Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Bitcoin SV, TRON, Cardano: Price Analysis, Dec. 31

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

It is the last day of a very tough year for crypto traders. While 2018 started on an upbeat note, it is ending with uncertainty. Traders and analysts are divided on whether cryptocurrencies have bottomed out. This, in a way, is good, because markets are cautious and excesses have been removed.

There are a number of events in 2019 that could turn crypto markets around. All eyes will be on institutional investors because their involvement is needed to propel markets to the next level. Even in the wake of a crushing bear market, crypto traders are looking to invest in virtual currencies. 40 percent of participants in a  recent Chinese survey showed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies in the future. Similar surveys in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have all projected favorable demand for cryptocurrencies.

We are bullish on digital currencies for 2019, however, we believe that it will be a gradual move higher and expectations should be muted. Trade safe so that we are around to reap the benefits when the next vertical run happens. Are there any tradeable setups at current levels? Let’s find out.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin is struggling to breakout of the 20-day EMA that has turned flat. Failure to break out will attract selling that will pick up momentum below $3,598.99. The downtrend will resume on a breakdown of the Dec. 15 low. The falling 50-day SMA confirms that the long-term trend is still down.

BTC/USDThe BTC/USD pair will show signs of a probable reversal if it breaks out of the neckline of the developing inverse head and shoulders pattern. The 50-day SMA and the horizontal resistance at $4,255 are all located close by. This makes it a critical level to watch on the upside.

The breakout of the neckline has a pattern target of $5,500. Though there is a minor resistance at $4,914.11, we expect it to be crossed. Short-term traders can wait for a close above $4,255 to buy. The stops can be kept just below $3,550.

XRP/USD

Ripple is facing a stiff resistance at the 50-day SMA. If the bulls fail to scale above this resistance quickly, a drop to $0.33108 is probable.

XRP/USDThe XRP/USD pair will weaken below $0.33108 and can plunge to the next support at $0.286. If this support also breaks, a retest of $0.24508 will be in the cards.

Both the moving averages are flattening out, which points to a likely consolidation in the near-term. The digital currency will turn positive in the short-term if the price sustains above $0.40. Such a move can result in a rally to the resistance line of the descending channel at about $0.48.

We can expect a new uptrend if the bulls breakout and close (UTC time frame) above the channel. In such a case, the rally can extend to $0.56, $0.62 and $0.7644.

ETH/USD

The pullback in Ethereum stalled at $153 on Dec. 29 while managing to stay above $136 for the past two days.

ETH/USDBoth the moving averages are on the verge of a bullish crossover, which suggests that the short-term trend is changing. We expect the bulls to again attempt to break out of $167.32.

Contrary to our expectation, if the ETH/USD pair turns down from the current levels and drops below $116.3, it can fall to $100 and below that to $83. We suggest traders wait for a new buy setup to form before buying it.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash is trading inside a descending channel. Currently, the bulls are attempting to keep the price above the 20-day EMA.

BCH/USDA quick breakout of the channel will turn it into a bullish flag, which has a pattern target of $355, with a minor resistance at $307.1. Short-term traders can benefit from this move by being on the long side of the markets.

However, if the bears fail to breakout of the channel and the 50-day SMA, the BCH/USD pair can again turn down to the bottom of the channel. A break below the channel can lead to a drop to the low at $73.50.

EOS/USD

The bulls have not been able to carry EOS much above the 20-day EMA. This shows a lack of buyers at higher levels. The 20-day EMA is more or less flat and the RSI is close to 50. This increases the probability of a consolidation in the near-term.

EOS/USDA break of the $2.3093–$2.1733 support zone will sink the  EOS/USD pair to the low of $1.55. A break of the lows will resume the downtrend. On the upside, a breakout and close above the 50-day SMA will be a positive development that can result in a rally to $3.8723. Currently, we do not see any reliable buy setups, hence, we are not suggesting a trade in it.

XLM/USD

The bulls are struggling to push Stellar above the 20-day EMA. The 50-day SMA is turning down, which confirms the long-term downtrend. In the short-term, the RSI has fallen back below 50 and the 20-day SMA is flat, which suggests a probable consolidation. However, if the price slides below $0.11024826, it can retest the lows.  

XLM/USDOn the upside, a break above the 20-day EMA will again face resistance at $0.13427050. The XLM/USD pair will show signs of a possible reversal on a breakout and close above $0.13427050. However, it has been an underperformer, hence, we shall wait for a new uptrend to start before suggesting a trade in it.

LTC/USD

The recovery in Litecoin is facing a stiff resistance at the 50-day SMA. The bulls have not been able to sustain above it since Nov. 6, so a breakout and close above the 50-day SMA will signal strength.

LTC/USDThe bullish inverse head and shoulders pattern will complete on a breakout of $36.428. The pattern target of a breakout of the neckline is $49.756. Therefore, traders can initiate long positions on a close (UTC time frame) above $36.428. As the long-term trend is still down, traders can maintain a position size of only about 40 percent of usual.

If the LTC/USD pair turns down from current levels, it can slip back to $28.067 and if this support breaks, a retest of the lows is probable. The downtrend will resume on a break below $23.10.

BSV/USD

The bulls attempted to rebound from close to the bottom of the range on Dec. 28 but the pullback fizzled near $100.

BSV/USDCurrently, the bears are attempting to break down of the range. If successful, the BSV/USD pair can dip to $65.031 and if this support also breaks, the fall can extend to $38.528.

However, if the bulls defend the bottom of the range, the digital currency might remain range bound for a few more days. We shall turn positive above $123.98 or on a strong rebound from $80.352. Until then, we suggest traders remain on the sidelines.

TRX/USD

TRON is finding support at $0.0183 and is facing resistance at $0.022. A breakout of $0.022 can result in a rally to $0.0246 and above it to $0.02815521.

TRX/USDWe have been positive on the TRX/USD pair for the past few days because it has bounced sharply from the lows and has sustained the higher levels. The bullish crossover of the moving averages also suggests that the bulls are in command.

Our positive view will be invalidated if the support at $0.0183 breaks. Therefore, traders who went long closer to $0.02, on our recommendation, should keep a stop just below $0.018. Below $0.0183, the digital currency can slide to $0.016 and $0.014.

ADA/USD

Cardano has stayed above the 20-day EMA for the past three days. The 20-day EMA is gradually turning up and the RSI is in positive territory, which shows a marginal advantage to the bulls.

ADA/USDThe bulls are currently trying to break out of the neckline of the inverse head and shoulders pattern. If successful, the cryptocurrency can rally to the pattern target of $0.066. There is a minor resistance at $0.060105, but we expect this level to be crossed.

Conversely, if the ADA/USD pair turns down from current levels and breaks below $0.036815, it can retest the lows. We expect a decisive move within the next 3–4 days.

Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

Economist Claims Investors Should Expect Volatile Stock Market in 2019

Following the recent downturn in the US stock market, investors have now bore witness to wild market volatility, the likes of which haven’t been seen in years. Although the markets are ending 2018 on a less-than-positive note, one prominent economist now claims that massive daily price swings will become a new reality for the markets in 2019.

The recent comments came from Mohammed El-Erian, the chief economic advisor at Allianz SE, during an interview with Fox News Sunday on December 30th. El-Erian importantly noted that although the markets may see increased volatility in the near-term, concerns regarding a US recession are overblown, and the economy will likely continue to grow at a strong and steady rate.

Stock Market Flat on New Year’s Eve, Volatility Likely to Continue Into 2019

The benchmarks are currently trading relatively flat, but El-Erian claims that the markets will still see large price swings in the near future.

At the time of writing, the Dow Jones is trading up 0.6% at its current price of $23,200. The S&P 500 is trading up 0.3% at its current price of $2,492.6. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.33% at its current price of $6,606.

El-Erian importantly explained in the interview that the recent market volatility may actually turn out to be a good thing in the long-term.

“Don’t be surprised if you see these 1,000-point swings in the Dow Jones. That is our new reality for a while… It reflects that we’re coming from a very good 2017. People forget that. Everything went right in 2017: Higher returns, no volatility… So I think of this as a normalization. It doesn’t feel good in the short-term, but it’s OK over the long-term,” he said.

He also noted that high-frequency computer trading is one factor behind the recent volatility.

“It’s no longer about buying every dip, it’s about selling every rally… So there’s a lot going on and it’s being amplified by computer trading. So it’s really important to get the focus back on what’s working, and that’s the U.S. economy,” he explained.

A US Recession Not Becoming a Reality, El-Erian Says

Presently, a sensationalized narrative from the media and pseudo-analysts has struck fear into many investors that the US will fall into a recession in 2019, but El-Erian dismisses this notion and believes that a recession is not “becoming a reality.”

“It’s certainly not becoming a reality. You would need either a major policy mistake or a massive market accident to push us into recession. But we will slow down unless we build on the pro-growth policies,” El-Erian said, also adding the Fed needs to communicate with the public better, and to be more sensitive of the impact interest rate hikes have on the markets.

El-Erian has made it explicitly clear that investors should not panic about the current trading activity in the stock market, and in the past he has shared a similar level-headed view of the cryptocurrency markets, saying in November that cryptocurrencies will survive their recent downturn and will slowly gain more widespread adoption.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major Hack

Hacks and heists have been a threat for as long as bitcoin has been worth stealing. By 2011, as Bitcoin was easing into its second year of life and its first bubble, early cryptocurrency exchanges were bringing liquidity and price discovery to the nascent ecosystem. At the same time, they were providing an outlet for thieves to offload stolen coins, which they proceeded to do by the thousands.

Also read: Bitcoin History Part 6: The First Bitcoin Exchange

No One Remembers the First Major Bitcoin Hack

Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major HackCertain hacks have gone down in Bitcoin history on account of their magnitude and notoriety. Exchanges such as Mt. Gox and Coincheck are synonymous today with the record-breaking sums stolen from them, which ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Others, such as Bitstamp and Bitfinex, have suffered their own well-document heists, the memories of which still burn bright. The first major hack in Bitcoin’s history, however, occurred long before Bitfinex was a thing, and indeed long before most people had even heard of Bitcoin.

On June 13, 2011, Bitcointalk forum user “allinvain” posted a frantic message titled “I just got hacked.” In it, he wrote: “I am totally devastated today. I just woke up to see a very large chunk of my bitcoin balance gone.” He went on to explain: “The theft occurred right after someone broke into my slush’s pool account. In a moment of sheer stupidity I did not think that maybe my whole system was compromised. I merely thought that someone brute forced my slush’s pool password.”

25,000 BTC Gone in an Instant

Blockchain records attest to the veracity of allinvain’s claim, with the majority of the stolen coins extracted in 50 BTC increments, showing that they had been minted as coinbase rewards. The 25K BTC stolen was worth $480,000 at the time, a small fortune for a miner, even by 2011’s standards. Today, that haul of coins would be worth $94 million. Monitoring the movement of the stolen coins in the wake of the hack proved difficult because the only block explorer available at the time kept crashing.

Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major Hack
The transaction that saw 25,000 BTC stolen in June 2011.

It appears that the thief sent the stolen BTC over to Mt. Gox to try and cash out. Anticipating the slippage of 25,000 BTC being dumped in 2011’s illiquid market, allinvain wrote: “It would suck if bitcoin price tanked because of me. God, that would be double worse for me and for everyone else.” Whoever allinvain’s hacker may have been, he was certainly prolific. “Same hacker got to my mtgox account, he converted the USD i had to bitcoins and transferred them to the same address,” complained another forum user.

Many of the opsec suggestions that forum users submitted to allinvain still hold true today. “One thing that I would advise for anyone with a large amount of BTC … is to split it up across multiple wallets, the majority of them completely offline and stored in physically secure locations,” read one recommendation.

History Repeats

Bitcoin History Part 7: The First Major Hack“I’m an idiot for keeping a wallet.dat file with so much money on my day to day machine – especially one running windows,” rued allinvain. “This story is going to happen over and over. I guarantee that,” predicted one forum user. They were right. While the sophistication of bitcoin wallets has increased over the years, so has that of the hackers intent on plundering them. Techniques such as social engineering and SIM swapping, which weren’t widely used attack vectors in Bitcoin’s early days, have now become the norm.

Though allinvain would have had no way of knowing it at the time, for just $2,500, he could have rebought enough BTC to recoup his half a million dollar loss today, based on current prices. Victims of modern-day hacks can take solace from knowing that a simple buy and hold strategy has been empirically shown to restore the dollar value of even the most devastating of bitcoin hacks.

Bitcoin History is a multipart series from news.Bitcoin.com charting pivotal moments in the evolution of the world’s first and finest cryptocurrency. Read part six here.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Bitcoin Could Revolutionize Governance, Says Cypherpunk Jameson Lopp

Jameson Lopp — a crypto industry figure and self-proclaimed professional cypherpunk — described Bitcoin (BTC) as the first step in a broader transition to an anarcho-capitalist society. Lopp’s comments were made in an interview on the Stephan Livera Podcast, published Dec. 29.

According to Lopp, Bitcoin is an experiment that — if successful — could make the transition to an anarcho-capitalist society possible:

“I believe that Bitcoin is a very interesting experiment that if is successful in the long run could not only revolutionize money, but revolutionize how we think about governance.”

Lopp explains further that a “more self-sovereign, anarcho-capitalist society” could be developed if services currently provided by centralized third parties — such as governments — were provided by “software agents that can start to replace pieces of government functionality,” continuing:

“The first step I think is Bitcoin, and if that’s successful enough, then we can start talking about the next step.”

The recently deceased cypherpunk co-founder Timothy May described in his “Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” how the use of cryptography will allow for the creation of a system in which people will be able to interact directly, free from the influence of governments.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, May had criticized the contemporary crypto industry as recently as October, saying that “attempts to be ‘regulatory-friendly’ will likely kill the main uses for cryptocurrencies, which are NOT just ‘another form of PayPal or Visa.’”

During this week’s interview, Lopp also declared that “one thing that people don’t seem to be investing in as much as they should is education.” He encouraged investors to “do your own research” and also argued that developers “need to bake user education into the actual software and hardware,” such as crypto wallets.

Major Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently launched a program that aims to educate users about cryptocurrency while earning crypto, dubbed “Coinbase Earn.” At launch, the program is invite-only and focused on the Ethereum-based token 0x (ZRX).

A Year in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Q4 2018

The final quarter of 2018 has proven to be a volatile period for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries, with numerous new partnerships, controversies, and developments unfolding. Disappointingly, however, the cryptocurrency market dropped significantly towards the end of November.

Notably, the crash took place after the market moved sideways for an almost unprecedented two month period. Bitcoin dropped nearly 40 percent to the low-$3000 territory, while ether dropped below $100 for the first time since May last year.

Discussions regarding price aside, however, here are some of the most noteworthy events that took place in the final stretch of 2018.

Zcash Sapling Upgrade

Privacy coin Zcash underwent a massive network upgrade on October 28, 2018. Dubbed Sapling, the update introduced a new shielded address scheme for improved privacy and promised a significant increase in transactional efficiency. Apart from that, the time taken for constructing new transactions was reduced by around 90 percent, with memory utilization also dropping by a whopping 97 percent.

Up until the Sapling update, most cryptocurrency exchanges and services chose to offer only unshielded ZEC addresses. The increased memory requirements and loss in performance when using shielded addresses made them economically infeasible to support. As a result, most transacting parties did not take advantage of Zcash’s key feature, privacy.

Roughly two months after the Sapling upgrade, The Zcash Foundation published a blog post stating that the use of shielded addresses was on the rise. The cryptocurrency’s community manager wrote:

“Services like mining pools are beginning to offer shielded address payouts to customers. Further, the number of third-party desktop wallets supporting shielded addresses is also rising. Looking ahead, shielded address light client support will promote even wider adoption. This is just the beginning for Zcash’s mission toward a shielded ecosystem.”

Tether Loses its Peg

Tether, a stablecoin that claims to be completely backed by fiat currency reserves, found itself amidst increasing tension in October 2018, when it lost its 1:1 peg against the U.S. dollar. Bitfinex, known to have a close relationship with Tether, had also suspended deposits in dollars, euros, sterling, and Japanese yen at the time, further fueling speculation.

The token’s chief compliance officer told CNBC, “We would like to reiterate that although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities.”

The uncertainty was intensified by the fact that Tether and Bitfinex were in the midst of switching banking partners. Given Tether’s lack of transparency, the two companies faced some backlash in the U.S. and Puerto Rican regions. Their former banking partner, Noble Bank, reportedly went out of business shortly after the switch and was looking to be sold at a meager $5 billion.

The controversy surrounding Tether originally unfolded late last year, when the token’s market capitalization ballooned beyond $1 billion. While many in the cryptocurrency community called for an audit of the company’s financials, Tether refused to give in. The company eventually hired third-party firm Friedman LLP to conduct an audit, only to dissolve the relationship a month later.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Drama

Bitcoin Cash underwent a contentious hard fork on November 15, 2018, which saw two organizations propose competing roadmaps for the future development of the cryptocurrency. The first group, led by the Bitcoin ABC client, pushed for the addition of new features that would allow the cryptocurrency to support scripting and implement other indirect scalability improvements in the future. Contesting this change was the controversial cryptocurrency figure Craig Wright and his company, nChain.

Wright argued that the cryptocurrency’s primary use-case was that of currency and supporting non-cash related transactions did not align with that outlook. As a result, his version of the upgrade included an increased block size limit to 128MB and nothing else.

While cryptocurrency mining pool and hardware manufacturer Bitmain sided with Bitcoin ABC, another large pool CoinGeek pledged support for Craig Wright’s vision. Given that Bitmain produces most blocks on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, however, it is perhaps no surprise that the ABC implementation won out in the end.

A month later, most exchanges have chosen to list Bitcoin ABC under the usual BCH ticker. Bitcoin SV, on the other hand, is also tradable on some exchanges, albeit with a significantly lower valuation and under the BCHSV ticker. That said, it is still the ninth most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization, only a few places behind Bitcoin ABC.

Coinbase Valued at $8 Billion

In spite of the cryptocurrency market’s poor performance throughout 2018, American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase revealed that its projected revenue for the year 2018 would nearly top $1.3 billion. According to a report by Bloomberg published on October 30, the company said that it expects to earn $456 million in profit, up from last year’s $380 million figure. That is not to say that Coinbase is immune to the market’s performance though.

After all, the majority of the company’s revenue comes from the trading commission and gains on held digital tokens.

Coinbase also announced that it had secured a whopping $300 million investment in its Series E funding round late October. While the round was led by Tiger Global Management, investment also came from “Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain and others.” With a valuation of over $8 billion, Coinbase is not only one of the most valuable cryptocurrency companies, but also among the best performing technology startups of this decade. Bloomberg noted that the company’s valuation has multiplied by over five times since last year.

In a blog post published October 30, Coinbase explained that its latest cash influx would go towards global expansion, increasing the number of available crypto assets for trading, discovering utility based applications for cryptocurrencies, and bringing financial institutions on board with its Custody offering.

Steve Wozniak Makes Blockchain Debut

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak made his blockchain debut this quarter when he announced his involvement with blockchain venture capital fund EQUI Global. A press release published on October 15, 2018, further revealed that Wozniak would be joining as a co-founder of the year-old startup. Explaining Wozniak’s involvement, the release continued:

“As co-founder of EQUI Global Steve Wozniak will head up technology investments and help find the tech stars of tomorrow. Woz will then bring them to the table and the board of serial entrepreneurs will mentor and coach them with world class expertise and guidance.”

Notably, Wozniak has been a cryptocurrency investor and proponent for several years now. In a 2017 interview with CNBC, he said, “I remember getting interested in bitcoin some time ago. It was $70 for a bitcoin, man and I went online and you had to have a special bank account at a special bank and I couldn’t buy any bitcoin so I gave up. Eventually, I got some of them at the $700 stage.” While he went on to liquidate most of his holdings in early 2018, he expressed interest in using cryptocurrency as a payment method in the near future.

In August 2018, Wozniak spoke at the ChainXchange blockchain conference in Las Vegas. In an interview with a reputed blockchain publication, he also hinted at collaborating with a blockchain startup in the near future.

Current Crypto Market Trends: ICOs Are Out, STOs Are In

In this guest post, Daria Generalova, Managing Partner at ICOBox, takes a look at how 2018 saw the decline of ICOs, and how STOs might be set to replace them.

Shifting gears

Late 2017 was a time of explosive growth in blockchain, when many projects made money virtually out of thin air. In the recent months, the cryptomarket went through an expected cooling-off period and is now entering a new stage in its development. Many countries informally leading the crypto industry are getting closer and closer to regulating the sphere, and market players are revising their approaches accordingly. It is entirely natural therefore that this dance revealed the need for newer, more versatile solutions which will help companies achieve even greater success.

The decline of utility tokens

Until recently, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) ruled the day. Projects issued utility tokens as a sort of internal money that offered their holders certain advantages. They may have granted access to the use of the platform’s services, or offered discounts, or were just used as an internal means of payment.

Through all of 2017 and the first half of 2018 ICOs were the most popular way to gain financial backing in the crypto market, and the vast majority of companies issued utility tokens. Largely this was because from the legal standpoint this approach was mostly in the grey zone, so projects and their token holders were not subject to laws governing investments and financial instruments. But the market situation has changed, and the lack of clear, specialized regulation became a serious drawback rather than an advantage.

STOs instead of ICOs

For the past year tokens issued by ICO startups failed to rapidly grow in exchange value – in fact, their rates have dropped, and token holders had no leverage over projects. As a result, new ICOs were unsuccessful in their efforts to collect money, and the market started to grind to a halt. Compared to late 2017-early 2018, the market capitalization and the value of all main cryptocurrencies plunged by two thirds, with new ICOs now collecting just 25% of what was possible just a year before. In fact, the numbers demonstrate that over half of all ICOs conducted in Q2 2018 failed.

All this inspired market players to look for new solutions to develop their businesses. What they found was a Security Token Offering (STO) model. The interest in this new paradigm is growing by the day.

Advantages of Security Tokens

Security tokens and STOs allow projects to raise funds rather than sell their services, thereby clearly dividing their buyers into their future users and those who would just like to invest capital. For serious market players, securities underlying these tokens are a familiar and well understood tool, an investment asset purchased in order to make a future profit. This asset may be issued in the form of bonds, equity shares, or any other instruments bringing passive income.

Issues surrounding security token regulation

Security tokens may well become a new but familiar financial tool for the market, but that would require the projects seeking investors to change their business logic pretty much overnight. The process would encompass a serious shift in business and financial planning, a new approach to transaction structuring, and learning to work with professional securities market players, among other things.

Another obstacle to overcome is the inconsistencies in securities regulation in different jurisdictions. This means that projects have to be extremely careful about their choice of countries where they sell their security tokens. However, the presence of clear and definitive legal framework gives project founders a much greater space for creativity in terms of what exactly they can or cannot do. They would also be able to obtain funding from institutional investors and hedge funds, which are now getting ready to enter the crypto market.

Institutional investors and the crypto market

Institutional investors and hedge funds are truly interested in the crypto market. It is not inconceivable that in the days to come they will gradually replace larger individual buyers as main holders of digital assets. This speaks to the increasing maturity and professionalism of the market and demonstrates its decreased volatility, which makes it much more attractive for long-term investments.

Many in the industry expect serious competition between crypto projects for the attention of institutional investors – because their support will be on an entirely different level than even that of major individual token holders.

Shuttling between IPOs and the crypto market

A couple of other trends need to be noted. First, it appears entirely plausible that many major companies with recent IPOs under their belt but with no previous crypto experience will soon start showing up in the marketplace. These are full-fledged projects with real offices, competent teams, financial reporting, etc. They will now be turning their sights to STOs as another way to attract funding for their innovations.

The second trend is the opposite: many companies that successfully conducted ICOs, collected serious funds, created money-making businesses and did not turn out to be a scam, will be contemplating their IPOs. It is reasonable to expect that quite a few crypto companies which did their ICOs in 2017-2018 would be gearing up for IPOs in 2021-2022.

Conclusions

The shift from utility to security tokens, the enthusiasm regarding STOs, the imminent participation of institutional investors and major companies which have never before worked in the crypto space but are now finding it potentially promising – these will be the defining trends for the development of the crypto market. Transition to more sophisticated, legally-regulated products will make it even more attractive to future investors. And this, despite the current slump, gives one plenty of cause for optimism.

Crypto Markets Drop Slightly After Bitcoin Fails to Break Above $4,000

Following a quiet weekend for the crypto markets they have held relatively steady and are currently trading down slightly over a 24-hour trading period.

This past Friday, the cryptocurrency markets surged to recover some of their recent losses, with Bitcoin jumping from lows of $3,600 to highs of nearly $4,000. Despite this, the markets did not have enough upwards momentum to propel Bitcoin’s price past $4,000 and have since drifted slightly downwards.

Crypto Markets Could Face Further Downside in Near Future

Bitcoin’s inability to break above $4,000 has led the overall cryptocurrency markets to trade relatively flat, and they could face increased downwards pressure in the coming days and weeks.

The market’s unimpressive trading action may come as a disappointment to investors and analysts who promoted, or believed, price predictions that claimed the crypto markets would have regained much of their yearly losses by the end of 2018. It now appears that the 2018 bear market will spill into 2019, which could mark a rocky start to the New Year.

DonAlt, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about how he is trading Bitcoin’s current price action in a recent Tweet, saying that he expects its price to drop to its next support level around $3,400.

“Short hedged around 70% of my entire portfolio around 3900, now going to enjoy new years in peace. I’ll be looking to rebuy the next support down below (~3400) or stop out once we close above ~3950,” he explained.

This slightly bearish sentiment is reflected by another notable analyst, Peter Brandt, who told his 245k followers that he does not believe that Bitcoin is forming a head and shoulders (H&S) bottom – a bullish technical formation – and further adding that the bear market is likely to persist.

“Many chartists view $BTC as a H&S bottom. I am NOT among them. Higher probability is that bear market is not over,” Brandt said.

Most Altcoins Drop About 2%

Bitcoin’s slight downwards movement has led the altcoin markets to drop.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down approximately 2% at its current price of $0.36. XRP has been able to maintain most of its recent gains and is currently trading up from its recent lows of $0.34.

Ethereum has only dropped a mere 1% over a 24-hour trading period and is currently trading at $137.23. Ethereum has seen quite a bit of volatility over the past week, falling to lows of $115 on Thursday before surging to highs of nearly $150 on Saturday. After touching $150, Ethereum’s price was swiftly pushed down to its current levels.

Bitcoin Cash has dropped nearly 2.5% at its current price of $160 and is trading up from its seven-day lows of $144. Bitcoin Cash is trading up significantly from its one-month lows of $75.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bakkt Completes First Round of Funding With $182.5 Million

Intercontinental Exchange’s upcoming cryptocurrency trading platform, Bakkt, has raised $182.5 million from a dozen investors. The funds will help develop an institutional-grade regulated crypto exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage. The company now expects to provide an updated timeline on launching bitcoin daily futures contracts in early 2019.

Also Read: Israeli Exchange to Launch Crypto Payments API for Businesses

Bakkt Raises $182.5 Million

Bakkt Completes First Round of Funding With $182.5 MillionBakkt, the digital assets subsidiary of the parent of the New York Stock Exchange ,  Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), has announced it’s completed a first round of funding. The investors include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, Payu, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.

“I am pleased to confirm that we have completed our first round of funding of $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors who, like us, believe in the future of digital assets,” stated Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffle. “Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts.”

Getting the Green Light in 2019

Bakkt Completes First Round of Funding With $182.5 MillionBack in October, Intercontinental Exchange announced that the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures Contract would start trading on Dec. 12, 2018. This has not happened, and the date has been pushed back to Jan. 24, 2019. Today, ICE seems to have acknowledged this target date won’t be met again, as it announced it now “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019.” The Bakkt team has reportedly been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to get the needed approval.

“At an industry level, regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin will establish and amplify the voice of U.S. authorities as the digital asset market evolves globally. We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process,” explained Loeffler. “Clearing firms and customers have continued to join us as we work toward CFTC approval. We made great progress in December, and we’ll continue to onboard customers as we await the ‘green light.’”

Does this news show that Wall Street is still eager to invest in crypto assets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Stellar Co-founder Brands 90% of Crypto Projects ‘B.S.’

Most financial institutions will not use Bitcoin (BTC), payment network Stellar’s co-founder and CTO Jed McCaleb stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance Dec. 31.

Speaking to the online news outlet, McCaleb — who is also known as one of the founding fathers of defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, as well as the co-founder of Ripple — made an argument in favor of the use of permissionless, open blockchains in finance. He told reporters bluntly:

“It doesn’t need to be the bitcoin blockchain, but if it’s not a public chain, then you’re missing the point.”

McCaleb also levelled criticism at cryptocurrency projects that were not Bitcoin, Ethereum or his own Stellar.

“Ninety percent of these projects are B.S. I’m looking forward to that changing,” he said when asked about the outlook for the cryptocurrency industry in 2019, continuing:

“Things like Tron, it’s just garbage. But people dump tons of money into it, these things that just do not technically work.”

Billed as an alternative token development platform to Ethereum, TRON (TRX) has upped its publicity efforts this year, with CEO Justin Sun regularly lambasting the Ethereum network over its alleged shortcomings.

Celebrations of TRON accruing its one millionth user account this month were likewise met with skepticism.

For McCaleb, however, no single cryptocurrency network or associated token forms an all-encompassing solution — including Stellar and its in-house coin, Lumens (XLM).

“There are some things bitcoin is good at, some things Ethereum is good at, and some things Stellar is good at,” he said, adding:

“And none of them can do all the things well. That’s just not how software works.”

Going forward, McCaleb was bullish, rejecting the idea that 2018 represented a bear market in crypto and instead describing it as “calming down.”

Stellar partnered with cryptocurrency wallet provider Blockchain.com last month to expand the circulation and uptake of XLM with a massive $125 million airdrop to users.

Tron (TRX) Price Analysis – December 31

/latest/2018/12/tron-trx-price-analysis-december-31/

Tron (TRX) Price Analysis – December 31

tron-trx-price-analysis-december-31

Tron, TRXUSD, Cryptocompare chartTron chart by tradingview

TRX/USD Medium-term Trend: Ranging

  • Supply zones: $0.03000, $0.04000, $0.04500
  • Demand zones: $0.01000, $0.00900, $0.00800

TRX remains in a range-bound market in its medium-term outlook. The formation of a spinning top at  $0.01809 in the demand area on 28th December was an indication that the bulls are back after the bears pushed the cryptocurrency down to $0.01860 in the supply area.  TXRUSD rose to $0.02959 in the supply area before losing momentum.

The combination of a bearish doji and a bearish candle at $0.02140 confirmed the bears are in control of the market. TRXUSD initially dropped to $0.02001 and later to $0.01990 in the demand area.

The price is below the two EMAs and the stochastic oscillator is in the oversold region at 11% with its signal parallel a reflection of the ranging scenario.

TRXUSD is ranging and trading between $0.02200 in the upper supply area and at $0.01880 in the lower demand area of the range. Traders should be patient for a breakout at the upper supply area for buy opportunities or breakdown at the lower demand area for sell opportunities in the medium-term outlook.

TRX/USD Short-term Trend: Bearish

Tron, TRXUSD, Cryptocompare chartTron chart by tradingview

TRX continues in a bearish trend in its short-term outlook. In the short-term, the TRXUSD is in a downward channel. After a  bullish 1-hour opening around the upper line of the channel at $0.02037 that pushed the cryptocurrency up to $0.02066 in the supply area, the bears returned and commenced the journey to the south of the channel.

$0.01950 in the demand area was the point the bears’ pressure dropped the cryptocurrency before a bounce to the upside by the bulls.

The price  is below the two EMAs and the stochastic oscillator signal points down at 39% an indication of downward movement in the cryptocurrency to the lower line of the channel.

 

 

 

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of CryptoGlobe.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.