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Bitcoin Is Becoming More Decentralized, Indicates New Research

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Bitcoin has become more decentralized by several measures, according to Canadian financial services firm Canaccord Genuity Group.

In its February report, the firm said bitcoin was less decentralized in its earlier days, as measured by its hashrate distribution. However, over the last few years, “increased competition” among mining chip manufacturers has led to decreasing centralization.

Canaccord said, in mid-2014, mining pool GHash.IO controlled about 50 percent of the total bitcoin hashrate, making the largest cryptocurrency “vulnerable” to a potential 51 percent attack (controlling a majority of the hashing power allows bad actors to potentially rewrite transactions).

In 2019, however, no single mining pool controls more than 20 percent of bitcoin’s hashrate, with five mining pools having from 10–20 percent and the remaining groups controlling less than 10 percent of the total hashrate.


Bitcoin’s increased decentralization is a “foundational positive” development, Canaccord said, adding that while there are several factors that contributed to it, the most important factor has been the “commoditization of bitcoin mining chips, as advances in ASICs [application-specific integrated circuits] have slowed allowing for broader competition for bitcoin’s mining rewards.”

Bitmain, for instance, has seen increasing competition from Canaan Creative due to its “inability to produce a meaningfully superior alternative to the Antminer S9,” the firm said. The closer competition, it continued, has led “Canaan Creative to sell its chips to a broader audience of miners that can effectively compete with Bitmain.”

Citing ARK Invest research, the report further said that bitcoin’s centralization as measured by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) has steadily declined from ~3,000 in 2013 to ~1,200 currently.

The HHI index is used to gauge market concentration. An HHI of less than 1,500 is considered to be a “competitive marketplace,” an HHI of 1,500–2,500 is considered to be “moderately concentrated,” and an HHI of over 2,500 is considered “highly concentrated,” the firm explained.

source.coindesk

Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) Cannot Trade Sideways For Long

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Bitcoin (BTC) made a big move to the downside after we last talked about it on Friday but in the days that followed it has practically traded sideways. However, now it has run into a key trend line resistance and is once again on the verge of a sharp decline. The last time this happened, we saw the price decline massively and if the same happens again then we are looking at BTC/USD declining towards the bottom of the descending triangle that we see on the daily chart. This is a bearish development for the overall market but it is in line with what is happening in other markets.

If we take a look at what is happening in the EUR/USD forex pair, we can see consistent rejections at the 50 day EMA. This has been happening for a while now and EUR/USD has failed to break past the 50 day EMA. All of this points to the strong probability of a sharp decline in this pair followed by a similar decline in BTC/USD in the near future because movements in this pair directly affect movements in Bitcoin (BTC). A quick glance at ETH/USD tells us that the Ethereum (ETH) and the rest of the altcoin market share the same outlook despite temporary bullishness. The pair has done pretty much nothing except for making big moves to then invalidate those moves. This has given traders better entry points to short sell this pair.

The daily chart for the S&P 500 (SPX) shows us that the entire time what the index has been doing is just delaying the inevitable. We have now seen a close above the 50 week EMA on the S&P 500 (SPX) but that hardly changes anything. Trend line resistance on the daily chart shows us that the index does not have much room to rally and it is only a matter of time before it begins its downtrend. We have the LTC/USD chart pointing to the same outlook. The manner of its rise and fall is quite symmetrical and it is easy to see what might follow next which is why traders that are trying to buy cryptocurrencies at this point need to exercise extreme caution.

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Bitcoin Could Soon Incur Major Volatility as Bears Gain Upper Hand

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Bitcoin (BTC) has failed to garner any significant buying pressure after facing a sharp influx of selling pressure yesterday that sent it reeling to the lower-$8,000 region – which is where it was able to find enough support to halt its drop and stabilize its price.

Analysts are now noting that multiple indicators signal that the crypto is positioned to incur notable volatility in the near-term, which could mean that the direction that BTC will trend for the coming few months will soon grow clear.

Bitcoin Drops Towards $8,300; Is a Big Movement Inbound?

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down just over 1% at its current price of $8,300, which marks a notable retrace from its recent highs of $8,900 that were set last week when BTC’s bulls quickly pushed the crypto towards this price level, which is where it found significant resistance that sparked a short-term downtrend.

This downtrend was perpetuated yesterday when bears quickly pulled the rug out from beneath BTC and sent it to lows of roughly $8,100 before it rapidly climbed back towards its current price levels.

In the near-term, it is highly probable that Bitcoin and the aggregated crypto markets will soon incur notable volatility, as BTC is currently forming “spinning top candles” within the middle of its tight Bollinger Bands – both signs that a big movement is imminent.

“$BTC #Bitcoin – Todays spinning top falls right in the middle of the bands- When volatility hits we could see $7900 to the downside or $8600 to the upside, so prepare accordingly,” Big Cheds, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet.

Could BTC Still Target $8,600 in Near-Term?

Despite the bearish price action as of late, it is important to note that there are still analysts who anticipate an upwards movement for Bitcoin in the near-term, with Mayne explaining in a recent tweet that he believes BTC could target $8,600 next.

“$BTC: Expected a test of $8150 and we got it. Preemptively long expecting another bullish week. Will compound above the weekly open/monthly open ($8278 & $8300),” he said while pointing to the below chart.

If Mayne’s analysis does prove to be accurate and Bitcoin is able to break above $8,600, this could mark a bullish break that sparks massive volatility that favors the cryptocurrency’s bulls.

Source:newsbtc

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UK Forex Giant Launches New Bitcoin Service as Brexit Fears Grow

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UK-based FXCM Group has introduced a new bitcoin trading service right around the time when investors weigh the possibility of a hard Brexit.

The forex brokerage giant announced in a press release published on Monday that it is launching CryptoMajor. It is a basket that contains five popular cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin – in equal proportions. CryptoMajor behaves as a single unit representing the combined value of the said assets. It means FXCM users would be able to collate and offload multiple cryptocurrencies at one go, without the need to manage each one of them independently.

Brendan Callan, the chief executive officer of FXCM, treats CryptoMajor as an ideal hedging risk management tool for retail traders. He projected the basket as a “great opportunity” for traders who want to start trading cryptocurrencies but do not want “to risk too much exposure.”

 “Trading a basket of cryptocurrencies means our users are freed from the hassle of constantly monitoring the markets,” Callan said.

Brexit Fears

FXCM’s announcement arrived on the day when Pound slipped 0.71 percent against the US dollar. The drop, in turn, came on the back of pessimism surrounding Brexit. European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal is too complicated and needs more time. That put clouds over Johnson’s promise to deliver Brexit before October 31.

pound, gbp, bitcoin, brexit

GBP/USD down 0.71% on Brexit Fears | Image credits: TradingView.com

The news erased part of the gains Pound, as well as the UK stocks, had made at the end of the last week. Strategists at ING called the downside correction a “reality check” for Brexit bulls, adding that the sterling is now under threat of a further price breakdown.

“GBP gains have, in part, been caused by meaningful short speculative positioning, exaggerating the effect of the news flow,” they explained.

Holger Schmieding, the chief economist of Berenberg Bank, further stressed:

“Striking a deal in time for the EU summit on 17-18 October and getting it passed by the U.K. parliament in an extraordinary Saturday session on 19 October poses a huge challenge with a highly uncertain outcome, to put it mildly. Also, the EU may need a technical extension to ratify the deal on its side anyway.”

Meanwhile, with Callan mainly confirming on the “risk” part of the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is safe to assume that FXCM is looking to make CryptoMajor an attractive alternative for CFD traders who might want to ignore Brexit-hit markets.

No Base Currency Specified

FXCM did not reveal the base currency for the CryptoMajor basket in its announcement. The brokerage, which offers three similar baskets, typically uses the US dollar as its underlying currency to value the different assets. FXCM would likely employ the dollar for the crypto basket, considering the brokerage has a presence all across the globe.

Source:newsbtc

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