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Why Is Bitcoin (BTC) Falling Despite Consensus Excitement?

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Bitcoin (BTC) currently trades at $8,357 after falling to$8,100 levels which held firmly. The price is now looking bullish short term and might continue trading in the rising wedge for the next few weeks. It is possible that the price falls below the wedge close to $11,000 levels validating the stance of most analysts. While Consensus this year was attended by over 8000 members and Lamborghinis were spotted in the vicinity of the conference, it does not mean that everyone will just up and buy on one particular day to drive the price up to new highs. It is usual for mainstream investors to expect that but there are new players in the game who do not play by the same rules.

Besides, the market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) has grown substantially big to be dominated by a few billionaires or a group of eager millionaires. Having said that, the interest of big players in Bitcoin (BTC) has also been on the rise. Those big players are institutional investors with billions of dollars at their disposal to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) or other cryptocurrencies. The difference is that they are not going to change their rules for Bitcoin (BTC). They are going to use the same tactics of manipulating the price so they can put in their iceberg orders in order to avoid spiking the price up in one go which will result in mass profit taking and the ‘clever’ institutional investors would be left holding the bags.

It might seem like a setback to think that Consensus 2018 has not had any impact on the price but it should be borne in mind that the rules of the game have significantly changed. As for impact, big players like NASDAQ trying to get involved in cryptocurrencies is proof enough of the impact that Bitcoin (BTC) has made in the recent past. A lot of big players are waiting on the sideline to get involved. While the situation might have appeared a bit murky the past few months, the big picture is very clear now.

Bitcoin Chart With Values

Investors with billions to invest in a risky asset like Bitcoin (BTC) do not buy based on sudden whims or hype. They wait for the big pieces to fall in place before they get involved. Right now, that big piece is the comparison to 2013. Bitcoin (BTC) appears to be following the same pattern by accumulating before a big rally. Before the first signs of that rally materialize, big investors will not feel comfortable investing. However, the moment we see solid signs of a rally, big money is going to jump on the train like there is no tomorrow, the price will rise to new highs in a matter of weeks and for the common investor, it might be a bit too late to get involved. On the other hand, if these signs are invalidated, the sell off may not be a very quick one as the recent developments in the crypto markets has created a lot of ‘hidden euphoria’ which will manifest itself in the form of swift recoveries as we witnessed when Bitcoin (BTC) fell below $6,000.

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New Diar Study: “Ethereum Touched Record Highs for It’s On-Chain Transaction Volume During December 2018”

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According to a report released by analytics firm Diar yesterday, the total number of Ethereum on-chain transactions hit an all-time high last month (December 2018). To be a bit more specific, we can see that the number of tx’s scaled up to a mammoth 115 million by the end of December 2018.

On the above-stated matter, the folks over at Dair were quoted as saying:

“In terms of transaction count on-chain, the ‘supercomputer’ has found stability since October bobbing between 16–17 million monthly transactions.”

More On The Matter

At press time, it is worth mentioning that the number of on-chain ETH transactionsassociated with the United States dollar is currently at a 22-month low. For those who may not be aware, the U.S. dollar’s on-chain value last year lay around the $815 million marks (a figure that was pegged to be $1.1 billion in 2017).

In its report, a researcher for Diar further noted:

“A 97 percent drop in on chain transaction value from the peak in January versus December 2018 was, by and large, the cause of an 80 percent drop in Ethereum’s price.”

U.S. dollar value of on-chain transactions

Chart Showcasing the Monthly ETH On-Chain Transaction Volume (Source: Diar)

Other Information Worth Considering

  • Processing charges associated with the ETH network are unlikely to interfere with the ecosystem’s growth because the network currently offers users with some of the lowest fees for on-chain transactions.
  • The recent ETH Constantinople hard fork was delayed due to the discovery of a security vulnerability (that could have potentially allowed for the occurrence of a ‘reentrancy attack’).For those of our readers who may not be aware of what a reentrancy attack is, it is essentially a vulnerability that allows potential hackers to steal altcoins from a particular smart contract by repeatedly requesting funds from the network (all while feeding the system wrong information about the miscreant’s real ETH balance).
  • Final Take

In rounding off this article, it is worth remembering that once the Constantinople upgrade goes live, it will be able to introduce cheaper gas costs (transaction fees) for some of the central operations (primarily storage) that can be carried out within the Ethereum network.

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China’s Tsinghua University Partners with Ripple to Create Blockchain Research Scholarship Program

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From the moment that Ripple first launched its platform, it has been looking for ways to spread cryptocurrency and their own products throughout the industry.

They have even managed to cross a major milestone as they established over 200 partnerships involving 40 separate countries. One of their most recent partnerships involves Tsinghua University, in an effort to launch a new scholarship program that will educate students in China.

While China has held a strict anti-crypto stance, the same has not been true of blockchain technology.

The program, which will be called the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship program, is the combined venture of Ripple and the Tsinghua University Institute of Financial Technology (THUIFR). This university is one of the top schools in all of China, though THUIFTR was not started until 2017. It has been a collaborative effort between Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, PBC School of Finance, School of Software and Law School at Tsinghua University.

As students participate in the program, they will learn about the ins and outs of blockchain technology. On Twitter, THUIFR claims to have already hosted a seminar, titled “Innovation and Development of Digital Currency and its Regulatory Path.”

The partnership with Ripple will allow the program to launch in China, focusing clearly on the international regulations that govern the blockchain. Ivy Gao, the Director of International Cooperation and Development for THUIFR, said,

“Most importantly, I believe, this program will greatly help with their future research or career in the field of blockchain technology.”

The SVP of Global Operation at Ripple, Eric van Miltenburg, said,

“The program’s goal – to provide students with opportunities in blockchain research – closely aligns with that of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative. We’re thrilled to support THUIFR in this endeavor and look forward to its launch.”

Ripple has created an impressive reputation for itself as a major player in the fintech world. There are multiple banks using its xRapid product as their own blockchain solution, with more being added as the word spreads. However, it is perhaps the unique philosophy of Ripple’s platform and products that appeals to China, considering the substantial difference from that of Bitcoin’s ideology.

Their token has become the second-most valuable crypto asset, which could be due to the pattern of collaboration between financial institutions, governments, and universities.

According to the most recent data provided by CoinMarketCap, Ripple is presently being traded at $0.3175, ranking second by market capitalization.

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Was November the Last Big Bitcoin Sell-Off? Trader Expects Slow Grind in 2019

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By CCN.com: According to a trader and crypto technical analyst, November 2018 may have been the last sell-off of Bitcoin and a long consolidation period is expected throughout 2019.

Since experiencing a steep 13 percent drop on January 10 from $4,036 to $3,502, the Bitcoin price has been relatively stable in a tight range in mid-$3,000.

Chart from TradingView

What Does Low Volatility Mean For Bitcoin?

While it seems as if the price of Bitcoin has been volatile throughout the past two weeks, the volatility of the dominant cryptocurrency occurred in a tight range between $3,500 to $4,000.

No major movements below or above key support and resistance levels were recorded, preventing any meaningful short-term price movement.

One trader said that if the trend of relatively low volatility in a tight low price range continues, the sideways action of Bitcoin will extend throughout the year, resulting in a long consolidation period.

“The longer this sideways action takes place the more I think the bottom is in. November was one of the worst monthly candles in history. It’s very possible that was the last of the major selling and now we’ll have a consolidation period that lasts most of 2019,” the trader said.

bitcoin price
The trader is predicting bitcoin to trade sideways through much of 2019. Pic: Shutterstock.

On Sunday, Bitcoin recorded a six percent drop against the U.S. dollar in a 24-hour period from $3,700 to $3,470. The asset has since recovered above the $3,500 mark and based on the performance of the asset in the last 48 hours, Bitcoin is expected to demonstrate stability throughout the week.

Hsaka, a cryptocurrency analyst, said:

Inside Bar; Low that was taken out (3480) holding as support; Continue leaning neutral here, can’t short HTF support, will wait for a break (even moreso when confluent with that CME gap).

A slow grind upwards in the first two quarters of 2019 could allow Bitcoin to establish a proper bottom and a mid-term trend reversal. If the price of asset recovers quickly in a short time period, as seen in the major sell-off of cryptocurrencies in November 2018, it can leave the asset class vulnerable to a large short-term correction.

With events that are considered as catalysts to fuel the momentum of Bitcoin in the first two quarters of this year including Bakkt and Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) far from being materialized due to the shutdown of the U.S. government, it has become more likely for the cryptocurrency market to demonstrate a low level of volatility in the upcoming months.

How About Alternative Crypto Assets?

Historically, alternative crypto assets, especially low market cap cryptocurrencies, have tended to perform strongly against Bitcoin when the asset is in a sideways market.

However, as seen in the performance of tokens and other major crypto assets in the past 48 hours, the stability in Bitcoin is unlikely to trigger short-term rallies for assets with lower volumes and valuations due to the current conditions of the market.

Some analysts believe November to have been the last sell-off for Bitcoin and expect a several-month-long consolidation period to occur.

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