Today’s Bitcoin Drop Driven by Massive Volume Influx

Bitcoin has been facing a bout of sideways trading for the past several days, but today’s drop to below $10,200 may spell trouble for the cryptocurrency’s near-term price action and may point to the possibility that BTC will soon revisit its nearest level of major support at $10,000.

This latest drop, although relatively minor, has been driven by a massive influx of volume, which could mean that a massive movement is inbound in the coming hours and days.

Bitcoin Slowly Moves Back Towards $10,000 as Sellers Flex Their Strength

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 1% at its current price of $10,215, which marks a slight retrace from its recent highs of nearly $10,500.

Importantly, Bitcoin failed to reach its region of major resistance at $10,800 ever since it bounced at $10,000 a couple of weeks ago, and the fact that BTC’s bulls were unable to push it to its near-term resistance region signals an underlying weakness that may spell trouble for its price action in the coming days.

Over the past several months Bitcoin has been trading between roughly $9,000 and its June-highs of $13,800, and its trading range has been narrowing significantly over the past several months.

This narrowing trading range may signal that a big movement – in one direction or another – is imminent.

Chonis, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, mused this possibility in a recent tweet, explaining that he believes Bitcoin’s will make “a notable statement this week” while pointing to a chart that shows BTC’s incredibly narrow trading range.

BTC Incurring Massive Volatility

The cryptocurrency may already be showing some signs of there soon being a massive movement, as its latest drop has been driven by a massive influx of volume.

Chonis further spoke about this volume in a recent tweet, explaining that Bitcoin’s latest candle on its 6-hour chart has the highest volume the crypto has seen in the past week.

“$BTC – triangle breakdown on the 6hr chart…what’s notable is the higher volume in this dump with still more than half the time left in this current candle, this should be the highest 6hr candle volume for #bitcoin in over a week when it closes,” he noted.

The coming hours may prove to be illuminating for Bitcoin, as its trading volume points to the fact that bulls and bears are currently locked in a battle, and which side prevails in the coming days could set the tone for how BTC trends in the coming weeks and months.

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Is 70% the Limit for Bitcoin Dominance?

Cryptocurrency market analyst Mati Greenspan has speculated that the current levels of Bitcoin dominance versus the rest of the cryptocurrency market might be the highest they will ever reach. He reasons that the last time Bitcoin dominance was as high as it is now, there wasn’t even a “developed market” for non-Bitcoin crypto assets.

However, such a reading seems a little reductionist. For one, it doesn’t take into account the fact that most of the recent rise that has taken Bitcoin to its current dominance levels has been at the direct expense of the altcoin market.

The Only Upper Limit on Bitcoin Dominance is 100%

Posting to Twitter earlier today, Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro, suggested that Bitcoin’s current ~70% dominance level might be the highest it will ever again reach. The reasoning given was that prior to the 2017 altcoin boom, there wasn’t even a developed market for altcoins.

However, altcoins weren’t invented in 2017. There was a thriving market for them, on an understandably less grandiose scale, during the bull market of 2013. The names might have been largely different and the sums of money smaller, but for those in the industry at that time, the hype was comparable.

Additionally, there are a myriad of different events, that are not all that out there, that could radically increase the share of the total market capitalisation Bitcoin currently occupies. If the most bullish projections for the launch of the Bakkt platform later this month are correct, an institutional buying frenzy in the billions could feasibly occur, taking the price of Bitcoin to the proverbial moon. Since Bakkt has not announced plans to support any other digital asset in the near future, such an increase in buying pressure would presumably only benefit the Bitcoin market.

Another event that could cause the Bitcoin price to rise in isolation from the rest of the altcoin market is the news that a major global economic force has been secretly adding Bitcoin to its reserves. Many proponents of the digital asset have previously stated that such a revelation would likely drive other nations to follow, driving prices upwards rapidly:

Bitcoin doesn’t even have to rise suddenly to take its share of the market capitalisation over 70 percent. There has already been evidence of an exodus out of altcoins into Bitcoin. This could quite feasibly continue, even without some event that takes one or more major altcoins down – for example, some vulnerability in Ethereum’s code or all cryptocurrencies associated with smart contract platforms being deemed securities by important international regulators. The only lower limit on how disenchanted investors can become with an asset or group of them is when absolutely nobody wants to hold them whatsoever.

 

Related Reading: Bitcoiners Angered by HTC’s Support of Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

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Ethereum May Target $180 Next as Upwards Momentum Falters

Ethereum has been leading the recent surge seen across the aggregated crypto market and was able to decisively break past $190. This upwards momentum has allowed ETH to erase much of its recent losses, but a downturn amongst other major cryptocurrencies could spell trouble for its near-term price action.

Now, multiple analysts are noting that they are targeting an ETH retrace towards $180, which would mark a nearly 6% decrease from its current prices.

Ethereum Surge Slows as Crypto Markets Inch Lower

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up over 1% at its current price of $191, which marks a significant rise from its weekly lows of roughly $175.

This rise from its recent lows is certainly a bullish sign for the cryptocurrency, as it signals that its bulls currently have major strength, which may be emblematic of the Ethereum network’s improve fundamental strength.

Its recent rise, however, has been slowed by the downturn in the aggregated crypto market, as Bitcoin was unable to remain stable in the mid-$10,000 region and is now nearing its key support level at $10,000.

As for what this BTC downturn means for ETH’s near-term price action, Cantering Clark, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, explained that he is watching two key levels, with an upside target of $231 and a near-term downside target of roughly $183. It now appears that a visit to the aforementioned downside target is likely in the near-term.

“Not interested in $ETH unless we get one of two situations drawn. A break up (1) that occurs 1.5-3X normal ATR would be mega bullish. Lower probability NT positive outcome for (2). As I said before, $ETH did lead the bull market and acted like a high beta stock relative to $BTC,” Clark noted while pointing to the below chart.

ETH Caught in Tight Trading Range

Clark is not alone in his somewhat bearish near-term assessment of Ethereum, as Trading Room, a popular crypto analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that they are looking to long ETH once it visits between $180 and $182.

“#ETHUSDT – Long Short Zones. 203-206 Short Zone. 180-182 Long Zone. Playing the Range until big breakout,” they explained.

Because Bitcoin is currently facing growing selling pressure, it is highly likely that Ethereum’s next target will be in the lower-$180 price region.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Bitcoiners Angered by HTC’s Support of Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC has just announced that it is partnering with Bitcoin.com. The move will see its Exodus One flagship blockchain-enabled device feature native Bitcoin Cash (BCH) support.

However, many Bitcoin (BTC) proponents are outraged by the announcement. Some claim that the software that HTC will use to provide BCH functionality is not stable enough for such an endorsement and others say that such support will only serve to further confuse newcomers to the industry.

Bitcoin Fans Not Pleased With HTC Cosying Up to BCH

According to a press release HTC and Bitcoin.com have signed a deal that will see the smartphone manufacturer feature the BCH wallet provided on the website as a native inclusion on the EXODUS 1 and lower cost EXODUS 1S. In addition, the website will also sell the smartphones directly.

Bitcoin.com’s CEO Stefan Rust said the following of the deal between the website and the smartphone manufacturer:

“There are so many synergies between Bitcoin.com and HTC. We are very excited to be on this incredible journey together.”

Meanwhile, controversial cryptocurrency evangelist and BCH advocate Roger Ver added:

“Bitcoin.com’s partnership with HTC will enable Bitcoin Cash to be used as peer- to- peer electronic cash for all the EXODUS users around the world.”

According to the press release, all newly purchased EXODUS 1 devices will feature the software as standard. Meanwhile, those already owning the smartphone would need apply an update to receive BCH native support.

However, not everyone has greeted the news enthusiastically. Many proponents of BTC have tweeted dismay at the news of the partnership. Twitter user @DanDarkPill encouraged people to let HTC know any reservations they might have about the quality of the software the firm is loading its flagship models with. Echoing their sentiment was entrepreneur and founder of the OC Bitcoin Network, Stephen Cole:

Another user stated that the decision by HTC to provide such support to BCH would result in yet more confusion for those wanting to get started using cryptocurrency. Many people have previously argued that supporters of Bitcoin Cash have attempted to hijack Bitcoin’s brand recognition to pedal BCH.

A lot of people greeted the news by simply stating that they were no longer interested in buying the cryptocurrency-friendly smartphone. One Twitter user said that they would be recommending their friends to steer clear of the new HTC device.

Although the HTC announcement has certainly ruffled the feathers of many so-called Bitcoin maximalists, HTC still appears supportive of the the BTC community. Its EXODUS 1s device, a budget-conscious version of the EXODUS 1, will feature the ability for users to run their own BTC full node on the device itself. HTC will start shipping the EXODUS 1s later this year.

 

Related Reading: Gloomy Future For Libra Crypto as Central Banks Pose Tough Questions

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Ripple Whale: It Only Takes $20,000 To Become a XRP One-Percenter

How cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or XRP are distributed can impact a specific asset’s success, both in terms of trust in the asset, but also how scarcity might affect an asset’s long-term value.

And while XRP is often the target of much distaste surrounding the way the asset was distributed, becoming a Ripple whale and joining the top 1% of all XRP holders doesn’t take a lot of initial capital.

It Costs $20,000 To Become a XRP Whale

Because cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and XRP are new, emerging technologies that are also financial assets, analysts look at a number of different data points to attempt to determine a fair market value. One such metric that’s often looked at, is the distribution of each asset across wallets, including the percentage breakdown of how many wallets are holding different levels of assets.

Related Reading | Crypto Analyst Says XRP Fireworks Are Coming After Bounce From 2014 Support 

One crypto analyst has shared a chart that reveals the average assets held across the top 10% of XRP holders. The data shows that to become a “one-percenter” in XRP – a term coined to show high wealth inequality against the other 99% of the population – one only needs to hold roughly $20,000 in Ripple at today’s prices of 26 cents per XRP token.

The table shows that the top 1% of Ripple accounts hold roughly 69,000 XRP on average. To become a one-percenter in Bitcoin, one would need to hold an account containing 10 BTC or more – or the equivalent of more than $100,000.

To be in the top 0.1% of account holders, one would need to hold over 188,000 XRP, and to earn the highest spot at 0.01% of account holders, it would be over a cool $4.25 million USD for under 16.5M tokens.

Holders Divided Due to Ripple Escrow Selling During Downtrend

The distribution of XRP has been a controversial issue as of late. Much of the XRP supply is held in escrow by Ripple Labs, the company tasked with pushing adoption of the crypto asset. The assets held in escrow are unlocked, then sold on the market to fund important Ripple operations.

Related Reading | Will Upcoming Ripple Conference Cause XRP Price to Swell? 

However, the regular selling of XRP assets during a downtrend has caused Ripple and CEO Brad Garlinghouse to come under fire by upset holders. Many Ripple holders, despite being “whales” due to holding such a large supply, could be down by as much as 90% if they bought anywhere near the peak of the crypto hype bubble in late 2017, and early 2018.

It’s among the worst-performing altcoins in the top ten crypto assets by market cap, even despite Brad Garlinghouse defending the company saying that Ripple has “decreased” sales by volume quarter over quarter. The continued selling has even prompted a subset of XRP holders to consider forking the asset.

Low Volatility Bitcoin Price Action: Decision Time Is Near, Powerful Move Incoming

Bitcoin price is one again trading in the low $10,000 range, following a weekend trading around mid-$10,000 and yet another failure to break out higher. As a result of the lack of a clear direction being chosen, volatility has dropped to the lowest point it has been in some time and is approaching lows from November 2018 and April 2019.

When volatility drops this low, just like it did during those two key dates, Bitcoin price makes a massive, powerful movement, and finally makes a decision on the trend ahead. Should something similar occur, a “massive” 25% or more move could be possible, according to one crypto analyst.

Bitcoin Price Volatility Reaches Levels Not Seen Since Nov 2018 or April 2019

Bitcoin and other crypto assets are both lauded and feared for their notorious volatility. For investors, the volatility can be difficult to stomach at times, as Bitcoin price can rise to $20,000 in months, only to fall back down to $3,000 retracing over 80% of the gains it saw.

Related Reading | Power Law: Tracking Bitcoin’s Growth to $100K and Beyond 

But for crypto traders, volatility is why Bitcoin and the rest of the asset class make for such attractive financial markets. The massive price swings are ideal for traders who seek to buy low and sell high and can lead to a fortune being made trading on leverage using platforms like BitMEX or PrimeXBT that offer margin.

However, that lucrative volatility is currently non-existent, with Bitcoin price trading within a $200 range for much of the weekend. The volatility levels are reaching lows not witnessed since November 2018 or April 2019.

In November 2018, Bitcoin price fell through what was thought to be unbreakable support at $6,000, dropping over $3,000 over the course of the following month before it bottomed in December.

In April 2019, Bitcoin price rose over $1,000 in the matter of an hour and kickstarted Bitcoin’s bull run and parabolic rally to the current trading range.

Yet another one of these massive, 25% or more Bitcoin price movements is expected, says one crypto analyst, that’ll put an end to the low volatility and help choose the trend for the days and possibly weeks and months ahead.

A break up out of a multi-month triangle would have Bitcoin price retesting $14,000 where it was rejected back in June, and would likely have the momentum to break above it on its second attempt.

Related Reading | Poll: More Than Half of Bitcoin Investors Expect Triangle Breakout 

However, should Bitcoin price break down instead, the target would be in the $7,000 range, with a possibility of dipping under $7,000 to touch previous bear market support, confirming it as such. Alternatively, because there are so many buyers expected at $8,500 waiting to buy the dip, Bitcoin price may never reach those lower targets and could be propelled right back up to test the high end of the range.

Regardless, the days ahead are critical for Bitcoin price and should result in a clear trend direction and a return of volatility.

Marcus Defends Libra Cryptocurrency in Latest Bid to Woo Central Banks

Facebook executive David Marcus defended the Libra cryptocurrency ahead of his meeting with the representatives of global bankers in Basel on Monday.

The co-creator said Libra is not going to challenge or undermine the sovereignty enjoyed by nations, adding that the cryptocurrency merely wants to become a “better payment network” and deliver meaningful financial services to people around the world.

Marcus explained that Libra wants to engage with regulators and respond to all their major and minor concerns about their cryptocurrency project. He specifically highlighted one of such issues in his tweet: that of Facebook’s ability to issue new money and, in turn, destabilize the global financial order. Stating that a pool of global currencies will back Libra one-to-one, Marcus said their cryptocurrency would remain within the scope of sovereign nations.

“We also believe strong regulatory oversight preventing the Libra Association from deviating from it’s full 1:1 backing commitment is desirable,” Marcus tweeted. We will continue to engage with central Banks, regulators, and lawmakers to ensure we address their concerns through Libra’s design and operations.”

Marcus’ comments appeared after three months of constant setbacks for Libra and its spinoff wallet project Calibra. Shortly after Facebook announced it, Libra came under the scrutiny of governments, regulators, and media. Skeptics looked at it as a corporation’s attempt to become a proxy for central banks.

Facebook’s dented image as a social media giant that invaded users’ privacy to manipulate election results in the US also raised eyebrows. To lawmakers, Libra would have harmed users similarly, by gaining insights into their private financial data. Yves Mersch, an executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB, went ahead and called Libra “a cartel-like” cryptocurrency.

Another Libra Grilling

Marcus and other representatives of Libra are now to sit before a body of central banks’ representatives, including the Federal Reserve and the ECB. French economist and ECB official Benoît Coeuré, who will head the said meeting, warned that the bar for regulating the Facebook cryptocurrency would be “very high,” repeating “concerns” of global regulators that the cryptocurrency is out to destabilize the financial ecosystem.

The meeting would see Marcus and associates explaining the design and implementation of Libra to central banks’ officials. A hopeful Marcus believes the cryptocurrency’ charter would be cleared following constant engagements with regulators. Excerpts from his statement:

“I’m looking forward to the Libra Association taking on full leadership of the project soon after its charter has been ratified so I can focus on building Calibra.”

Bitcoin Mum despite Saudi Attack Raising Demand for Haven Assets

Bitcoin appeared stuck in a price-range on Monday as attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities raised concerns over global energy supply and renewed tensions in the Middle East.

The spot bitcoin rate slipped 0.03 percent to $10,301.78 on Coinbase, while bitcoin futures on CME surged by 1.12 percent to $10,380 as of 11:13 UTC. At its session high, the spot bitcoin was trading at $10,379.98. Meanwhile, the futures were trading at $10,430.00.

bitcoin

Bitcoin price remains rangebound despite rising demand for safe-haven assets | Image credits: TradingView.com

Gold Excels

Unlike bitcoin, rival asset Gold was trading higher on Monday as investors flew to safe-haven assets amidst the ongoing global turmoil. As of 11:21 UTC, the spot gold rate had jumped 1.06 percent to $1,504.579 an ounce while gold futures surged by 1.08 percent to $1,511.06.

The moves in gold and bitcoin came after Saudi Arabia closed down half of its oil production after a string of drone attacks hit the world’s largest oil facility. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed the attack, but US President Donald Trump blamed Iran for the latest geopolitical havoc.

That cessation is likely to remove almost 5.7 billion barrels of crude oil production from the supply – which amounts to 5 percent of the daily oil production. The attacks are also going to impact the supply of ethane and natural gas by 50 percent, according to Saudi Arabia’s newly-appointed energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

The potential oil scarcity sent the benchmark Brent Crude Oil up by more than 8 percent, or $12, to trade as high as $71.95 a barrel. That was its most significant one-day gain since 1990’s Iraq invasion of Kuwait.

Dan Tepeiro, the founder of New York-based DTAP Capital, guessed that the crisis could push investors towards bitcoin. He tweeted:

“Iran attacked Saudi Arabia and knocked off 50% of total Saudi production, 5mm b. The most significant attack on oil [production] since [the] Gulf war 1. Supply should be back within a wk? More geopolitical premium needed on oil price. Gold +50 usd on Monday? Bonds should rally. Maybe even Bitcoin safety bid?”

Unsustainable Bitcoin

Ex bitcoin investor Roy Sebag thinks on a different line as that of Tepeiro. The Gold Money founder today said that the cryptocurrency’s economy is too unsustainable to react to the Saudi news. He added:

“The bitcoin community is so perplexed by something so simple. Their 24/hour market not reflecting Saudi story because bitcoin is an abstract unit of account which in the best case indicates an unsustainable service economy dependent on oil, rather than real economic activity.”

Will Bitcoin Mining Confidence Cause A BTC Price Spike To $28k?

Data from blockchain.com shows Bitcoin’s hash rate is at all-time-high. Last week, it peaked at 98.5 quintillion hashes per second. In addition, according to the mining pool, BTC.com, mining difficulty is also at its highest ever level at 11.9 T.

All in all, miner’s confidence, in Bitcoin, has never been higher, which is indicative of a project here for the long term. And, some might say, a bullish indicator.

bitcoin hash rate

Confidence In Bitcoin Has Never Been Higher

Hash rate refers to the computing power supporting the network by way of transactional processing. The higher the hash rate, the more secure the network. And Bitcoin’s hash rate has never been higher, having a steady upward ascent since December 2018.

Indeed, as pointed out by industry observers, Bitcoin’s hash rate is eight times what it was in December 2017, the height of the last bull run, demonstrating a growing belief in the original cryptocurrency.

This belief not only takes the form of more miners joining the network, but existing miners are also convinced enough to invest in more up to date equipment.

This comes off the back of Bitmain announcing the release of the new Antminer 17 series. The Antminer S17e and T17e models offer improvements to hash rate by way of upgrades to heat dissipation technology.

And, as claimed by Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, as hashing power increases from growing mining confidence, so does price. In a recent tweet, he said:

Hashrate increase means more miners are investing in BTC, they are bullish. You know what follows?”

Game Theory And Price

This is a belief echoed by the financial reporter, Max Keiser, who, at the start of the month, made a prediction that Game Theory would play out to result in a $28k Bitcoin price.

In essence, Game Theory refers to the psychology of how and why people make decisions within a competitive environment. In other words, when applied to cryptocurrency, this relates to how to become the most profitable.

Founder of alternative investment firm, Otis, Michael Karnjanaprakorn put it like this:

“Miners are incentivized to be good actors on the network. If miners want to earn rewards, they have to abide by the rules. Otherwise, miners lose time, electricity, and processing power (costs). This is because mining has a recursive punishment system.”

And so, Game Theory and Bitcoin’s proof of work consensus mechanism, not forgetting the homeostatic mining difficulty algorithm, work in tandem to coordinate the efforts of people to ensure the best possible outcomes for all involved.

Keiser’s reference to Game Theory merely attributes the cumulative combined cooperation of miners to provide a secure network, adding to Bitcoin’s inherent value. And as more miners, and potential miners, take the stance of Bitcoin being a viable alternative to the legacy system, the more we can all benefit.

Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash

FATF Pressures OKEx to Delist Monero, Zcash, Dash; Litecoin Next?

A guideline issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is prompting OKEx to delist popular privacy-centering cryptocurrencies.

Travel Rule

The Korean wing of the cryptocurrency firm announced on Monday that it is going to stop trading of Monero, Zcash, Dash, Horizen, and Super Bitcoin on its exchange. All the five assets, in one way or another, allows users to hide their financial transactions by introducing additional layers of security.

OKEx said in a note that the five cryptocurrencies could “violate laws or regulations/policies of government agencies and major agencies.” The exchange was citing FATF, an intergovernmental organization that combats money laundering on a global scale. The task force in October 2018 enforced a so-called ‘travel rule,’ which requires cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain relevant users’ information, including the virtual wallet addresses of senders and receivers involved in a cryptocurrency transaction.

Privacy coins such as Monero and Zcash assists users in hiding those details. That makes it difficult for cryptocurrency firms to monitor and report those transactions to FATF. OKEx said it would delist Monero, Zcash, Dash, Horizen, and Super Bitcoin, merely to keep itself in line of the global watchdog’s directives.

The move has made OKEx the second exchange to have gone after anonymity-focused coins under regulatory pressure. Earlier in June 2018, way before FATF had imposed the ‘travel rule,’ Japan-based Coincheck had removed Monero, Zcash, and Dash from its exchange after facing pressure from the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

OKEx would disable the privacy coins’ deposits on October 10, 2019. Nevertheless, users will still be able to withdraw their privacy coins to their wallet addresses until December 10, 2019.

Troubles for Litecoin Ahead?

As exchanges operating from FATF member states follow suit and start delisting privacy coin, the move could spell troubles on the world’s fifth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

The $4.5 billion cryptoasset Litecoin in August announced that it is going to become a privacy coin. Founder Charlie Lee went ahead and admitted that they are going to introduce “confidential transactions” in a “future release of the the full [litecoin] node” in 2019 – after the online community accused him and core developers of abandoning Litecoin.

The announcement kept Litecoin investors happy, as it maintained the coin’s bullish narrative intact. The LTC/USD exchange rate had risen by more than 500 percent between December 2018 and July 2019 – before Lee confirmed the development of  “confidential transactions.” The upsurge majorly came on the shoulders of Litecoin’s halving event, which earlier this year reduce the cryptocurrency’s supply-rate by half.

litecoin, litecoin price

Litecoin price slipped by more than 50 percent from its YTD high | Image credits: TradingView.com

The LTC/USD pair is now down by more than 50 percent, driven by higher demand for rival asset bitcoin. And as the Litecoin project goes ahead with its plans of becoming an anonymity-focused coin, the likelihood of it being rejected by exchanges operating from FATF’s 39 member states could go higher.