Record-breaking 2017 Brought Bitcoin, Altcoins Drastically Increased Mainstream Acceptanc

Record-breaking 2017 Brought Bitcoin, Altcoins Drastically Increased Mainstream Acceptance

As non-profit cryptocurrency research institution CoinCenter’s Neeraj K. Agrawal wrote, 2017 was the year in which Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies went mainstream.

Wall Street

Numerous major financial institutions have integrated support for Bitcoin, with elite investment banks like Goldman Sachs contemplating the creation of Bitcoin trading desks in 2018. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) and CME Group, the two largest futures exchanges in the world, successfully launched Bitcoin futures trading last month.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the biggest stock market in the world in terms of daily trading volume, has applied two launch two Bitcoin-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Cboe has applied to launch six such ETFs themselves. Bitcoin futures are strictly regulated investment vehicles that can provide institutional investors and high profile individual investors immediate access to the Bitcoin market. Bitcoin ETFs, on the other hand, will provide easy access to Bitcoin for retail investors and some classes of institutions that do not trade on the futures market.
 

Regulatory environment

In March 2017, as Cointelegraph reported, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a Bitcoin ETF filing submitted by the Winklevoss twins, the first confirmed billionaire Bitcoin investors, because of the Bitcoin market’s lack of regulation. However, the global Bitcoin market and its regulatory landscape have drastically changed since then. The Japanese government recognized Bitcoin as a legitimate currency while other large markets like South Korea have introduced practical regulations for local cryptocurrency businesses and investors.

Most importantly, the SEC left the door open for approval of a future Bitcoin ETF in the event that regulated Bitcoin futures markets should be developed. As such, it is highly likely that Bitcoin ETFs will be approved in 2018, given that Cboe and CME have proven that Bitcoin can be traded on strictly regulated platforms with proper investment protection.
 

Mainstream media

Mainstream news publications around the world have drastically increased their coverage of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies in the last year. Several news publications, including CNBC and Forbes, have created cryptocurrency-specific media channels to address the rapidly growing demand for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

 

Frenzy

In some countries, cryptocurrency mania has formed, as investors of all ages have begun to engage in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. In South Korea, speculation around the cryptocurrency market has reached a point in which the South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon released a public statement addressing the sudden increase in demand for digital currencies.

 

Several months ago, the South Korean government formed a task force to draft regulations to cover the digital currency market.

 

Extraordinary rise of altcoins

Over the past few months, the entire cryptocurrency market has experienced a drastic trend-shift as altcoins have surged in value. The “Bitcoin Dominance” metric has reached an all time low of 37.3%, indicating that the number one cryptocurrency now accounts for just over one third of the market cap of the entire digital currency sector. While there is some controversy over the use of market cap numbers to estimate the size of the market, it is clear that Bitcoin is no longer the only major player. Alternate digital currencies like Ethereum and Dash have increased in value over 100x in the past year.
 

Ripple in particular had an spectacular rally throughout 2017, as its value skyrocketed from $0.006 to $2.38, a 360-fold increase. While its current $88 billion market valuation is being questioned by analysts like Ryan Selkis from ConsenSys, it still remains as the second largest digital currency by market cap.

 

Author Joseph Young

 

Posted By David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneurs

 

Bitcoin Alternatives - Ethereum Vs Litecoin Vs Verge Vs Ripple Vs Zcash

Bitcoin Alternatives – Ethereum Vs Litecoin Vs Verge Vs Ripple Vs Zcash

After bitcoin, ripple is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization

The bitcoin prices may have stabilized but, they still hover around $13,000, a price far too high for a lot of potential investors. The exorbitant price of bitcoins dissuaded hundreds of thousands of potential investors who missed the 2017 rally. The bitcoin prices had jumped in the last month of 2017 in run up to the launch of futures trading by CBOE (Chicago Board of Options Exchange) and CME Group this month. After the futures trading launch, the prices have more or less fallen from the peak of $19,666, a feat achieved on December 17. However, there are numerous cryptocurrencies which are still not as popular and can be bought owing to their affordability.

Following are some of the bitcoins' smaller rivals

Ripple (XRP): Ripple, one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, claims to offer frictionless experience to its customers to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple, financial institutions can process their customers' payments anywhere in the world instantly. The Ripple woos banks and payment providers to use the cryptocurrency for reducing costs. Ripple's price had surged $1 for the first time on December 21.

 

Litecoin (LTC): The market capitalization of litecoin rose from $1 billion in November 2013 to $4.6 billion. What makes a litecoin appealing is that the price of a litecoin (at $277) is still affordable for many such investors, at least as of now. Another thing that distinguishes litecoin from a bitcoin is that the litcoin takes relatively less processing speed (2.5 minutes) unlike bitcoin that takes around 10 minutes for one block. The market capitalization of litecoin is over $15 billion.

 

Ethereum: Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain network. Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher. Bitcoin offers one particular application of blockchain technology, a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables online Bitcoin payments, the Ethereum blockchain focuses on running the programming code of any decentralized application. The value token of the Ethereum blockchain is called ether. The price of Ethereum is over $700.

 

Verge (XVG): Verge currency is a cryptocurrency that improves upon the original Bitcoin blockchain and aims to meet the primary purpose of providing individuals and businesses with a fast, efficient and decentralized way of making direct transactions while maintaining personal privacy, says the Verge currency's website. Verge makes it possible to engage in direct transactions quickly, efficiently and privately. With Verge currency, businesses and individuals have flexible options for sending and receiving payments. Verge uses multiple anonymity-centric networks such as Tor and 12P. The IP addresses of the users are obfuscated and the transactions are completely untraceable. Price of one verge is around $0.1583 on Saturday while the total market cap is over $2.2 billion.

 

Zcash (ZEC): While the bitcoin blockchain contains records of the participants in a transaction, as well as the amount involved, Zcash's blockchain shows only that a transaction took place, and not who was involved or what the amount was. Zcash is an open-source protocol because of which, the Zcash Company does not control it (including controlling the mining or distribution of it), not does it have any special access to private or shielded transactions. Just like anyone else, the Z cash Company only has the ability to see a private or shielded transaction if it is a party to that transaction or someone provides it with the correct view key. Zcash is valued at $518.

 

David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Bitcoin is passé: these are the cryptocurrencies to look at in 2018

Bitcoin is passé: these are the cryptocurrencies to look at in 2018

Bitcoin had a monumental 2017, with its price rising by more than 1,400pc over the past year. However, it was far from the best-performing cryptocurrency.

Of the 10 most important digital currencies by total value at the time of writing, six have been around for more than a year. All six have experienced price rises that eclipse Bitcoin, ranging from 2,870pc for Monero to 31,560pc for NEM.

As the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Bitcoin contains many flaws that later rivals have aimed to iron out. Transaction numbers per second are severely limited, “mining” – producing – Bitcoin consumes huge amounts of energy, and the transaction fees required for a payment to be processed quickly have been spiraling out of control.

All of these problems place doubt on Bitcoin’s ability to become a widely adopted means of payment, and ultimately on its value.

Gary McFarlane, a cryptocurrency analyst at investment shop Interactive Investor, said: “Bitcoin is the benchmark for the cryptocurrency market – other coins are judged by what they do differently to it, and how they address its flaws.

“No cryptocurrency has achieved mass adoption as a means of payment yet, so later projects that can address earlier technological issues are in a better position.”

So, aside from Bitcoin, which cryptocurrencies do those who analyse the fledgling cryptocurrency “market” have their eye on in 2018? Before you part with any money, bear in mind that any cryptocurrency investment is highly speculative, so only risk cash that you could afford to lose in its entirety and will not need in the short term.
 

Iota

Total value: $9.5bn

Iota stands for Internet of Things Application, and differs significantly from Bitcoin.

Instead of transactions being bundled together into “blocks”, those blocks being verified by a “miner” and then added to a blockchain ledger, as happens with Bitcoin, Iota uses a different technology called the “Tangle”.

Each transaction remains separate, is not amalgamated into blocks, and there are no separate miners who compete to verify transactions.

Instead, for a transaction to go through, the computer, smartphone or other device the transaction originated from must complete a mathematical problem to confirm two other random transactions.

There are no transaction fees, as the only cost is the amount of electricity a device uses to verify those transactions, which is borne by the user. In theory, this system could attain huge scale, as the more transactions that are put through, the more capacity there is to verify new transactions.

Mr McFarlane said there was a “good team” behind Iota and there were major companies interested in the technology, including Microsoft.

It is intended to be used as part of the “internet of things” – where homes, appliances and other day-to-day items are connected and communicate via a network. Its creators envisage that Iota will be used to enable micro-transactions and to allow almost anything, from a bicycle to computer processing power, to be rented out in real time.

 

Cardano

Total value: $10.2bn

Mr McFarlane said Cardano was sometimes described as an “Ethereum killer”. Like Ethereum, it is a platform that digital applications can be run on, with its own digital currency. Cardano is the name of the platform, while Ada is the currency.

“The person who heads Cardano was part of the core Ethereum team and the Cardano team are trying to address some of the problems they see with Ethereum,” he added.

Instead of using a “proof-of-work” system to verify transactions, where “miners” dedicate computing power to solving complex mathematical problems, Cardano uses a “proof-of-stake” system.

The power to verify transactions is determined by the number of coins a user holds, which also determines whether they can vote on proposed upgrades to the system. Those who verify transactions are rewarded with transaction fees.

The idea is that this system negates the need for a power-hungry proof-of-work system like that used by Bitcoin, and that those with larger stakes are incentivised to maintain a functioning system.

Critics say that in theory proof-of-stake systems are more open to certain kinds of attack, although penalties can be applied to discourage such abuse. They also point out that the largest stakeholders receive the most in transaction fees, which could give them more and more control over time.
 

Other Bitcoin rivals

David Drake, a professional investor who serves ultra-high net worth families, said he had high hopes for Verge and EOS, in addition to Iota.

He said the focus over the next six to 12 months would be on transaction speeds and the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies – areas in which Verge and EOS perform well.

Verge is focused on privacy, intending to offer completely anonymous transactions. EOS is similar to Ethereum in that it is a platform on which developers can build digital applications. EOS coins are the currency of the platform.

They are the 11th and 21st largest cryptocurrencies respectively, at $5.4bn and $1.8bn in total value.
 

How to buy

None of the currencies mentioned above is currently offered by the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Blockchain.info and Coinbase. That may change in the future.

Buyers will therefore require more technical knowhow and will need to carry out more research. You will need to find a cryptocurrency exchange that offers the currency you wish to buy, and a wallet service that will let you store it.

Watch out for the large number of scam outfits that appear in search engine results in this area; they may be difficult to distinguish from legitimate businesses.

You can also choose to store cryptocurrencies offline in a "hardware wallet", essentially a hard drive.

Be sure to check the fees charged by any exchange or wallet provider and the difference between the actual price of a coin and the price being offered to you.

You may be able to purchase some coins only with larger cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, rather than with cash. In that case, you will need to buy some of the required currency first.

 

Author James Connington 29 DECEMBER 2017 • 12:09PM

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
 

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Bitcoin price is slowly starting to trend higher once more, possibly rebounding from the slide in the previous week.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

Bitcoin price appears to be recovering from its pre-Christmas slump, forming higher highs and higher lows again.

Price is trading inside an ascending channel pattern and is currently testing the resistance.

A pullback to support could be due and using the Fib retracement tool shows the potential inflection points.

Bitcoin price is slowly starting to trend higher once more, possibly rebounding from the slide in the previous week.
 

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA on this time frame, so the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than reverse.

However, the gap is narrowing to signal weakening bearish momentum. If an upward crossover materializes, bullish pressure could kick into high gear and allow the uptrend to continue.

Stochastic is also on the move down, though, so buyers might be taking it easy. This could allow bitcoin price to retreat to the channel support at $14,000 near the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. A shallow pullback could find a floor at the 38.2% Fib closer to $15,000 and the mid-channel area of interest.

RSI has plenty of room to head south, so bitcoin price might follow suit until both oscillators hit oversold levels and turn back up.

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/27/2017 – Rebound Underway?

Market Factors

Analysts are attributing the recent climb to improved access to buying cryptocurrencies. However, Coinbase suffered a backlog of outgoing transactions earlier on and the issue remains unresolved.

“Due to high volume, we are experiencing a backlog of outgoing transactions for BTC and ETH. … Outgoing transactions of BTC and ETH may be delayed by several hours.”

Event risks involve additional network upgrades or “hard forks” but rising investor interest appears to have been enough to keep bitcoin price supported. After all, bitcoin futures on the CBOE and CME have allowed access to more institutional and retail investors

Still, the dollar could prove to be a worthy opponent as the signing of the tax bill into law would be very positive for the US economy.

 

Author Sarah Jenn 4:53 am December 27, 2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneeur
David ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 http://seriouswealth.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Bitcoin-Price-Technical-Analysis-for-22nd-Dec-Bears-Settling-In.

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 12/22/2017 – Bears Settling In

Bitcoin price is trending lower on its 1-hour time frame and might be due for a pullback to the area of interest at $16,000.

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price continues to trend lower and has just dipped below the $13,500 mark.

  • Price seems to be drawing some support from this area, though, probably making its way up for a correction.

  • Applying the Fib retracement tool shows the nearby inflection points that might serve as resistance.

  • Bitcoin price is trending lower on its 1-hour time frame and might be due for a pullback to the area of interest at $16,000.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA to confirm that the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than to reverse.

The 61.8% Fib is closest to the falling trend line resistance that’s been holding for the past few days. It also coincides with the broken support at the $16,000 longer-term area of interest.

The 38.2% Fib is near the $15,000 psychological level which might also contain plenty of sell orders. The 50% Fib is located at $15,285.

Stochastic is pulling up from oversold territory to reflect a pickup in buying pressure that could allow the correction to stay in play for a while. RSI is also pulling up so bitcoin price might follow suit.

Market Factors

The persistent slide in bitcoin price has probably been leading traders to liquidate their positions before the year comes to a close. The euphoria over the launch of bitcoin futures has faded after all, and there are no major catalysts that could spring another rally.

Then again, there are a few network upgrades scheduled all the way until March next year and this would still likely leave bitcoin stronger than ever. However, issues pertaining to bitcoin trading manipulation have eroded confidence in the cryptocurrency somewhat.

Meanwhile, the dollar remains strongly supported by tax reform progress as the government is on track towards implementing corporate tax cuts soon. This would be very positive for businesses and consumers, thereby upping the chances of seeing more Fed rate hikes next year.

 

Author Sarah Jenn 5:31 am December 22, 2017

 

Posteds by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Price Weekly Analysis – BTC/USD Upside Drift Above $20,000

Bitcoin Price Weekly Analysis – BTC/USD Upside Drift Above $20,000

Bitcoin price is surging higher towards $20,000 against the US Dollar. BTC/USD might soon break the $20k level and gain further traction in the near term.

Key Points

Bitcoin price is gaining pace once again and is currently trading above $18,000 against the US Dollar.

There is a monster bullish trend line forming with support at $17,000 on the 4-hours chart of BTC/USD (data feed from SimpleFX).

The pair is moving higher and it might soon break the $20,000 level for more gains in the near term.

Bitcoin price is surging higher towards $20,000 against the US Dollar. BTC/USD might soon break the $20k level and gain further traction in the near term.
 

Bitcoin Price Trend

There were nasty gains in bitcoin price above the $16,000 level against the US Dollar. After a major correction, the price found support above $15,000. Later, buyers gained momentum and were able to push the price above the $17,000 level. It opened the doors for more gains and the price was able to trade to a new all-time high above $19,000. The recent high was $19,426 and it seems like the current upside move is far from over.

During the upside move, the price was able to break a major connecting resistance trend line at $18,000 on the hourly chart. The current price action is positive above $17k and it seems like the price might continue to move higher. On the downside, an initial support is around the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last wave from the $15,590 low to $19,426 high. Moreover, the broken trend line at $18K could act as a strong support in the near term.

Moreover, there is a monster bullish trend line forming with support at $17,000 on the 4-hours chart of BTC/USD. Therefore, the current trend is very positive and the pair might accelerate above $20K in the near term.

Looking at the technical indicators:

4-hours MACD – The MACD is gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

4-hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is reaching the overbought levels, but with no signs of a major correction.

Major Support Level – $17,000

Major Resistance Level – $20,000

 

Author: Aayush Jindal 6:00 am December 17, 2017

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

Tax dept starts probe into Bitcoin exchanges to ascertain rate they can be taxed under

Tax Dept starts probe into Bitcoin exchanges to ascertain rate they can be taxed under.

 

The indirect tax department has launched an investigation into Bitcoin exchanges operating in India to ascertain at what rate they can be taxed under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The development comes as the income tax department launched searches on top Bitcoin exchanges including Zebpay, Unocoin and CoinSecure on Wednesday.

According to the indirect tax officers, the investigations began probe about a month back and top executives and promoters of some Bitcoin exchanges were asked to explain their business model and how much indirect tax — either service tax or value-added tax — could be levied on the last financial year's revenue.

"There is ambiguity around how much sales tax is applicable on revenues of these startups as the product they deal in is not defined by the current tax laws," said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. "No satisfactory answer is yet provided by any of these Bitcoin startups."

A senior executive at one of the top seven Bitcoin exchanges in the country confirmed that both direct and indirect tax officials have been questioning the company about its business model and taxability. "While the indirect tax department has been calling senior executives since mid-November, the direct tax officials started reaching out to us two weeks back," the person said.

Bitcoin is the most popular among digital currencies that allow online payments directly from one person to another without any middlemen or going through any financial institution. With many businesses beginning to accept them, there is rising demand for such cryptocurrencies that come without any government control and allow anonymous transactions. More than that, Bitcoin has become a craze among investors, with its value skyrocketing more than 1,200% in 2017 alone. Price of one Bitcoin stood at $17,900, or .`11.46 lakh, on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange as on Friday evening.

Among other things the tax department wants to know if Bitcoins are currency, goods or services. Tax rates would depend on how the product is defined.

"Bitcoin may not qualify as currency or money as it is not a legal tender for Indian indirect tax laws," said Pratik Jain, national leader, indirect tax, PwC. "Therefore, VAT (value-added tax) or GST implications may arise. In case it is sold to overseas customers from India it may qualify as 'export'." However, if there is a commission or fee earned in the transaction, then the business of Bitcoin exchanges is likely to be viewed as a 'service', Jain said. "There are several grey areas which need to be investigated, in light of the precedence and guidance available under laws of other countries."

Industry insiders said that Bitcoin players, including Indian exchanges, earn their revenue through commission, transaction fees or price arbitrage. There was no response to queries sent to Zebpay and CoinSecure on Wednesday. Unocoin told ET: "Given that we have not received any notice, none of your questions are relevant."

No tax notices have been issued yet. That can happen only after an investigation is concluded and the exact tax applicable is determined.

One person close to the development said the indirect tax department is likely to issue demand orders to Bitcoin exchanges by the first quarter of next year. "The sales tax department and VAT authorities would be well within their rights to issue arbitrary demand orders (for 2016-17, before the implementation of GST)," the person said. GST was put in place on July 1.

According to another person in the know, VAT authorities from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka have separately initiated an inquiry to determine if Bitcoin exchanges are liable to the tax.

Tax experts said calculating indirect tax on the revenue earned by the Bitcoin startups is causing problems due to lack of clarity around the 'place of supply' provisions.

Income-tax authorities too are on the trail of the Indian Bitcoin sector. ET reported on Monday on an ambiguity in income tax to be paid by Bitcoin holders in India. According to people with direct knowledge of the matter, the income tax authorities wanted access to data on Indian Bitcoin holders and the gains they have made.

The stratospheric rise in Bitcoin valuation has prompted several investors and experts, including Warren Buffet and JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, to warn that it is a bubble. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has so far issued three warnings against Bitcoins — the first in 2013, the second in February this year and the third last week.

There are 1,600 types of cryptocurrencies available across the globe based on blockchain technology. The more common ones include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Dash.

"One needs to choose a cryptocurrency wallet and an exchange to trade on the currency," said Vishal Gupta, founder of SearchTrade, a search engine company that uses Bitcoins to pay users every time they search on the platform. "From there it is as simple as filling out a form and waiting for the transaction to process."

Gupta, who also cofounded the Digital Assets and Blockchain Foundation India (DABFI), however, declined to share how players (wallet or facilitators) earn their revenues.

 

Authors: Sachin Dave, Vishal Dutta ET Bureau|Dec 16, 2017, 09.43 AM IST

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David ogden cryptocurrency entrepreneur

Bitcoin buyers should be prepared to lose all their money, top UK regulator warns

Bitcoin buyers should be prepared to lose all their money, top UK regulator warns

  • Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, told BBC's "Newsnight" on Thursday, "If you want to invest in bitcoin, be prepared to lose all your money"

  • Bitcoin's meteoric price rise has stunned critics and enthusiasts alike, leaving investors scrambling to understand the driving factors for the digital currency's runaway rally

  • Bitcoin traded at $17,159 on Friday morning, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index

Bitcoin buyers have been issued a "serious warning" from one of Britain's leading financial regulators.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told BBC's "Newsnight" on Thursday, "If you want to invest in bitcoin, be prepared to lose all your money."

Bailey said a lack of backing from governments and central banks for the world's most popular digital currency was evidence that putting money into bictoin was not a secure investment. He also said buying bitcoin was akin to gambling because it had the same level of risk.

Bitcoin's meteoric price rise has stunned critics and enthusiasts alike, leaving investors scrambling to understand the driving factors for the digital currency's runaway rally.

Bitcoin traded at $17,159 on Friday morning, according to CoinDesk's bitcoin price index. The digital currency has a market value of approximately $291 billion — the largest among the cryptocurrencies. A year ago, one bitcoin was worth around $780.

"If you look at what has happened this year, I would caution people … We know relatively little about what informs the price of bitcoin," Bailey told the BBC.

 

Bitcoin's staying power

Soaring interest from institutional and retail investors has prompted global exchanges, such as the Cboe, to launch futures contracts. Meantime, CME Group is poised to a launch bitcoin futures contract on Sunday and a German stock exchange operator is reportedly considering whether to follow suit.

The launch of bitcoin futures contracts represents a significant step in the legitimization of cryptocurrencies, according to some market participants. Futures are derivatives, or financial instruments, that obligate a trader to either buy or sell an asset at a specified time and at a specified price.

Bitcoin bulls have frequently referenced the cryptocurrency's scarcity value as a primary reason for its staying power. Somewhat like gold, bitcoin supply grows at glacial and ever-decreasing fixed rates with only 21 million bitcoins set to be in existence.

But while the trading of bitcoin futures on two of the world's largest exchanges is expected to provide a layer of official oversight that had not previously existed, several leading voices have expressed skepticism.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a "fraud" that would eventually blow up, while billionaire investor Warren Buffett urged traders to "stay away from it," calling the rally a "mirage."

 

Author Sam Meredith – Digital Reporter, CNBC.com

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Bitcoin Entrepreneur

A bubble We don't even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a “speculative mania” according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. But it’s not so easy to say that Bitcoin is a bubble – we don’t know how to value it.

Recent price rises (close to $18,000 in the past three months) may be too great and can’t continue. But the Bitcoin market is only just maturing as an investment and as a currency, and so it may still have room to grow.

A bubble is when the price of an asset diverges from its “fundamentals” – the aspects of an asset that investors use to value it. These could be the income that can be earned from a stock over time, a company’s cash flow, the state of a country’s economy, or even the rent from property.

But Bitcoin does not pay out profits (like shares) or rent (like property) and is not attached a national economy (like fiat currencies). This is part of the reason why it is hard to tell what the underlying value of Bitcoin is or should be.

In the search for fundamentals some have suggested we should look at the supply of Bitcoins in the market (which is regulated by the technology itself), the number of Bitcoin transactions through the market, or even the energy consumed by Bitcoin miners (the computers that validate transactions and are rewarded with Bitcoins).

Diverging from fundamentals

If we take a close look, we can see how the price of Bitcoin may be diverging from these fundamentals. For instance, it is becoming less profitable to be a miner, especially as the energy required increases. At some stage the cost may exceed the price of Bitcoin, making the network less worthwhile to both mine and invest.

Bitcoin may be the best known cryptocurrency but it is also losing marketshare to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Bitcoin currently accounts for 59.4% of the total global cryptocurrency market but at the beginning of 2016 it was 91.3%. Many of these other cryptocurrencies have more functionality than Bitcoin (such as Ethereum’s ability to execute smart contracts), or are more efficient and use less energy (such as Litecoin).

Government policy, such as taxation or the establishment of national digital currencies, may also make it riskier or less worthwhile to mine, transact or hold the cryptocurrency. China’s ban on initial coin offerings earlier this year reduced the value of Bitcoin by 20% in 24 hours.

Without these fundamentals the price of Bitcoin largely reflects speculation. And there is some evidence that people are simply buying and holding Bitcoin in the hope it will keep rising in value (also known as greater fool investing). Certainly, the cap on the total number (21 million) of Bitcoins that can exist makes the currency inherently deflationary – the value of the currency relative to goods and services will keep increasing even without speculation and so there is a disincentive to spend it.

Bitcoin still has room to grow

Many big investors – including banks and hedge funds – have not yet entered into the market. The volatility and lack of regulation around Bitcoin are two reasons stopping these investors from jumping in.

There are new financial products being developed, such as futures contracts, that may reduce the risk of holding Bitcoin and allow these institutional investors to get in.

But Bitcoin futures contracts – where people can place bets on the future price of stocks or markets – may also work against the price of Bitcoin. Just like gamblers place bets on horse races rather than buying a horse, investors may simply buy and sell the futures contracts rather than Bitcoin itself (some contracts are even settled in cash, rather than Bitcoin). All of this could lead to less actual Bitcoin changing hands, leading to less demand.

Although the rush to invest is apparently encouraging some people to take out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, traditional banks won’t lend specifically for that purpose as the market is too volatile.

But it is not just on the finance side that the Bitcoin market is set to expand. More infrastructure to support Bitcoin in the broader economy is rolling out, which should spur demand.

Bitcoin ATMs are being installed in many countries, including Australia. Bitcoin lending is emerging on peer-to-peer platforms, and new and more regulated marketplaces are being created.

Many companies are accepting Bitcoin as payment. That means that even if the speculation dies down, Bitcoin can still be traded for some goods and services.

And finally, although the fundamentals of Bitcoin are still up for debate, when it comes to transaction volume through the network there appears to be a lot of room for growth.

It’s good to remember that people have been calling Bitcoin a bubble for a long time, even when the price was just US$35 in 2013.

In the end, this is uncharted territory. We don’t know how to value Bitcoin, or what will happen. Historical examples may or may not apply.

What we do know is that the technology behind most cryptocurrencies is enabling new models of value transfer through secure global consensus networks and that is causing excitement and nervousness. Investors should beware.

Author: Alicia (Lucy) Cameron and Kelly Trinh for the Conversation

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20k

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20

Bitcoin may still be in the hunt for $20,000, but the bulls need progress soon else a minor pullback could be in the offing.

As per CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), the cryptocurrency is trading at $17,539, having appreciated 4.48 percent in the last 24 hours to a new all-time high.

But while that's a modest, even impressive gain, it's worth noting that alternative currencies like litecoin and ether have strengthened by even more impressive rallies.

On the day's trading, the cryptocurrencies, the second and fourth by market volume, have seen 71.8 percent and 30 percent gains, respectively. Coinbase's GDAX exchange and South Korea's Bithumb have emerged as the primary drivers.

All told, though the stellar performance of litecoin and ether could be indicative of their availability and appeal to new buyers. Hence, a minor correction in bitcoin (BTC) cannot be ruled out as other assets garner attention.

1-hour chart

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20k

The above chart shows:

  • Bull flag breakout followed by a nice rising lows pattern as represented by the ascending trend line.
  • The relative strength index is above 50.00 (in the bullish territory) and is trending.
  • The 1-hour 50-MA is curled up in favor of the bulls.

View

 

BTC could cut through the resistance at $17,500 and make a move towards the $18,300-$18,500 level over the next 12-24 hours.

Overall, the cryptocurrency looks set to test the major psychological level of $20,000. As noted earlier today, only two end-of-day closes below the $14,000 would abort the bullish view on the charts.

Author: Omkar Godbole

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur