Bitcoin Price Moves To $9,000 With Strong Momentum

The bitcoin price has surpassed $8,800 after rising more than 6 percent over the past 24 hours. Volumes across major cryptocurrency exchanges remain strong and the daily trading volume of the market has increased past $26 billion for the first time over the past month.

$9,200

On March 21, the bitcoin price tested the $9,200 support level but failed to sustain momentum for mid-term growth and fell below the $6,500 mark within two weeks after struggling to bounce off $8,200.

At this juncture, it is likely that the bitcoin price tests the $9,200 level it had touched in late March, and a movement past that level would lead the bitcoin price to the $10,000 region by the end of April.

In November 2017, investors described the $10,000 mark as a psychological threshold and a key milestone. At the time, traders predicted the price of bitcoin to surge substantially subsequent to surpassing $10,000. Almost immediately after breaking into the $10,000 region, the bitcoin price surged to $14,000 and eventually to $20,000.

Since the initial correction of bitcoin in February, the market has not been able to demonstrate any sign of stability. The price of most alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) and tokens followed the short-term trend of bitcoin and the volume of regional exchanges in Japan and South Korea significantly decreased.

Fundamentally, bitcoin is in an ideal position to initiate a new rally in both the short and mid-term, given that the adoption of cryptocurrency in general has started to increase. Moveover, in late 2017, the majority of speculators who bought into the cryptocurrency market did so out of FOMO, or fear of missing out, without solid knowledge in the structure and fundamentals of cryptocurrencies.

Over the past five months, the awareness of cryptocurrency has increased drastically and a substantially large number of individuals have started to understand the basics of decentralized financial networks and cryptocurrencies.

As such, fintech company Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier stated that in the next two years, the bitcoin price will reach a value of $100,000, and within 2018, the bitcoin price will surpass its previous high at $20,000.

“I believe that we will see a comeback to the height achieved at the end of 2017 this year. Over the next two years I still predict we could see it reach a value of $100,000,” Olga told The Independent.

Rise of Altcoins

Throughout this week, CCN reported that the altcoin season may have started with strong consistent performances of small cryptocurrencies and tokens. Today, several tokens like STORM have recorded a gain of above 30 percent against bitcoin and about 40 percent against the US dollar.

Investors have gained more confidence in the cryptocurrency market and are now willing to take more risks by investing in cryptocurrencies with higher volatility and lower liquidity.

Still, in an interview with FT, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin stated that the valuation of most altcoins or tokens cannot be justified and are overblown. “There’s projects that never had a soul, that are just like, ra-ra, price go up. Lambo, vrromm, buybuybuy now!” Buterin said.

Bitcoin: The Return of The King

Most of you have seen this little, tiny, minuscule, almost invisible jump in volume that happen on the 12th April 2018. So far, it has been the singular highest jump in volume ever seen as market cap went from ~ $270 Billion to ~ $300 Billion. It means around $30 Billion were added to the market in less than 3 hours.

Bitcoin’s dominance remains over 40% and I suspect it will continue to rise as most money that just entered the market should be institutional. There are some strong contenders, like Ripple, due to the nature of the backers (mainly banks and financial institutions).

Nevertheless, there are two ways of looking at this, in my own personal opinion:

  • Either the money that just entered the market stays with the King, or
  • It’s distributed among preferential projects (top-10 I would bet on).

Because there is currently a huge time gap between technological developments and price, meaning price moves due to pure speculation rather than technological advancements or issues that arise. If you think differently look at the examples of IOTA or Verge which have been hacked, however prices of both coins kept rising afterwards. Heck, think about bitcoin: when did the price hit its maximum valuation? At the same time fees were the highest ever.

Price is dictated by volume and what happened was a grand spike in smart-money coming into the market. Maybe some of the money that left at the end of January is coming back.

 

Should we expect the price to continue rising?

Some technical analysts believe price will continue to rise. Then again, the opposite might happen depending on many factors:

  1. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and the U.S. will most definitely shake-up traditional markets. This will no doubt influence the amount of money available to invest in the cryptocurrency market. I’m just not sure how this will affect all markets as at the end, there might be a surprising shift; people could begin to trust more in bitcoin due to its security, resilience and the fact it’s independent from governments and economies.
  2. Investors going short on bitcoin got destroyed and likely lost a lot of money. What can counter this is the CME Bitcoin contracts futures price, as I expect the futures’ volume to rise exponentially. Why? That’s easy: because it’s profitable for those investing in both markets.

  1. News sources. When many positive news start to arrive we usually see a growing euphoria and hype (check google trends) from dumb-money entering the market leading to massive price runs. I see no reason for this to be different this time. If history taught us something is that it “repeats” itself, going around and around in circles.
  2. Small technological hops (pun intended) will play a massive role in the long-term future, as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being given time to prepare for adoption worldwide. Hopefully exchanges won’t need to block new hordes of users signing up, bitcoin’s lightning network will be fully operational and segwit adopted by most mining agents and trading platforms.

We cannot forget price is crucial to bring new people into the market, but to keep those users technology must answer today’s problems. People do not care if money is centralized, decentralized, distributed, digital, or physical; People care about:

  • How can I get that money?
  • How much do I pay to store and transfer that money?

For truly massive adoption either the bitcoin team thinks of a way to easily distribute it among where is needed, this is, in countries where banking is limited for example, or a benign group of people develops a way to distribute the currency directly to people in exchange for something, other than money (time, attention, services, etc). I understand those who think until this currency is used by business worldwide it’s a joke. I get it, I truly do, however if the purpose of this cryptocurrency is to bank the un-banked and to be successful in connecting communities worldwide by allowing anyone to transfer and store value over the internet, then maybe the right way to do this would be to simply find ways to trade bitcoin for time and services in those places.

–note: i did not mention the question “how long does that money take to get to another account?”as the current banking system needs 3-5 business days for international transfers to take place. When the bitcoin network is clogged, i have personally waited around 24h for a bitcoin transfer to get approved. It still beats the banking system for personal transactions, which is the final aim of this cryptocurrency (in my opinion)–

Easier said than done

The reality, of course, is that acceptance dictates the rules of the game; businesses  have to start pushing cryptocurrencies by accepting them. At the end of the day for cryptocurrency to be used, all intervening agents must participate.

We must not forget there will always be two sides to the same coin:

  • Should we focus solely on price and volume, to master our gains? Or
  • Should we focus in improving technology scalability and marketing, to achieve worldwide adoption?

Doing one alone would be unwise as balancing both seems to be the right way for the market to grow. My only hope is that the entire community keeps improving the consensus in bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies), never forgetting its true purpose

Ethereum , Ripple and other cryptocurrecies values riseas Bitcoin price spikes

The price of bitcoin rose by $1,000 in less than an hour, sparking massive gains across cryptocurrency markets

Bitcoin’s sudden price rise has resulted in gains across cryptocurrency markets, with ethereum, ripple and litecoin all surging in value.

Within the space of an hour on Thursday, 12 April, bitcoin rose by more than $1,000 – breaking above $8,000 for the first time since March.

The movement’s of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is usually reflected across other virtual currencies, and this unprecedented spike was no exception.

Ethereum, which boasts a market cap of around $45 billion, shot up in price by 10 per cent, taking it close to $500. At its peak in January, one ether was worth more than $1,300.

Similar percentage gains were experienced by ripple, which has the third highest market cap behind bitcoin and ethereum.

The altcoin EOS saw the largest gains out of all the top five most-valuable cryptocurrencies, rising by over 30 per cent to take its market cap above $7 billion.

The market-wide shift follows several months of steadily sliding prices for bitcoin, which peaked at nearly $20,000 in December 2017.

Dramatic market movements are not unusual for the notoriously volatile cryptocurrency, which can often be triggered by positive or negative news surrounding regulation and laws.

The latest surge does not appear to be related to any significant news within the cryptocurrency space, however, with some analysts suggesting the gains come from a change in sentiment amongst investors.

“In this scenario traders with short positions will start to lose money and liquidate their positions by buying bitcoin,” Ed Cooper, head of mobile at fintech startup Revolut, told The Independent.

“This causes the price to rise further and as more people start to notice the rise they buy in for a quick gain. This continues the cycle.”

Despite the gains, Cooper advised investors to be cautious about betting on a positive direction of the market beyond the short term.

“We’d need to see a sustained rise over a number of weeks to signal the end of the bear market,” Cooper said. “We’re definitely not there yet.”

UK Watchdog to Publish its Review on Cryptocurrencies Later this Year

Britain’s financial regulator and markets watchdog outline its policy thinking on cryptocurrencies with a review to be published later this year.

In revealing its business plan for the coming financial year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) underlined cryptocurrencies as ‘an area of increasing interest for markets and regulators globally’. While admitting that cryptocurrencies do not directly fall under its regulatory scope, the FCA stressed that certain models of their usage bring them under its purview in a ‘complex’ landscape.

Pointedly, the FCA confirmed it would reveal its own take on cryptocurrencies, policy-wise, later this year. The regulator said:

We will work with the Bank of England and the Treasury as part of a taskforce to develop thinking and publish a Discussion Paper later this year outlining our policy thinking on cryptocurrencies.

The FCA is notably a member of the ‘Cryptoassets Task Force’ established by the British government in March 2018, consisting of the regulator, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Bank of England (the central bank). The working group will explore and study the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said last month, helping the UK’s fintech sector to ‘grow and flourish’ in a regulatory climate that has broadly been supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the years.

On Friday, the FCA mandated firms offering cryptocurrency derivatives to comply with all applicable rules to be authorized, stating it would be a ‘criminal offence’ otherwise.

Earlier in February, the UK’s Treasury Select Committee, an influential group of cross-party members of parliament (MPs), launched an inquiry into cryptocurrencies in an effort to better understand them.

While the Treasury Committee confirmed it would look at risks and threats posed by cryptocurrencies to ‘consumers, businesses and governments’, committee chair Nicky Morgan stressed the group would “also examine the potential the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies and the technology underpinning them, how they can create innovative opportunities, and to what extent they could disrupt the economy and replace traditional means of payment.”

Committee member Alison McGovern added that the inquiry would help UK lawmakers and politicians to better educate themselves on cryptocurrencies before enforcing policies. “It is time that Whitehall and Westminster understood cryptocurrency better and thought more clearly about the policy environment for blockchain technology,” she stated.

China’s New Central Bank Head Is Pro-Market, Could It Impact Cryptocurrency Industry?

Yi Gang, an American-trained economist, has been elected by the Chinese government to take over the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, as its head. The election of a pro-market economist could have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency market.

Pro-market, favors freedom

Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and PBoC’s new leader Yi Gang are pro-market and pro-market reform. Prior to his election, Yi has consistently emphasized the importance of market liberalization, and has invited economists along with experienced financial experts who could support his long-term plan to increase the flexibility of the Chinese market.

Already, within weeks since the election of Yi, the Chinese government has, for the first time, allowed foreign companies to enter the country’s payment sector and compete against local giants like e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba’s AliPay and the country’s largest technology corporation Tencent’s Tencent Pay.

For context – Tencent’s gaming successes

For context, China’s Tencent, which has made a series of successful acquisitions over the past few years including Riot Games, the game development company behind one of the most popular online games – League of Legends (LOL), surpassed the market valuation of Facebook in November 2017. Tencent became the first Asian company to break the $500 bln mark, and outdistanced Facebook prior to its Cambridge Analytica Scandal, which led Facebook to decline by nearly $70 bln drop from $517 bln to $445 bln.

In 2016, it was revealed that more viewers watched LOL, the game developed by Riot Games under Tencent, than the NBA finals. LOL’s professional esports league finals were hosted in the Beijing National Stadium, also known as Bird’s Nest, which has a capacity of 91,000 people. The NBA finals were watched by 31 mln people worldwide, while the LOL finals were watched by 36 mln people internationally.

The success of Tencent and its dominance over the global esports industry as well as social media, messaging, and payment markets is important to acknowledge because for the first time in its history, the Chinese government has given the company competition in the finance sector.

Payment market for foreign companies

On March 21, Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government has officially opened the gates of its $27 trln payments market to foreign companies, and has allowed companies to apply for licenses. Iris Pang, a Hong Kong-based economist at ING Groep NV, told Bloomberg:

“The domestic market is quite saturated with very strong domestic players, and it is relatively hard for foreign companies to get a piece of the pie. But there is a chance for them to compete in the cross-border payment market.”

In other markets like social media, search engines, and messaging, the Chinese government has banned conglomerates like Facebook and Google from operating within the country for various reasons, but mainly to ensure that domestic platforms such as QQ and YouKu can take control over the entire market with 100 percent of the market share.

The move of the Chinese government and the PBoC to allow foreign companies into its payment sector was unprecedented, and such a positive movement towards market liberalization could inevitably lead to speculations around the cryptocurrency market and its stance towards it.

Xi’s narrative

In Sept. 2017, almost immediately after the PBoC and the Chinese government imposed a strict ban on cryptocurrency trading, analyst Jon Creasy explained that the PBoC has taken such path to support the political narrative of President Xi. Creasy said that the government will likely open its cryptocurrency market once President Xi establishes his government again:

“Historically speaking, President Xi Jinping has been one of the largest advocates of free markets China has seen in quite some time, and I expect this trend to continue. But for now, Mr. Xi must appeal to the people who keep him in power: the Communist Party. In my opinion, banning Bitcoin exchanges is nothing short of temporary glad-handing. Supposing this is true, what should we be doing about it?”

So far, the Chinese government and President Xi have demonstrated willingness to continue their plans to liberalize the Chinese market, starting with its payment sector that is largely dominated by domestic companies.

The next target market for the Chinese government could be the cryptocurrency market, given that the Chinese government has not led additional initiatives to shut down cryptocurrency activities and projects within China. Blockchain projects from China such as VeChain and NEO are still able to continue their developments, because the Chinese government had banned the trading of cryptocurrencies, but not storing or holding them.

Chinese cryptocurrencies

VeChain, NEO, and Qtum are all multi-billion dollar projects established and developed by teams located in China. In fact, the three cryptocurrencies are some of the largest cryptocurrencies in the global market, with NEO being the 9th biggest in the market with a $3.7 bln valuation.VeChain

Cryptweeter, a well-known cryptocurrency researcher, stated that state-owned media outlets including Yicai have offered extensive coverage of VeChain, a Blockchain project and cryptocurrency based in China:

“They have started to be picked up by mainstream media in China, most notably Yicai, who have been seen tweeting and retweeting a lot about VeChain recently. Yicai are state-owned and are one of the leading financial news and investment outlets in the country.”

Given the government’s support towards native Blockchain projects and initiatives, and the election of pro-market economists like the new PBoC head Yi, it could be likely that some pro-Blockchain legislation will be released in the mid to long-term.

Although the Chinese government has banned cryptocurrency trading, it is highly unlikely that this will continue to be the case, especially if PBoC head Yi continues his long-term initiative to liberalize the Chinese markets and its leading industries, like the payments and finance sectors.