Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin Price Stuck Between Converging Moving Averages Until Mid-Year

Traders, investors, and analysts are all watching Bitcoin price charts in hopes to better predict when the current crypto bear market ends and a new uptrend will resume.
One particular crypto analyst believes that the Bitcoin price will continue to be squeezed tightly together until at least mid-year, as it consolidates between two important converging moving averages.
Bitcoin Price Consolidating Between 200MA Support and 50MA Resistance
In mid-March, Bitcoin price decisively broke through the 50-week moving average following a failed inverse head and shoulders that created a double-top formation, sending BTC to retest its February 2018 low near $6K.
Days later, a “death cross” occurred. A death cross is an extremely bearish chart pattern in which an asset’s short-term moving average (50MA) crosses and falls below its long-term moving average (200MA).
Related Reading | Bottom Doesn’t Matter, Last Time General Population Can Afford Entire BTC
Those same two important moving averages are also responsible for Bitcoin’s tightening trading range, and according to one prominent crypto analyst, Bitcoin price will remain stuck between the 200MA and 50MA until at least “mid-year.”

Nothing changed since first post of the year. Predicting price to continue within the rapidly converging moving averages until mid-year. pic.twitter.com/hyuv8djM47
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 14, 2019

The 200MA has been acting as support since Bitcoin’s earliest days trading, while the 50MA has proven to be powerful resistance ever since the death cross occurred back in March of 2018.
The two points are “rapidly converging” according to Dave the Wave. The oft-cited analyst doesn’t expect to see a break of either moving average until at least mid-year. The mid-year prediction is further backed up by the monthly MACD, which Dave the Wave believes will turn up in roughly “six months.”

Simply look for the MACD to turn up… in six months. pic.twitter.com/VL3RmfNLqz
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 14, 2019

Should Bitcoin price break up as the two points converge, a golden cross will occur and an uptrend could resume. A golden cross is the exact opposite of the death cross, and typically indicates that there’s potential for a major rally to follow.
If Bitcoin price breaks down further below the 200MA, Bitcoin’s logarithmic growth curve as it is current charted will be broken and the long-term future of the asset will be called into question. The coming months will be especially important.
Bitcoin Price Logarithmic Growth Curve Could Point to $100K at Next Peak
While the first every cryptocurrency is in dangerous territory in its relation to the 200MA and its proximity to the logarithmic growth curve line, the good news is that if past peaks and troughs are repeated, the next Bitcoin all-time high could be somewhere near or above $100K.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Investors Are Underwater, But BTC Bounces Back Quickly 
The experienced chartist warns that the next peak “may take a few years” to reach, and like what happened at $20K and other past peaks, another major correction will occur.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of the logarithmic growth curve –
1] Up from here to 100K odd2] May take a few years3] may then face another major correction pic.twitter.com/f5EAPQGP2y
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 14, 2019

The analyst also suggested that Bitcoin’s price will continue to stabilize as the logarithmic growth curve flattens, or else it cannot be claimed to be “money.”
Featured image from Shutterstock
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Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin Investors Are Underwater, But BTC Bounces Back Quickly

Bitcoin’s highly publicized meteoric rise to its all-time high of $20,000 in December 2017 was a classic bubble cycle at its peak. The media attention and hype from individuals talking about the crypto on social media and in social circles sparked FOMO (fear of missing out) in retail investors who eventually got burned when the price of BTC collapsed starting in January 2018.
Throughout the current bear market, due to early investors getting in long before Bitcoin went parabolic, collectively, investors were able to stay above water. But once support at $6K broke and capitulation set in, Bitcoin investors became deep underwater and are still drowning in losses since. However, according to data shared by a prominent crypto analyst, Bitcoin is “seldom underwater” and it could signal that investors could be seeing gains again in the future.
Bitcoin Investors Have Only Been Underwater for Under 2 Out of 10 Years
Bitcoin has been rightfully lauded for the asset’s ability to produce substantial gains not seen in traditional financial assets or investments. Even at current prices of roughly $3,600, from the first ever recorded BTC price of $0.003 represents a 120 million percent increase – gains that are typically unheard of in other markets.
Due to the first ever cryptocurrency’s rise from practically worthless, to nearly $20,000, there have been many opportunities for investors to become profitable in their journey alongside Bitcoin and rarely are investors underwater on their BTC holdings.
Related Reading | Bitcoin Bottom Doesn’t Matter, Last Time General Population Can Afford Entire BTC 
According to a price chart from CoinMetrics that approximates the price paid for all circulating coins – as was shared by prominent crypto analyst Willy Woo – Bitcoin investors are underwater for only the third time in the technological and financial breakthrough’s ten years in existence.

What I like about @coinmetrics’ Real Cap is that it approximates what was paid for all the coins in circulation. Right now, as an aggregate, investors are underwater. For savvy long term investors this is an exciting time. BTC is seldom underwater. pic.twitter.com/1wfdU0rEiK
— Willy Woo (@woonomic) February 13, 2019

Only two times before the current dive have investors went underwater.
At the tail end of 2011, Bitcoin took a three-month dip into the water starting around September when price fell from nearly $8 in late August, all the way down to roughly $2 in November of the same year. It wasn’t until December when BTC made a recovery and came up for a breath of air.
During the dreaded 2014-2015 bear market following the Mt. Gox disaster, Bitcoin again fell deep underwater in January 2015 and stayed there until early November of the same year.
In total, Bitcoin has spent only around 18 months out of the ten years since the Genesis Block with investors of the asset underwater. Given Bitcoin’s resiliency and ability to bounce back, the market may be closer to establishing the ever elusive bottom.

Bye-Bye BTC Bear Market? Not So Fast
While the data does show that Bitcoin investors falling underwater could indicate a bottom is in or at least near, the same data could also be a sad signal for bulls.
Should Bitcoin’s price follow a similar path and trajectory as the 2014-2015 bear market, and it has done so eerily closely thus far, investors in the asset may be stuck spending another 7-9 months underwater before a bull trend resumes.
Related Reading | Crypto Analyst Expects Strong Bitcoin Bounce, Monthly MACD Signals Bottom 
The previous time Bitcoin went underwater, it stayed there for 11 months before a relief rally occurred that wasn’t immediately batted down by overhead by bearish resistance. The current bear market only dove underwater following the break of critical support at $6,000 back in November of last year, which could suggest that the bear market has a lot longer to go before the end of crypto winter is here.
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Police Mistake Crypto Mining Rigs For Drug Den in Raid Gone Wrong

Police in Adelaide, Australia raided the home of Rob Butvila expecting to find a marijuana grow room, but instead they found an elaborate crypto mining set up, complete with a ventilation system to keep heat the miners generate at bay.
Butvila is now considering taking legal action against the local police department after they left the man’s home in shambles and are refusing to respond to requests to help with damages.
Police Destroy Man’s Home In Search for Drugs, Discover Crypto Miners Instead
Police and other government agencies use a number of tactics to sniff out marijuana growing operations, both at large scale and even in individual’s homes. These tactics can include using an infrared heat detector to locate potential light sources emitting heat, watching out for skyrocketing energy bills, or searching for ventilation systems that allow airflow around marijuana plants and help to contain strong odors emanating from grow rooms.
Unfortunately, for crypto enthusiasts, an advanced crypto mining setup can also cause an increase in heat, energy consumption, and a need for complex ventilation that could be mistaken for a grow operation, as Rob Butvila of Adelaide, Australia found out the hard way.
Related Reading | Estate of Columbian Cartel Kingpin Claims Tether Crypto Is Untrustworthy
Butvila’s home was raided by the South Australia Police (SAPOL) force over suspicions the home was actually a front for a grow operation. Butvila claims that he arrived home to find everything from “gates, doors and fence panels removed and broke,” so police could forcefully gain entry to the home.
“To make things worse they left the place wide open and a hard drive is now missing and the security camera cable has been cut,” he explained, continuing that “it would be at least [in] $1000 damage.”
Crypto Mining Confusion: YouTube Video Demonstrates Damage Done to Home
Butvila shared a video walkthrough of his home on Youtube that clearly shows broken doors and other damage, yet no grow room – only a rather small crypto mining setup.

A spokeswoman for SAPOL concluded that no evidence of any wrongdoing was discovered on the premises and that a note was “left for the owner to contract police,” who have yet to issue an apology.
Related Reading | Tools of the Trade: Monero and Privacy Coins Are Creating More Efficient Criminals
Police, according to Butvila, have also ignored inquiries about who would be responsible for the damages to his property during the mistaken raid, and even hung up when he called pressing for more information.
Butvila is considering legal action if the police don’t respond to quotes he’s received on what the damages would cost to repair, in order to restore his home and crypto mining setup to the condition it was in before the SOPAL raid.
Images from Shutterstock
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Crypto Feud: TRON Founder Takes Shots at Ethereum Creator’s Twitter Follower Count

Since late November of last year, Bitcoin and the majority of other crypto assets such as Ethereum or Litecoin have continued to plummet to new lows. However, TRON, a cryptocurrency aimed at “decentralizing the web” has experienced solid and steady growth in value.
TRON’s positive price action was due largely in part to an upcoming airdrop for the new BitTorrent Token launching on the TRON blockchain as a TRC-10 token, along with a major developer conference featuring celebrity appearances from the likes of Kobe Bryant and more. The constant marketing hype and promotion put forth by TRON founder Justin Sun and the recent buzz TRON has experienced has earned Sun more followers than Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin – something that Sun immediately took the opportunity to rub in Buterin’s face.
Justin Sun Rises In Twitter Followers, Sets Off To Rub it in Buterin’s Face
Hype machine Justin Sun created his Twitter account in August 2017 to help promote his new cryptocurrency TRON. The outspoken founder has earned himself a reputation for making announcements of announcements, which has also seemingly earned him a large Twitter following – one that rivals that of Ethereum co-founder Vitalkin Buterin.

Now we are both 832k. We started six year after you but we always know it is never too late. @VitalikButerin #TRON #BitTorrent #TRX #BTT pic.twitter.com/OTECzheO6U
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) February 10, 2019

Except Buterin’s Twitter account was started back in May of 2011, and features 3 times the tweets that Sun has amassed on the social media soapbox. By that comparison, Sun is right to be proud that his Twitter antics have amounted to a larger follower count than his peers. However, Sun took the opportunity to rub it in the face of Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum and someone who often speaks out against TRON.
Just days ago, Buterin even referred to it and EOS as “centralized piles of trash.”
Related Reading | Tron Fundamentals Continue to Strengthen With New Exchange Partnerships
Twitter followers of both were quick to denounce Sun’s public dig at Buterin, and the continued public social media feud between the two crypto industry figureheads.

You should compare dick sizes next.
— A v B (@ArminVanBitcoin) February 11, 2019

Origins of the TRON and Ethereum Crypto Twitter Feud
While Sun’s sucker punch may seem like it came out of left field and was unwarranted, he has been on the receiving end of many negative remarks made by the Ethereum creator.
No comments were more confrontational than Buterin’s response to an infographic Sun posted highlighting the ways why “TRON is better than ETH.” The tweet listed seven potential reasons, and Buterin followed up with an eighth point suggesting that TRON had plagiarized the Ethereum white paper Buterin had personally penned.

8. Better white paper writing capability (Ctrl+C + Ctrl+V much higher efficiency than keyboard typing new content)
— Vitalik Non-giver of Ether (@VitalikButerin) April 6, 2018

Since that moment the two have repeatedly exchanged blows across ‘Crypto Twitter’, with no signs of a ceasefire in sight.
Related Reading | Justin Sun’s Tron “Marketing Stunt” Draws Sharp Reply Form Vitalik Buterin
In fact, we may not have heard the last from Sun, who is claiming he has a “secret campaign especially for” Buterin he’s going to launch on Valentine’s Day. No, it’s not a box of chocolates or flowers, and Sun later revealed that TRON’s Valentine’s Day campaign is somehow tied to late Cypherpunk legend Hal Finney – who is often said to be the person behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.
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Venture Capitalist Loses Bitcoin Bet, But Doubles Down on Crypto

Crypto investors everywhere are betting big on Bitcoin and the like eventually becoming adopted by the mainstream public and put into everyday use. The first-ever cryptocurrency and the technology underpinning it has the potential to disrupt a number of industries, and could eventually become the global currency for the internet.
However, one venture capitalist and early crypto investor Ben Horowitz has lost a bet against financial journalist Felix Salmon over Bitcoin’s current level of adoption. Despite losing the bet, Horowitz is doubling down on crypto and has made a new bet in the public’s eye.
Bitcoin and the Five-Year Losing Bet
On episode 515 of NPR’s Planet Money Podcast, American businessman and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz made a bet against then Reuters finance blogger and crypto naysayer Felix Salmon.
An article that Salmon had written about Bitcoin being a bubble that was set to burst prompted the friendly wager. The terms of the bet covered polling a sample of Americans, asking them if they had made a purchase using Bitcoin during the past month. Horowitz would win should 10 percent or more of the polled American’s had responded saying they did indeed use Bitcoin for buying something.
Related Reading | Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels
Five years later, only 3 percent of American respondents had said they used the leading crypto by market cap to make a purchase. However, the podcast commentators argues that a review of where the respondents claimed to have used Bitcoin to make a purchase suggests that the percentage was actually far lower.
Salmon’s counter to Horowitz’s vision for Bitcoin adoption was that Bitcoin’s price increase and deflationary design would cause investors in the emerging asset to simply hold the asset long-term, rather than spending it as a transactional currency. The store of value narrative that underscored the 2017 bull run followed his theory.
Salmon, who won the bet, received a pair of alpaca socks – which serve as a sort of mascot for Bitcoin, originating from a 2011 Slashdot article that used the socks as an example on what Bitcoin could be used to purchase.

Doubling Down on Crypto Adoption As a Whole
Ben Horowitz is a staunch believer in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. His investment firm Andreesen Horowitz – in which Ben partners with Marc Andreesen, Netscape co-founder and co-creator of the first widely used web browser – has made significant investments in the crypto space including industry leader Coinbase.
Despite losing the bet against Salmon, Horowitz is undeterred in his belief that crypto will eventually be widely adopted. The venture capitalist again placed a bet against Salmon, this time saying that in five years, crypto in general would be used by at least 10 percent of people living in Mexico.
Related Reading | Marc Andreesen, Creator of Netscape, Praises Bitcoin in NYT Op-Ed
The duo selected Mexico to avoid the United States’ reliance and comfort using credit and debit cards, which makes crypto usage less necessary than in countries with struggling economies.
This time, the winner will receive 1 ETH, as well as a 100-year old bottle of Madeira wine, which Salmon argues is a better store of value than Bitcoin or crypto.
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From $20K to $3K and Back: How Bitcoin Price Counters Sentiment in the Crypto Market

During Bitcoin’s widely publicized bull run of 2017 which sucked up retail investors into its massively inflated bubble, the price of the first ever crypto reached a peak of $20,000. Now that the bubble has popped and the market has entered a state of anger and despair, more people than ever are writing obituaries for Bitcoin and calling for extreme lows – the exact opposite of the sentiment witnessed at its all-time high.
While most traders follow technical analysis or look to fundamentals to determine which way Bitcoin price may move next, trading crypto counter to the market’s sentiment may be the best indicator yet for profitable trades.
Crypto Market Sentiment Can Be a Contrarian Indicator
Billionaire investor and finance magnate Warren Buffett has an often cited quote, “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” The quote is the perfect example of how contrarian trading works, especially when it comes to speculative assets that easily set the stage for bubble-like market cycles.
Sentiment just before Bitcoin’s all-time high was at the peak of the hype and irrational exuberance phase of a market bubble cycle. It wasn’t uncommon to see comments in Reddit’s r/BitcoinMarkets’ daily discussion thread read “no way it doesn’t break $20,000 soon. Very soon.”

Others were calling for astronomical figures such as $100,000, and some simply talked about how the current bull trend couldn’t possibly come to an end. “Every time we’ve consolidated right below/around ath the past year it’s broken up….just saying the trend is still very much up,” one Redditor adorned with a “2013 Veteran flair” added.
Related Reading | Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels
Another self-proclaimed Bitcoin maximalist even suggested those turning bearish where blind to “what is right in front of them” for entering what are now incredibly profitable short positions.
Even industry figures such as Fundstrat’s Tom Lee had called for Bitcoin to reach $25K, and the eccentric John McAfee even offered to eat his own penis if Bitcoin didn’t reach $1 million per BTC by the year 2020 – a prediction he then called “conservative” yet now seems impossible.
Crypto Bear Market Bottom is Hard to Spot During Depression and Anger Phase
Predicting the bottom price of an asset is extremely difficult, and its only further complicated by the emotional state of the market’s participants.
Following Bitcoin’s hype phase, was denial. $6K was repeatedly defended and sentiment swayed back and forth between each Bitcoin price peak and trough. Until support at $6K broke and even permabulls finally turned bearish.
Related Reading | Crypto Analyst Expects Strong Bitcoin Bounce, Monthly MACD Signals Bottom
Sentiment has only suffered further since then, as the market clearly entered the depression and anger stage – the complete opposite of the sentiment found in Reddit comments around the December 2017 top.
“Does look like it’s running out of steam and about ready to fall,” one Redditor commented. “Short it. Itz about to double top – or whatever the TA term is for the second peak peaking short and plumitting beyond the first peak’s inception slope to inverted Middle Earth,” exaggerated another.
Extreme Bitcoin price calls claiming $1,000 is around the corner, or that $3K would break in the same manner $6K did, were great examples of how trading contrary to sentiment can work in one’s favor.
Following these dramatic and depression-driven calls for the death of Bitcoin, came a nearly 10% rally from Bitcoin’s local low of $3350, and could spark a reversal if overhead resistance can continue to be taken out.
From here, where Bitcoin price goes is anyone’s guess. But investors should keep in mind Warren Buffet’s famous quote and watch closely for opportunities to trade counter to market sentiment.
Images from Shutterstock
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Crypto Analyst Expects Strong Bitcoin Bounce, Monthly MACD Signals Bottom

Members of the crypto community, analysts, investors, and traders alike are all consumed with analyzing charts, both current and historic, hoping to find early signals that the bottom of Bitcoin’s now longest ever bear market is in.
One particular prominent chartist and trader, believes that Bitcoin is due for a powerful bounce soon, and further suggest that the monthly MACD has started to signal that the bottom of the 2018-2019 bear market may be in, if patterns witnessed in previous bull-bear cycles are repeated.
Bitcoin Ready to Bounce? Traders Watch the 200-Day Moving Average
Bitcoin has been stuck in a phase of stability typically not seen in the extremely volatile asset. Tightening trading ranges and dwindling volume often suggest that price consolidation is occurring, and traders are sitting by the wayside in anticipation of the next major move.
The last time Bitcoin experienced this stable of a trading range and price consolidation, price eventually fell through important and repeatedly tested support at $6K, and declined nearly another 50% toward a low of roughly $3,150. At the low, Bitcoin bounced off the 200-day moving average (200MA), but general weakness by bulls have caused the price of the number 1 crypto by market cap to drift back toward the critical support indicator.

Ready for the b b b b bounce? pic.twitter.com/VorFkLpA3m
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 6, 2019

While many analysts are claiming the 200MA won’t hold a second test, bearish volume is diminishing and Bitcoin is in contained in a bullish price pattern: the falling wedge.
Related Reading | Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels 
Prominent crypto trader and chartist Dave the Wave is expecting a major bounce the closer Bitcoin gets to the 200MA, and points to the 2014-2015 bear market’s multiple bounces off the widely used trading indicator.
Looking at historical charts, Bitcoin bounced numerous times it touched the important moving average. If history repeats, a strong bounce should occur within the coming days.

Keep it rational contra the sentiment. pic.twitter.com/aO3OS1tCS4
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 6, 2019

Monthly MACD Could Indicate Bitcoin Bottom Is In
By looking closely at the past, oftentimes patterns can be discovered that can help traders to better anticipate upcoming movements. The 200MA is an indicator traders are currently watching closely due the current price’s proximity to it. However, there are dozens of other indicators that traders can use to help determine what the market might do next.

Where have all the contrarians gone?
Here's the monthly MACD, probably the scariest indicator for the bulls… and yet it's signaling the bottom insofar as the two corrections are to be compared.
. pic.twitter.com/1NFDirwBKU
— dave the wave (@davthewave) February 6, 2019

And while sentiment is at extreme lows and many are calling for Bitcoin’s price to reach the $2K range, the monthly MACD has entered a zone that has previously indicated the bottom of the last bear market. It doesn’t quite suggest a new bull run is right around the corner, as the bottoming process can take weeks to months. However, if history were to repeat itself, Bitcoin will have already begun that process and bulls can breath a sigh of relief.
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Investors Will Soon be Able to Buy Stocks With Bitcoin, Crypto Industry is Highly Optimistic

Part of the appeal of crypto and Bitcoin is that it allows investors to very easily buy into an asset, whereas investing in publicly-traded stocks often requires an investor become accredited first, or invest a substantial minimum amount to get started.
Popular crypto investing app Abra has announced they will be offering a way to use Bitcoin to collateralize stock and ETF contracts, enabling investors to invest in stocks that otherwise might not be available to them. The news already has the industry buzzing about the potential implications of Bitcoin used as a bridge into traditional assets.
Abra Launches Investing in Stocks and ETFs Using Bitcoin
Crypto investing app Abra has announced that investors can soon invest in “stocks, ETFs, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and fiat currencies,” all using one app.
The app is available in 155 countries. Abra intends to start with “popular US stocks and ETFs,” but will add more global assets in the future.
Related Reading | Analysts Watch for Crypto Decoupling, Stock Market Correlation
Like investing in Bitcoin itself, Abra’s new options require just a $5 minimum and the company is charging zero fees on trading traditional assets during 2019 for those that sign up for early access.
Abra’s stocks and ETFs will be offered through crypto-collateralized contracts using Bitcoin. An investor will need to own Bitcoin to use as collateral in order to gain exposure to another asset – stock, bond, ETF, and more – and when the contract is settled, the new value of the asset will be converted back into Bitcoin holdings.
Crypto Industry Optimistic Over Bitcoin Involvement
Following Abra’s announcement, “crypto Twitter” began discussing the implications the news has on the crypto industry and on the future of Bitcoin. The collective comments from top industry figures shows just how optimistic the industry is over Bitcoin’s use as a settlement layer enabling exposure into more traditional investment assets.

Abra announces the ability to invest in stocks and ETFs using Bitcoin
This is much, much bigger news than the Lightning torch if it works.https://t.co/wqEXG8C1qv via @MessariCrypto
— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) February 6, 2019

Ryan Selkis, the founder of Messari – a brand recently at the center of an XRP market cap controversy – believes that the news is “much, much bigger news” than the Bitcoin Lightning “torch” that swept Twitter over the past couple of days, even attracting the attention of Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Related Reading | Twitter CEO Experiments With Lightning, Sends Bitcoin Transaction
Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano commented that it’s now no longer an “if, but rather a when,” referring to the inevitable tokenization of stocks, bonds, commodities and more that analysts believe could occur thanks to the emergence of crypto.

This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All #bitcoin-based!!!!!! Kudos to @billbarhydt & team for lassoing traditional financial assets into Bitcoin, instead of trying to pigeonhole Bitcoin into the status quo—as so many other #crypto companies are doing. Best wishes for tremendous success! https://t.co/ZXs0lhqs8Z
— Caitlin Long (@CaitlinLong_) February 6, 2019

Both Atlantic Financial CEO Bruce Fenton and co-founder of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition Caitlin Long called the news “huge.” Long later added that it “expands the BTC owner universe” by opening up stocks to people in countries with low economic activity who otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy into these traditional assets.
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Strong Fundamentals: Bitcoin Daily Transactions Return to Bull Run Levels

During the 2017 Bitcoin bull run and meteoric rise to its all-time high price of $20,000, hype and irrational exuberance created a bubble effect, that later popped and led to a the longest bear market on record.
The resulting aftermath of the bubble effect has brought Bitcoin to new lows and the market into a state of depression and anger, with many claiming that crypto is dead, and have little to no use case driving its value. However, an argument can be made that Bitcoin is now fundamentally stronger than in late 2017, and daily transactions have again began to reach levels not seen since November 2017 when its price went parabolic.
Daily Bitcoin Transactions Revisit Bull Run Levels
Because Bitcoin hasn’t fully realized its potential as a store of value or global currency for the internet as many believe it will eventually become, analysts often look to fundamentals such as the amount of wallets and daily transactions to determine its value. From that perspective, Bitcoin is fundamentally stronger than it has been over the past year of bear market.
Related Reading | Bitcoin and Crypto Has Introduced Millennials to Investing in Markets, Despite Fears
Following December 2017’s price peak, daily transactions fell below 300,000 per day in mid-January and since then, Bitcoin has struggled to return to the levels previously seen during last year’s bull run. Many pundits suggest that it was the growing amount of  transactions that led to the network becoming congested, which made transaction fees sore and put a spotlight on how the first-ever cryptocurrency wasn’t yet ready for public consumption on a wide scale.
Over a year later, daily transactions have finally reached over 300,000 yet again, returning to levels not seen since December 2017, according to blockchain data from BitcoinVisuals.

Pantera Capital CEO: Fundamentals Are Much, Much Stronger
Despite Bitcoin transactions picking up again, fees remain low and the network uncongested thanks to further adoption of the SegWit second-layer protocol upgrade. The recent growth of the Lightning Network – another second layer technology – has only further improved Bitcoin’s value proposition from a fundamental perspective.
Related Reading | Analysts Watch for Crypto Decoupling, Stock Market Correlation, and $7K Bitcoin in 2019
The return to mean witnessed in Bitcoin transactions coupled with a smoother-running network thanks to advances in Bitcoin development prove that the number 1 crypto by market cap is much stronger fundamentally than December 2017 when media attention was at its boiling point.

On Unconfirmed, @dan_pantera of @PanteraCapital explains why this crypto bear market is different from the one that began in 2014, what he believes will give institutional money the confidence to enter the space, and where innovation is happening. https://t.co/cGUdxidL8o
— Laura Shin (@laurashin) February 1, 2019

Dan Morehead, outspoken CEO of crypto investment firm Pantera Capital agrees, saying that Bitcoin and crypto’s “underlying fundamentals are much, much stronger” now than they were in the previous “crypto winter,” referring to the 2014-2015 bear market that the current one has now outpaced for the longest ever on record since cryptocurrency was first introduced.
“In the previous one, I had more of a worry in the pit of my stomach about whether blockchain was actually going to work. There were real regulatory risks,” he added.
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Analysts Watch for Crypto Decoupling, Stock Market Correlation, and $7K Bitcoin in 2019

At the end of 2018, the stock market tumbled, and leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin fell through price support to reach new yearly lows, sending the crypto market into a depression state.
There’s hope at the end of the tunnel, concludes a team of analysts, whose average price prediction for Bitcoin puts the leading crypto by market cap at a just shy of $7,000 at the end of 2019. The analysts also point to two potential trends to “look out for in 2019.”
Bitcoin Bear Market To End, Price to Return to $7K Analysts Predict
Following Bitcoin’s parabolic advance in late 2017, the first ever crypto has been stuck in a downtrend throughout 2018 and into 2019. After repeat tests of critical support in the $6K area, Bitcoin fell through its seemingly unbreakable floor to new lows. Since then it has ping-ponged between a low of $3,150 and a local high around $4,200, dragging out the now record-length bear market.
However, a team of six fintech experts believe that Bitcoin’s bear market will end this year, with an average price target of just under $7K – which would take its above previous support turned resistance in the $6K range.
Related Reading | Downtrend Confirmations Spell More Pain For Bitcoin, Where Will it Bottom?
One of the six analysts was particularly bullish on Bitcoin, whose price prediction helped inch the average closer to $7K. Digital Capital Management chief operating officer Ben Ritchie offered up a $9,500 price prediction on the leading crypto by market cap, suggesting that Bitcoin’s bearish woes may soon be over.
Despite the bullish prediction, Richie believes that crypto will have a “slow and steady rise in 2019” and is watching closely for two trends to emerge in the new year.

Analysts On the Look Out for Crypto Decoupling and Correlation with Traditional Markets
In addition to calling for a resurgence in Bitcoin price, the analysts are watching to see if cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, XRP and other altcoins begin to trend independently from Bitcoin, which commonly dictates the direction of the overall market.

“Two things to look out for in 2019 will be whether we will see decoupling of the cryptocurrencies, as to date they have trended in a relatively similar manner,” Ritchie said.

Bitcoin’s first-mover advantage, brand power, and sizable market cap all give it a leadership position in the space, which often leads to it controlling the overall price market trend regardless of the sentiment or trading activity of a specific crypto.
Related Reading | History May Signal That Bitcoin is Nearing a New Bull Cycle
“The second is the impact of the traditional markets on cryptocurrencies. Will bitcoin rise if the S&P drops,” Ritchie pondered.
Despite calling out the possibility of the markets correlating, Ritchie doesn’t think the markets will have the same participants, suggesting that institutional investors still aren’t yet ready to enter the crypto market.
“On-ramp and off-ramps to purchasing cryptocurrencies will improve in 2019 with Bakkt and Fidelity Group entering the market. However, I do not believe we will see many institutional investors enter for some time yet,” Ritchie said.
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Credit Card Debt at All-Time High, Should Crypto Investors Really Buy Bitcoin With it?

It’s not just the just United States debt reaching an all-time high, individual credit card debt is also breaking new records in 2019.  With credit card debt mounting, and a potential economic recession looming on the horizon, should crypto investors really be buying Bitcoin with their credit cards?
Those that have already loaded up on crypto with their credit cards during the 2017 bull run may be sorely regretting it now that Bitcoin has repeatedly painted new lows since.
American Credit Card Debt Reaches New High, Average of $6,375 Per Person
While Bitcoin may be hitting new lows, American credit card is reaching new highs. According to new data, American credit card debt is up 3% year-over-year, with the average individual wracking up a balance of $6,375 in debt.
The Federal Reserve says that total credit card debt hit $1 trillion in 2017, the highest ever on record.
Related Reading | Fed Chair Concerned About $22 Trillion US Debt, is Bitcoin a Viable Alternative?
It’s not all bad for those in debt. The VantageScore consumer credit-scoring model used by credit reporting firms Equifax, Experian and more, is also at the highest it has been in the past decade. The increase suggests that consumers have again become comfortable and competent at managing their debt.
Why Investors Should Never Buy Bitcoin or Crypto on Credit
Despite clearly being better at managing debt, investors mistakenly purchased crypto at the height of the Bitcoin bull run with their credit cards, ruining many financially in the process.
Take one Redditor’s story for example, which adds validity to the old adage to “never invest more than you can afford to lose.” Reddit user appropriately named u/DeforestedMoon claims he is $20,000 in debt due to his “tale of youth and financial irresponsibility” involving credit cards and crypto.
This person revealed they nearly made a profit of $10,000 from investing in XRP, and another $10,000 from “other coins.” Hype and irrational exuberance, which happens at the peak of market cycles, got the best of him, and he further loaded up on various cryptocurrencies using his credit card and even took out some loans.
“At first I would make Coinbase purchases with credit cards, then I moved on to taking out loans after Visa started considering credit card crypto purchases as cash advances,” he explained.

The story isn’t uncommon. Many investors were purchasing cryptocurrencies with credit cards, prompting credit card companies to step in and block the transactions from happening. While the crypto community was quick to point fingers at credit card firms for being in fear of crypto unseating them from the financial throne they currently enjoy, credit card companies really had their best interest in mind and may have saved many investors from further financial distress.
Crypto is a risky, speculate asset class, and in a sense, could be considered gambling in some way. And gambling on a credit card is incredibly dangerous. Even many U.S. states prevent individuals from purchasing something as innocent as lottery tickets with a credit card.
Related Reading | Can Crypto Credit Cards Bridge The Two Financial Realms?
Bitcoin and crypto is far worse to put on a credit card. Should the market turn as it did in 2018, causing the value of most cryptocurrencies feel as much as 95%, it could spell financial disaster. It’s bad enough to lose money on an investment, but it’s far worse to pay an annual percentage rate of as much as 36% on value that essentially evaporated into thin air.
While it is never recommended that investors should buy crypto on a credit card, it very well can be done responsibly, and in the case with the recent news with Binance adding credit card purchases of crypto, it does help with crypto adoption and creates positive market movement by adding another fiat on-ramp for investors to take advantage of.
If one should consider investing in crypto using a credit card, one should also understand the risks involved with both cryptocurrencies and credit card debt, and have a clear plan on how to pay that debt down. Relying on the crypto market to revive is not a sound debt elimination strategy and is gambling with one’s finances.
A much safer strategy to invest in crypto and Bitcoin is to dollar cost average – buying a set amount of crypto at regularly scheduled intervals.
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1-Month Left of Funding: Hack and Crypto Winter Deal NEM a Major Blow

The current bear market, or Crypto Winter as it is often referred to, has forced many solid projects to lay off employees and take a good hard look at their operational expenses and cash flow in order to make necessary changes to survive.
One particular cryptocurrency had an especially bad year, and due to the impact of an extremely high-profile exchange hack and the arduous bear market, the development team supporting the project is down to their final month of funding, and are throwing a Hail Mary in order to survive.
NEM Foundation: “One Month Left in Funding”
In a “message to the community” posted by the NEM Foundation on the project developer’s official forum, the team behind the NEM cryptocurrency revealed they were “facing challenging budget decisions.”
According to the post, the NEM Foundation team has been meeting a few times per week since December after the bear market reached new lows. The NEM Foundation devised a major restructuring of their C-level executive team, and required individual teams to begin reporting into the new executive structure with an added focus on “reporting metrics and delivering ROI.”
The NEM Foundation further explained that they were faced with the difficult reality of “having one month left in funding,” and would be forced to “put everything on hold,” and wouldn’t be able to “support” the team’s current “headcount,” suggesting that layoffs are looming.
Related Reading | Crypto Exchanges Begin to Shutdown: Bear Market in Full Force
The NEM Foundation has a plan, though. They are proposing a new budget based on a reduced burn rate. The team claims that it will allow them to “deliver ambitious results with responsible use of reserves.”

“We are in a tough spot like many others in this space. It is our duty to act quickly to ensure the longevity of the NEM Foundation ecosystem and development,” the message revealed.

Dear #NEM Community,
It’s been about one month since the new council started, and a lot has happened. We are committed to transparency, so we are pulling back the curtain with some good news, some difficult news, and some major #announcementshttps://t.co/OZo4fqkwLo pic.twitter.com/LmdkpzBGbu
— NEM (@NEMofficial) January 31, 2019

The NEM Foundation remains steadfast in their belief that they “can solve this.”
NEM Begins 2018 in Top Ten Crypto, Falls From Grace After Hack
Like the NEM Foundation, many others have suffered during the bear market. Ethereum-focused blockchain startup incubator ConsenSys and even the billion-dollar Bitmain were forced to lay off staff as a result of revenue streams drying up.
However, NEM was hit especially hard during the 2018 bear market, and its extension into 2019 could deal a death blow to the project.
The fall from grace began after Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was hacked, losing a record $530 million in NEM tokens. The theft is the largest the industry has ever experienced, and set off a chain reaction of regulatory changes following the country’s Financial Services Agency taking a closer look into exchanges in the region.
Related Reading | Japan’s FSA Raids Coincheck Offices Following $500 Million Hack
According to a historical snapshot from CoinMarketCap from mid-January of last year, NEM ranked #7 in the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap, with a price of $1.07. Another snapshot taken just one month later shows the cryptocurrency had fallen out of the top ten with a price of $0.39. However, it’s worth noting that most cryptocurrencies fell significantly that February.
Today, NEM has fallen 96% to $0.04 and is at risk of its development team running out of funding. While the percentage decline is typical of most cryptocurrencies, NEM was hit particularly hard due to the Coincheck hack that set the tone for the future of the cryptocurrency.
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Professionalism in Crypto is Desperately Needed and Gemini is Setting Industry Standards

This week, prominent U.S.-based crypto exchange Gemini revealed it had become the first-ever cryptocurrency exchange and custodian to successfully complete a System and Organization Controls (SOC 2) for Service Organizations Type 1 examination.
The SOC 2 examination was conducted by “Big Four” auditor Deloitte & Touche LLP, and helps cement Gemini’s reputation for pushing the envelope for cryptocurrency compliance and regulation, and its status as an industry standard-setting leader in the crypto space.
Gemini Completes SOC 2 Exam, Proving Compliance and Security Prowess
SOC 2 reviews are a financial industry standard for determining if a service organization – such as an exchange – are up to speed on security compliance, and are equipped to keep customer’s funds safe. Currently, only Gemini has the bragging rights that their exchange demonstrates a high enough level of security to pass Deloitte’s review.
Gemini says that the exchange was built with a “security-first mentality from the start,” allowing the exchange to easily meet the benchmarks in Deloitte’s examination, which are set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Related Reading | Gemini Launches Mobile App, Says Crypto Is Here to Stay
The SOC 2 explored Gemini’s infrastructure, exchange application, customer database, and the exchange’s “institutional-grade cryptocurrency storage system.”
Gemini’s goal with the review was to provide additional assurance for investors and regulators alike that any funds stored on the exchange are safe and secure – something that is desperately needed in an industry plagued with record-breaking levels of hacks and theft. The firm also plans to conduct the review annually, and is seeking a SOC 2 type 2 examination some time in 2019. 

Gemini Is Setting the Bar for the Crypto Industry
Gemini co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are early Bitcoin supports and are among the few executives who are working tirelessly to elevate the crypto industry both in the eyes of investors, as well as in the face of key financial market regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
In addition to the recent SOC 2 completion, Gemini also offers digital asset insurance from London-based global professional services company Aon. According to a press release, Gemini was approved after “demonstrating to underwriters that the company is a leading, best-in-class exchange and custodian.”
Related Reading | Winklevoss Twins Believe Bitcoin Will Surpass Gold, Remain Leading Crypto
The insurance provides peace of mind for investors using the Gemini platform, as any assets stored on the exchange are covered by Aon. Gemini also insures USD deposits through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that often insures the funds at traditional institutions such as banks and credit unions.
The Winklevoss twins are also in support of cooperating with regulators to improve the state of the crypto industry. Last year, the twins proposed the creation of a Self-Regulatory Organization that could help govern the crypto industry in the United States, and alleviate regulator’s concerns that the crypto industry is rife with risk for investors.
The duo were also said to have attended a closed-door meeting with executives from Nasdaq and more to discuss further legitimizing the industry.
Gemini’s work to improve the overall industry is desperately needed during a time when cryptocurrency exchanges are repeatedly hacked, and crypto-related theft climbs to new heights.
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Bitcoin and Crypto Has Introduced Millennials to Investing in Markets, Despite Fears

The digital asset strategist and director at VanEck subsidiary MV Index Solutions believes that Bitcoin and other crypto have introduced investing in markets to a “new generation of investors.”
While the executive didn’t explicitly call out millennials in his comments, data shows that millennials have gravitated more to crypto markets while showing a strong reluctance toward traditional markets such as stocks and real estate. However, the education and exposure Bitcoin and crypto provides could cause young investors to try their hand in other markets.
VanEck Exec: Bitcoin Created First-Time Investors, Provides Education
Crypto and Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017 captured the interest of the mainstream media, along with the attention of millennials enamored with the convergence of technology meets investment vehicle.
Related Reading | VanEck’s Chief Strategist Eyes Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Bitcoin ETF
The digital asset strategist and director for the MV Index Solutions subsidiary of VanEck – the firm behind the now infamous Bitcoin ETF proposal that was recently pulled due to the United States government shutdown – Gabor Gurbacs, believes that Bitcoin and other crypto have caused “many people learn about markets, investing, charting, fundamentals, gold, safe havens & other economic concepts for the first time.”

Thanks to Bitcoin and digital assets, I believe, many people learn about markets, investing, charting, fundamentals, gold, safe havens & other economic concepts for the first time. This is a phenomenal form of education & experience that will shape a new generation of investors. pic.twitter.com/KbGNl4DXQM
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) January 27, 2019

He calls the sudden interest in investing thanks to crypto a “phenomenal form of education & experience that will shape a new generation of investors.”
Millennials Fear Other Markets, Yet Embrace Crypto With Open Arms
Millennials for one reason or another, are more apt to invest in risky, unproven assets such as cryptocurrencies over traditional markets such as the stock market or real estate.
Data suggests that only 33% of millennials are investing in the stock market, as opposed to their older counterparts. As much as 51% of generation Xers and 48% of baby boomers have invested in the stock market by comparison.
The same can be said about another traditional investment market: the real estate market. Real estate purchases have been trending down year over year, thanks in part to millennials reluctance to invest in real estate, opting instead to rent.
In fact, only 48% – a record low – of millennials believe that buying a home is a good investment. Analysts attribute this lack of home buying in millennials due to entering the workforce late, often carrying significant student debt, and getting married and starting their families much later in life than their older counterparts. 21% of U.K. millennials also claimed they’d rather invest in Bitcoin than real estate.
Related Reading | Critics Say Bitcoin is Like Tech Stocks, Why Experts Disagree and it is More Like Gold
Over 82% of millennials suggest that their fear of investing was due to the Great Recession, where they witnessed their family’s and the public’s wealth evaporate into thin air over bank bailouts and the like.
Bitcoin was created out of the ashes of the Great Recession, and its aspirations align with millennials distrust in traditional finance. Millennials also grew up alongside the dot com boom, and watched the internet develop from a misunderstood and demonized technology – much like crypto today – become a mainstay of everyday life, so it comes as no surprise that millennials are welcoming to investing in crypto versus other markets.
However, given that crypto has exposed young investors to markets, charts, and more as Gurbacs suggests, it could help millennials become more comfortable with investing in more traditional means.
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LocalBitcoins Users Scammed of Bitcoin in Phishing Attack, Forum Suspended

Users of the peer-to-peer OTC Bitcoin trading service LocalBitcoins have been targeted by cyber criminals as part of a phishing scam, resulting in the user’s Bitcoin being stolen.
Forum users were being redirected to a phishing site, which was prompting the users to input two-factor authentication codes that were used to access user accounts and empty them of all their Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins Forum Compromised, Reddit Users Report
According to a PSA on Reddit posted bu u/bitcoinbabeau, LocalBitcoins has been compromised and the site’s forum landing page has been redirecting users to a phishing site. Once at the phishing site – designed to closely mimic the actual LocalBitcoins forum in order to dupe users – users were prompted to login and enter sensitive two-factor authentication codes.
After the hackers gained access to the user’s sensitive account data, the accounts were then emptied of all Bitcoin.
Related Reading | ShapeShift Phishing Site Advertisement Tops Google Search Results
LocalBitcoins has “temporarily disabled” its forum according to the splash page message. The message also directs users to the LocalBitcoins sub-reddit, where horror stories are already being shared.

@LocalBitcoins has apparently been compromised. Users are claiming its forums were redirecting them to a login page that was a phishing website.
An address shared on social media already has $28,000 worth of #BTC in it after tricking 5 victims. Forums are now diabled. #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/iKLyMQ0Unf
— Francisco Memoria (@FranciscoMemor) January 26, 2019

“Yeah I think I was the first to get cleaned out. 0.14btc. 5 victims going to one wallet. And that’s just one wallet we know about that belongs to the attacker,” reported u/tefl0ncc. 

Another user claimed to be cleaned out of 11 BTC total.
One user posted the hacker’s wallet address, which appears to have only stolen 7.95 BTC across 5 transactions. This already amounts to over $28,000 in Bitcoin. However, additional wallet addresses may be involved considering the report of 11 BTC being stolen from another user.
LocalBitcoins Phishing Attack: Was DNS Spoofing to Blame?
As of the time of this writing, LocalBitcoins has yet to comment on the matter, but do appear to be aware of the situation considering their prompt response in taking down the forum.
How the attack occurred isn’t yet clear, however, it appears to be a fairly common DNS spoofing attack. Hackers use DNS spoofing to maliciously redirect users from one site to a fake one, usually designed to – just like in the case here with LocalBitcoins – steal user’s sensitive personal information, and use it to access the user’s accounts.

Not your vault, not your gold. https://t.co/ThSkkuXGqO
— Jesse Powell (@jespow) January 25, 2019

Reddit users also suggest that the hacker “used some sort of script to use the 2FA code entered by the user to withdraw the bitcoin.”
Related Reading | New Blockchain.info Phishing Email Threatens BTC Users
Last year, the popular Ethereum and ERC-20 token wallet MyEtherWallet was also targeted in a DNS spoofing attack. Users then logged into the fake site they were redirected to, allowing hackers to gain access to their funds.
Users can protect themselves by always double-checking the URL of the page they are currently on, and should always look for the lock next to the URL indicating that the page has a secure connection.
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