Bitcoin [BTC] Greed and Fear Index Shifts Vastly Over Regulatory Concerns: Expert Opinion

The following article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro.

The US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, yesterday made an emergency press address on rising concerns around cryptocurrency. In his speech, he noted that cryptocurrencies are being exploited to facilitate “billions of Dollars in illicit activity.” He even went as far as to call it a “matter of national security.”
Ever since Facebook announced Libra, it has grabbed the attention of almost all regulating bodies, including the President of the US. All parties, including the Treasury and Federal Reserve, shared similar views.
These comments came on the back ahead of a much-anticipated appearance from Facebook’s head of Blockchain development, David Marcus, before the US Congress that will be held later today.
Make no mistake, the US government’s top objective is to protect “the role of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency.” The Fed Chairman expressed concerns around Libra primarily due to this reason as well apart from security concerns. If Libra continues to grow in volume, eventually it will affect the powers of the Central Bank.
Nevertheless, David Marcus will attempt to clarify these concerns as he mentioned in his testimony submitted to the Senate yesterday.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
What I found most fascinating was to see the reaction of the price of bitcoin in real-time during the briefing, which can be seen below in the purple rectangle. As we can see, throughout the speech and in the subsequent 30 minutes, bitcoin surged by 5%.
BTC/USD 1-Minute Chart Price Analysis
This is because of the fact that while Secretary Mnuchin expressed an emergency concern around cryptocurrencies, it was primarily targetted at Libra and it’s illicit use. Moreover, Mnhuchin explicitly clarifies that using bitcoin for speculative purposes (i.e., a store of value), primarily through regulated entities, is completely fine.
In short, the progress with institutional investment in Bitcoin will continue without hinderances.
BTC/USD 1-Day Chart Analysis
Moreover, his comments couldn’t have come at a better time as far as technical analysis is concerned. As he spoke, bitcoin has bounced off the now significant level of $10,000. Hence, Bitcoin is currently trading in a tight range between $10,000 and 13,000. A break-out of this range in either direction could be massive.
Bitcoin’s Fear & Greed Index
The index tracks overall market sentiment using various volume, social, and price indicators. A reading of 0 is maximum fear, and 100 is maximum greed. Yesterday the index tracked as low as 16, while just one week ago it was as high as 84. It has rebounded a bit today though back to 34.
Bitcoin Greed and Fear Index
This is an important indicator of market sentiments. Bitcoin [BTC] investors are not concerned about what Trump or the Government thinks about it as long as they are noticing it. Hence, the comments have been largely welcomed by the crypto-community. However, regulatory oversight and crackdown could affect the market sentiments in the short term.
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Source: CoinGape

Did the US Fed Chairman’s Comments on Libra Cause the Drop in Bitcoin? – Expert Opinion

The following article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro.

Bitcoin’s sudden turn in the wake of a bull run after a swift pullback has probably baffled the crypto-community. While ‘Bitcoin’s volatility’ can be blamed for almost all price movements. However, the trigger, in this case, seems to be the US Federal Reserve increased concerns over Libra.
Whether connected or not, we may never know, but the drop in bitcoin yesterday definitely happened on the heels of the Fed Chair’s comments. The purple circle here shows at around 12: 00 hours UTC is the time when the Fed addressed the Libra situation. What followed was a swift drop. Powell said at the Congressional meeting,
“Libra raises serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability”
BTC Price Analysis
Libra announcement came as a positive piece of news for Bitcoin. The supporters of Bitcoin envisioned increased adaptability of Bitcoin with Libra’s launch. So, the Fed’s call for increased oversight certainly has the potential to delay this from happening.
Moreover, correlation does not mean causation, and my personal feeling is that most crypto traders are not exactly watching the Fed testimony for signals of when to buy and sell bitcoin. However, the timing here is more than enough to raise suspicion.
Bitcoin [BTC] Trading Range
Though yesterday’s volatility was a bit harsh, this is the kind of thing that bitcoin traders should be used to already. After failing to breach a new high, the market began very quickly, testing the lower bounds of the current range.
Bitcoin touched a daily low at $11,163; however, it is back above $11,500 at press time. Bitcoin fell from $13,100 as it failed to break above the yearly highs at $13,8000.
Bitcoin Trading Upper Resistance and Support Range
As we’ve stated before, the upper bound is very clearly defined. A breakout above $13,800 (yellow line) would no doubt spur FOMO. However, the bottom of the range is a bit less clear. Various chartists will no doubt identify several key points within the blue box (between $8000-$11,400) that could be named as support.
No doubt, the big one that many will gravitate to is the psychological round number of $10,000 per coin. The momentum will likely shift to the bearish side. Moreover, the lower the Bitcoin price falls, the longer it will stay down.
Do you think Bitcoin will hold above $10,000? Please share your analysis with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

eToro Offers a Chance to Invest in Libra Association Even Before it’s Launch Via CopyPortfolio

The following article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro.

Bitcoin has risen above $12500 with much ease as it tested the upper limits of the current range. Nevertheless, the network statistics point otherwise; In fact, the vital stats have been in deep decline ever since the sudden cool off two weeks ago.
The On-chain transaction volume in Bitcoin, i.e., the amount of money flowing through the main chain has dropped sharply since the recent peak. It is now estimated that the total daily amount transferred via bitcoin is below $1.4 billion again. This was the on-chain volume during the second week of June when Bitcoin hadn’t broken above $10000 yet.
Bitcoin On-Chain Transaction Volume in USD (Source)
The volume on top crypto Exchanges is also down more than 50% from the high during June.
Public interest in the search term ‘bitcoin’ has also fallen significantly since June 26th, as is indicated by Google Trends data.
Google Trends for Bitcoin in the Last 30 Days (Source)
The only two positive indicators at the moment are Bitcoin transactions per second which are still above 4 TPS and the rising peer-to-peer interest on Local Bitcoins.
Of course, if we do see a fresh high above $14,000, there’s no doubt all three of the above data points will turn into lagging indicators.
eToro Provides an Opportunity to Invest in Libra
Even though Libra was proposed as a pseudo-stablecoin, I can’t tell you how many people have approached me on social media stating their intention to invest in it. Until now, the only way to spend in Libra is by joining as a Member of the Libra Association with an amount of $10 million.
Furthermore, Libra will be introduced as a stablecoin; hence, these will hardly be any growth proposition with it. Nevertheless, the members of the Libra Association, including Facebook, stand a chance to increase their efficiency and revenue by using the platform.
MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and most importantly, other firms like Uber, Vodafone, Spotify, eBay, and so would also benefit in a similar way to Facebook.
Even though buying Libra directly once it is launched might not be the best way to capitalize on a belief that the currency will gain mass adoption, there is still a way that you can invest in it even as early as today.
Hint: If you would have bought Apple stock for $399, instead of getting the first iPod in 2001, your investment would now be worth $60,000, even after yesterday’s plunge.

Details of the Libra Association Portfolio (Source)

So here at eToro, we’ve put together the world’s first Libra Association CopyPortfolio. The Portfolio will automatically keep track of new members to the Libra Association and readjust the portfolio accordingly.
Do think that Bitcoin break bearish or bulls will continue to lead? Also, share your views on the new Libra Portfolio released by eToro. 
 
The post eToro Offers a Chance to Invest in Libra Association Even Before it’s Launch Via CopyPortfolio appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Tipping Point Analysis and The ‘God Bad News’ in the US: Expert Opinion

The following article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro.
The announcement made by Germany’s largest bank on 7th July 2019, speaks for more than just one banking institution.  Reportedly, Deutsche Banks’ investment bank has been reeling under a lot of pressure due to the low rates. Around 18,000 employees are marked for the culling that will take place over the next 2.5 years.
In the past decade, the interest rate set by global central banks has been effectively near or below zero when accounted for the inflation. Hence, imminently it has affected the global trading desks and hedge fund managers. When even a 2% annual return starts to look incredibly attractive, it’s clear that there’s very little meat on the bones.
The Good Bad News
Nevertheless, the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) is very high compared to the Fed’s estimation; the US market is entering a paradoxical situation. To what economists are hailing as good bad news, has created a very tight position for the US Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell.
Furthermore, the Turkish President has sacked the head of the Turkish Central Bank as the sovereign currency Lira continues to decline.
There is a bigger evil at play here. The old financial system is dying a slow death. Let’s hope the new one is brighter.
Bitcoin Reaches Tipping Point
The crypto market continues to consolidate the massive gains that have been accumulated so far this year; it seems like the pattern is coming to a point. As reported on CoinGape, analysts see massive volatility in Bitcoin price in the near future.
Bitcoin Price Analysis | Source: eToro
Many traders will take a breakout of this classic chart formation as an indicator for the next direction. Moreover, while the buying interest in Bitcoin is on the rise, traders have also been trying to catch the bottom since the beginning of the year. However, Bitcoin’s rise has followed only one direction for the most parts of Q2 in 2019.
The trading volume on Bitcoin is also increasing on the peer-to-peer platform, Local Bitcoins. It now spiked to its highest levels since November.
What are some of the significant reformations you expect in the new financial system? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

Expert Opinion: Is Bitcoins’ Increasing Correlation with Gold Backed by Common Cause?

The following article is the rework of the thoughts put forward by Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro.
The hoax about the around the vast amounts of electricity and the pollution created to run Bitcoin [BTC] mining will soon be put to rest once and for all. A massive kudos to the University of Cambridge for bringing a vast amount of clarity to a data set that has been the topic of hot debate over the last few years.
All in all, according to the CBECI FAQ page, there is little evidence to suggest that bitcoin is contributing to climate change and at the very worst case scenario only accounts for 0.17% of the Earth’s carbon emissions. The annualized consumption of electricity for Bitcoin mining is estimated at 53.01 TWh.
Also Read: Why Zimbabwe’s Bitcoin Premium is Not a Good Arbitrage Opportunity: Expert Opinion
Country-wise Electricity Consumption Comparison for Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption while does rank with countries like Switzerland and Turkey it is considerably less. Moreover, the country-wise comparison suggests that Bitcoin’s electricity consumption is way lower than in some countries.
Correlation Between Bitcoin and Gold
Until now, Bitcoin has moved independently of any other asset class. This is primarily because of its ambiguous nature. However, we can see the price of gold (yellow) against bitcoin (blue) have been moving very similarly since the beginning of May.
Correlation between Gold and Bitcoin
So, what happened in May that caused both assets to rise?
Well, the Fed, of course. Earlier during May this year, the Federal Reserves in the US announced that they would be taking a ‘patient’ approach to increasing rates from then. A rate cut is also on the cards in the near future. Hence, the investors will start to hedge their investments in gold and Bitcoin.

So it seems that a loose fed is good for all assets, including bitcoin. The thing is, bitcoin is the only asset that really represents a hedge against them getting too loose with their policy.
On Bitcoin’s Bounce
Bitcoin pulled back 30% from its yearly highs nearly after five days. Bitcoin is getting some much-needed R&S at the moment. After the incredible rally since April 2nd, it’s good to see it finally in a state of relaxation.

Bitcoin Trend-line

Volumes have come down significantly over the last week, and at this point, it’s a bit difficult to know exactly where it will go next. The bounce off the $10,000 key psychological support was critical but so far not enough to know if the pullback is over or if it will go more in-depth.

Do you think Bitcoin price will follow the trendline? Please share your views with us. 

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Source: CoinGape

Why Zimbabwe’s Bitcoin Premium is Not a Good Arbitrage Opportunity: Expert Opinion

The economy of Zimbabwe is going through a tectonic shift as the country is witnessing a drastic change again in less than 11 years. The currency of Zimbabwe declined in 2008 due to hyperinflation. The people started to use South African Rand and US dollar instead.
Reportedly, in 2008 a loaf of bread cost trillions of Zimbabwe’s currency. This was a disastrous phase that drove the country back to the barter system of trade.
On Monday 1st July, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe removed US Dollar and South African Rand from its list of legal tenders. This is being done to promote the use of their native currency, the RTGS$ which will be termed as the Zimbabwe dollar. However, the citizens in the country seem unhappy with the decision.
Furthermore, this economic decision has had a considerable effect on Bitcoin prices in the country. One of bitcoin’s core value propositions is the ability to provide a store of value that is completely segregated from your local economy.
The reported price of Bitcoin in Zimbabwe was as high as $76000. This is 7.5 times higher than the rate in international markets. Hence, it opens up an opportunity for arbitrage. However, Before you book a flight for Harare and a 5-star hotel, please know that these figures are misleading.
This is primarily due to the demand to move from the USD. The Ecocash App is popular in Zimbabwe, which is used to hold the US Dollar. No doubt, after the government abruptly made trading in USD illegal, many locals will be trying to offload their EcoCash holdings in any way possible.
Hence, the demand is so high that there might be considerable margins imposed over it as well. While there is a significant difference in the price. But unless you have a contact at a Zimbabwean bank who can exchange EcoCash for USD at the rate of the day, the margins probably won’t be worth the trip.
Do you agree with our expert opinion? Please share your views with us. 
The post Why Zimbabwe’s Bitcoin Premium is Not a Good Arbitrage Opportunity: Expert Opinion appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin ETF Could Be Approved Anytime – Expert Opinion

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights:

Bitcoin ETF could happen any day as VanEck renews his proposal
3 out of 4 SEC commissioners seems to be crypto friendly
Crypto prices bounce back over the weekend

Bitcoin ETF approval may just happen any day
With the withdrawal and renewal of VanECK’s proposal, it seems that some of the key players are now far more optimistic that a bitcoin ETF could be approved sometime soon. The decision to approve or disapprove falls on the SEC, so let’s take a look at who is making the decisions…

Hester Peirce is by far the biggest bitcoin advocate on the panel. Many prefer to call her by the nickname Crypto Mom. The newest member, Elad Roisman, is also a known crypto advocate.
Last week Robert Jackson also made headlines speaking in favor of cryptos. So the toughest walnut to crack remains Chairman Jay Clayton, who continues to engage with the crypto community, but so far remains steadfast in his view that the market isn’t ready for it just yet. VanECK remains optimistic though.
Digital Assets Director Gabor Gurbacs recently told CNBC’s Ran Neuner that the application process may take up to 240 days but that it could be done in a single day should the SEC decide to approve it.
It would be even more interesting to wait until SEC’s final decision and Stay tuned with Coingape to get updates on Bitcoin ETF and SEC’s final decision.
 
The post Bitcoin ETF Could Be Approved Anytime – Expert Opinion appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Fundamentals Getting Stronger, Demystifying Bitcoin Mining Environmental Myths: Expert Opinion

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights

Bitcoin Fundamentals getting stronger
The Hashrate of Bitcoin network reaches a new equilibrium
Robert Sharratt article on Bitcoin Mining has some flaws

Bitcoin mining’s environmental impact- Demystifying the Myths
Well, everyone is aware that the fundamentals of the Bitcoin blockchain are getting strong day by day, there a few new parameters that have surfaced which reiterate the same. The number of transactions being processed in bitcoin has been growing increasingly during the bear market and is now reaching levels that have previously been seen only during the 2017 bull run.
To add to this fact, the hashrate (total computing power of miners) of the Bitcoin network reaching a new equilibrium and evening out over the last few weeks. Another piece of fact that is working in favor of bitcoin comes from the Canaccord Genuity Group states that Bitcoin is becoming more decentralized as it gets older.
While the fundamentals continue to grow, a recent blog by Robert Sharratt has been the point of discussion for many. The blog titled “The report of bitcoin environmental damage is garbage” has put forward plenty of counterarguments against the whole question of bitcoin’s environmental impact. To provide a brief, the article states the following

The author Robert Sharratt is probably one of the most qualified people on the planet to write on this subject as is confirmed by his LinkedIn page.
Most bitcoin mining is done in Sichuan province where they have an overabundance of clean energy that would otherwise go to waste.
If popular claims made against bitcoin are correct, the network will consume the entire global energy output (all electricity on earth) by Q2 2023.

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Source: CoinGape

Expert Opinion: Jack Dorsey’s Loyalty to Bitcoin While BTC Continues To Grow Stronger Fundamentally

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights:

Jack Dorsey holds only Bitcoin
The number of Transactions for Bitcoin are Increasing
P2P Bitcoin Trading Volumes on the rise in emerging markets

Jack Dorsey and His Love for Bitcoin
While playing a new bitcoin game called “pass the torch,” the torch was passed on to Jack Dorsey and his love and loyalty for the Top coin again came into limelight. Everyone who has looked at cryptos is well aware that Jack is a bitcoin advocate and over the weekend in an interview with Joe Rogan, Jack again stated that bitcoin will probably become the native currency of the Internet.
Engaging the community on Twitter yesterday he stated several times that the only coin he holds is bitcoin. He also said that he views it as a currency rather than an investment and that he wouldn’t consider holding any other coins, not even Ether. Its one of the reasons that The Square Cash App has recently become a major on-ramp for people buying bitcoin. When asked yesterday whether Square would add other cryptos to the Cash App, Jack replied with a simple “Nah”
Bitcoin is getting stronger Fundamentally
Unlike the stock markets which tend to adjust for underlying metrics rather quickly. The price of bitcoin remains characteristically detached from its own fundamentals, instead of remaining subservient to technical analysis. While everyone who looks at charts is aware that Bitcoin once again was coming to the point of a giant descending triangle. The nature of this particular pattern is that the flatline (psychological level) is usually the one that breaks first, as it has done six times over the last year. This could be why we’re seeing some losses this morning.

However, if one looks at the fundamentals of the Bitcoin blockchain, it’s actually quite strong!!  the number of transactions being processed in bitcoin has been growing increasingly during the bear market and is now reaching levels that have previously been seen only during the 2017 bull run.

Also, A quick look at the volumes from the peer to peer bitcoin trading site local bitcoins, which is now back online, shows that usage is rising steadily in emerging market countries such as India, Kenya, Nigeria, and across Latin America. Of course, these metrics are difficult to evaluate over time due to the extreme volatility in bitcoin’s price. As one can see in the global graph often times more BTC will be traded when the cost per coin is lower. However, for those citing reduced volumes across crypto exchanges lately, it looks as if they are missing the big picture.

 
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Source: CoinGape

Facebook Fastracks Blockchain Development With An Acquisition While Investors Bottom Fish Crypto Industry: Expert Opinion

Note: “This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro
Key Highlights

Facebook acquires Chainspace – an expert in smart contracts platform scalability
Facebook has roughly 40 employees led by top FB exec David Marcus in its blockchain team
Investors make key investments at reasonable valuations in bear markets

Facebook and its blockchain dream
Well, the street is excited with a piece of news that Facebook has progressed ahead with its blockchain dream. According to the recent news flow coming in from the social media giant’s headquarters is that Facebook has acquired Chainspace – a specialized company that excels in smart contract platform scalability. While the tech giant is still to make an official announcement according to sources close to this development say, that the acquisition of Chainspace’s team, a move is known in Silicon Valley as an acqui-hire, is the clearest sign yet of Facebook’s ambition to be a big player in the nascent blockchain industry.
As of now, Facebook has roughly 40 employees led by top FB exec David Marcus in their new blockchain team. What they’re working on or how it will be rolled out is still very much a mystery as the behemoth company is holding their cards very close to their chests. What might not be obvious is the unbelievable deal they’re getting due to the bear market. The company was trying to raise less than $4 million when Zuck’s offer came along. No doubt that during the bull market of 2017 valuation could have been ten times higher as we’ll explore below.
Bottom fishing in cryptoshpere – where investors acquire stake at a reasonable valuation
As most of the world’s greatest investors will tell that the best time to make a great investment is when prices are low, Facebook has just proved it right with the acquisition of Chainspace at dirt-cheap valuations. And it’s not just Facebook, Kraken too acquired Crypto Facilities which despite being a nine-figure deal, is perceived to be a discounted buy. Another perfect example of discounted prices is Circle. The crypto startup has raised millions with the help of Goldman Sachs and others…
Usually, the bear market is a time when smaller businesses get tested but it’s also a time for consolidation for the larger players. Over the past couple of months, several projects have closed and downsize already with the latest among them being Canadian exchange Coinsquare. While everyone has their view about the bottom, it’s just a sign of the times. In any traditional market, this is the sort of place where value investors step in. Certainly, this emerging technology is risky. However, for larger players looking to make long term investments in this space at advantageous valuations, now could be an excellent time.
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Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Enters The Longest Bear Market With A Hope of Revival: Expert Opinion

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights:

Bitcoin enters the longest bear market
From December 2017 the market has slipped nearly 82%
The current bear market has lasted for 413 days without indication of a turnaround

Bitcoin enters Chinese New Year expecting a turnaround
While Bitcoin languishes around USD 3500 trying to keep up the hopes of investors, the overall bear market in cryptos has now officially logged its longest bear market in the asset’s relatively short history.  From December 2017 until today bitcoin has dropped a total of 82% from peak to trough, making a total stretch of 413 days without any indication of a turnaround.
One needs to note that even though this is the longest stretch, it’s not the deepest. The five-month bear of 2011 saw a drawdown of 93% and the crypto winter from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2015 saw a total drawdown of 86%.
Chart Source: etoro
While that’s in numbers, technically, his past year and a half one can notice a very specific formation that has repeated itself incessantly… the descending triangle. With $5,500 (blue line in the chart below) as the base, the market has seen six different wedges, four of which have broken to the downside. Now that the blue line is broken, the market has moved the support level to $3,000 and one can see that coming to the seventh wedge. While the indications on a chart are pessimistic, some analysts have indicated that the markets may have further downside while others are pointing out that there may have entered the apathy phase for bitcoin trading, an annoying yet necessary stage in the investment cycle.
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Source: CoinGape

Expert Opinion: Bitcoin ETF Clock Resets Itself as VanECK resubmits Application to SEC

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights:

VanECK resubmits bitcoin ETF application
With this resubmission VanECK buys time
The decision’s new date stands somewhere in August and September

VanECK resets the countdown for Bitcoin ETF approval via a proven masterstroke
Well, the much-anticipated Bitcoin ETF, whose application was pulled out by VanECK last week, has been resubmitted bringing in fresh due dates for the application. The master move from VanECK is clearly a great way buy time and make things work in one’s favor. The first application had a hard deadline for the SEC to approve or reject it by February 27th. By starting the application process over, they’re basically buying themselves a lot more time.
If the previous process was any indication, the world could be looking at a final answer from the SEC by August or September. In the meantime, that should give plenty of time for the market to mature in the way that the SEC is looking for. By then we will likely have a running service by Bakkt, bitcoin futures on the Nasdaq, and a trading and storage platform from Fidelity.
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Source: CoinGape

Expert Opinion: Ripple And Swift “indirectly” Partner Through R3

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights:

Ripple and Swift’s Top bosses lock horns at Paris Fintech Forum
Swift CEO announces a brand-new partnership with payments provider R3.
The mix gets interesting as R3 too has joined hands with Ripple

The Future of Payment Mix: Ripple, Swift, and R3
Well, the crypto markets were lit up again thanks to the upward zoom by XRP. In a single hour of trading yesterday, XRP managed to erase an entire week’s worth of losses. The pop of roughly 10% in Ripple’s token seems to have buoyed the entire crypto market and sentiment is once again optimistic… for now.
While the XRP price jump was exciting, the story that led to this jump was even more fascinating. At the Paris Fintech Forum yesterday, what was supposed to be a hot debate between Ripple and SWIFT turned out to be something much more. While sharing the stage with Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of SWIFT Gottfried Leibbrandt announced a brand new partnership with payments provider R3.
It’s kind of a triangle now as R3 had very recently entered into a partnership with Ripple Labs and SWIFT was found exactly duplicating  Visa which made a monumental purchase of a payments company called Earthport, a long term partner of Ripple Labs. This “backdoor” or “indirect” partnership of traditional payment masters with Ripple also makes one think that the considered “battle” in the payments space may actually be more of a giant network under construction, which includes all the major players in the industry and implements cutting edge technology, with Ripple increasingly growing as part of this network.
This partnership announcement somehow fizzled out the excitement of the hot debate and what have seen on stage it seemed that the two men were just agreeing with each other than debating. But if things continue this way, in this battle between crypto/classical and crypto/crypto, we may very well end up seeing a mesh of networks that would connect all the players thus bringing value to the consumer through the power of technology.
The post Expert Opinion: Ripple And Swift “indirectly” Partner Through R3 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

JP Morgan, Fidelity Keep Their Crypto Interest Active While The World Needs to Understand Crypto Nascency Roadblocks – Expert Opinion

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights

JP Morgan attempts to value Bitcoin Mining Cost in its latest report
Fidelity plans a March Launch of Crypto Custody services
Understanding Crypto Nascency Roadblocks

Wall Street Institutions continue their interests in crypto
Well with Bitcoin ETF now out of the way for a while, direct investment plans of traditional financial institutions may also have gone cold. But the interest in cryptos continues to fuel the fire. JP Morgan recently released the report titled “Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies: Adoption, Performance and Challenges” which speaks about roadblocks to adoption, the recent bear market, scalability issues, and other standard stuff. But the report takes an interesting twist when it tries to calculating bitcoin’s mining costs.
According to JPM’s assessment, it broke down miners into categories and claimed that it is the low-cost miners who set the price floor. Even though there were critics of this method, the JPM assessment looked fine to an extent.

What happens is, mining costs are notoriously difficult to estimate but assuming for argument’s sake these numbers are correct, bitcoin is now below the average mining cost ($4,060). And what the report does indicate is that if the high-cost miners choose to exit, then the low-cost miners will then be competing against each other, which could drive the prices down as far as $1,260. Again, an accurate statement.
The only thing here that JP Morgan fails to take into account is a simple matter of behavioral economics. By their own admission, and included in the graph above, a large number of miners have been operating at a loss for a while now, and hash rates continue to increase even in countries where electricity is more expensive.  Therefore, there isn’t much reason to assume that if someone in the Czech Republic, for example, has been mining bitcoin for $8,000 until now, he’ll suddenly abandon his rig if the price drops another $1,000 or $2,000. Certainly, some will be forced out as nobody can operate at a loss indefinitely, but whoever can afford to will likely hang on for as long as they can.
Fidelity moves ahead with its crypto plans
While JP Morgan continues its homework on bitcoin, Fidelity Investments is targeting a March launch date for its Bitcoin custody service, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, as the mutual-fund giant moves forward with a plan that could help ease fears of trading cryptocurrencies.  The company, in October 2018, had announced that it would offer a range of crypto products designed for large investors like hedge funds.
Understanding crypto roadblocks
If one goes through the JP Morgan report, crypto still has a lot of roadblocks to achieve widespread adoption. One cannot fail to agree with their assessment that world is very much in the early days of the blockchain revolution and it could certainly take time before the full benefits are realized.
However, as investors, one still needs to take into account that all crypto assets are risky. The simple fact is that we’re dealing with very experimental technology and so things can certainly go wrong along the way. This is why it always pays to diversify your investment portfolio and trade in other assets as well.
One example of the way the tech could go wrong was experienced yesterday in the NEO network when NEO’s network got unintentionally forked. Now, without getting too technical it seems that some people running the NEO blockchain weren’t updating properly, possibly due to poor connections, and the entire network was out of sync. In any case, it seems that everything has been resolved by now and the impact on the price was minimal.
While NEO was one example of Nascenscy, Ethereum might run into a bit of difficulty due to the delay of the Constantinople upgrade. It seems that the “difficulty bomb” that the upgrade was supposed to offset has now kicked in and the block reward has dropped by 25%. On the one hand, less supply coming online could increase the price of Ethereum but it seems the hash rate is dropping at the moment. Not to worry though, Vitalik is currently sitting with some of the top devs at Stanford University campus working on the issue. Session recordings are here.

The post JP Morgan, Fidelity Keep Their Crypto Interest Active While The World Needs to Understand Crypto Nascency Roadblocks – Expert Opinion appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Expert Opinion: Tether [USDT] becomes 4th largest cryptocurrency by Marketcap As Traders Take Foot Off The Gas

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at eToro”
Key Highlights:

USDT moves to the fourth position in the market cap ranking
The rise of USDT suggests the traders are fearful
Short positions on Bitcoin fall drastically

Tether makes a surprise jump
While the crypto markets remained dull and bearish, the traders in crypto space were shocked to see the stablecoin Tether (USDT) take 4th place in the market cap rankings. While it has been reiterated that the market cap metric is not a great way to measure the value of crypto assets but seeing USDT rising up the ranks so quickly can be a very telling sign of investor sentiment. Generally speaking, if traders are fearful of volatility in the crypto market and want to reduce exposure, the default option at many exchanges is to hold the money in USDT.

 
Short positions on Bitcoin fall drastically
While this may sound bearish. To be clear, this is neither a bullish nor a bearish signal, it just means that traders are taking their foot off the gas for a bit. In the graph, below that comes from tradingview.com, one can see that short positions on bitcoin (blue line) have come down pretty drastically over the last two months whereas long positions (red line) haven’t increased by much. Indeed, Tether’s market cap has grown during this time frame but if we zoom out even just a little bit we can see that USDT market cap has been higher than it is now. A neutral position could very well be a sign of good things to come as it might just signal that the bears are finally letting up.

 

The post Expert Opinion: Tether [USDT] becomes 4th largest cryptocurrency by Marketcap As Traders Take Foot Off The Gas appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape