BOE Advisor: Crypto Fails Fundamental Tests, But Banks Face Growing Competition from FinTech Companies

It’s no secret that those who are heavily involved in the world’s traditional banking systems have a disdain for crypto, likely because of the many ways the relatively young technology challenges the traditional notions of banking.

While offering a somewhat cliché opinion about the cryptocurrency markets, Huw van Steenis, the senior advisor to the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, said that cryptocurrencies fail fundamental tests that mark a solid and successful financial tool.

Although this assessment is dreary, the ever-growing innovation of FinTech companies is leading many traditional banks to see a growing amount of competition, much of which is coming from crypto-friendly companies like Robinhood and Revolut.

Van Steenis: I’m Not Worried About Cryptocurrency

Many proponents of cryptocurrency believe that it could one day drastically alter the way the world’s traditional financial systems, including banking, work. The nature of decentralized currencies, like Bitcoin, would shift a significant amount of power away from institutions and into the hands of individuals if they were to be widely adopted on a global scale.

That being said, Van Steenis told Bloomberg in a recent interview at Davos, Switzerland, that he isn’t worried at all about cryptocurrencies posing a threat to traditional financial institutions because they “fail the basic tests of financial services.”

“I’m not so worried about cryptocurrencies. They fail the basic tests of financial services. They’re not a great unit of exchange, they don’t hold value, and they’re slower,” Van Steenis explained.

FinTech Companies Becoming Competitors to Traditional Banks

Revolut was just recently granted a European Banking License by regulatory authorities.

Van Steenis further added that the Bank of England’s (BOE’s) biggest concern at the moment is how to regulate new, technology-based, entrants to the banking system.

Examples of FinTech companies that are entering the banking industry and are rapidly changing the way customers interact with banking services are Robinhood and Revolut, who are both rapidly expanding their offerings of traditional banking services with a digital twist.

Revolut was just recently granted a European Banking License by regulatory authorities, which will allow them to offer Europe-based customers a significant amount of digital banking services typically found at traditional institutions.

It is important to note that both Robinhood and Revolut offer users a gateway to purchase a variety of cryptocurrencies. Presently, Revolut offers users the ability to gain exposure to five cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and XRP.

As these digital banking services continue gaining traction and expanding their customer base, it will likely introduce a significant amount of investors to cryptocurrencies, which will further validate their usefulness as both tools and investments.

Van Steenis said that if traditional banks fail to innovate and digitalize as quickly as their FinTech-based counterparts, they could lose out on customers.

“What I love when meeting with Fintechs is their obsession with customers. The challenge is will they get customers before the traditional banks can innovate,” he said.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Climbs Slightly as Crypto Markets Experience Mixed Trading Session

The past several days have been particularly volatile for the cryptocurrency markets, with Bitcoin (BTC) surging to highs of nearly $3,750 on Saturday before fully retracing to lows of $3,550. Despite this volatility, Bitcoin has been able to hold $3,550 as a level of support and has led the entire crypto markets to rise slightly today.

Analysts are now saying that the market’s ability to hold above its recently established support levels may lead to further gains in the near future.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Crypto Markets Hold Steady

The recent volatility the crypto markets have experienced put their recently established support levels in jeopardy, but they have been able to stabilize above these key levels.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up less than 1% at its current price of $3,600. Over the past few weeks, BTC has bounced each time it entered the $3,500 region, signaling that buying pressure exists at this price level.

Similar buying pressure has been seen for most major altcoins, which have all established certain levels at which they see strong support.

Trading Room, a popular cryptocurrency analyst group on Twitter, discussed these support levels earlier today, noting that Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum could all see a bounce if they are able to continue holding steady above their respective levels of support.

“$BTC $ETH & $LTC are holding Key Support Area… Next Target 100 & 200 MAs on Topside (Moving Downwards)… Check #Bitcoin #Ethereum #Litecoin Targets if we get that bounce… I am not gonna speculate on topside breakout or downside breakdown. Will react based on Breakout/Breakdown,” they explained.

Furthermore, Trading Room said in a later tweet that they will only enter new long positions for the aforementioned cryptocurrencies if they are able to break above key price levels by the end of the day.

“All key levels holding across $BTC $ETH $LTC… Price tried to break below key support but violently rejected so far. However will re-enter Longs only after we get a daily candle close above: 3675 #Bitcoin… 123.50 #Ethereum… 32.15 #Litecoin… Trend is your friend, allow it to develop,” Trading Room said.

Altcoins Rise Slightly

Most major cryptocurrencies have risen slightly in price today.

Most major altcoins are trading up marginally today.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up over 1% at its current price of $119.1. Ethereum has climbed slightly from its recent lows of $115 that were set earlier today but is down from its weekly highs of nearly $126.

XRP is trading flat today at its current price of $0.3198. Earlier today, XRP dropped to lows of $0.314 before quickly bouncing back to its current price levels.

Bitcoin Cash is one of today’s best performing altcoins, as it is currently trading up just under 6% at $130. Bitcoin Cash clearly has strong buying support at $118, as this was the price at which it surged after touching it earlier this morning.

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Crypto Markets Near Weekly Lows Following Weekend Volatility

This past weekend was particularly volatile for the crypto markets, which surged on Saturday before fully retracing on Sunday. The resulting losses have carried over into Monday, with most major altcoins trading flat or down slightly today.

Most altcoins are closely tracking Bitcoin’s price action, and one prominent analyst thinks that most major cryptocurrencies are looking slightly bullish on lower time frames.

Crypto Markets Could Be Bullish in the Short-Term

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down marginally at its current price of $3,580, which is just slightly above its weekly lows of $3,570.

On Saturday, the crypto markets surged as Bitcoin jumped to $3,750. Unfortunately, this surge was short-lived and fully retraced on Sunday when the markets sharply dropped to lows of $3,550.

Since then, the markets have been trading sideways, and most major altcoins are currently trading down. Despite this, one analyst thinks that most major cryptocurrencies are bullish in the short-term, which could mean that they will soon see a small relief rally.

In a recent tweet, Mayne – a popular cryptocurrency trade – noted that he is not shorting Bitcoin, Ethereum, or XRP at their current prices, and is going to wait until they reach their relative points of resistance before opening new short positions.

“$BTC $ETH $XRP Back to the charts… I am not shorting any of these pairs here, stop runs until proven otherwise. HTF is bearish and I will short a break down of the key support levels they are all sitting on. Until then, looking slightly bullish on the LTFs,” he explained.

Mayne later said that he is waiting for Bitcoin to reach the low-to-mid $3,600 region before he opens new short positions.

“$BTC Going to look for a short up at the grey block if we get there. Reaction after this weekend’s dump looks bullish on the LTF so no reason to short down here. Expecting a bit of bullish relief intra-week,” he said.

A similar sentiment was echoed by Hsaka, another popular cryptocurrency trader, who recently tweeted that he is neutral on Bitcoin’s price action following the recent drop, and that he is currently holding open positions in multiple altcoins including Cardano (ADA) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

“$BTC 1D (01/20/19) Yesterday’s sell the rally analysis played out like a beauty • Bounced before the 3430 support level • Took out lows (green dashed) of this consolidation Neutral here, not shorting into HTF support. Covered my BTC short, holding ADA and BCH.”

Altcoins Drop Slightly After Weekend Volatility

Most major altcoins have dropped slightly today and are closely tracking Bitcoin’s price action.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading down 1.6% at its current price of $117.5. This past Saturday, Ethereum surged to highs of over $125 before plunging to lows of $116. Ethereum is currently trading just slightly above its weekly lows.

XRP is currently trading down 0.3% at $0.319. XRP is down from its weekly high of $0.334, which was set this past Saturday, and is up slightly from its weekly low of $0.317, which appears to be a level of relative support for the cryptocurrency.

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Analyst: Bitcoin (BTC) Support Level at $3,550 Weakening After Volatile Weekend

Bitcoin (BTC) is currently coming off of an incredibly volatile weekend where it surged to highs of $3,750 on Saturday before retracing to lows of $3,550 on Sunday. Although nothing fundamental drove this volatility, it is now becoming increasingly common to see volatility over the weekends, which is primarily due to the decline in trading volume.

This recent volatility has further confirmed Bitcoin’s current trading range, which analysts believe is gradually becoming weaker.

Bitcoin Drops Below $3,600

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 0.4% at its current price of $3,580. BTC is currently trading just a hair above its 24-hour lows of $3,570, which were set earlier this morning.

On Saturday, Bitcoin surged to highs of $3,750, which analysts believe was a significant move as it put BTC in a higher trading range between $3,700 and $4,100. Despite this, bulls were not able to muster up enough upwards momentum to propel the cryptocurrency any higher, which led it to drop significantly on Sunday.

On Sunday, BTC sharply fell from $3,730 to $3,590, from which it has experienced a choppy trading session. This recent trading activity has further validated $3,550 as a strong level of support for the cryptocurrency.

Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, previously speculated that BTC was caught in a trading range between $3,550 and $4,200, which was first confirmed on January 13th when Bitcoin fell to lows of exactly $3,550 before bouncing to $3,700.

“It seems now, that bitcoin has opened a new mini-range within that from $3,550 to approximately $4,200… Movements within a range can sometimes be sudden like we saw yesterday, but unless there’s a breakout of the key levels there really isn’t much to write home about,” Greenspan said in an email from earlier this month.

This recent drop has led the overall cryptocurrency market cap to shed over $6 billion from its weekend highs.

Analyst: BTC $3,550 Support Growing Weaker

The validity of this hypothesized range was further confirmed over this weekend, as Bitcoin has once again respected $3,550 as a level of support. However, DonAlt, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, said that if this level is hit again it will likely be broken.

“$BTC update: Perfectly responded to the drawn level. 3500 has acted as support 3 times already if it is hit another time I’d expect it to break. Finally approaching a level (3400) that I might trade again. Until then still sitting tight fully hedged,” DonAlt explained.

It is important to note that analysts also believe that Bitcoin is currently caught in a much wider trading range over the long term between $3,000 and $5,000, so if $3,550 is broken it will likely lead to a move towards $3,000, where significant buying pressure currently exists.

“If we zoom out…we can see that the overall range that we’re in is from $3,000 to $5,000 per coin,” Greenspan further noted.

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Bitcoin: BTC Sinks Below $3,600, Nears Bottom of Recently Established Trading Range

Bitcoin (BTC) has failed to maintain its recently established position in the $3,700 region, which has led it to drop over 4% today. Bitcoin’s latest downwards leg has led the entire crypto markets to drop, and most altcoins are currently trading down around 4%.

Bitcoin is now nearing the bottom of its previously established trading range between $3,550 and $4,200, which, if the former price is to be broken, could lead to another, much larger, drop.

Bitcoin Plunges Over 4%

Yesterday, Bitcoin surged to highs of over $3,750, which appeared to many analysts to be an important price level that would lead to a further surge into the low-$4,000 range. Despite this, BTC’s bulls were not able to muster up enough buying pressure to push it higher, and the bears have taken control of today’s price action.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 4.2% at its current price of $3,590, down from its 24-hour highs of $3,750.

Mayne, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, discussed the cryptocurrency’s latest drop, noting that Bitcoin’s latest jump didn’t have a significant amount of buying pressure, which is why today’s full retrace was not entirely unexpected.

“$BTC… Discussed this one in the stream yesterday, to me Friday nights move looked just like that move to 4k Jan 6th. Thin and a liquidity grab that was fully retraced. BTC now back at the last HTF support before the lows,” Mayne explained.

Cheds Trading, another popular cryptocurrency analyst, also said in a recent tweet that if Bitcoin’s bulls fail to provide some buying pressure, things are going to get “ugly.”

“$BTC 12 hour – Bulls better show up quickly or this is going to get ugly,” he said.

BTC Nearing Bottom of Established Trading Range

Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, previously noted that he believes Bitcoin is caught in a relatively tight trading range between $3,550 and $4,200 within a much larger range between $3,000 and $5,000.

“As we’ve been discussing since mid-November, the current range is from $3,000 to $5,000… It seems now, that bitcoin has opened a new mini-range within that from $3,550 to approximately $4,200,” Greenspan explained.

His theory regarding the smaller trading range was validated last Sunday when Bitcoin’s price swiftly bounced after touching lows of $3,550, but now Bitcoin is once again nearing this support level, which, if it is broken, could lead to a further move down towards the bottom of the larger trading range at $3,000.

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Report: Bitcoin Conforms to Mainstream Markets, Strong Correlation with Gold

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal details how Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly mainstream asset and is starting to develop strong correlations with traditional assets, including Gold.

The report cites the increase in institutional funding, increasing venture capitalist (VC) investments, and growing mainstream adoption as possible factors behind its increasing correlation with traditional markets. Despite this, the WSJ report also notes that Bitcoin is still far more volatile and riskier than mainstream investment vehicles, like the stock market or precious metals markets.

Bitcoin Developing Strong Correlation with Gold 

Recently, talk within the cryptocurrency community regarding Bitcoin’s status as a safe haven investment – one that traditional investors turn to amidst instability in the traditional markets – has increased significantly as the US stock market faces growing volatility.

Historically, Gold and other precious metals have been the most popular safe haven investments, used by investors and institutions alike to hedge their positions within the equities markets. Many cryptocurrency investors hope, or expect, that Bitcoin will ultimately become a “Gold 2.0” that acts as a digital safe haven investment.

Although Bitcoin has never lived through a global financial crisis, statistics regarding its recent correlation with Gold show that it may be moving towards becoming a form of digital gold.

The WSJ report notes that on a scale of -1 to +1, ranging from completely inverted to perfectly correlated, Bitcoin is airing towards being perfectly correlated with Gold, trading at a 0.84 correlation to gold over the past five days. The data used is from Excalibur Pro Inc., a research firm.

Furthermore, Bitcoin also has traded at a 0.77 correlation with Chicago Board of Options Exchange’s VIX index, which measures market volatility and is widely seen as a “fear gauge.”

Institutional Money, Venture Capital Driving Bitcoin to be Mainstream 

The report also notes that Bitcoin’s increasingly mainstream nature is being driven by an influx of institutional funding and more venture capital investments entering the industry.

Recently, news has broken regarding multiple financial institutions entering the cryptocurrency markets, like Fidelity Investment’s institutional-aimed cryptocurrency exchange platform, and the OTC exchange-traded Bitcoin ETF trust sold by Grayscale investments.

The report explains that the Grayscale ETF has grown from having a mere $3.5 million under management in 2013, to highs of approximately $3.5 billion by the end of 2017 at the height of the cryptocurrency bull market. This fund has lost a significant amount of funding throughout the 2018 bear market, and currently has about $900 million in funds under management.

Venture capital investments in the industry have also helped propel it as a mainstream investment, with a significant amount of VC wealth flowing into blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. The WSJ says that in 2013, VC investments in the blockchain and crypto sector totaled at a mere $96 million, swelling to over $500 million by the end of 2016, and then skyrocketing to over $2 billion by the end of 2017.

As more companies release their products aimed at onboarding institutions into the cryptocurrency markets throughout 2019, Bitcoin’s status as both a mainstream investment vehicle and a safe haven investment will become increasingly clear.

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Crypto Markets Recover Slightly After Yesterday’s Drop, Equities Market Trades Flat

Following yesterday’s drop in the crypto markets, most cryptocurrencies have recovered some of their losses and are trading up over a 24-hour trading period.

The traditional equities market, which has seen increased volatility over the past several weeks, is currently trading flat and one prominent investor believes further instability could be right around the corner.

Crypto Markets Trade Up After Yesterday’s Drop 

Yesterday, Bitcoin dropped from the $3,800 region to lows of $3,645, from which it has since recovered. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up 2.8% at its current price of $3,900, slightly higher than where it was trading at before yesterday’s drop.

Following the drop, many analysts believed that Bitcoin had broken its support level around $3,800, with Mati Greenspan, the senior market analyst at eToro, saying that the drop “could lead to a retest of yearly lows.”

Despite this move looking negative, it appears that there wasn’t significant volume behind the drop, allowing bulls to swiftly regain the upper hand. It is likely that Bitcoin will continue treating $3,800 as a level of relative support following the recent price jump.

The market’s upwards move has sent the overall crypto market cap to over $130 billion, up from its recent lows of $120 billion.

Most altcoins have closely tracked Bitcoin’s price action and are trading up today.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading up nearly 3% at its current price of $0.376. Yesterday, XRP fell to lows of $0.336, from which it is currently trading up nearly 12%.

Ethereum has responded very bullishly to the recent recovery and is trading up 5.4% at its current price of $132. Ethereum is trading up nearly 15% from its 24-hour lows of $115.

Litecoin is one of today’s best performing altcoins and is trading up nearly 7% at its current price of $32. Yesterday, Litecoin fell to lows of $28, from which it has recovered over 14%.

Equities Market Finds Stability After Recent Volatility

The US stock market has found some stability today, as most major benchmarks are currently trading flat. Despite this, Jack Bogle, the father of the index fund, warned investors that there could be increased volatility in the near future.

While speaking with Barron’s in a recent interview, Bogle said that “trees don’t grow to the sky, and I see clouds on the horizon. I don’t know if and when they’ll arrive. A little extra caution should be the watchword.” He then noted things like large amounts of sovereign and corporate debt, the “upheaval” in global trade relations, and Brexit, as sources of the market’s instability.

Bogle also said that now is a good time for investors to assess how much tolerance for risk they have, as there could be increased volatility in the near future.

“If I had a big liability in a year, I’d get prepared for it right now. You want to be able to fund it without pressure,” he said.

At the time of writing, the Dow Jones is trading up marginally at $23,160. The other major benchmarks are also trading up marginally, with the S&P 500 trading at $2,490, and Nasdaq trading at $6,587.

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Crypto Markets Trade Flat as Equities Markets Drop Following Yesterday’s Pump

Following the recent period of volatility in the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has found support around $3,800, and has led the overall cryptocurrency markets to trade sideways. The crypto market’s stability over the past couple of days comes amidst major volatility in the traditional equities markets.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up marginally at its current price of $3,800. Earlier this week, Bitcoin rose to highs of $4,300 before settling at its current price levels and trading sideways for the past two days.

Crypto Markets Not Tracking Equities Markets

Bitcoin, whose creation was partially a response to the 2008 global financial recession, has never lived through a recession in the traditional equities markets, so analysts can only speculate as to how it will fare if a widespread economic downturn were to materialize.

Recently, the US equities markets have seen levels of unprecedented volatility, and it has appeared to have no effect on the cryptocurrency markets.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Anthony Pompliano, the head of Morgan Creek Digital, claimed that Bitcoin is “definitely” a non-correlated asset, meaning that movements, both up and down, in the equities markets will have no impact on the crypto market’s performance.

The theory regarding how Bitcoin and crypto will perform in an economic downturn may soon be tested, as the equities markets are seeing increasing volatility resulting from increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve, and the ongoing US government shutdown.

Equities Markets Drop Following Yesterday’s Major Rally

Although the stock market saw a major relief rally yesterday that sent the Dow up over 1,000 points, its largest one-day point rise ever, it dropped today and is currently trading down 1.4% at $22,560.

Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also dropped, trading down 1.9% and 1.5% respectively. Crude Oil also dropped nearly 3% at its current price of $45.

Hussein Sayed, a market strategist at FXTM discussed the current price action in the equities markets in a recent note, saying:

“While yesterday’s price action is definitely a positive sign, it’s still too early to conclude whether the market correction is over or more downside is yet to come… Such rallies are not uncommon in troubled times, and we have experienced many of them in past bear markets. To call for a bottom, we need at least a couple of days of strength, not just in price, but also in trading volume, breadth of the market, and fundamentally supported environment.”

Altcoins Stable, Following Bitcoin’s Lead

The altcoin markets are currently stable and appear to be following Bitcoin’s lead.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down less than 1% at its current price of $0.365. XRP is down from its weekly highs of nearly $0.45 but is up slightly from its weekly lows of under $0.35.

Ethereum is currently trading down 2% at its current price of $125, up significantly from its weekly low of $107, but down from its weekly high of nearly $160.

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Crypto Exchange KuCoin Delists 10 Tokens as Market Liquidity Declines

The Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has announced that they are delisting ten crypto tokens under their Special Treatment Rules framework that ensures that the tokens listed on the platform meet a strict set of operational criteria.

The platform’s decision to delist these tokens comes amidst a persisting bear market that is leading many smaller cryptocurrencies to be illiquid, which can lead to a host of problems including increased susceptibility to fraudulent trading activity, including pump and dump schemes.

Token Desisting Becomes More Common Amidst Crypto Bear Market

The crypto bear market that has persisted throughout 2018 has drawn a significant amount of funding away from all cryptocurrencies, but especially smaller ones that are less well known and riskier.

The exchange announced that the ten cryptocurrencies that are being delisted are: Jibrel Network (JNT), WePower (WPR), Modum (MOD), EthLend (LEND), STK (STK), Asch (XAS), Bread (BRD), BitClave (CAT), Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and Mobius (MOBI).

The exchange cited multiple factors that contributed to their decision to delist these tokens, including not meeting the exchange’s requirements regarding token liquidity, roadmap adherence, network security, trading conduct, and solvency requirements.

The exchange first designates tokens as “Special Treatment,” which warns the projects and their investors that they are at risk of being delisted. If the projects fail to confront and solve the issues cited by the exchange, they will be delisted.

Although there are multiple factors that contribute to a token being designated as Special Treatment, liquidity is the primary concern currently, as multiple tokens face dwindling trading activity as the bear market continues to persist.

KuCoin explained the liquidity issue on their Special Treatment page, saying in part:

“The Exchange may delist the ST Project if the Project fails to meet the basic liquidity requirements by the end of the observation period. Correspondingly, if the basic liquidity rises and exceeds the requirement threshold by the end of the observation period, the ST ticker symbol will be removed… The Exchange may, during the observation period, decide to delist the ST Project if the Exchange believes the ST Project fails to take necessary actions to remedy the Negative Situation.”

Trading for the aforementioned tokens was halted on December 24th, 2018, and investors have until March 21st, 2019, to withdraw their tokens to wallets or other exchanges.

Token’s Trading Volume Plummets After Being Delisted

Many investors and analysts alike anticipated that the 2018 crypto crash would result in a “market purge” that would lead many of the nearly 1,700 cryptocurrencies to disappear. The most probable way that this will happen is for the tokens to be delisted by exchanges due to their lack of liquidity.

Following KuCoin’s decision to delist the aforementioned tokens, both their prices and their trading volumes plummeted.

Jibrel Network (JNT) is currently trading at $0.046, down significantly from its weekly highs of $0.065. After being delisted from KuCoin, JNT’s daily trading volume dropped from over $2 million to lows of $60,000.

BitClave (CAT) was also incredibly affected by the delisting, dropping from weekly highs of $0.0024 to lows of $0.000527. CAT’s trading volume is currently near zero.

 As the crypto bear market continues to endure, it is highly likely that many more tokens will see their trading volume disappear as they are delisted from virtually all major cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Crypto Markets Trade Flat Following Christmas Eve Dump

Earlier this week, the crypto markets rose slightly and were able to regain much of their recent losses. This relatively small pump got many investors who viewed it as the “Christmas rally” excited for what was to come, although the bears pushed the markets back down on December 24th.

Following this drop, the overall markets have traded sideways, and one analyst believes further downside could be right around the corner due to the current instability in both the crypto markets and the global equities markets.

Bitcoin Fails to Stabilize Above $4,000, Crypto Markets Could Drop Further in Near Future

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down marginally over a 24-hour trading period at its current price of $3,785. Earlier this week, Bitcoin’s price rose to highs of nearly $4,300, which led the altcoin markets to rally, with XRP and Ethereum being two of the best performing cryptocurrencies.

Although at the time this rally looked promising, Bitcoin’s price swiftly dropped to lows of $3,760, from which point it has traded sideways.

Following the drop, The Crypto Dog, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, told his followers that the markets don’t look too good, and that he is not going net-long on any cryptocurrencies until the market conditions change considerably.

“This looks bad. I am stopped out of $ALT positions. Holding my short. Not looking to go net positive $crypto for awhile [sic] unless conditions change considerably. Global markets in disarray, plenty of possible downside still in $crypto, I’d rather not risk the exposure,” he explained.

Although The Crypto Dog isn’t going long on the markets, he also warned his followers against opening short positions at the current price levels, saying:

“PS: this does not look like a good short entry. Don’t go FOMO into shorts here b/c Crypto Dog is posting bearish tweets.”

Altcoins Drop Amidst Bitcoin Instability

Bitcoin’s inability to stabilize above $4,000 has led the altcoin markets to drop, with most major cryptocurrencies dropping significantly from their weekly highs.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down over 2% at its current price of $0.365. Earlier this week, XRP rose to highs of nearly $0.45, but was swiftly pushed down to its current price levels by high selling pressure resulting from Bitcoin’s drop.

Ethereum was one of the best performing cryptocurrencies during the recent pump, surging from weekly lows of $100 to highs of nearly $160, and then dropping back to its current price levels around $127. Although Ethereum has dropped significantly from its weekly highs, it is still trading up nearly 30% from its seven-day lows.

One of today’s best performing cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin Cash, which is trading up 4.4% at its current price of $169. Earlier this week, Bitcoin Cash skyrocketed to highs of $230, from which it has dropped nearly 30%.

As the crypto markets continue to trade choppily, it is increasingly unclear as to whether or not they will start off the new year on a good note.

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Crypto Markets Surge as Christmas-Rally Materializes

The crypto markets have surged to reclaim much of their recent losses, as the prophesized end-of-year rally materializes. Although the market surge is certainly welcome to investors who have been hit with seemingly constant losses over the past several weeks and months, the markets still have a long way to go before they are anywhere near their 2018 highs.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up nearly 3% at its current price of $4,100. Although Bitcoin is trading up slightly and has been able to stabilize above $4,000, it is the altcoin markets that have accounted for much of the market’s recent gains.

Bitcoin’s market dominance has dropped after the recent rally, and is currently at just over 50%, down from recent highs of nearly 55%.

Crypto Markets Could Dominate 2019 As Best Performing Asset Class

Assuming that the current rally continues for the coming weeks, the new year may be off to a great start which could set the tone for the rest of 2019. One popular cryptocurrency fund manager, Travis Kling, echoed this sentiment, explaining in a recent tweet that he believes that crypto will be the best performing asset of 2019.

“Crypto has never existed during a bear market in traditional assets. BTC was birthed at the very beginning of the largest monetary experiment ever- globally coordinated QE. Ending QE is causing pain There is a significant chance Crypto is the best performing asset class in 2019,” he said, referencing “QE” which refers to Quantitative Easing.

Kling’s comments regarding crypto’s possible performance in 2019 come amidst growing instability in the traditional equities markets, which has been driven by trade tensions between the US and China, increasing interest rates from the Federal Reserves, and “Brexit” concerns in Europe.

Altcoins Surge, Led by Ethereum

The market’s recent rally has been mostly driven by altcoins, many of which are trading up over 10%.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is one of the best performing altcoins, and is trading up 15% at its current price of $147. ETH’s rally may be the result of two factors: primarily the rally in the general markets, and the upcoming Constantinople fork.

Alex Krüger, a popular economist on Twitter, expressed his thoughts on how the Constantinople fork could affect Ethereum’s price in the long-term, saying:

“Ethereum’s Constantinople fork is coming on block 7080000, around January 16, 2019. Constantinople will reduce the block rewards from 3 to 2, decreasing new $ETH supply accordingly… On the long run, this is decidedly bullish.”

Behind Ethereum, XRP is the second-best performing altcoin, and is trading up 13.4% at its current price of $0.418. XRP is down from its daily highs of nearly $0.45 but is up significantly from its daily lows of $0.366.

Stellar (XLM) is also rallying today and is trading up 8.4% at its current price of $0.135 and is up from its 7-day lows of $0.105.

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Lack of Widespread Crypto Knowledge Could be Stunting the Market’s Growth

2018 has been a rough year for the crypto markets, with Bitcoin, the market’s largest digital asset by market cap, falling from highs of nearly $20,000 one year ago to recently established lows of just over $3,000. The tumultuous market conditions throughout 2018 have disheartened many investors and has led the industry as a whole to ponder what could help drive an influx of fresh capital into the markets.

The results of a recently conducted survey from the Europe-based online trading platform, eToro, signals that the lack of knowledge about cryptocurrencies and how to acquire them may be acting as a huge barrier to many traditional investors.

Investors Still Incredibly Interested About Crypto, Despite Market Crash

The 2018 market crash inevitably led to an influx of negative news from mainstream media outlets, with reports titled “Bitcoin is Dead” frequently plaguing the crypto news cycle. Despite this, the results of eToro’s survey signals that the “FUD” from traditional news outlets hasn’t dissuaded traditional retail investors against being interested in the crypto markets.

Of the 1,000 respondents to the survey, 69% of those who are not already invested in cryptocurrencies claimed that they are either interested or very interested in learning about the markets and the technologies.

Guy Hirsch, the U.S. managing director at eToro, spoke about the results of the survey, noting that there is still a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) amongst investors who have not yet entered the crypto markets.

“People still associate crypto with something that can generate alpha. In one sense people have FOMO (fear of missing out) if there is ever another rally and on the other hand people want to understand how they can do it,” he said.

Lack of Education a Huge Barrier for Entering Cryptocurrency Markets

Additionally, of the surveyed investors who are not currently invested in the crypto markets, three quarters claimed that they simply lack enough knowledge about the markets and technology in order to invest. This lack of knowledge wasn’t exclusive to those who hadn’t invested in the nascent markets, with one-fifth of current crypto investors claiming that even they don’t have adequate information about their investments.

Hirsch further explained that there is a huge demand for advice from registered investment advisors that is currently going untapped.

“There’s a huge demand that is not currently being satisfied to get advice from registered investment advisors about how to get into this asset class. There’s an untapped opportunity that is currently out there for companies and advisors to leverage,” he explained.

Furthermore, amongst millennial investors that don’t currently own any digital assets, 40% claimed that their lack of knowledge about cryptocurrencies, and how to acquire them, was directly stopping them from taking the leap to enter the markets. 44% of all respondents to the survey echoed a similar sentiment.

Although there are ample resources online that can offer neophyte investors knowledge about the cryptocurrency markets, 73% of millennial investors claimed that they’d be significantly more inclined to invest in crypto if they received the advice from an advisor.

“It’s very encouraging to see that millennials are in favor of using financial advisors. This makes sense as the top of the millennial generation is approaching 40 and is starting to accumulate a significant amount of wealth and are looking at their investments over the long term,” Hirsch said.

As cryptocurrency’s accessibility increases with the advent of new exchange features that simplify the buying process, and as traditional financial advisors become more willing to discuss digital assets as investment opportunities, it is likely that the markets will grow significantly.

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Bitcoin Holds Above $4,000 As Upwards Momentum Stalls

Bitcoin has been able to hold above $4,000 following its recent upwards swing that sent it up nearly 30% from its recently established 2018 lows. Despite being able to hold above $4,000, Bitcoin’s upwards momentum was not able to sustain into Friday, and its recent rally has stalled.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down nearly 2% at its current price of $4,040, down from yesterday’s highs of approximately $4,200. Bitcoin appears to have established some support in the $4,000 region, and $4,200 has been set as a resistance level.

Where is Bitcoin Going Next?

Bitcoin’s recent volatility has led investors and analysts alike to have mixed opinions regarding the future of the digital asset, with most prominent analysts offering investors a dose of skepticism, noting that the chances are incredibly low that Bitcoin has reversed out of the persisting bear market that has lasted throughout 2018.

In a recent tweet, DonAlt, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, cautioned his followers against buying into the current rally, noting that we are still in a brutal bear market, and further volatility is likely to come.

“By the way, this is not the place to start buying. A full year bear market doesn’t just go away like this, it’ll take time. Even if BTC goes to 4270~ I’ll only be looking to short/close longs. We’re still in a bear market, BTC is just rightfully punishing late bears,” he said.

The Crypto Dog, another popular cryptocurrency analyst who has a large following on Twitter, laid out how he sees the markets unfolding over the coming days and weeks in a recent thread, noting that Bitcoin faces strong resistance in the $4,000-4500 range.

“As I mentioned in my last market watch thread, the $4000-4500 block stands as a very strong resistance, lending itself now as an opportune price to begin to hedge long positions… If bulls are able to push past $4500, $4800 is the last bump in resistance that stands in the way before $5400. At this time I am not anticipating a rally beyond ~$5500, nor can I guarantee more relief even past $4500, though we must not count any scenario out,” he explained.

Furthermore, The Crypto Dog also explained that if the bears come out swinging and push Bitcoin’s price back down, support exists in $3,400-3,700 region, with further support near $3,100.

Altcoins Drop, TRON Surges Over 15%

Bitcoin’s inability to sustain its upwards momentum has led the altcoin markets to drop, albeit slightly, with today’s best performing cryptocurrency being TRON.

At the time of writing, TRON is trading up 16.4% at its current price of $0.02 and is trading up significantly from its seven-day lows of $0.0126. TRON is one of the few major cryptocurrencies that is trading up over a 24-hour period, with most altcoins trading down marginally.

XRP is currently trading down 2.8% at its current price of $0.365 and is closely tracking Bitcoin’s price movements.

Ethereum is trading down slightly at the time of writing and is currently trading at just under $113.

As the markets trade generally sideways, it is presumable that they will closely follow Bitcoin’s next move.

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Analysts Applaud Square’s Bitcoin Strategy as Brilliant Despite Low Profitability

It has been nearly one year since San Fransisco-based payment processing company, Square, rolled out peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading within their popular Cash App, allowing customers to buy, hold, and sell the cryptocurrency without incurring any fees.

The company’s decision was lauded by the company’s investors and the cryptocurrency community alike, with Square’s stock surging 16% the week after the company announced their new Bitcoin pilot.

Analysts Claim Square’s Bitcoin Bet Was Brilliant, Despite Small Profit Margins

The Cash App’s crypto trading feature was seen by the industry as a win-win for Square and investors alike, as neophyte crypto investors could easily acquire Bitcoin without having to deal with complicated exchanges, and Square would profit from a small spread on each transaction.

In January of 2017, Square’s then-CFO explained the Bitcoin business model to investors, saying that they “include a cushion or a margin in the price effectively to allow us to account for the fairly dynamic market that we see for bitcoin.”

In the first three quarters of 2018, Square has reported that they have made just under $1 million in profits from the Cash App’s Bitcoin trading feature, which is a relatively small profit margin considering that the company’s overall profits are projected to be $3.2 billion in 2018.

Despite the profitability being marginal, analysts still believe that Square’s crypto bet was well worth it, specifically citing its benefits from a user acquisition standpoint, as the Bitcoin trading featured garnered the app a significant amount of media attention from major outlets.

Josh Beck, an analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets, praised the crypto strategy, saying that it was a “brilliant customer acquisition strategy,” and further speculating that much of Cash App’s popularity in 2018 stemmed from crypto enthusiasts downloading the app and referring their friends or social media followers to the app.

Square Claims Bitcoin Strategy Not a Marketing Ploy

Although the attention the Cash App’s digital asset trading feature garnered from the cryptocurrency community certainly increased the App’s popularity and likely contributed to its number one position on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, Square’s Cash App product manager, Brian Grassadonia, denied that this was the purpose of their crypto strategy, saying that the move was much more than a simple marketing strategy.

“That’s certainly not why we did it. It comes back to democratizing access to financial tools that have historically been really complicated, intimidating, and stressful. I think there’s an analogy with card acceptance. Before Square came along, 50% of small businesses that tried to accept credit cards got denied by their banks,” Grassadonia said.

The company’s move to embrace cryptocurrency is not surprising considering that Square’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is a notable cryptocurrency advocate who has previously been quoted saying that Bitcoin could one day be the world’s sole currency.

Dan Dolev, an analyst at Nomura Instinet, spoke about Dorsey’s influence on the company’s crypto strategy, noting that Square has to keep enough distance between themselves and Bitcoin so that the company’s performance isn’t adversely affected if the digital asset’s price continues to decline.

“I think there’s a little bit of a tug-of-war on that internally there, but that’s just my perception. Jack is a really big bitcoin advocate. But I think he sees bitcoin as something in line with his overall vision of empowering people in Brazil, Argentina. The company doesn’t want this to be too big of a deal, because then when bitcoin goes down, Square also gets hurt,” Dolev said.

It is likely that Sqaure’s emphasis on the Cash App’s crypto trading feature will increase as the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, and as Bitcoin becomes a more popular investment amongst traditional investors.

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Bitcoin Breaks Above $4,000 Amidst Widespread Market Surge

Following the recent price surge that Bitcoin has experienced after dropping into the low-$3,000 region last week, it has since recovered much of its recent losses and has now climbed above the $4,000 price level. Bitcoin’s positive price action has led the altcoin markets up, with some of today’s best performing cryptocurrency trading up nearly 50%.

At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading up 7.2% at its current price of $4,100, up from yesterday’s lows of $3,700. Although Bitcoin was able to break above $4,000 earlier today, its price continues being rejected at approximately $4,200, which could be a level of small resistance.

Analysts Caution Investors Against Getting Too Excited About Bitcoin Rally

Although the recent market rally that has sent Bitcoin up approximately 30% from its recently established 2018 lows is being seen by many investors as the prophesized “end-of-year rally,” analysts are warning investors against getting too excited about the current price action.

In a recent tweet to his 22,000 followers, Alex Krüger, a popular economist who focuses his content mainly on the cryptocurrency markets, warned investors against believing that the markets are gearing up for a “rabid bull run,” saying:

“Crypto bullish talk is increasing. Some are deriding bears looking for lower prices. Most of these bulls lost a fortune, are deeply underwater, and are actually best ignored… Crypto simply stopped falling. Nothing else has changed. No reason to expect a rabid bull run yet. May easily print new lows in the following weeks. A wide range is IMO the most likely scenario to ensue. Nothing to FOMO into.”

Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, doubled down on his recent comments regarding the current rally being the result of short sellers closing their positions, telling The Independent that:

“For those wondering what’s causing crypto’s impressive push from the floor this morning, look no further than short covering. People are looking to reduce their exposure and closing out high risk sell positions before the holidays and this is creating upward pressure on market prices, which is ultimately resulting in a rally.”

Although the current rally is certainly a welcome development for cryptocurrency investors, they should express caution against getting too excited, as further instability could be right around the corner.

Bitcoin Cash Surges Nearly 50%

Bitcoin’s rally has led the altcoin markets to trade up, with Bitcoin Cash being today’s best performing altcoin.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is trading up nearly 51% at its current price of $198, up significantly from its recently established all-time-low of $75.

Bitcoin SV, the hard-fork offshoot of Bitcoin Cash, is also one of today’s best performing cryptocurrencies, and is trading up 30% at its current price of $118.8. Bitcoin SV is currently behind Bitcoin Cash’s market capitalization by nearly $1.5 billion.

Ethereum is also having a positive day of trading and is trading up over 10% at its current price of $115.7.

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Crypto Exchange Coincheck to Receive Full Licensing from Japanese Authorities

Coincheck, the crypto exchange that lost over $500 million in investors funds in early-2018, is now close to receiving full licensing from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), signaling that the exchange tightened their platform’s security and cleaned up the management practices that led to the hack.

The news regarding the regulatory authority’s decision to issue the exchange their operational licensing was first reported by Nikkei Asian Review, who stated that the license will be issued by the end of 2018.

Crypto Exchange Regulation to Reduce Chances of Future Hacks

As reported by Nikkei in January of 2018, the hack, which resulted in the theft of NEM tokens, was the direct result of poor security features and exchange mismanagement, which led to multiple vulnerabilities that encouraged hackers to target Coincheck over other, more secure, platforms.

Koichiro Wada, the chief executive officer of Coincheck, spoke to Reuters about the reasons behind the platform’s vulnerability, and blamed the lack of experienced employees for the platform’s flaws.

“We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk. We strived to expand using headhunters and agencies, but ended up in this situation,” he said.

Following the hack, the FSA swiftly moved to enforce regulations on crypto exchanges that would hold them to similar requirements that banks are held to, scrutinizing their business plans, ensuring that anti-hacking measures are in place, and that the management team is being held to high standards.

The FSA issued two separate improvement orders to Coincheck after the hack occurred, and on both occasions found that it lacked sufficient safeguards to protect investor’s funds and to prevent money laundering from occurring.

Coincheck Trading Volume Drops, Exchange Begins Restoring Trading Services

Although the exchange refunded all the lost funds to investors, the news regarding their platform’s issues has led to a declining trading volume that signals that the damage to the exchange may be irreversible, regardless of the receipt of their licensing from the FSA.

The exchange’s trading volume, which has been continuously dropping due to the declining crypto markets and decreased investor confidence in the platform, is currently sitting at just under $24 million USD according to CoinMarketCap.

Coincheck resumed new account openings and customer deposits in late-October, initially only resuming trading for four cryptocurrencies, and limiting new accounts to Japan residents exclusively. It wasn’t until November that the platform resumed NEM trading, and only a few weeks ago they revealed that they would resume trading for XRP and FCT tokens.

translated statement from Coincheck regarding the re-listing of XRP and FCT reads in part:

“In connection with unauthorized remittance of the virtual currency NEM…the Company suspended the services partially in order to investigate the cause of customer asset protection and unauthorized remittance, and formulated a business improvement plan. In implementing this plan, we have tried to improve our management control system and internal control system. In addition, with the cooperation of external experts who carried out a step-by-step safety audit, we have restarted the service that enables the receipt, purchase and exchange of XRP and FCT.”

It is likely that the exchange will be slowly restoring full trading services leading up to the issuance of their licensing at the end of the year.

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Bitcoin Sustains Above $3,500 After Widespread Market Rally

Following yesterday’s rally that allowed the cryptocurrency markets to regain much of last week’s losses, Bitcoin has been able to sustain above $3,500 and most altcoins have continued to rise. The market’s recent move appears to have validated the recent lows as a strong level of support.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up 3.3% at its current price of $3,560, up from its weekly lows of just under $3,200. Bitcoin’s recent price action also appears to have validated $3,600 as a strong resistance level, as its price has failed to break through this level on multiple occasions.

Bitcoin Moves Up, But the Bear Market Could be Far from Over

Following yesterday’s rally, Bitcoin dipped to lows of $3,480 after it touched $3,600 and was once again rejected earlier this morning when its price hit $3,600. It is unclear as to whether or not Bitcoin will gain enough upwards momentum to break through this resistance level.

While speaking to MarketWatch, Rob Sluymer, a technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, explained that the 200-week moving average could be a good stop-loss region for traders who entered long positions following yesterday’s move.

“While it’s premature to conclude a longer-term low is developing it is noteworthy/encouraging to see BTC beginning to respond to its next support level. We would recommend traders now use the 200-week sma [simple moving average] near between $3,100 and $3,200 as a stop-loss level to manage long side risk,” he said.

Despite the recent upwards swing being a welcome move in the persisting bear market, one analyst believes that the bear market is still far from over.

While speaking to Forbes in a recent interview, Jon Pearlstone, the publisher of the CryptoPatterns newsletter, said that the crypto market’s recent price action has been fundamentally positive, but further noted that there are multiple factors needed in order for a potential trend reversal to be in play.

“The indicators to watch for now are 1) Follow through — everyone sees today’s buying and increased volume.  Are there buyers willing to join the party now and keep price above $3500? and 2) Hit bullish targets — will buyers join in and take price up to test first level resistance at $4250 or the 2018 trend line currently at the $5000 level?” Pearlstone explained.

Altcoins Sustain Post-Rally

Following yesterday’s market rally, most altcoins have sustained much of their gains and are trading up significantly over a 24-hour trading period.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading up 9% at its current price of $0.334, up significantly from its recent lows of $0.28. XRP appears to be stable at its current price levels, although its performance in the near-term will likely be dictated by how Bitcoin responds to the $3,500 region.

EOS, which was yesterday’s best performing altcoin, is currently trading up 10% at its current price of $2.56 and is sitting well off of its recently established 2018 lows of $1.60.

Ethereum is currently trading up 4% at its current price of $95.26, and another upwards swing is needed in order to push its price above the important psychological level of $100.

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The Crypto Markets May be in a Rout, But the Blockchain Job Market is in Full Swing

Although the crypto markets are caught in a persisting bear market, blockchain jobs are in a raging bull market, with blockchain developer job growth topping this year’s LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report.

The report, which was released by LinkedIn on December 13th, analyzes the fastest growing jobs in the US, and notes that the blockchain industry was the fastest growing job market in 2018.

Crypto Crashed, But Blockchain Still Thriving 

Although the cryptocurrency markets have faltered throughout 2018 and are currently sitting at their lowest price levels since mid-2017, the blockchain development industry is thriving.

The LinkedIn report notes that in the United States, blockchain developer jobs saw 33x growth in 2018, significantly more than the second fastest growing job of machine learning engineers, which grew by 12x throughout the year.

The report notes that within the blockchain development sector, the most widely sought-after skills are knowledge and experience with Solidity (smart contracts), blockchain technology, Ethereum, cryptocurrency, and Node.js.

Within the market, most of the demand for workers with skills and a knowledge base in the aforementioned technologies stemmed from three main companies, including IBM, ConsenSys, and Chainyard, and three main cities, including San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta.

Although the demand for blockchain developers is incredibly high, the crypto rout has undeniably stagnated this growth, as many companies in the blockchain sector have been impacted by the market crash.

ConsenSys, who LinkedIn notes as being one of the biggest blockchain employers, recently underwent a company restructuring that resulted in 13% of the company’s staff being cut.

The restructuring, which has been dubbed as “ConsenSys 2.0” by the company’s leaders, will result in more rigorous milestones and will lead to increased focus on the projects with the most long-term potential, while the more experimental and risky projects will be cut.

Blockchain Industry Not Going Anywhere

Although the blockchain industry may be starting to feel some pressure resulting from the cryptocurrency market crash, it still has a significant amount of growth ahead of it.

Recently, MouseBelt, a blockchain and ICO accelerator service, funded UCLA’s first accredited blockchain engineering course, which will start in January of 2019. The course will be for undergraduate students with an interest in computer engineering and will be considered by the university as a 4-credit special topics course.

In the past, students have had access to blockchain and cryptocurrency courses through the Anderson School of Management, but this is the first course that is actually being offered by UCLA to undergraduate students.

Although the cryptocurrency market’s current situation looks dire, the growth in the blockchain job market and the advent of new blockchain-centric courses from top universities signals that development in DLT tech, which is inexorably tied to crypto, continues pushing ahead and that the best is still yet to come.

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Bitcoin Sets Fresh 2018 Low at $3,200, Altcoins Plunge

Following its recent period of instability, Bitcoin has now plunged to new 2018 lows and has sent the altcoin markets spiraling downwards. Today’s drop has led the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization down to $102 billion, a level not seen since August of 2017.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading down nearly 6% at its current price of $3,230, down from its 24-hour highs of $3,430. Bitcoin’s previous 2018 low was set on December 7th when it fell to just under $3,300.

Analysts Expect Bitcoin to Fall Below $3,000

The market’s current instability is leading to a general consensus among analysts that it is only a matter of time before Bitcoin falls below the important psychological price level of $3,000.

While speaking about Bitcoin’s current price action, Nick Cawley, an analyst at Daily FX, said that based on his technical analysis, Bitcoin’s short-term price action is leading it towards $2,970.

“Bitcoin looks set to fall below $3,000 in the short-term with the $2,970 Sept. 15, 2017, swing-low the next target. Below here, horizontal support at $1,760 off the July 18 [2017] low comes into play in the longer-term.”

DonAlt (@CryptoDonAlt), a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, told his nearly-80 thousand followers that he also expects BTC to dip into the $2,000 region, with a good buy target being at the $2,700 level.

“As BTC is approaching the target of the 2014 fractal the targets of most people change from 3k to 1k and even lower. I still think 2.7k is an excellent place to buy if we should go there,” he said, further adding that right now is not the best place to add new short positions.

Altcoins Plummet Amidst Bitcoin Instability

Bitcoin’s instability has led the vast majority of altcoins to plummet, with Bitcoin Cash and Stellar Lumens leading today’s market plunge.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is trading down 15% at its current price of $82, setting a fresh all-time-low. Ever since Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork event on November 15th, the cryptocurrency has been spiraling downwards, and is showing few signs of fundamental strength as it drifts lower.

BCH’s hard fork offshoot – Bitcoin SV (BSV) – also dropped significantly today and is currently trading down nearly 11% at its current price of $74.8. BSV is currently behind Bitcoin Cash’s market cap by over $100 million.

Stellar Lumens (XLM) is currently trading down over 11% at its current price of $0.098, and just set a new 2018 low around its current price levels.

XRP is currently trading down nearly 6% at its current price of $0.287 and is trading at levels not seen since this past September. It is important to note that XRP is still trading above its 2018 low, which was set at approximately $0.24 this past August.

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Crypto Friendly Revolut Granted European Banking License

Revolut, the London-based fintech unicorn that offers users a digital alternative to traditional banking services, has been granted a European banking license by regulatory authorities, allowing them to offer Europe-based users a plethora of digital banking services.

Revolut features an in-app exchange that allows users to gain exposure to five cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. The platform, which in many ways is a competitor to the US-based Robinhood, allows users to buy and sell crypto commission free, with the only cost being a 1.5% exchange rate markup to account for volatility.

Revolut Gains Access to Significantly More Users, Could be Bullish for Crypto 

On Thursday, the company announced that they had received a banking license from the European Central Bank (ECB), which will allow them to begin expanding their services across the continent, entering key markets like Germany, the U.K., France, and Poland, over the next year.

Revolut will offer users nearly all the services that traditional banks offer, including business and consumer lending, direct salary deposits, overdrafts, and up to €100,000 protection covered by the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Revolut, which offers users quick and simple access to cryptocurrencies, is opening between 8,000 and 10,000 accounts per day, and has plans to expand into the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, throughout 2019.

Nik Storonsky, the founder and CEO of Revolut, spoke to CNBC earlier this week, and said that the company already has a significant amount of users in the US waiting for accounts.

“At the moment we have about 100,000 waiting in the U.S. without any marketing,” he said.

As Revolut expands its services across the world and gains more users, it could potentially siphon a significant amount of money into the crypto markets due to the easy and cheap access it offers users.

In addition to offering easy access to crypto, Revolut also launched a debit card that allows customers to receive cash back denominated in one of the five cryptocurrencies offered on its platform. As more users begin shifting their traditional banking accounts to digital providers, like Revolut, it is plausible that they will begin dabbling in other digital-based and nascent markets, like cryptocurrencies.

Revolut Propelled by Massive Funding

The fintech unicorn’s rapid expansion stems from a combination of a shifting trend away from traditional banking services, and a massive flow of funding that is allowing them to efficiently propel their operations.

Earlier this year, Revolut raised $250 million in a funding round that brought its valuation to $1.7 billion, and recent reports claim that the company is in talks with SoftBank to raise additional funding worth as much as $500 million. Storonsky told CNBC that his company “doesn’t need the money,” but said that the SoftBank partnership “may happen in the future.”

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Bitcoin Falls Below $3,500, Analyst Claims Likelihood of a Bounce is Diminishing

Bitcoin has been unable to stabilize above $3,500 which has led to a widespread sell-off that has sent most cryptocurrencies down 2% or more. Despite today’s drop, many altcoins have been able to maintain their recently established levels of support.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 1.8% at its current price of $3,440, down marginally from its 24-hour highs of $3,550. Earlier this week, Bitcoin climbed to highs of nearly $3,700 before quickly being pushed downwards, signaling that this price level could be a level of resistance for Bitcoin.

Over the past several days Bitcoin appears to have found support at $3,400, bouncing slightly when this price was touched on both today and this past Tuesday.

Analyst: Bitcoin Less Likely to Bounce the Longer it Trades Sideways

As Bitcoin continues to range between $3,400 and $3,700, one analyst claims that the likelihood of a bounce is continually decreasing.

While speaking to MarketWatch regarding Bitcoin’s sideways trading in the mid-$3,000 region, Jani Ziedins of CrackedMarket said that the longer any asset trades at a low price, the less likely it is that the asset is oversold.

“Bitcoin continues to muddle along in the mid-$3k range. The longer we maintain these levels, the less likely it becomes that prices are oversold and poised for a pop. The public has largely written cryptocurrencies off as a fad and no new money is coming in. The lack of demand will continue to be a big liability.”

Although there are no catalysts for a price run in the near-future, the release of institutional-aimed products throughout 2019, like the ones being offered from both Bakkt and Fidelity, could lead to both an influx of funding as well as an influx of positive news from the mainstream media regarding the cryptocurrency markets.

Altcoins Trade Marginally Lower

Bitcoin’s inability to stabilize above $3,500 has led the altcoin markets to drop slightly, although they have generally held steady above their recently established support levels, which were formed earlier this week when Bitcoin fell to $3,400 from $3,700.

Ethereum is one of today’s best performing altcoins and is currently trading down 0.5% at its current price of $91. Earlier this week, Ethereum formed the $88 region as a level of support and appears to have stabilized above the $90 mark.

XRP is currently trading down 1.5% at its current price of $0.305 and is continuing to closely follow Bitcoin’s trading patterns. XRP has found support in the $0.30 region, and only briefly dipped below this price earlier this week.

One of today’s worst preforming altcoins is Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which is currently trading down nearly 6% at its current price of $98. Bitcoin Cash is currently hovering right around its all-time-low of $97 and is showing little to no signs of fundamental strength.

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Calling All Gamers: Razer Wants You to Mine Cryptocurrency Using Idle GPUs

Razer, the multi-billion-dollar gaming equipment manufacturer, released a new program that allows gamers to easily utilize their idle GPUs to mine cryptocurrency. The catch to this seemingly simple program, however, is that users don’t actually get to keep the cryptocurrency they mine.

Razer Releases Cryptocurrency Mining Software Called SoftMiner

The new program, called SoftMiner, allows PC users to utilize their expensive GPUs while they are not using their computers, whether that be while they are at school, sleeping, or at work, and in exchange Razer rewards them with something called “Razer Silver.”

The San Francisco and Singapore-based tech company announced the program in a tweet earlier this morning, marketing their new program as a way to earn rewards for doing “nothing at all.”

“Have a gaming rig on idle at home? Here’s a new way to score Razer Silver: launch Razer SoftMiner on your PC and start racking up Silver—one step closer to the reward you want, for doing nothing at all.”

Once the software is downloaded, it will automatically activate the PC’s GPU when the computer is not in use and will disburse Razer Silver rewards depending on how much cryptocurrency is mined over a set period of time. Razer has not specified which cryptocurrency will be mined.

A Good Deal for Razer, But not a Good Deal for Users

Although SoftMiner seems like a simple way for users to obtain rewards points that can be exchanged for “coveted Razer rewards like our latest peripherals, games, discount vouchers, and more,” users could run mining software themselves and cash out their cryptocurrency for fiat currency.

Razer claims that with the proper set-up, users can generate up to 500 Razer Silver credits per 24-hour period, which basically amounts to $1.67 per day worth of rewards based on a $5 Razer reward costing 1,500 credits.

The comments on the Razer SoftMiner announcement on Twitter signal that nobody is too excited about this new program.

One user wrote “Seriously? This is an early April fools joke right?” While another user referenced the high cost of electricity incurred while mining cryptocurrency, saying “I’m just going to need to forward my electricity bill to you [Razer] every month and have you pay it.”

Another user criticized the “trade deal” Razer is offering users, calling it the “worst trade deal in the history of trade deals, maybe ever.”

Asus and Quantumcloud recently released a similar program that allows gamers to mine cryptocurrency using their idle graphics cards, although their program allows users to cash out the proceeds (minus a fee) to either their PayPal or WeChat accounts.

Although it is clear that SoftMiner isn’t the best deal for users, it does signal a growing trend for tech companies who are looking to generate additional income through mining cryptocurrency.

Programs like SoftMiner and the one being offered by Asus may also introduce more people to the crypto markets and could act as a gateway that leads gamers into the world of cryptocurrency mining.

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Bitcoin Climbs to $3,500, Analyst Claims There is Nothing Unique About the Crypto Bubble

Bitcoin was able to bounce after yesterday’s downturn, leading the entire cryptocurrency market to trade up. The latest move up may validate the support levels that multiple cryptocurrencies respected yesterday as mid-term bottoms.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up nearly 3% at its current price of just over $3,500. Bitcoin appears to have established the $3,400 region as a level of support, as its price failed to break below this level during yesterday’s market turbulence.

Bitcoin and Crypto Bubble Not Unique

Despite the market’s recent bubble seeming to be unprecedented, one analyst claims that there is nothing unique about the crypto bubble, and that similar movements have been seen before in multiple other markets throughout history.

While speaking to MarketWatch, Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell, noted that “mania” is what drove the crypto markets to their all-time-highs, and the fundamentals are what dragged them down to their current levels.

“This brutal bear market looks like so many that we have seen before across a wide range of asset classes. A succession of rallies have tempted true believers and speculators alike to hold on, or even dive in again, only for those surges to become vicious bear traps, leaving holders of the cryptocurrency facing deeper and deeper losses,” he said

Mould further explained that similar bubbles have occurred in the dot com industry in the late-1990s, and in the Nasdaq Composite, which crashed and then attempted multiple rallies, “with at least eight of them failing and dragged investors deeper into the mire before the benchmark bottomed in March 2003 after a top-to-bottom loss of 75%.”

The Nasdaq Composite, after peaking in March of 2000 due to its high amount of tech holdings, didn’t recover back to those price levels until April of 2015. Mould insinuated that Bitcoin could see a similar trend, saying that “even if bitcoin is over the worst, it may be a long road for those who piled in near the top.”

Altcoins Follow Bitcoin’s Lead and Rise

Bitcoin’s climb to above $3,500 has led most altcoins to rise 3% or more.

At the time of writing, EOS is one of the best performing altcoins, and is trading up 10% at its current price of $2.02. Despite having a good day, EOS has still had a rough week and is currently trading 12% below its 7-day high of $2.31.

XRP is currently trading up nearly 3% at its current price of nearly $0.31. So far, XRP has respected the $0.30 region as a level of support, and this price may prove to be a mid-term bottom depending on how the markets trend in the coming weeks and months.

Ethereum has climbed back above the $90 mark and is currently trading up nearly 4% at its current price of $91.45. Yesterday, Ethereum established the $88 level as support, which could be validated as a mid-term bottom if the markets continue trading sideways or upwards.

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VC Investor: Fundamentals Show Bitcoin and Ethereum Oversold in Bear Market

It’s no secret that 2018 has been a rough year for cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin falling over 80% from its 2017 highs, and most major altcoins dropping 90% or more. Despite the market’s poor performance, one venture capitalist laid out his case for why Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently oversold from a fundamental standpoint.

The past few weeks have been especially volatile, with both Bitcoin and Ethereum setting fresh 2018 lows. Last Friday, Bitcoin fell to $3,300 and Ethereum fell to $83, the lowest prices these cryptocurrencies have seen in all of 2018. The market’s recent performance has been particularly disappointing to crypto investors, as many of them anticipated a Winter rally resembling that which occurred in late-2017, but instead they got fresh lows and dwindling signs of fundamental strength.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Fundamentally Oversold

Although the recent drops have led the overall market sentiment to hit rock bottom, Chris Burniske, a partner at the New York-based venture capital firm, Placeholder, offered a more optimistic view of the current markets in a recent Medium post, titled “Bitcoin & Ethereum: Prices are Down More than the Fundamentals.”

Initially, Burniske defined his terms and explained to readers that for him, the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies are defined by the health of their supply-siders and demand-siders.

In his words, supply-siders are “the folks who provision the network’s service (currently, the most common form of supply-sider is a miner),” and demand-siders are “the ones who consume the service.”

Furthermore, Burniske claims that network value – which is found by multiplying the price per unit by the number of outstanding units – is the term he will use to show the aggregate value the market is placing on a specific crypto-network.

While comparing the network activity to the price of both Bitcoin and Ethereum, an interesting trend can be found: network values are down significantly more than the daily number of transactions.

“Bitcoin is currently processing ~250,000 transactions per day, and Ethereum ~500,000… there is a clear divergence, where network value has continued to slide over the last few months, but the number of daily transactions is stable to ticking up… From peak, Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s network values are down 81% and 93%, respectively, whereas daily number of transactions are only down 41% and 52%, respectively,” Burniske noted.

These statistics clearly show that from a fundamental standpoint, as defined by Burniske, both Bitcoin and Ethereum are oversold.

He adds to this argument by referencing the “native demand metric” of each network, which is the secure movement of value for Bitcoin, and processing smart contract computations for Ethereum.

When breaking down the decline in the native value metric for these two cryptocurrencies, and comparing that to their price declines, it becomes even more clear that they are fundamentally oversold.

“The two charts above are my favorite, as they show what I consider the most native demand-metric of each network. For Bitcoin, that’s securely moving value, and for Ethereum, it’s processing smart contract computations… Since their respective peak prices, Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s network values are down 81% and 93%, respectively, whereas demand for their respective native functionalities is down 74% and 7%, respectively,” he explained.

When mulling over these numbers, it becomes crystal clear that although Bitcoin and Ethereum are both trading down significantly from their all-time-highs, their utilization has not decreased enough to justify such a large drop, which signals that they are fundamentally oversold.

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Analyst Claims that the Bitcoin Bear Market is Still Far from Over

The cryptocurrency markets posted slight gains over the weekend and have recovered slightly from last week’s dip that sent most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, to fresh yearly lows. Despite the current price action being seen as capitulation by some investors, one analyst claims that the crypto bear market is still far from over.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down nearly 4% over the past 24-hour trading period at its current price of $3,500. This past Friday, Bitcoin set a new 2018 low at just under $3,300 on the aggregated markets. Over the weekend, Bitcoin rose to highs of $3,650, and has been trading sideways between $3,400 and $3,600 in the time since.

Stephen Innes, the head of Asia Pacific trading at Oanda, offered a pessimistic view of the current state of the markets while speaking to MarketWatch, claiming that Bitcoin’s lack of use-cases is contributing to the persisting bear market.

“Bitcoins have gone well beyond the ridiculousness of tulip bulb mania. It’s has been a disastrous year for cryptos, and by all indication, the current bear market could go from bad to worse with no fundamental or underlying reasons…” Innes explained.

Despite his pessimism, Bitcoin is actually seeing increased adoption, and it is clear that institutions are increasingly recognizing it as a powerful asset.

Recently, Matt Hougan, the global head of research at Bitwise, explained that the entrance of major institutional investment groups, including ICE, Fidelity, and major universities like Yale and Stanford, is driving investor’s interest in regulated cryptocurrency investment funds.

“With significant positive developments on the horizon, including the launch of the Bakkt bitcoin futures exchange from ICE, the launch of Fidelity Digital Assets, and the continued movement of institutional investors like Yale University and Stanford University into the crypto space, we have seen significant inbound demand for high-quality bitcoin and ether funds,” Hougan said.

Although some analysts may be pessimistic regarding the future of Bitcoin, its increasing rate of adoption as both an asset and as a currency signal that the best is yet to come.

Altcoins Drift Lower Amidst Bitcoin Instability

Bitcoin’s increasing volatility has been a bad thing for the altcoin markets, and its latest drop has led many altcoins down 4% or more.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down nearly 5% at its current price of just over $0.30. XRP seems to have established the $0.30 region as a level of support, and only briefly dipped below it this past Friday when Bitcoin fell to under $3,300. XRP is still trading above its 2018 low of approximately $0.24, which was set in early-August.

Ethereum is presently trading down over 6% at its current price of $91.5 but is up slightly from its recently establish year-to-date low of approximately $84. Ethereum is currently trading down nearly 60% from its one-month high of $213, which was set in early-November.

Although Bitcoin’s poor performance has led to turbulence in the markets, the entrance of institutional investors throughout 2019 may help to lift the markets back towards their all-time-high prices.

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SEC Commissioner Warns Investors Against Putting Too Much Hope into Bitcoin ETF

The current state of the cryptocurrency markets is leading investors to place a significant amount of their hope into future products and events, including the potential approval of the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF that is currently awaiting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) approval.

Despite this, one SEC commissioner who is notably bullish on cryptocurrencies, warned investors against placing too much importance on this event, saying that it could be a long time before a Bitcoin ETF is approved.

Hester Peirce, one of five SEC commissioners, made the comments while speaking at a cryptocurrency conference in Washington D.C., and also noted that she is working hard to convince the other commissioners to consider the emerging asset class with an open mind.

It is important to note that a majority ruling is required in order for ETFs to pass, which may jeopardize the Bitcoin ETF’s chances of approval.

“Don’t hold your breath. I do caution people to not live or die on when a crypto or Bitcoin ETF gets approved,” Peirce said. “You all know that I am working on trying to convince my colleagues to have a bit more of an open mind when it comes to [cryptocurrency]. I am not as charming as some other people.”

Although the cryptocurrency industry is expecting a decision of the pending Bitcoin ETF application by early-2019, Peirce further added that approval could come tomorrow, or in 20 years.

Related Reading: BTC/USD Price Analysis: SEC Commissioner Comment on Bitcoin ETF

Comments Regarding Bitcoin ETF Come Amidst Growing Institutionalization

Although the markets are currently sitting at their year-to-date lows, with many cryptocurrencies trading down 90% or more from their 2017 and 2018 highs, the nascent markets are seeing a growing amount of traditional financial institutions entering the markets.

A few developments that could impact the markets in the coming months are the release of the ICE-backed cryptocurrency exchange, Bakkt, and the entrance of major traditional finance companies, including Nasdaq and Fidelity, into the industry.

Peirce also gave some advice to cryptocurrency companies that want to succeed in the largely unregulated industry, saying:

“Get good regulatory advice… there are a lot of landmines…[and] we live in a society that has a lot of old securities laws…You could have the best intensions in the world and you could trip on something that you didn’t mean to trip on.”

Recently, the SEC has been cracking down on crypto-related products that are resembling of securities offerings and has even charged multiple high-profile celebrities for endorsing initial coin offerings (ICOs) without disclosing that they were paid.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and DJ Khalid were both forced to pay large penalties for endorsing ICOs on their social media accounts, and Mayweather was banned from endorsing any securities products – even when the payment details are disclosed – for the next three years.

Peirce concluded the fireside chat on a positive note, saying that institutionalization of the cryptocurrency markets will happen.

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Bitcoin Falls to Lowest Weekly Level, ETH Drops Below $100

Following a period of general weakness in the cryptocurrency markets over the past several days, Bitcoin has fallen down to its previously established 2018 lows, leading many altcoins to plummet.

Despite the current bloodbath in the crypto markets, one analyst believes that cryptocurrencies will become an investment safe haven as the equity markets face growing instability.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 4.5% at its current price of $3,650, just a hair above its 2018 low of approximately $3,600. Because this price level proved to be a support level when it was first touched in late-November, it will be interesting to see how Bitcoin’s price responds to this region over the coming hours.

Related Reading: Study: Pump and Dump Schemes have Negligible Effect on Crypto Markets

Bitcoin Instability Leads to Altcoin Market Bloodbath 

Bitcoin’s current price action has caused the altcoin markets to take a major hit, with multiple cryptos trading down 10% or more.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the worst performing altcoin and is currently trading down over 15% at its current price of $115, setting a fresh all-time low around this price.

BCH is currently trading down nearly 82% from its recent highs of $630, which were set in the weeks prior to the hard fork event that occurred in mid-November. This event – in addition to the current market conditions – is likely the main factor contributing to BCH’s downwards spiral, as it decreased investor confidence and split the community into a civil war regarding the original Bitcoin Cash, and the hard fork version – Bitcoin SV.

Ethereum has also set a fresh 2018 low today and is currently trading down over 7% at its current price of $97.5. Yesterday, ETH briefly dipped down to approximately $100, but quickly bounced to $104. Despite this, ETH was unable to uphold the $100 support level and has not yet established a new support level.

XRP is currently tracking Bitcoin’s performance quite closely and is trading down 4.4% at its current price of $0.327. Although 4% is no small drop, XRP is one of today’s best performing altcoins.

Despite the recent price action being demoralizing to investors, one industry insider expects cryptocurrencies to become a safe haven for equity investors in 2019, who may witness increased market turbulence in the stock markets amidst growing concerns surrounding a trade war between the U.S. and China and increasing interest rates from the federal reserve.

Ian McLeod of Thomas Crown Art, a blockchain-based company that utilizes smart contracts for artwork, spoke to MarketWatch about this theory, saying:

“There’s a growing list of investment tailwinds to consider for 2019. These include significant trade tensions, rising interest rates, political uncertainties, including Brexit, and complacent financial markets. Against this backdrop, we can expect cryptocurrencies will increasingly be seen as investors’ ‘safe havens’ in 2019 and beyond.”

Whether or not Bitcoin holds $3,600 as a level of support will likely set the tone for how the markets fare for the remainder of the week.

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Bitcoin Drops Nearly 5%, Approaches 2018 Lows Amidst Market Sell-Off

After being unable to stabilize above the important psychological price level of $4,000, Bitcoin has continued to sell-off and is now approaching its 2018 lows. Bitcoin’s latest leg down has led to a widespread market drop that has seen many altcoins drop 3% or more over a 24-hour trading period.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 4.65% in 24 hours at its current price of $3,786. Today’s drop was not unexpected, considering that it was unable to stabilize above $4,000, and was slowly pushed into the $3,900 region by the bears.

Despite the markets being incredibly weak presently, they could be nearing another good entry zone for traders looking to profit from a relief rally, and one analyst claims that there is more upside than downside.

“Bitcoin continues flirting with the $4k level as it struggles to find its footing following the latest selloff. But given how far we fell, at this point there is more upside than downside. That said, few things move as far and as fast as cryptocurrencies,” Jani Ziedens of CrackedMarket explained to MarketWatch.

As Bitcoin faces continued downwards pressure, investors will likely look towards Bitcoin’s current 2018 low as the first level of support, which currently exists around $3,600. If this level maintains as support, it ultimately could become a long-term bottom.

Related Reading: Institutions Still Bullish on Crypto: Grayscale Owns 1% of All Bitcoin

Altcoins Drop, Led by Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin’s latest drop has led to a bloodbath in the altcoin markets, with multiple altcoins trading down over 10%.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and EOS have both been today’s worst performing altcoins and are trading down 13% and 10.7% respectively.

Bitcoin Cash has set a fresh all-time-low around its current price point of $134 and is currently trading down 80% from its one-month highs of $630, which was set one week prior to its hard fork event that occurred on November 15th.

EOS is currently trading at $2.23, down 61% from its one-month highs of $5.72 which were set in early-November. EOS has been facing controversy surrounding an EOS block producer offering money for votes, negating the decentralized nature of the EOS network.

XRP is currently trading down over 4% at its current price of $0.34, down from its weekly highs of nearly $0.40. XRP has been performing relatively well in the current bear market, and is one of the few altcoins that is trading above its 2018 low.

In August, XRP fell to around $0.25, and ranged near this price for the rest of the month, and is currently trading up approximately 36% from this low. XRP’s good performance, relative to the current markets, has secured its position ahead of Ethereum as the number two cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

Ethereum is currently trading at just over $104, and is just 4% over its 2018 lows of $100.

As Bitcoin continues moving downwards, investors should watch for how it responds to $3,600, which is likely the first level of support stopping Bitcoin from setting lower lows.

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Legendary Venture Capitalist: “We’re Close to a Crypto Nuclear Winter”

It’s no secret that 2018 has proven to be a rough year for the cryptocurrency markets, which have seen their market capitalization plummet from highs of over $800 million in January of 2018 to recently established yearly lows of under $120 billion.

The poor market performance, which can be attributed to little more than a boom-and-bust market cycle, has left many investors wondering when the markets will recover, and looking towards upcoming platforms and products being offered by major players in the world of finance, including an institutional investment platform from Fidelity, and a Bitcoin product from the ICE-backed company, Bakkt.

Despite there being positive developments occuring, one legendary investor warns that the cryptocurrency markets may be entering into a “nuclear winter,” while also noting that the technology is exciting and that it does have an exciting future.

The comments were made by Jim Breyer, a billionaire investor who has board seats in notable companies, including Dell, Blackstone, and Walmart, during Fortune’s 2018 Global Tech Forum in Guangzhou, China.

During the final keynote session of the event, Breyer, who is vocal about his bullishness on blockchain technology, said that he continues to be “very interested” in cryptocurrency and DLT-based companies, but further added that “we are close to a nuclear winter right now with cryptocurrency.”

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is currently nearing its recently established 2018 lows of $3,600 and is currently trading down 80% from its late-2017 highs of nearly $20,000. Bitcoin’s poor market performance has led the altcoins markets into a downwards spiral that has sent many of their prices into territories not seen since early-to-mid 2017.

Related Reading: Mike Novogratz Expects Crypto Market Turnaround, Adoption in 2019

Not the First Cryptocurrency Winter 

Breyer importantly added that the current crypto slump isn’t unprecedented, and these type of cyclical pricing patterns are seen in most emerging tech markets, including the artificial intelligence (AI) industry and the internet, which saw a major bubble form and burst in the late 90s and early-2000s

Breyer made a huge portion of his wealth by investing in nascent markets, as he placed a massive, and risky, bet on Facebook in 2005 when the company was in its infancy. Ultimately, this bet was worth billions of dollars and allowed Breyer to form his own investment firm, aptly named Breyer Capital, in 2013.

While speaking about the predictability of boom and bust cycles in nascent industries, Breyer noted that “these cycles keep happening every decade or so,” and further added that this type of seasonality is “inevitable.”

Furthermore, he also said that blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, is being investigated and implemented by some of the biggest names in technology, with some of the best and brightest computer science minds devoting their knowledge and skill to advancing the technology.

“So many of the very best computer scientists and deep learning PhD students and post-docs are working on blockchain because they have so much fundamental interest in what blockchain can mean… You don’t want to bet against the best and brightest in the world.”

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Bitcoin Drops Below $4,000, Approaches 2018 Lows

Following a weekend of choppy trading action, the cryptocurrency markets have established a fresh leg down, erasing most of their gains incurred through the recent relief rally that sent the markets up 10% or more from their recently established 2018 lows.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down 7% at its current price of $3,860, down over 12% from its recent highs of $4,400.

In late-November, Bitcoin set its 2018 low at approximately $3,600 on the aggregated markets, and since then this level has acted as support. Presently, Bitcoin is sitting just 7% over this support level, and its current downwards momentum may drive its price down to this region.

Today’s drop has brought the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization down to $125 billion, which is just $10 billion above its 2018 low of just under $115 billion.

Despite the recent market conditions weakening the industry’s sentiment and causing many investors to lose confidence in the markets, one industry insider is quick to remind investors that the current price action isn’t unprecedented and has been seen before in crypto’s brief history.

While speaking to MarketWatch, Danny Scott, the CEO and co-founder of CoinCorner, a cryptocurrency exchange, said that he has witnessed this exact price action before, and that it is always proceeded with a major parabolic rally.

“If we look back over bitcoin’s short 10-year history, it has experienced many price fluctuations—something that is to be expected given that the industry is still very young. There have been a number of sizeable price movements over the years which have typically gone unnoticed by anyone except those within the industry. For example, in 2013 we saw the price drop 49.88% in just 14 days, which is a bigger drop than the one we have experienced over these last two weeks,” Scott said.

Related Reading: Crypto Market Update: Weekend Gains Wiped Out in $5 Billion Fall

Altcoins Plummet Amidst Bitcoin Selloff

Bitcoin’s downwards price action has led to a widespread selloff in the altcoin markets, and virtually no major altcoins have been able to dodge the effects of the market carnage.

At the time of writing, XRP is trading down 5% at its current price of just under $0.35. XRP is currently sitting about 10% off its recently established lows of $0.32, but is trading down over 10% from its recent highs of $0.40 that were set during the relief rally that proceeded last month’s massive sell off.

Ethereum (ETH) is currently trading down nearly 8% at its current price of $107.84 and is sitting just 7% off its 2018 lows of just under $100. ETH has been battered in the time since last month’s relief rally and is currently down nearly 15% from its recent highs of over $125.

In the coming days and weeks, it will likely become more apparent as to whether or not the $3,600 price level will serve as support for Bitcoin, which will continue to lead the markets amidst the current instability.

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