Whilst Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market remained flat over the course of the weekend, Verge (XVG) and Ethos (ETHOS) were two virtual currencies that bucked the trend; each seeing their respective tokens realise strong price increases.
Starting with Verge, and whilst their crowd funding campaign prompted all sorts of reactions and conjecture when it was revealed on Thursday (PDT), it was evident what the market thought of it. Indeed, teasing the potential of landing the “largest partnership in crypto to date” was enough to see XVG soar by as much as 52 percent since the call to arms was initiated (as per price data).
Verge’s token price has since retracted, however, XVG has still enjoyed ~33.3 percent gains since the pledge drive begun. This contrasts to Bitcoin (BTC), and even the cryptocurrency market at large, with both having slightly declined in value by less than 1 percent each.
The anonymity-centric Verge – often looked to as one of the more emphatic marketers in the crypto space – implemented a number of strategies over the weekend in an effort to give their crowd funding campaign every chance of success.
By far and wide, the biggest lure has been the promise to reveal the name of the company that Verge has said they are in talks with. Unfortunately for Verge fanatics, it is looking increasingly unlikely that they’ll learn of this company’s identity, which Verge teased is a “global organization with a vast network of high traffic sites.”
This is because the name will only be revealed should the donation address total 75,000,000 XVG by Monday. Given the donated XVG received thus far (at the time of writing) is 17.8 million, or, not yet a quarter of the required total, it would seem as though the name of the company will remain unknown (that is, of course, unless a partnership is agreed upon sometime in the future).
In an attempt to elicit a much-needed spate of donor activity, Verge published this video on Saturday which introduced a contest element to the campaign; offering donors the chance of certain rewards, depending upon the amount of XVG they contribute.
Another well-known cryptocurrency that was able to break free of the widespread price stagnation by making use of savvy marketing was Ethos (ETHOS), the ecosystem that provides the tools to manage wallets and keys for safe, verified blockchain transactions.
In an effort to build anticipation around their imminent release of the Ethos Universal Wallet product, the team began revealing which cryptocurrencies had agreed to airdrop tokens to those who pre-register for Ethos Universal Wallet.
Saturday (PDT) saw Ethos announce their first two airdrop partners, SmartCash (SMART) and aXpire (AXP), via Twitter. Looking at their dedicated Ethos Universal Wallet page, it appears there will be a total of eight community airdrop partners.
Will Bitcoin (BTC) And Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Payments War Destabilize Market?
With bitcoin (BTC) back above $8,000 and set to accelerate higher, the last thing crypto needs is a fallout between the bitcoin developer and business community and the diehard Bitcoin Cash (BCH) believers.
Bitcoin fork BCH, whose supporters insist that it is truer to bitcoin’s original mission of digital cash, fears bitcoin people want to shut it out of merchant payments. All this as BCH continues to track bitcoin as does the rest of the market, maintaining the outperformance margin opened up at the beginning of April.
That performance difference, however, is unlikely to be because the market assesses BCH to be a better product than bitcoin.
Bitcoin is still king by a very wide margin
Far from it, judging by the network fundamentals of BCH vis a vis bitcoin.
Although Roger Ver, a vociferous supporter of BCH, is able to point to its low fees on the network compared to BTC, that’s not for a good reason.
Perhaps most dangerously for BCH, it is not very decentralised, with the secretive BTC top mining pool based in China recently accounting for more than 50% of the hashrate, although that has decreased now. At the end of April their was the case of an entity using the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” that had 40% of the hashrate.
BCH has made itself a six-monthly target for attackers
Then there’s the six-monthly schedule of upgrades which seem to have turned into an opportunity for attackers to make mischief. That’s what happened on 15 May, when a bug was exploited that led to empty blocks, 10 in all.
It didn’t end there.
On the same day it has been speculated that there was an aborted attempt by short sellers to crash the price, with 179,202 BCH or BAB (the ticker on Bitfinex for Bitcoin ABC aka Bitcoin Cash) borrowed on Bitfinex to take a leveraged short position. The build up in BCH borrowing was spotted by redditor frozen124.
It didn’t work out for the shorters as the price rose, but the timing was suspicious according to folks at coinspice.io who have been doing some digging around. The borrowing by the shorters took place 12 hours before the empty blocks attack.
Additionally, 110,000 that had been borrowed ended up not being used to take a position in the market, leading observers to surmise that whoever was behind the borrowing, was linked to the block attack and for some reason had decided against executing.
It was a costly miscalculation on their part because all that borrowing of BCH drove the interest rate demanded by the lenders to 30%, so the unallocated borrowing cost 79 BCH or $31,500 at the price at the time.
Someone’s got it in for BCH.
Roger Ver sure thinks so, or at least the Bitcoin.com twitter account does:
Someone opened millions of dollars worth of shorts against BCH just before the scheduled network upgrade. This was followed by a failed attack on the network. Could these two things be related? 🧐https://t.co/orbc9Slq5R
— Bitcoin (@Bitcoin) May 15, 2019
For those new to crypto, bitcoin.com is controlled by Roger Ver and stands accused by bitcoin people of deliberately confusing the difference between the one and only original and the BCH fork.
But let’s not take sides.
Payments Protocol – BCH and BitPay versus Bitcoin core?
Nevertheless, the network attack and the apparent co-ordinated but half-cocked shorting effort may partly explain the timing of an incendiary broadside against the Bitcoin “maximalist” community in an op-ed published on bitcoin.com by Tomislav Dugandzic, described as an “independent bitcoin cash (BCH) user and currency speculator“.
Titled “Core vs Gavin – Bitcoin Payments Are Being Bulldozed for Political Reasons, Dugandzic is convinced that Bitcoin core are out to sabotage the way payments are processed for nefarious political reasons – a serious charge indeed.
At the centre of the brewing dispute is the Payments Protocol, which was some tidying done by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn in 2013 in the form of bitcoin improvement proposal 70 (BIP70).
The changes allowed a payer to be messaged by the receiver (merchant) and introduced code to specifically guard against “man in the middle” attacks where a bad actor gets between payer and receiver and inserts the fraudster’s address.
For merchants, the payment protocol removed the inefficiencies with, to take one example, paying refunds.
In a nutshell then, BIP70 makes handling payments more efficient for merchants and provides a better user experience for payers.
It turns out that not all wallets are supporting BIP70 but most major popular ones do including those for Bitcoin Cash.
BitPay, the largest bitcoin payment processor and a handler of both bitcoin and BCH payments, imlements payments protocol and it says it has reduced errors in payments by 98.6%.
So that’s all good. What’s the problem?
BitPay is what Dugandzic describes as a BCH-friendly payments processor and it is this that he claims lies behind a “political” move by bitcoin core ( which controls the official bitcoin website, bitcoin.org) to stymie the prospects for BCH adoption.
Bitcoin developers have deprecated BIP70, which is coders speak that it is being to be phased out.
Something of a war has broken out between those who want to keep BIP70 and others who want to revert to the earlier BIP21 for handling URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) and encoding of payment request information.
Samurai wallet is focused on by Dugandzic as an example of the anti BIP70 crowd as it came up in a video featuring Andreas Antonopoulos, who could be described as bitcoin royalty as the author of the seminal The Internet of Money.
Antonopoulos is what Dugandzic sees as a typical (as in political) “Bitcoin Core advocate”.
Here’s a quote from the op-ed, which provides a flavour of how these disputes quickly turn nasty:
The Samurai wallet team tweeted that they approve of Bitcoin Core advocates “viciously attacking” Bitcoin Cash advocates and that Bitcoin Cash advocates are “lunatics” and “frauds.” That’s a pretty strong choice of words to describe a group of people that have a difference of opinion regarding how Bitcoin should scale.
Thin line between welcome competition and senseless tribalism
For mere mortals these disputes can all seem arcane but unfortunately they are important tests of the maturity of the space regarding cooperation on standards and resolving disagreements over competing technology solutions in the absence of an industry policeman.
The way these issues are fought out does nothing to help crypto adoption, be it bitcoin, one of its forks or one of the myriad other competing crypto projects.
Those critical of BIP70 seem to be suggesting that it cedes too much power to the likes of BitPay, which some presumably think is too closely aligned with the BCH camp.
Confusion in the marketplace and at the level of users actually trying to buy stuff with bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, is no good for anyyone.
The BCH price may well continue to outperform bitcoin and even catch up on the former’s market cap, as it briefly seemed to be closing in on flippening BTC in November 2017.
But as BCH continues to motor, up 17% today at $425 it will be doing so probably more because of brand association with bitcoin rather than because of its technological superiority or, for that matter, the vitriol its supporters (and to be fair its detractors too) trade in.
Bitcoin has some weak points, like scaling. But governance and general inter-coin relations and its breakdown – which is how Bitcoin Cash came into being in the first place and then Bitcoin SV – is a headache for the crypto ecosystem, not just bitcoin or BCH, and it shows no signs of going away.
Bitcoin Bounces To $8,100, Yet Analysts See Potential For Healthy Pullback
No one expected what Bitcoin (BTC) did in the past 24 hours. According to Messari’s OnChainFX, the leading cryptocurrency is up 9% in the past 24 hours, finding itself at $7,950 after touching $8,100 earlier today. Altcoins have experienced similar gains, with most rising by nearly seven or eight percent.
While some have claimed that this move is decidedly bullish, especially considering the context of the seeming Bitstamp manipulation, some are fearful that this is just a precursor to one final drawdown.
Bitcoin Could See A Pullback
Josh Olszewicz, a leading technical analyst that frequently posts articles to Brave New Coin, suggests that the Ichimoku Cloud, a series of technical indicators meant to determine trends and key levels, is saying that Bitcoin is “insanely overbought”.
He goes on to add the Cloud is “calling for $6,150, looking to the fact that one of the indicator’s leading lines, which acts as support in bull runs and resistance in bear trends, sits at that price level. Olszewicz also notes that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading on the one-day chart is at 90, which is well overbought, hinting that a move lower may be inbound.
– Cloud says this is insanely overbought & calling for 6150
– VPVR likes 6400
– potential rising 3 methods aka bullish continuation
– RSI = 90 at last high, if higher high, almost guarantees bear div
– 10k is the next big lvl
— Josh Olszewicz (@CarpeNoctom) May 19, 2019
He isn’t the first to have pointed to signs that BTC may soon see a reversal. Bravado’s lead analyst, Bitcoin Jack, recently noted that BTC has yet to break above the $8,400 resistance (signaling a local top), potentially setting the stage for a drawdown to $5,000.
A little extension of the first tweet
If our local top is in, a retrace to 4.7-5.1K is in the charts
A reversal there could project us to 13K on the next bullish move pic.twitter.com/NYK5F0eLpL
— Bitcoin 𝕵ack (@BTC_JackSparrow) May 19, 2019
The Other Side Of The Equation
Some, however, have drawn attention to signs that this ongoing move is bullish. Olszewicz notes that according to a textbook chart pattern, the fact that BTC fell for three days, then saw a massive reversal candle to the upside may hint at “bullish continuation”.
What’s more, there isn’t much resistance from current levels, $8,000, to $10,000, giving credence to the theory that if BTC breaks above $8,400, another run-up would just be a matter of time. As Crypto Rand, a well-followed chartist on Twitter, explained on Sunday: “Bitcoin [is] heating up for $10,000”.
Josh Rager, a representative of fledgling crypto exchange Level, explains that this recent rebound confirms that Bitcoin is looking strong. BTC has continued to see higher lows in the current consolidation pattern, preparing the crypto market for a continuation to the upside.
$BTC – continues to look strong
Higher lows forming with the current consolidation
This consolidation looks like it is priming Bitcoin for continuation to the upside
A bullish weekly close looks promising pic.twitter.com/PWTdVlioXd
— Josh Rager 📈 (@Josh_Rager) May 19, 2019
On the side of fundamentals and sentiment, NewsBTC’s Joseph Young has noted that the simple fact that BTC rebounded to $8,000 is a confirmation that many investors are bullish.
S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow Jones Unlikely to Reach New Highs — Time to Bet on Bitcoin?
On Oct 3, 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of USD($)26,828.39. In April 2019, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite similarly reached their respective all-time highs, as well. Bitcoin (BTC), on the other hand, reached its all-time high of $20,000 on Dec 17, 2017.
According to MarketWatch, the so-called Godfather of chart analysis, Ralph Acampora, does not believe that all-time highs will be reached for the stock market in the near future. Furthermore, without reaching new highs, he believes it unlikely that the stock market will return to the bulls.
Bitcoin Making Moves in 2019
Currently, the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite are all trading near their all-time high levels. Bitcoin (BTC), however, is doing quite the opposite.
After reaching its all-time high, Bitcoin steadily declined throughout 2018. The price bottomed out on Dec 15, 2018, with a low of $3122.28 on Bitstamp.
Since the bottom was reached, Bitcoin has been steadily increasing. Throughout 2019, there have been at least three major increases.
Pushing to $4000
The first was a gradual increase which took place between Feb 8 and Feb 24.
On Feb 9, the price closed at $3359.33. It jumped to a high of over $3700 the next day. Price mostly traded sideways for the next eight days.
After closing at $3625.60 on Feb 17, the price pushed upward to a high of $4000 on Feb 19. The price gradually increased until Feb 24 to $4190.
It dropped suddenly but increased gradually throughout March.
The second major increase occurred much more suddenly. On Apr 1, Bitcoin closed at $4136.32. A high of over $5000 was reached the next day. By Apr 3, Bitcoin had peaked at $5345.
Prices fell and then gradually increased.
On Apr 30, Bitcoin closed at $5269. Rapid gains brought Bitcoin to a high of $8390.95 on May 16.
Like the first noticeable rise, this one took place on a longer time-frame than the second. However, the gains experienced during this most recent rise are the most significant of the three.
It is worth noting that, on May 17, the price dropped to nearly $6000 — but has since rebounded to over $7200 at the time of writing.
Is Bitcoin Beating Dow Jones, Nasdaq, and S&P 500?
Despite these three gainful periods in 2019, Bitcoin is still trading well below its all-time high. At the current time, the price of Bitcoin is worth 40 percent of what it was worth on Dec 17, 2018.
Thus, while major stock indices are pushing close to their all-time highs, Bitcoin has plenty of room to move before reaching that point. Unless the bulls take over the stock market, it appears that it may be poised for a downward turn.
However, if any of the three indices above are able to reach their all-time high, a continued bull market may emerge. This is what Acampora suggests at the very least. However, he does not seem confident that this is going to happen.
Perhaps the best moving at the current time is betting on Bitcoin. While the cryptocurrency appears to have room to grow, the stock appears ready to fall.