move Lauded as Brilliant
Ripple’s attorneys attempt to move the case to a federal court is incredibly strategic and is likely an attempt to garner better odds of winning the case.
In a recent tweet from Jake Chervinsky, a government enforcement defense and securities litigation attorney at Kobre & Kim, he explained the move, calling it “slick” and “brilliant,” saying that:
“Ripple’s legal team showing some tactical brilliance here. It’s hard to explain the procedural maneuver in one tweet & I’m not going to thread this, but suffice to say it’s a seriously crafty attempt to go federal. Might not work, but slick regardless.”
Chervinsky further explained that it is hard to tell what their odds of winning the case are, but that their attempt to move the case to a federal court could increase their odds.
“I can’t speak to their odds of winning since the case is still so young & I don’t know all the facts, but it’s fair to say Ripple’s lawyers think they have better odds of winning in federal court than in state court (or else they wouldn’t be trying so hard to remove the case),” he said.
XRP investors will have more information about the case in the months and years going forward, although it is important to understand that the case could take a significant amount of time before any deliberate resolution is found.
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Source: New

NEM Skyrockets as Coincheck Resumes Trading, Altcoins Trade Up Amidst Bitcoin Stability

NEM (XEM) is currently trading up nearly 20% as cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck resumes its normal trading activity.
NEM’s meteoric price rise comes amidst overall market stability, with Bitcoin (BTC) trading steadily at $6,400, and most altcoins trading up.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $6,400, recovering from a slight dip into the mid-$6,300 region. Bitcoin is still trading firmly in its long-established trading range between $6,200 and $6,700, and its prolonged sideways trading trend has proved to be a positive thing for the altcoin markets.
Currently, NEM is leading Monday’s market surge, trading up 17.8% at its current price of $0.11. Following Coincheck’s announcement that they were resuming trading activity on their exchange, NEM surged to highs of $0.114, before falling to $0.103 as a result of profit taking. Its price has since climbed back up and is currently sitting near its current highs.
NEM’s sustained price pump has also been fueled by rising trading volume, which jumped from about $5 million prior to the Coincheck announcement, to its current levels of over $48 million.
Following the massive $500 million hack Coincheck was the victim of early this year, the exchange has had a difficult time fixing their management issues, security issues, and meeting the new, stricter, regulatory requirements being set forth by Japanese regulators.
The Tokyo-based exchange first announced that they would be resuming new account openings and customer deposits in late-October, but limited the cryptocurrencies available to trade to BTC, ETC, LTC, and BCH.
Related Reading: Cryptocurrency Market Update: Has NEM Awoken
Altcoins Trade Up
Although NEM has thus far been the leader of today’s cryptocurrency market surge, other altcoins have posted gains as well.
At the time of writing, XRP is the highest preforming major alt, currently trading up nearly 4% over the past 24-hours, at its current price of $0.52. XRP has had a choppy week of trading, first rising to highs of $0.56 on November 6th before falling to lows of $0.49. Since then, its price has gradually drifted upwards towards its current levels.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of today’s worst performing major alts, currently trading down just over 1% at its current price of $520. It is currently down 18% from its weekly highs of $635.
Bitcoin Cash’s poor performance over the past few days comes after it witnessed a massive rise from lows of $415 in mid-October, to highs of $635 earlier this week. This rise was fueled by increased buying volume stemming from the imminent hard fork event which is scheduled to occur in three days, on November 15th.
Many investors expected its price to continue rising prior to this event, but it now appears that investors are less interested in acquiring the forked units than they are in profiting from its rise prior to the event.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Dogecoin Creator: Bakkt, Fidelity, and Bitcoin ETF Are Bad for Cryptocurrency

Jackson Palmer, the founder of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, has discussed what he calls the “re-centralization” of the cryptocurrency markets, and notably criticized the direction the industry is heading.
Growing Shift Away from Decentralization in Cryptocurrency Industry
In a recent opinion piece published in Diar, Palmer begins his Op-Ed, titled “The Institutionalization of Cryptocurrency is a Paradox,” with a detailed description of the current events that are considered valuable by the cryptocurrency community. This includes the release of the Bakkt custodial trading infrastructure and the approval of Bitcoin ETFs.
He explains that these events, which are commonly seen as being future impetuses for market growth, are specifically reliant on government and institutional approval of the crypto industry.
Palmer then urges that industry advocates take a step back and realize that reliance on external approval from these types of groups is counter to what cryptocurrency stands for, stating that:
“While many cryptocurrency enthusiasts express blind enthusiasm at the notion of positive price impact associated with this money flowing in, it’s important to take a step back and analyze what this phase of the cryptocurrency lifecycle actually represents, and how far it lands the movement from its original goals.”
In Palmer’s view, there were originally three pillars that defined cryptocurrencies, including being censorship resistant, conducting trustless transactions, and providing users with a verifiable history.
He believes that these cruxes of the technology, which all serve under the overarching principle of decentralization, are counter to an over-reliance on government and institutional approval.
This leads to his critique on the market’s reliance on bank-like exchanges that are the epitome of a centralized institution, which detract from the decentralization of Bitcoin’s network.
“The shift back to reliance on a single corporation (essentially a bank) as your window to a cryptocurrency network introduces a clear single point of failure. If is hijacked or taken offline, a user relying on that provider essentially loses their access to the decentralized Bitcoin network.”
On this point, he also importantly notes that a centralized entity can control the public’s access to cryptocurrencies, as they can ban or block users however they so desire.
Related Reading: Research: ETFs Could Lead Bitcoin Price to $35,000 and It Isn’t Far Away
Custodial Services Detract from Trustless Transactions 
Palmer also explains that the increase in institutional custody services, like the ones being offered by Bakkt, Fidelity, and Coinbase, detract from the trustless nature of cryptocurrency transactions, as they centrally control and manage the investments, and obstruct investor’s access to their private keys.
“When users are transacting with the Bitcoin network via an ETF or Fidelity 401k plan backed in cryptocurrency, they own the cryptocurrency purely on paper and not in reality as the provider is simply moving balances around in a centralized database. Broadly speaking, if you aren’t holding your private keys, you aren’t holding cryptocurrency.”
This leads to the next industry issue, as Palmer sees it, which is a shift towards non-verifiable transaction histories that result in allowing middle-men, like banks, institutions, and some exchanges, to conduct transactions on users’ behalf, obscuring them from the data regarding the supply and flow of the cryptocurrency supply.
Will Investors Sacrifice Decentralization for Profits?
Palmer concludes his Op-Ed by explaining that initiatives that reduce the impact of institutional involvement in cryptocurrencies, like the Lightning Network or the Plasma framework, are critical for keeping cryptocurrencies connected to their original principles.
Palmer boils the future of the industry down to one persisting dilemma: will investors sacrifice the revolutionary benefits that cryptocurrencies offer for profits?
“The real question becomes whether the industry en masse will prioritize this resistance over the allure of market expansion and wealth that institutional re-centralization may offer,” he says.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Bitcoin Falls to $6,300 Region as Altcoins Continue to Decline

After failing to stabilize above $6,500, Bitcoin has now fallen into the $6,300 region, and it is becoming increasingly likely that it will test its long-established support level that exists at $6,200.
Altcoins also took a hit on Friday after yesterday’s weak day of trading.
Bitcoin Drifts Lower, $6,200 Likely to be Defended by Bulls
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $6,395, trading down 1.3% over the past 24-hours.
BTC has been gradually declining since November 6th, when it rose to weekly highs of nearly $6,600 before beginning its slow decent back to its current levels.
Historically, it is important that bulls defend the $6,200 region, as that is the bottom of BTC’s persisting trading range between $6,200 and $6,700. If the bottom of this range is broken, it will open the doors for BTC to retest its year-to-date lows in the $5,800 region.
Although this is a possibility, it is fairly unlikely considering that bulls have defended $6,200 on approximately four occasion over the past three months, meaning that bulls will likely step up to defend this level in the future, unless there is a news-based drop.
Altcoins Continue to Decline
Bitcoin’s decline to the $6,300 levels has perpetuated the relatively small decline in altcoin prices, with many major alts trading down 3%+, with the worst performing major alt down nearly 20%.
At the time of writing, today’s market drop has been led by Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), and Basic Attention Token (BAT), which are trading down 3.8%, 3.7%, and 18.2% respectively.
Despite having a bad past couple of days, Bitcoin Cash is still one of the best performers of the week, currently trading at $570, up 26% from its weekly lows of approximately $450.
BCH’s bullish week is the result of its imminent hard fork event, which is scheduled to occur on November 15th. This event will reward holders of BCH with units of the forked cryptocurrency, which could ultimately prove to be highly profitable for investors.
Over the next week, investors could begin to increase their BCH positions in anticipation of the hard fork, then offloading their positions as soon as they receive the forked units.
Basic Attention Token’s poor daily performance is the direct result of the cryptocurrency’s ties to the cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta, which is now facing legal troubles from the U.S. SEC, which has charged the platform’s founder with operating an unlicensed national securities exchange.
The charges, which were first announced in a SEC press release, detail how many of the ERC20 tokens offered on EtherDelta (like BAT) are considered to be securities, which puts their operation under the jurisdiction of the SEC.
Stephanie Avakian, the co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, spoke about the charges against EtherDelta’s founder, Zachary Coburn, saying that:
“EtherDelta had both the user interface and underlying functionality of an online national securities exchange and was required to register with the SEC or qualify for an exemption.”
In the coming weeks, it is likely that Bitcoin will lead the markets as usual, and its performance within its long-established trading range will likely impact which direction the entire market heads.
Related Reading: In EtherDelta Case, SEC Hints Most Ethereum Based Tokens are Securities
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Source: New

Altcoins Drop After Week of Gains, Bitcoin Stable Near $6,500

After a week of massive gains for multiple altcoins, the market surge has now cooled off and many are trading down over 2%. Just as the market surge was led primarily by Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), they have also been the worst affected by today’s drop.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading just below $6,500 at its current price of $6,460. Although it fell slightly (just over 1%) from yesterday’s levels, it is still firmly in the middle of its long-established trading range between $6,200 and $6,700.
Investors should note that BTC’s proven level of support is in the $6,200 region, as its price has bounced multiple times when bears push it into the bottom of its trading range. Its resistance point that bulls must break decisively in order for further highs to be discussed is likely in the $6,700 region, as that is where BTC has historically been rejected while trading in the aforementioned range.
Altcoins Trading Down After Weeks of Bullish Volatility
During Bitcoin’s long period of sideways trading, altcoins have seen some decent levels of volatility, mainly being led by XRP and BCH.
Over the past week, these two cryptocurrencies have been the best performers, trading up 11% and 40% respectively from their weekly lows. Despite having a good week, they have also been today’s worst performers, with XRP trading down nearly 6% on the day, and BCH trading down 4.5% in 24 hours.
XRP’s recent price rise has likely been the result of a new round of swirling Coinbase listing rumors, which, although largely baseless, typically arise during periods of high buying activity.
Bitcoin Cash’s meteoric rise has been the result of its upcoming hard fork event, which is scheduled to occur on November 15th. This event will reward BCH holders with free tokens, which is the main factor behind its massive price rise.
Recently, cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex announced that they would be adding support for pre-fork trading ahead of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork.
In an announcement, the exchange explained that:
“Starting today, Poloniex is offering customers the option to trade two tokens at the center of the debate about the pending Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork: Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Bitcoin Cash SV (BCHSV).”
They further noted that this is the first time they have ever added support for pre-fork trading, and that the new feature is being implemented in an effort to stay innovative.
Related Reading: Binance Announces Support of Upcoming Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork
Analyst Explains That Multiple Altcoins Have Reversed Downtrends 
Despite seeing a pullback today, one prominent analyst explained that many altcoins have actually reversed their downtrends that have been in place since earlier this year.
“After pullbacks to the lower end of narrow trading ranges last week, a growing number of ALTs [altcoins] bounced back to reverse downtrends that have been in place since the April-May highs and in some cases since the beginning of 2018,” Robert Sluymer, a technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, explained while speaking to MarketWatch.
Over the next few days, it will become increasingly clear whether or not the recent volatility was simply a temporary movement, or if it signals a larger end-of-year trend.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New