What Caused Bitcoin to Drop to a New Yearly Low? Factors and Trends

When optimists thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. In the past 24 hours, after ranging between $3,800 and $4,200 for a week, Bitcoin (BTC) was suddenly subject to another spell of bear market fever, as the asset fell under $3,700, $3,600, and $3,500 in quick succession. BTC even established a new year-to-date low in the recent sell-off, breaching $3,350 on Coinbase in a bearish spasm.
Upon the re-arrival of selling pressure, which sent retail investors into an unrelenting furor, a myriad of industry participants asked what mustered bears into action — the million dollar question lingering about everyone’s mind.
SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Ruling… Yet Again
Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a number of representatives from VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) team recently rendezvoused with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This recent event, which is the second of its kind, saw VanEck’s digital asset team, headed by Gabor Gurbacs, consult with the American entity’s Economic Risk Analysis division on the matter of a crypto-backed ETF.
Related Reading: VanEck’s Chief Strategist Eyes Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Bitcoin ETF
The hopefuls drew attention to a 62-part slide deck, which outlined the vehicle proposed and the rationale behind its potential approval. VanEck’s representative, doing his utmost to calm the SEC’s fears of manipulation, low-liquidity, and bad actors in crypto markets, then told the financial regulator that Bitcoin isn’t only “resilient,” but operates in a “well-functioning capital market” as well.
Aiming to butter up the SEC, VanEck even lauded CBOE’s trading infrastructure, which the instrument will be coupled with, for its speed, security, and ability to stay in compliance with the local financial legislature.
Yet, even after the reportedly successful closed-door meeting, the SEC delayed its decision on the application for the umpteenth time, and in the midst of a crypto bear market no less. In an SEC-stamped document published Thursday afternoon, the governmental agency claimed that it would be exercising its right to delay a verdict on the application until February 27, 2019.
Although the release of this document didn’t directly produce any red candles, such a decision likely instilled some semblance of fear in naive investors. Speaking with Bloomberg on the impact of negative industry developments, Timothy Tam, CEO of CoinFi, stated:
“Sentiment in the [crypto] market is really bad, any negative news has an exponential effect.”
However, some have taken to Twitter to discredit the sentiment that the SEC’s recent ruling had an effect on the market at large. On Twitter, Joseph Young, a NewsBTC editor, noted that the document was “expected” and “common sense,” adding that BTC didn’t stumble under $3,500 as a result of the 81-day delay.

VanEck Bitcoin ETF delay until February was expected and to be frank, it's common sense. Why would the SEC go out of its way to approve or reject an ETF filing prematurely?
And so no, the Bitcoin price didn't fall because of the ETF delayhttps://t.co/9t7Dp49NSQ
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) December 7, 2018

Still, the multi-year Bitcoin ETF saga, which has stuck with crypto through the thick and thin, will likely remain an industry-wide flavor of the foreseeable future, so to speak.
Analysts Claim That Bottom Isn’t In
While opinions regarding the Bitcoin ETF delay and its effect on the market are a mixed bag, a number of analysts have maintained that BTC hasn’t established its long-term bottom, even after an 83% decline from its all-time high.
Michael Bucella, a partner at industry juggernaut BlockTower Capital, claimed crypto’s near-year-long “distress cycle” is nearing its climax. The former Goldman Sachs executive, referencing BTC’s historical price fluctuations, subsequently pointed out that the last leg of crypto downturns are normally the most volatile, yet short-lived. And while he was reluctant to forecast a bottom, Bucella clearly accentuated his thought process that bears aren’t done with BTC yet.
Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic, recently issued a similar comment, claiming that he expects for BTC to range between $3,000 and $5,000 for months, before adding that a foray below the former price level isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Lingham, known for incessantly calling for a “Crypto Winter,” claimed that Bitcoin’s underlying narrative has been misconstrued over time, which has allowed up-and-coming blockchains to gain on the crypto industry’s first.
Although commentators haven’t come to a consensus on the point at which BTC will bottom, it is evident that the cries for “lower lows” are still commonplace.
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Bitcoin Can’t Fall To $0 Nor Enter A “Death Spiral” — Mining Rules Deem It So

As BTC capitulated on Thursday evening, falling under a handful of purported key support levels, a number of bearish commentators, including Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini and Bloomberg’s Mike McGlone, doubled down on their sentiment that cryptocurrencies would continue to disintegrate. A number of cynics, who are often berated for their improper insight, pointed to the expected collapse of Bitcoin mining as the primary stimulant for the impending exhaustion of cryptocurrencies.
However, as recently asserted by one of the crypto industry’s finest, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
By Design, Mining Will Keep BTC Alive
Since Bitcoin’s earliest years, Andreas Antonopoulos, a Greek-British blockchain fanatic, has been a zealous Bitcoin crusader, known for brutally debunking critics of a technology they don’t choose to understand. And in this recent market crash, which has led mainstream media to call for the arrival of a crypto “death spiral,” Antonopolus is back to his antics yet again, recently rushing to Bitcoin’s defense via Youtube.

For those who aren’t in the loop, in recent weeks, as BTC has found itself far under $6,000, the supposed break-even cost of mining, hashrate has begun to drop precipitously. Since November 14th, which was when selling pressure began to slam cryptocurrency markets, hashrate has fallen from 58 exahashes to a mere 37, down 36% in a matter of weeks. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Malachi Salcido, CEO of a crypto mining operation, told Bloomberg that miners are being actively “flushed” out, presumably due to dwindling profitability figures.
Salcido wasn’t alone in touting such sentiment, with blockchain research unit Autonomous Research claiming that upwards of 100,000 individuals have thrown in the Bitcoin mining towel.
Keeping the mining industry’s stormy conditions in mind, a number of pundits outside of crypto have claimed that BTC, along with its altcoin brethren, is poised to enter a “death spiral,” whereas miners would fold en-masse, sending BTC into the ether. But as always, these so-called “experts” have picked a bone with the wrong community.
In a recent video Q&A, which specifically addressed the “death spiral” predictions, which were baseless at best, and slanderous at worst, Antonopoulos spoke on why capitulation on the part of miners won’t massacre Bitcoin.
The diehard decentralist, who recently called the traditional financial realm the world’s largest “cartel,” first drew attention to the Bitcoin Network’s intrinsic feature of hashing difficulty, which readjusts every 2,016 blocks (~2 weeks) to reflect the state of mining. This feature, activated on the world’s first blockchain since day one, discredits the theory that a “death spiral” is inbound, while still maintaining that BTC can’t just fall to nil. Antonopoulos elaborated:
“If [miners] wait until the difficulty retargets and the difficulty becomes less, then each miner who waits makes more profit because in the new scheme they have a greater percentage of the mining power than they did before. Let’s say if the mining power drops by 50%, the miners who stick around and wait for the difficulty to retarget are now twice as profitable after the retargeting.”
When taking this simple element into account, which a majority of mainstream journalists skimmed right over, it becomes clear that participants will always keep some skin in the mining game, so to speak. As put by Antonopoulos, “that’s a pretty good incentive to stick around.” And as such, it is near-impossible for BTC to fall to $0, no matter how hard bears try to suppress the asset.
Bitcoin Network’s Fundamentals Booming
According to Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital, there are a number of reasons, not only mining, to remain convinced that cryptocurrencies, namely BTC, still have the ability to alter the face of planet Earth. Speaking with MarketWatch, a Facebook and Snapchat team member turned crypto fundamentalist, known for his anti-bank, pro-crypto rhetoric, stated:
“Bitcoin has been through these major declines and bear markets before. It is an anti-fragile asset. The system is designed in a way that allows for course corrections, in both directions, based on market conditions.”
In other words, as put by Pomp himself, “Bitcoin was designed to survive.” And in a recent edition of Off The Chain, a crypto media resource headed by Pomp, he touted similar sentiment. Reminding readers to not get distracted by noise, the forward-thinker noted that while BTC has fallen drastically, Bitcoin has seen a surge in transaction count, cheaper TX fees, and active full nodes — a sign that shouldn’t be discounted.
Speaking to CNBC Squawk Box’s panel, Pompliano even recently claimed that as Bitcoin is the world’s most secure transaction settlement layer, its native asset, BTC, will also hold a semblance of value, no matter how hard bears swing their fists.
Pompliano is so bullish on Bitcoin that his firm, parented by the similarly named Morgan Creek Capital Management, recently issued a $1 million wager for the cause of cryptocurrencies. The American investment group challenged a to-be-determined investor, claiming that it will fork out $1 million if the S&P 500 index outperforms its in-house crypto fund, which covers a majority of crypto’s aggregate value, over the next decade.
Related Reading: Morgan Creek Digital Makes $1 Million “Buffett Bet 2.0” Crypto Wager
And as seen by a number of recent interviews, like the recent one conducted with Quoine’s CEO, Morgan Creek is far from Bitcoin’s only knight, as their remain tens of thousands that are ready to defend Bitcoin at a moment’s notice.
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Report: Crypto Market To Consist Of 66% Bitcoin in 2019

Bitcoin has long been at the forefront of the crypto market, dominating this 10-year old industry with an iron fist and no holds barred. While it maintained its unquestioned hegemony over the cryptosphere for nearly a decade, as 2017 began, it became clear that something was amok. More specifically, in an industry first, altcoins began to drastically gain in terms of market dominance.
By the end of April 2017, altcoins made up 40% of crypto’s entire market capitalization, up from the 12% seen in January. And just eight months later, at the peak of the so-called “Crypto Bubble,” altcoins held 66% dominance over the crypto market, which, in turn, sent Bitcoin’s share to a measly 33%. At this point, some “altcoin maximalists,” known for their use of buzzwords to laud assets, claimed it was all over for Bitcoin, which was chided as an antiquated blockchain with little-to-zero use cases.
Related Reading: Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Sees Ethereum Beating Bitcoin and Gaining Dominance
However, the original cryptocurrency’s fortunes took a relative turn for the better in early-2018, with altcoins showing signs of weakness after months of non-stop up-and-up. Now, just eleven months after Bitcoin market dominance, the first figure from the right on CoinMarketCap, hit an all-time low at the aforementioned 33%, the figure has stabilized in the 52% to 55% range.
A.T. Kearney Expects Bitcoin To “Reclaim” Two-Thirds Of Crypto Market Cap
Although noise regarding the Bitcoin’s dramatic tumult has recently begun to block out discussion regarding market dominance, a chief fundamental indicator, a recent piece from Forbes indicates the subject remains a hot topic in some circles.
Forbes contributor Panos Mourdoukoutas, whose work NewsBTC has covered in the past, noted that A.T. Kearney, a multinational management consulting firm, expects for Bitcoin market dominance to “nearly” reach two-thirds of the aggregate capitalization of cryptocurrencies. Citing reasons for this ~66% target, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, the American firm purportedly stated that altcoins have “lost their luster” due to growing risk aversion tactics enlisted by retail investors.
Investors’ growing penchant for liquidating their altcoin positions for Bitcoin can potentially be chalked up to the U.S. SEC’s renewed crackdown on ICO-funded tokens. Just recently, the American financial regulator fined AirFox and Paragon, two lesser-known ICOs, in a precedent-setting case, instilling fear throughout the crypto investor base as a whole. As is common practice, if there aren’t enough rewards to justify the risk, investors won’t allocate capital to the asset class in question. This case with altcoins, a majority of which were parented by ICOs, is undoubtedly no different.
However, A.T. Kearney says this isn’t exactly the case, with the firm drawing attention to the ever-growing complexity of the nascent altcoin subset. Courtney Rickert McCaffrey at A.T. Kearney wrote:
“Our prediction is that Bitcoin will regain its dominance is supported by the ever-growing complexity among altcoins, most recently demonstrated by the ‘hash war’ that occurred in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.”
Although this isn’t a well-documented issue, a number of crypto-centric consumers took to Twitter during Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork to express how confusing the whole fracas was. This, of course, only legitimizes the aforementioned firm’s report, albeit only be a smidgen.
A.T. Kearney isn’t alone in touting this train of thought. As reported by NewsBTC in early-August, when Bitcoin market dominance forayed above 50% for the first time in nine months, Tom Lee, head of research of Fundstrat, claimed that investors have decided “Bitcoin is the best house in a tough neighborhood.” He added that with the SEC’s classification of BTC as a commodity, and the focus institutions have placed on Bitcoin in mind, the asset’s return to higher dominance levels is rationalized.
Lee’s comments, issued in August, came just 10 days after Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital, claimed that he didn’t expect for “BTC dominance to pull back any time soon,” also drawing attention to institutional-focused products centered around Bitcoin.

I don’t see $btc dominance pulling back any time soon. Lots of cool institutional projects coming and most will start with bitcoin. Stay long.
— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) July 31, 2018

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Bloomberg: Bitcoin Price “Fading”, $1,500 Possible

After MarketWatch got lambasted for publishing a questionable op-ed regarding a Bitcoin mining “death spiral,” the financial media continued their bearish cryptocurrency coverage on Wednesday. More specifically, Bloomberg News, which covers the crypto industry round the clock, recently had its in-house analysts tout a $1,500 per BTC prediction — far below what many traders deem “logical.”
Bloomberg Analyst Bearish, Expects Bitcoin To Fall To $1,500
While selling pressure has begun to abate, with 24-hour volumes in the cryptocurrency market falling to $14 billion, BTC continued its seemingly endless downtrend on Wednesday. The asset, which ranged primarily between $3,900 and $4,200 for a week, fell under the former price level in recent hours. During one point on Wednesday, the foremost cryptocurrency suddenly fell to $3,668, nearing its one-year low around $3,500, originally established in November.
Related Reading: November Has Been Bitcoin’s Worst Month for Seven Years
But since its initial sell-off, BTC has found itself amid a veneer of stability, finding a short-term foothold at in the mid-3700s, as bears presumably catch their breath. Yesterday’s move clearly exhibits the sentiment that volatility has likely returned to cryptocurrency markets, after the aforementioned multi-day lull.
And, according to Bloomberg, this bearish volatility is likely to continue into 2019, contradicting sentiment that both the cryptocurrency and equities markets would undergo a “Santa Claus rally.”
The financial market resource recently noted that the Directional Movement Index (DMI) indicates that after BTC fell under $6,600 in July, the asset has been “caught in a strong selling trend.” While a single indicator isn’t enough to signal a downtrend, Bloomberg also drew attention to the Average Directional Index (ADX), which is nearing 50 — a purportedly bearish sign.
In a note relayed through Bloomberg News, coupled with a subsequent interview, Mike McGlone, an analyst at the outlet, has made it clear that the aforementioned indicators point to lower lows for Bitcoin. McGlone, who hasn’t been afraid to tout his doomsday sentiment in the past, explained that BTC could fall another ~60% to $1,500, with altcoins likely falling close behind the cryptocurrency godfather.
Interestingly, while Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork has come and passed, the analyst drew attention to the contentious event, along with year-end tax selling, as purported catalysts for Bitcoin’s move to $1,500. Elaborating, while also touching on market cycles, McGlone noted:
“We’re at a classic psychological stage where the market is reversing the 2017 frenzy… The hard fork was a key trigger that signaled the technology is way too nascent. You had these dicey characters threatening to destroy each other and institutions said ’It might be best if we stay away from this for a while.’”
Crypto Industry Savants Still See Long-Term Potential
Although McGlone painted a dismal picture for crypto’s prospects, which were already beaten and bruised to hell and back, a number of industry insiders have maintained their abiding faith in this revolutionary innovation.
Roger Ver, the infamous chief executive of Bitcoin.com, recently told the aforementioned outlet that the future is brighter than ever for cryptocurrencies. Speaking to Bloomberg on the streets of Tokyo, the zealous decentralist and anti-government crusader drew attention to a number of fundamental factors, including the Japanese FSA’s recent approval of a self-regulating crypto consortium, growing awareness of this innovation, and ramping adoption.
Keeping all this in mind, coupled with the fact that hackers and scammers continue to target the industry, Ver mused that he is still “incredibly bullish on the entire crypto-coin ecosystem.”
Mike Kayamori, chief executive at Quoine, also expressed a similar thought process. Kayamori, who heads the Japanese blockchain-centric startup, noted that while “nobody knows” where Bitcoin will bottom, taking historical trends into account, a reversal may be inbound. The Japanese crypto proponent added that by the end of 2019, he expects for BTC to surpass the all-time high it established in the wee hours of 2017.
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Institutions Still Bullish On Crypto: Grayscale Owns 1% of All Bitcoin

As Bitcoin continues its chaotic price action, ceaselessly falling and ascending through key levels, some paranoid traders have feared that institutional investors have been alienated from the crypto market. Yet, reports indicate that Grayscale’s growing war chest has continued to swell, while institutional players continue to express interest in crypto assets. This, of course, makes it more than palpable that institutions see immense value in cryptocurrencies, and potentially, that a market bottom is inbound.
Grayscale Owns $826 Million in Bitcoin
According to a research report released on December 3rd, from the offices of crypto analytics unit Diar, Grayscale Investments, a self-proclaimed “trusted authority on digital currency investing,” has accumulated thousands of BTC for its in-house Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC).
Since the start of 2018, Grayscale, owned by Barry Silbert brainchild Digital Currency Group (DCG), has seen its Bitcoin coffers swell by 30,600 BTC to 203,000 total, now accounting for more than 1% of the asset’s total circulating supply. 
As seen in the chart above (sourced from LongHash), the wallets pertaining to Grayscale’s GBTC, a vehicle that allows retail and investors to purchase custodied BTC on the U.S. OTC market, has seen month-over-month increases. Diar wrote on the matter:
“Record inflows however have resulted in record Bitcoin equivalent holdings with December notching up a little versus the start of the previous month.”
Although GBTC’s user base also consists of retail investors, the steady rise in BTC holdings indicates that capital continues to flow into this market through trusted third parties (ironically enough), a plausible positive sign.
Institutional Players Continue Crypto Foray
Grayscale isn’t the only DCG subsidiary to see a spike in investment interest. Genesis Trading, also owned by the New York-headquartered conglomerate, recently saw its CEO, Michael Moro, take to CNBC to note that his firm’s lending service has seen an “incredibly strong reception.”  This “incredibly strong reception” has seemingly taken the form of interest originating from “60+ institutional counterparties,” who have requested for cryptocurrency loans across “nearly a dozen digital assets” in the past six months. According to statistics from the firm itself, these loans amounted to a monetary value of $553 million, a jaw-dropping sum to put it lightly.
Moro added that while many of its institutional debtors have already paid their loans in full, there is still $130 million worth of active loans,  a figure that has only grown of the course of the lending service’s seven-month lifetime. This indicates that the crypto market downturn hasn’t deterred these industry participants one bit, contrary to popular belief.
This continual institutional interest hasn’t gone fully unnoticed, with a number of institutions and forward-thinking crypto innovators establishing products, services, and platforms, aimed at high net-worth individuals and Wall Street. Nasdaq, for instance, recently announced that it joined hands with VanEck to work on a Bitcoin and “crypto 2.0” futures contract, aimed at institutional and retail investors alike.
Related Reading: Why Are Novogratz, Fidelity, And Bakkt Banking On Institutional Crypto Investors?
Fidelity Investments, which sports the business of 13,000 institutional clients, even announced its own digital asset-centric subsidiary, slated to offer top-notch cryptocurrency custody and with trade execution.
Even Without Institutional Investment, Crypto Still Valuable
But even if institutional money doesn’t continue to flood in and the aforementioned platforms falter, as skeptics expect, Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren will still have big shoes to fill. As reported by NewsBTC last week, at BlockShow Asia 2018, Tom Lee, head of research at the crypto-friendly Fundstrat Global Advisors, claimed that Bitcoin is “bent, not broken.” The long-time cryptocurrency advocate, somewhat infamous for his irrational price predictions, added that Bitcoin’s $1.3 trillion in on-chain transaction value, reportedly 2.5 times that of PayPal, indicates that this innovation has “staying power.”
He added that there’s still “enviable profitability” in the cryptosphere, with BitMEX alone, who will likely generate $1.2 billion in fiscal 2018, making more than the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s parent and Nasdaq. This profitability factor alone should entice investors to continue to invest in cryptocurrencies and related projects.
Jackson Palmer, CEO of Dogecoin, echoed the sentiment that cryptocurrencies have and will continue to maintain inherent value, even without support from Wall Street hotshots. In an op-ed posted to Diar, Palmer, a developer at Adobe, noted that the grassroots projects, namely the Lightning Network and Plasma framework, can help “cryptocurrencies fight back” and keep the heart of the decentralized revolution burning.
Related Reading: Dogecoin Creator: Bakkt, Fidelity, and Bitcoin ETF Are Bad for Cryptocurrency
Palmer wasn’t alone in his anti-centralization, pro-crypto statements, with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Marc Andreessen, one of the world’s foremost venture capitalists, and even Edward Snowden lauding cryptocurrencies for their ability to transcend traditional entities.
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Crypto Bear Market Strikes: Ethereum Classic (ETC) Development Group Folds

While crypto’s unbridled optimists have done their best to keep this market afloat, incessantly imploring Bitcoin investors to “HODL” and “BUIDL,” their cries haven’t stopped a key Ethereum Classic development group from unfortunately capitulating.
Ethereum Classic Ecosystem Loses Key Player Amid Market Tumult
After a multi-month downturn in the cryptocurrency world, which has seen $700 billion evaporate from this industry’s market value, ETCDEV, an essential player in the Ethereum Classic ecosystem, has announced its closure on December 3rd, 2018. For those who aren’t in the loop, ETCDEV is an Ethereum-centric development group launched two and a half years ago, whose creation was catalyzed by the DAO debacle of 2016.
Since the organization came into being, it rapidly became the face of the Ethereum Classic development community, lauded for its penchant for technological revolution and its ability to innovate.  But now, as aforementioned, the organization has had to fold, purportedly due to funding constraints.
Through a tweet, Igor Artamonov, the founder and chief technology officer of ETVDEV, wrote:

Unfortunately ETCDEV cannot continue to work in the current situation and has to announce shutdown of our current activities pic.twitter.com/N6xWnpBNJJ
— ETCDEV (@etcdev) December 3, 2018

Although the ETCDEV executive cited a lack of sustainable financing, this message comes just days after Artamonov released a Medium article lambasting one of his peers for being a “Trojan Horse” for another team. Regardless, the fact of the matter is that Ethereum Classic remains heavily wounded after this occurrence, as the project lost its primary development team.
Since the disheartening announcement from the experienced development consortium, ETC has fallen by 9.40% to $4.61 a pop, under-performing BTC by 5.7%.
Upon the advent of the rapid sell-off, deemed irrational by some, yet backed by $190 million in 24-hour volumes, the official Twitter page of the Ethereum predecessor quickly took to its brainchild’s side. Through a message of support, evidently issued to calm the nerves of perturbed ETC investors, the team made it apparent that ETCDEV isn’t the entire project. Instead, it was noted that Ethereum Classic is a consortium of like-minded innovators and teams, such as IOHK, ETC Co-op, “and a litany of volunteers.”
Aggregating its underlying bullish sentiment into a single statement, the show-runners behind the @eth_classic handle simply wrote, “keep calm, and build on.”
Crypto Bear Market Qualms
This recent announcement comes just days after Steemit, the company behind the (somewhat) decentralized social media platform that shares its name, revealed it was undergoing a business reorganization, purging 70% of its employees.
Related Reading: Steemit Announces Structural Reorganization, Laying off 70% of Employees
Ned Scott, CEO of Steemit, said on the matter:
“While we were building up our team over the last months, we had been relying on projections of basically a higher bottom for the market… Since that’s no longer there we’ve been forced to lay off more than 70% of our organization.”
He explained that as Steemit’s top brass met, amid worsening market conditions, it became logical that a staff restructuring at the private startup was necessary. Interestingly, Scott failed to divulge an exact headcount pre- and post-purge, making it difficult to discern how many were affected.
SpankChain, an adult entertainment platform centered around blockchain, recently saw its CEO take to Reddit to announce that it, as well as Steemit, had downsized drastically. The project head noted that the SpankChain project hired eight individuals, and has reduced its burn rate from $200,000 to $80,000 per month.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom, as not all crypto-related organizations and startups have been subject to the financial pressure caused by the unpredictable cryptocurrency market.
As reported by BreakerMag, Ethereum pioneer Joseph Lubin, who can be likened to the Sergey Brin (Google co-founder) of the blockchain industry, recently distributed an uplifting note to all employees at ConsenSys, often defined as the Google of this innovative sector. In the letter, authored by the passionate Canadian technology entrepreneur, it was noted that in spite of the market sell-off, ConsenSys remains poised to “succeed wildly,” with a potential to usurp the traditional facets of society. Lubin wrote:
“[Blockchain is] a technology and an ethos that many of us believe will profoundly reshape human society over time… We now find ourselves occupying a very competitive universe, [and have the ability to] succeed wildly. [But,] we must recognize that what got us here will probably not get us there, wherever ‘there’ is.”
In a testament to Lubin’s undying belief in this decade-old technology, ConsenSys itself, primarily consisting of a handful of distributed subsidiaries, has reportedly hired upwards of 550 employees. BreakerMag has divulged that the startup’s rapid expansion can be primarily attributed to Lubin’s Ether coffers, which are reported to hold millions upon millions of ETH. And despite the downturn, it appears his stash isn’t even close to depletion.
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Prominent Crypto Analyst: Bitcoin over $4,400 May Catalyze 10% Rally

As Bitcoin continues to toss and turn day-to-day, failing to establish a solid footing at a single support level, the crypto market’s preeminent analysts have assumed the mantle of forecasting where prices could head next.
While some commentators are often lambasted for their dubious and baseless predictions, there remain voices of reason, who analyze crypto with caution and finesse, even in the direst of straits.
Bitcoin at $4,900 Could Be Possible, Important Short-Term Level
Since November 14th, the eve of Bitcoin Cash’s contentious network upgrade, the crypto market has been endowed with a renewed sense of panic, catalyzing sell-off after sell-off in recent weeks.
In a matter of two weeks, Bitcoin fell from $6,200, where it held throughout the summer, to a year-to-date low of $3,500, the asset’s lowest value since China clamped down on crypto in September 2017.
Related Reading:Investor: China Has a “Love-Hate” Relationship with Crypto and Blockchain
However, since Bitcoin fell under $4,000 on two recent occasions, which came alongside the aggregate value of crypto assets foraying below $130 billion, bears have scaled back on their apparent crusade. In the past 72 hours alone, Bitcoin has moved from $3,700 to a weekly high of $4,375, an 18% move that didn’t go unnoticed.
Alex Kruger, a well-respected markets analyst, recently took to his expansive Twitter following to divulge his most recent analysis. Kruger noted that if the aforementioned digital asset makes a convincing move above $4,400, $4,800 to $4,900 could be in Bitcoin’s cards.

Looking for 4800-4900 if 4400 gets breached. That's the base of Nov/19 and right above 20EMA. Starting with 4800 interested in shorts. This was initially 4400, changed plan. Below 3700 exit longs. Too soon to short the lows again, would like prior consolidation for that. $BTC pic.twitter.com/hVQ5bGnTIc
— Alex Krüger (@Crypto_Macro) November 29, 2018

Elaborating on the significance of this specific target, Kruger, a New York-based crypto backer, noted that not only is $4,900 slightly above the 20-day exponential moving average (EMA), but also the base of Bitcoin on November 19th.
Although the importance the analyst places on the 2o-day EMA indicator is self-explanatory, Kruger’s use of the November 19th’s base is rather astute, as that day preceded the thirdhand sell-off that sent Bitcoin under $4,800, a supposed key level.
Keeping this data in mind, Kruger then noted that he changed his short position order to $4,800, rather than $4,400. This, of course, indicates that for now, Bitcoin could undergo a hefty 10% move in the coming days.
Not All Crypto Analysts Are Expecting a Reversal Just Yet
Although Kruger, known for his cautious optimism, now holds a bullish-leaning short-term outlook for the cryptocurrency realm, not all of his peers, other industry insiders, are in his boat, so to speak.
As reported by NewsBTC previously, Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic, recently noted that Bitcoin will likely remain range-bound between $3,000 and $5,000 “for a while.” Giving his claim more specificity, Lingham explained that trading within the aforementioned $2,000-wide range is likely to continue for a minimum of three to six months, a common timeline referenced by crypto bears.
Interestingly, the savant noted that as there are boatloads of buying pressure at $3,000, as it stands, that specific support level has a high possibility of holding its ground successfully. Still, the entrepreneur added that if a convincing breakout isn’t established by the end of Bitcoin’s six-month range, a foray under $3,000 wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Murad Mahmudov, an astute cryptocurrency analyst formerly of Princeton University, issued similar sentiment, drawing attention to an in-depth chart of his creation that highlighted a year-long descending triangle for Bitcoin.

Keeping the trepid chart in mind, Mahmudov claimed that Bitcoin could be poised to bottom in the ~$3,000 range by the turn of the year.
And interestingly, Kruger himself, responding to his short-term analysis, claimed that this is a “static/base game plan” for traders, not for investors. He added that due to the macro landscape, likely referencing the drawdown in traditional equities markets, the long-term bottom for cryptocurrencies may still be a distant speck on the horizon, not a looming obstacle.
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Tom Lee: Crypto Is Bent Not Broken, Plenty of Room to Grow

Whether you like him or not, Tom Lee, Fundstrat Global Advisors’ head of research, has been one of Bitcoin’s foremost advocates in recent memory. In a testament to this, the former JP Morgan managing partner has arguably become crypto’s de-facto figurehead, appearing on mainstream outlets to tout his over-ardent optimism on this budding asset class. And while his short-term outlook on Bitcoin has recently undergone a slight shift, presumably due to this year’s market pitfalls, Lee recently doubled-down on his sentiment that cryptocurrencies will boom in the long haul.
Related Reading: Tom Lee’s Big Bitcoin Price Prediction Dropped to $15,000
Tom Lee On Recent Bitcoin Drawdown
In the past 15 days, crypto investors across the globe have been perplexed by Bitcoin’s latest draw-down, which saw the asset move from $6,200 to a yearly low at $3,400. The short-term bearish, long-term bullish subset of analysts, which includes Tone Vays, noted that such a move was inevitable. But in the eyes of speculators and virgin traders, Bitcoin’s 40% collapse was a demeaning sight, one that seemingly came from the ether, if you will.
However, Lee, who also acts as Fundstrat’s in-house crypto analyst, sought to make crypto’s latest leg lower palpable, taking to BlockShow Asia 2018’s main stage on Tuesday.
Lee, often called one of Bitcoin’s biggest bulls, drew attention to three “temporary disruptions” in the cryptosphere: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent crackdown on ICOs and digital securities markets, the Bitcoin Cash network upgrade debacle, which he dubbed a “fork war,” and the “meltdown” of the macro traditional equities market, which has seen the S&P 500, for example, fall by 9% in two months alone.
Interestingly, Fundstrat’s research head explained that many of his clients, who are experiencing the full brunt of the stormy stock market, have fallen victim to the sentiment that cryptocurrency markets are beyond repair.
But, Lee, who evidently still has some crypto cards on the table, explained that he has to politely disagree with this bearishness, subsequently noting that the Bitcoin crash can actually be deemed “healthy.” Touching on this ludicrous claim, the Bitcoin advocate noted that crypto’s dismal performance has routed industry participants’ attention away from price into building “real, high-return, value-capture products” that better the underlying ecosystem.
Crypto Is Bent, Not Broken, And It Has Room To Grow
So, putting it short and sweet, Lee explained Bitcoin is “bent, not broken,” before adding that this nascent industry has staying power due to Bitcoin’s $1.3 trillion in on-chain transaction value, which is reportedly 2.5 times Paypal’s value throughput and “just a few years away” from that of Visa. More importantly, the Fundstrat representative added that there is still “enviable” profitability in the cryptosphere, estimating that BitMEX is poised to make $1.2 billion in fiscal 2018.
This profit alone would make BitMEX, an infant crypto mercantile platform, more profitable than Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing and Nasdaq, even while Bitcoin is just a decade-old creation. So, stating that the two aforementioned factors are the proof in the pudding, so to speak, Lee noted that crypto is here to stay, without a doubt. And, more notably, has a copious amount of leg room.
Lee then drew attention to the “Silent Generation’s” unbridled enamorment with gold, which catalyzed a 15x bull run for the precious metal, adding that it is likely going to be the same for millennials and crypto assets.
Still, he added that this isn’t going to happen overnight, as he brought up institutions and the importance they place on Bitcoin’s 200-day moving average (MA). He noted:
“We have a price correction taking place, which has caused the price to fall even below its 200-day MA, but if you’ve got time, it will rise. It will not happen within three months, or one year, but in two to three years, but this is the golden time to be in crypto. As soon as Bitcoin crosses its 200-day, we know there will be a flood of money coming.”
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Crypto Investor: Bitcoin Has Yet To Bottom, But $4,200 Is a Steal

On Wednesday, after a multi-week sell-off that saw crypto assets toss and turn non-stop, investors in this market found some much-needed reprieve. In the span of 12 hours, Bitcoin surged past $3,800, establishing a five-day high at $4,375 on the back of an aggressive influx of buying pressure. And with this move, which saw the aggregate value of all crypto assets move towards $140 billion, optimists claim that a bull run, or a recovery at the very least, is in this market’s grasp.
As Bitcoin breached $4,200, a supposed level of resistance, naive investors clamored to figure out if the worst is truly behind the cryptocurrency industry. Aiming to offer his conjectures on the matter, Michael Bucella, a partner at crypto-focused investment firm BlockTower Capital, made a guest appearance on CNBC Fast Money, a segment that has covered cryptocurrencies incessantly in recent weeks.

#Bitcoin back above $4k, but should you trust the bounce? BlackTower Capital's Michael Bucella on whether this rally is for real. pic.twitter.com/uWWSNHKbuo
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) November 28, 2018

Bitcoin Has One Leg Lower To Go
Noting that crypto’s bear cycle isn’t as perilous as it seems, Bucella, a former executive at Goldman Sachs‘ Canada arm, drew attention to his theory regarding the interplay between “strong hands” and “weak hands,” the two overarching brands of cryptocurrency investors. The BlockTower partner noted that while it would be accurate to assume that weak hands, better known as speculators, are liquidating their holdings to diehards, the latter group isn’t rushing to on-ramp fiat.
He explained that crypto’s recent liquidity dry spell, along with market volatility, can be chalked up to the hesitance from strong hands to bulk-buy Bitcoin. Although this statement may seem bearish in and of itself, Bucella added that crypto’s near-year-long “distress cycle” is presumably coming to its culmination, echoing analysts’ cries that the bottom is almost in.
Related Reading: Bitcoin Bounces Off $3,500, Analysts Skeptical That Crypto Bottom Is In
The BlockTower representative, referencing Bitcoin’s historical price action, went on to point out that the last leg of crypto bear markets are normally the most volatile, yet short-lived. And while he was reluctant to forecast the level that Bitcoin will bottom at, Bucella explained that when digital assets bottom, whether it be at $2,000, $3,000, or otherwise, viable buying opportunities will be scant.
The Smartest Money Is Moving Into Crypto
Citing the strategies of investment savants, like traditional equity legend Howard Marks, the cryptocurrency advocate noted that while waiting for Bitcoin’s last bout of capitulation would be wise, $4,200/coin remains a bargain deal from a multi-year investment standpoint. And as such, Bucella stated that the “smartest money is [still] moving in.”
Related Reading: Bitcoin Unspent Transaction Output Accumulation Could Signal Crypto’s Next Bull Run
Expanding on what he meant by “smartest money,” Bucella drew attention to the notable amounts of interest that MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale have endowed onto cryptocurrencies and the firms maintain this ecosystem. While CNBC anchor Mellisa Lee did draw attention to the fact that these investments aren’t directly in crypto assets, the Fast Money guest noted that these plays are bullish nonetheless, as the aforementioned endowments are directly bolstering crypto-centric infrastructure ventures.
Speaking on institutional adoption specifically, the recent industry entrant noted that for global macro funds, many of which are headed by traditionalists, investing in Bitcoin may be a dicey decision, as the world first’s digital asset has only been through one long-term cycle.
Still, while he didn’t seem comfortable admitting that risk-off financial entities aren’t ready to foray into Bitcoin, his comments regarding smart money’s entrance into cryptocurrency markets isn’t a comment that should be ignored. And, as seen by TD Ameritrade’s, Fidelity’s, and the Intercontinental Exchange’s ventures in crypto and blockchain technologies, the smart money is likely preparing for the impending opening of the floodgates.
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Report: Blockchain Market to Be Worth over $28 Billion by 2025

A report into the projected growth of the current blockchain market by Meticulous Research has produced some incredibly bullish forecasts for the industry. By 2025, it’s expected to have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 74.1%, reaching $28 billion.
Future Looks Bright for Blockchain Technology
In a report published today, Meticulous Research has stated that the size of the global blockchain market will reach an impressive $28 billion by 2025.
To us more used to dealing with cryptocurrency market capitalisations, this might look like a sharp fall. However, the figures do not include any individual cryptocurrency market caps. To put it into perspective, the current size of the technology market is stated by Meticulous as being $385.5 million.
The researchers believe that explosive growth will be driven by a variety of factors. These include: rising rates of adoption of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), increased merchant acceptance of cryptocurrency, and heightened interest from traditional financial interests.
The report states that the banking and financial sector currently accounts for the largest share of the total market. Payments are cited as the largest form of application of the technology. The finance-focused blockchain sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 70% by 2025. Meticulous speculated as to why this area is emerging as the largest use of the technology:
“The rising need to transfer funds directly and securely to anyone and growing demand to reduce cost of transactions propels the adoption of blockchain in this application area.”
BaaS is cited as a way to bridge the current gap between technical expertise in building and programming blockchain and actually using the technology in business applications. BaaS allows customers to build their own distributed ledger technology appliations using a cloud-based service provider.
Related Reading: Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik: IBM Blockchain Is “Missing The Point”
They manage all the more complex back-end processes and allow programmers to get on with building their applications. As successful blockchain-based applications come to market, the demand to learn the skills to code on public blockchain platforms such as Ethereum increases. This, in turn, helps the industry to grow.
Moreover, increasing cryptocurrency adoption in retail is further strengthening the tech’s market. The report cites companies such as Expedia, PayPal, Subway, Shopify, and Microsoft as examples of big companies that have accepted digital currencies for payments. Meticulous goes on to speculate that the current levels of hype around blockhain technology will only incentivise others to follow suit in the coming years.
Finally, the report states that North America is currently the home of most of the blockchain market’s tech companies. However, Asia-Pacific is named as the area expected to grow most by 2025. Reasons cited for this include how quickly nations such as Korea and Japan are embracing cryptocurrency and the technology in industries such as finance and supply chains.
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Bitcoin Bounces Off $3,500, Analysts Skeptical That Crypto Bottom Is In

On Saturday, after Bitcoin’s days of relative stability at $4,300, a fresh wave of selling pressure washed over crypto investors worldwide, sending Bitcoin well below its purported support levels at $4,000 and $3,800. The move, which came alongside an influx of trading volume, came seemingly unanswered at first. Bitcoin’s market cap shriveled to a mere $62 billion, while altcoins underwent a sharp sell-off, sending this industry’s cherished assets off metaphorical cliffs.
Related Reading: Crypto Exodus Continues Sunday With Another $23 Billion Dumped
Amid the suffering, crypto-centric commentators took to their social media soapboxes to tout their controversial statements, in which they stated that capitulation was taking hold of crypto investors’ hearts. But, while a few critics painted a dismal picture for the crypto market, enunciating their conviction that $0 was in Bitcoin’s cards, other industry constituents took this plight with hints of skeptical optimism.
A Bitcoin Bounce Could Be In Order, But The Bottom Isn’t In
Although Bitcoin saw a strong recovery on Sunday, with the digital asset moving from $3,600 to $4,100 in a few hours time, some are skeptical that a bottom was truly achieved and that a reversal is underway.
Fred Wilson, a well-respected venture capitalist who thrived through the Dotcom Boom and Bust, recently took to his world-renowned personal blog to define bear markets for emerging industries. Referencing his multiple decades of experience in nascent markets, Wilson noted that while the recent performance of crypto assets is “cringe” inducing, investors would be remiss not to step back and breathe in some fresh air.
Utilizing the age-old comparison that relates the early-stage Internet and current crypto ecosystem, the New York City native expressed that during the Dotcom Boom, Amazon (AMAZ) fell from a high at $90 to $6 in months, a jaw-dropping decline of 93%. Expressing this statistic’s relation to cryptocurrency markets, Wilson wrote:
“But for those of us who were investing in tech and tech startups back in 1999-2002, that time will forever be etched in our minds. It was a brutal period during which our belief in the Internet and its potential was sorely tested.”
And although he seemed hesitant to express his true belief, the prominent investor added that keeping AMAZ’s dismal historical drawdown in mind, Bitcoin under $4,000 could only be a precursor to lower lows.
Murad Mahmudov, an astute cryptocurrency analyst formerly of Princeton University, issued similar sentiment, drawing attention to a chart of his creation that highlights Bitcoin’s unwillingness to establish a bonafide bottom. In the chart below, which quickly gained traction across Twitter, Mahmudov pointed out that a short-term bounce could be in order.

However, the trader then added that the impending bounce could be nothing more than a bull trap or dead cat bounce, meaning that Bitcoin has further to fall, possibly under $2,500 as revealed in Mahmudov’s chart. This most recent piece of analysis is interestingly a near-mirror of a chart he made last week, which claimed that Bitcoin is poised to bottom in the ~$3,000 range by the turn of the year.
Still, the two aforementioned analysts ended their thoughts on the matter with a high note, so to speak, indicating that although short-term pain is likely ahead, the long-term prospects of crypto assets and blockchain technologies have yet to be dampened. As put by Wilson:

“I think some crypto asset (and possibly a number of crypto assets) will have a price chart like Amazon’s current one in 18 years. But we will have to do what Amazon did, hunker down and build value and survive, for quite a while to get there. And I think things will get worse before they get better.”

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Tumultuous Crypto Market: Bitcoin Market Cap Finds YTD Low Under $100 Billion

After remaining stagnant at $6,400 for the better part of a season, Bitcoin (BTC) finally saw an awakening on Wednesday, as the now-1o-year-old crypto asset saw an influx of trading pressure. However, as many feared, this awakening, while powerful in its own right, wasn’t the one that many optimistic crypto investors were hoping for.
Instead of breaking above the well-cited $6,800 line of resistance, BTC fell, collapsing under $6,000, then $5,800, and finally at $5,700, where the asset is approximately situated at the time of writing. Now, for the first time in over a year, the market capitalization of BTC has fallen under the level of psychological support at $100 billion.
Seeing that this sell-side action came out of nowhere, surprising traders with their pants down, so to speak, consumers have sought to determine what catalysts sent bitcoin spiraling.
The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Catalyst(?)
After not covering the cryptosphere for weeks, CNBC’s Fast Money segment surprisingly brought on Brian Kelly and Meltem Demirors to discuss the potential factors behind crypto’s most recent downtrend.

Crypto melting down today and @BKBrianKelly takes to the charts to get to the root of what exactly happened. pic.twitter.com/O6bAZ0O4Nm
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) November 14, 2018

Kelly, who has been the topic of light controversy in the past, drew attention to the upcoming Bitcoin Cash contentious hard fork. The BKCM CEO, who dubbed the Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV debacle “a crypto civil war,” attributed this market’s most recent decline to concerns that BTC and BCH markets, along with the networks they represent, will under-perform as the hard fork comes to pass.
Related Reading: BCH Fight: Bitcoin Cash Bashing Heats Up, Rivals Duke it Out Ahead of Hard Fork
Andy Bromberg, co-founder and president of CoinList, echoed Kelly’s comments on the looming hard fork, telling the Wall Street Journal:
“A single event, like a fork, can be a significant factor across wider crypto markets thanks to their relative immaturity… Large holders will often make trades across multiple coins, causing ripple effects beyond the asset that instigated the movement.”
However, discussing the potential Bitcoin Cash “catalyst,” Mati Greenspan, eToro’s in-house crypto savant, begged to differ. Commenting in response to Bloomberg’s piece on crypto’s sell-off on Wednesday, Greenspan pointed out that the hard fork catalyst is invalid, alluding to his thought process that the reasoning behind the catalyst is evidently flawed.

This sentence literally makes no sense…
"Some traders speculated that investors may be leaving Bitcoin to raise funds to buy Bitcoin Cash after it splits in anticipation that each of the new coins will appreciate."
— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) November 15, 2018

NewsBTC’s Joseph Young made a similar comment, noting that BCH actually under-performing BTC, rendering Bloomberg’s claim false.
Keeping this in mind, Charlie Hayter, the founder of London-based CryptoCompare, addressed Bitcoin’s most recent move lower with a bit more caution. More specifically, Hayter was hesitant to bring attention to a specific catalyst. Still, countering Crypto Rand’s recent call that the collective value of all crypto assets had broken out of a falling wedge, the CryptoCompare executive noted in a Reuters interview:
“What you are seeing… is a breakout on the downside. Sometimes when things happen, it takes a while for the true reason to become clear – an exchange trade or regulatory action.”
Related Reading: Prominent Analyst: Crypto Market is Undergoing a Clear Breakout
Barry Silbert, the show-runner at New York-based Digital Currency Group, simply chalked this recent rut to a round of “capitulation.” In the eyes of some analysts, a phase of capitulation could be seen as a perpetuation of the bear market, but, others have claimed that these strong sell-offs could signal that BTC has bottomed.
The bottom line is that everyone and their dog has different opinions about bitcoin’s recent move under $5,700, indicating that there were likely a number of stimuli, including the aforementioned, that beckoned the bears in.
Even Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini, the now-infamous NYU Stern professor that bashes Bitcoin incessantly, had something to say about the market’s most recent collapse, doubling-down on his anti-crypto sentiment. In a controversial tweet, which came just a few hours after BTC moved under $6,000, Roubini noted:

“I could gloat about Bitcoin collapsing 10% in a day to $5700. But that is still some way to ZERO where Bitcoin belongs. Actually since Bitcoin is The Mother of All Toxic Pollutions & Environmental Disasters its true fair value is highly NEGATIVE with the right externality tax.”

Although Robuini’s aforementioned bashing of Bitcoin isn’t a welcome sight, many analysts and industry leaders have maintained that the world’s first blockchain is poised to succeed in the years to come. As reported by NewsBTC previously, industry players, like Tim Draper, Tom Lee, and Mike Novogratz, have expressed their overt opinion that bitcoin is likely to surmount its all-time high at $20,000 in due time.
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Bitcoin Turns Ten: Today And What’s Next?

Today, on October 31st, 2018 — a date that many decentralists have been clamoring for — Bitcoin, the world’s first internet-connected autonomous network, has officially reached the youthful age of 10. While Bitcoin has been lauded as a resounding success in recent years, initially, as covered in this series’ previous edition, “Bitcoin Turns 10: A Blast To The Past,” Satoshi had trouble jump starting his brainchild.
However, as Bitcoin began to garner support from the fringes of the internet in 2010, it became apparent that the concept of decentralized technologies was sticking, and across the world at that. And since then, this industry has only been on a perpetual uptrend, as blockchain technologies, the Bitcoin Network included, have continued to see adoption, maturation, and development at an unbridled rate.
2018’s Bitcoin Bear Market Is A Time To “BUIDL,” Not “HODL” 
BTC made its first step into 2018 near the peak of its largest bubble to-date, nearing $20,000 on the back of widespread speculative interest from retail and institutional investors across the globe.
While BTC began a strong correctional phase in early-January, facilitating a (temporary) monumental surge in the market dominance of altcoins, many claimed that the world’s first crypto asset was still poised to be on the up-and-up, with a handful of industry commentators doubling down on their sky-high predictions.
Fundstrat Global Advisor’s Tom Lee, for one, claimed that BTC was slated to reach and surpass $25,000 by 2018’s end, referencing a number of quantitative factors to back his forecast.
Lee wasn’t alone in his cries for BTC to “moon,” with Tim Draper, the Bitcoin Foundation’s Bobby Lee, and a number of other well-respected cryptocurrency fanatics all claiming that BTC will surpass its $19,500 all-time high in due time.
As it stands, however, the foremost cryptocurrency is way off the mark, with BTC currently finding itself range-bound under $7,000, but above the $6,000 price level, indicating that “speculmania” has subsided, for now anyway.
Still, as pointed out by diehard pundits, while crypto asset values have tanked, now isn’t the time to shy away from crypto. In fact, some optimists have issued call-to-arms, enticing their fans and followers to further their involvement in the nascent cryptosphere, even if prices may be off-putting for even the most seasoned investors. Just two weeks ago, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to write:

“Blockchain/crypto is not going away. Then take a 5-10 year horizon, and think about where we will be. BUIDL/HODL to that!”

In context, what Zhao seems to be touching on is the fact that prices don’t accurately reflect the development of the underlying infrastructure and base-layer applications that will support BTC over the long-haul. Litecoin’s Charlie Lee has also tangoed with this form of sentiment in the past, claiming:
“[Now,] with prices currently depressed, it’s a good time for people to sit down and have their head down and actually working to get stuff done.”
In the past few months alone, in terms of technological developments, Bitcoin has seen a rapidly growing Lightning Network, an uptick in adoption for Segwit-enabled addresses, and Blockstream’s recent release of the Liquid Network, which aims to accelerate BTC transactions and to introduce a digital asset issuance system on Bitcoin’s blockchain. While these three technological improvements are inherently unique, at their core, the Lightning Network, Liquid Network, and Segwit protocols have only been activated to better the user experience.
Although Bitcoin’s technological advancements are already something to be touted, this ecosystem’s institutional sub-sector has arguably seen a larger growth cycle.
In the past year, America’s foremost institutions, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs have all expressed interest in eventually offering Bitcoin-centric investment vehicles, solutions or platforms, which may bring crypto assets and blockchain technologies to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of wide-eyed investors.
Just recently, marking one of the biggest institutional forays into crypto to-date, Boston-based Fidelity Investments established the fittingly-named Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS), a new entity solely focused on offering products that pertain to digital assets, like BTC and Ether. FDAS, which is headed by Tom Jessop, is aiming to offer top-notch cryptocurrency custody and trade execution for Fidelity’ 13,000 institutional clients.
TD Ameritrade has also entered the cryptocurrency realm, announcing in early-October that it had invested an undisclosed sum into ErisX, an up and coming crypto-focused platform that has already been backed by DRW, Virtu Financial, and CBOE Global Markets. Eventually, if regulators give ErisX a stamp of approval, the platform intends to unveil spot trading and physically-delivered futures support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Last but not least, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) joined hands with Microsoft, Starbucks, Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, and a dozen other forward-thinking corporations to launch Bakkt, which intends to introduce a physically-backed BTC futures contract by December 12th, which is still pending approval from the U.S. Commodities Trade Futures Commission (CFTC). Following its futures launch, Bakkt intends to broaden its horizons by establishing a “scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility.”
It would be remiss to note that the aforementioned developments are just the tip of the “positive crypto news iceberg.” So make no mistake, despite the dismal performance of BTC in recent months, this industry is far from dead in the water.
“Institutions Are An Interim Step” — Global Bitcoin Adoption Next
While the arrival of institutions is currently welcomed and encouraged, it is important to note that Bitcoin’s raison d’être was to disassociate the global financial ecosystem with centralized intermediaries, as made apparent by the anti-establishment message that Satoshi embedded in Bitcoin’s Genesis Block. Speaking with CNBC Africa’s Ran NeuNer, who hosts the network’s “Crypto Trader” show, American venture capitalist Tim Draper touched on this theme.
Keeping with the narrative that Bitcoin, along with many other crypto assets aren’t (or shouldn’t be) inherently linked to centralized/traditionalistic institutions, San Francisco-based Draper noted:
“[Bitcoin] is free and open and honest. It’s an honest currency and so people are going to want to use it in that way. I think that these [institutional platforms] are interim steps or bridges towards a world where we are watching borders dissolve and the world opening up.”
Let his words sink in for a second… While it would be wrong to automatically discount an institution’s foray into crypto, as it stands, many speculators and optimists in this industry have clung to institutional news like their lives, or investments, in this case, were dependent on it. But like what was aforementioned, Satoshi Nakamoto’s concept for Bitcoin was born out of a strong aversion to centralized systems, and everything (and everyone) that they still stand for today.
So eventually, consumers will need to find a way to disassociate themselves with the powers that be. To be frank, the road to global disinter-mediation isn’t going to be easy, but, it is far from impossible.
Many fail to recall that a majority of Bitcoin’s first decade of growth was solely catalyzed by retail investors and the immense power that consumers hold, so who’s to say that it won’t happen again… right?
And in spite the cries that Bitcoin’s dominance is on the verge of plummeting to relative obscurity, it is clear that the “OG” cryptocurrency still holds value today, even in a market where buzzwords, like “smart contracts”, “transactions per second”, “immutability”, are thrown around like salt on McDonald’s fries. Speaking on Cheddar’s “The Crypto Craze” show, Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, expressed his sentiment that Bitcoin is here to stay, noting:
 “Bitcoin is still our #1 blockchain [here at BitPay]… [Even] with all the innovation going around alternative blockchains, we remain bullish on Bitcoin, as it is the most stable and most well-understood system that people can use.”
In short, while Bitcoin’s long-term fate has yet to be fully defined, the crypto asset and its supportive ecosystem isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, may eventually grow to replace traditionalistic systems, which are already on their way out.
Happy Birthday, Bitcoin!
Previously: Bitcoin Turns Ten: A Blast To The Past

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Prominent CEO: Bitcoin Isn’t Digital Gold Yet, But $10,000 Is Still Possible

Over the decade-long history of Bitcoin, the popular digital asset has been called everything from a money launder’s tool to the first-ever truly global currency.
But, although Bitcoin’s definition has undoubtedly changed over the years due to the whims of investors and industry leaders, many still believe that BTC is on the cusp of becoming digital gold — a digitized asset that isn’t correlated to traditional markets, holds value over extended periods of time, and is hard to come by.
Bitcoin Isn’t Digital Gold Yet
After taking a week-long hiatus from discussing crypto assets, CNBC Fast Money finally carved out some time to discuss this nascent industry on Thursday, calling on a well-established industry insider to lend his expertise to viewers of the show.

A month of calm trading for #bitcoin has investors asking, 'Is it finally digital gold?' @MichaelMoro gives his take. pic.twitter.com/h9FcM3MXId
— CNBC's Fast Money (@CNBCFastMoney) October 18, 2018

Dubbing the segment “mellow yellow,” CNBC host Melissa Lee began by welcoming Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading, onto the Fast Money panel. Quickly getting to the point, Lee asked Moro the age-old question — is Bitcoin digital gold?
Responding, Moro noted that one of the crypto asset’s long-standing positive characteristics is its non-correlation with capital markets, as Bitcoin rarely moves off the back of the price action seen in global stock markets, for example. Although pure non-correlation is a characteristic seen with the value of physical gold, the investor added that Bitcoin’s classification as a legitimate form of digital gold is still up for debate, noting:
“Whether Bitcoin is ultimately a digital form of gold, I think that question is still very much an open-ended question. I do think that investors believe that it is digital gold and use that as a case to buy the asset, but it needs to prove itself as digital gold.”
However, seeing that there is a strong movement behind Bitcoin’s use case as a digitized store of value, Moro added that BTC could likely be in the midst of gaining its status as digital gold as he spoke.
Michael Moro: BTC At $10,000 Is Still In The Cards
Drawing attention to Genesis Capital’s recent report on its in-house digital asset lending platform, Brian Kelly questioned the investor if data gathered by Genesis’ loan business indicates that the crypto market is starting to establish the long-awaited bottom.
According to the CEO, out of the $130 million in active loans issued by Genesis, only one-third of those funds are being used to actively short the market, which led Moro to the conclusion that short-sellers aren’t behind the deflation of late-2017’s crypto bubble. Instead, the great mind behind the New York-based fintech firm explained that it is the “natural holders” who have been liquidating their cryptocurrency holdings en-masse, not pessimistic retail and institutional investors.
Bouncing off this thought process, the investor doubled-down on his original Bitcoin prediction, which was that BTC was set to surpass $10,000 a pop. Moro closed out his time on CNBC by stating:
“The last time I was on this show, I said that we were more likely to see $10,000 in Bitcoin then $5,000. So far, I’m not wrong. So I am still sticking by that prediction. Because of what we are seeing in the ebbs and flows on the loans side [of our business] I have that confidence that I don’t think we will see $5,000 flat. [However,] timing wise, I am not too sure when this is going to happen.”
Although Moro worded his prediction with the precision of a surgeon to stay away from conveying exact dates or price targets, with institutional involvement in this industry reaching new all-time highs on a week-on-week basis, some claim that $10,000 by year’s end isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility.
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Bitcoin [BTC] is ‘under threat’ from China, says US-based research team

A research undertaken by three patrons of Princeton University and Florida International University has revealed that China has the “capability to destroy Bitcoin” if it chooses to. The paper named ‘The Looming Threat of China: An Analysis of Chinese Influence on Bitcoin’, elucidates, in detail, the factors that can effectively give China, Bitcoin market monopoly and even the power to “destroy” it.
Authored by Ben Kaiser, Mireya Jurado, and Alex Ledger, the paper points at one major element as the core reason for this; a large number of cryptocurrency mining farms located in China.
The research starts with a preview of China’s role in Bitcoin and its growth story. After 2013, market metrics had clearly shown that China was dominating the global market when transactions executed in Chinese Yuan were considered.
This boosted the bloom of mining pools in the country and by 2015, China had 50% of the total network hash power. Currently, according to the research, China is home to more hash power than any other country.
This makes it the second-largest Asian country which is “the most powerful adversary to Bitcoin”, the research states. The excerpt stated:
“We singled out China for analysis because they are the most powerful potential adversary to Bitcoin, and we found that they have a variety of salient motives for attacking the system and a number of mature capabilities, both regulatory and technical, to carry out those attacks.”
The research then goes on to talk about the four factors that make China the ruler of Bitcoin kingdom.
The first factor is the regulatory authority. As the Chinese government has a broad regulatory authority, it can easily turn on Bitcoin owners and bear on domestic users, miners and exchanges. They also have decrees to directly influence the mining and exchange sectors.
According to the report, the second factor is internet tampering, censorship, and surveillance. China’s Great Firewall [GFW] is well-known for its on-path surveillance and filtering. While this itself challenges one of the basic premises of Bitcoin, decentralization, Chinese authorities further employ a tool called the Great Cannon to inject malicious code into packets that are already in transit and “levy denial-of-service attacks by redirecting traffic to a target host”. This could tamper with the transmission of data relating to Bitcoin, the research claims.
The third factor talks about how easily Bitcoin can be manipulated by China owing to its huge mining pool, the report stated. As 74% of Bitcoin miners are currently based in China, it makes it extremely easy for them to carry out a 51% attack. This probability is further amplified as each of the mining pools has a manager, who control everything that happens in these pools. This means that the government can easily influence how the mining pools work if they manage to sway the managers in their favor.
Furthermore, the report stated that the final factor is its well-connectedness within the Bitcoin network. Due to the proximity of mining pools, the selection of blocks for the ledger can also be manipulated by the Chinese government.
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