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Will the end of Tether mean the end of Bitcoin?

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This article addresses hypothetical scenarios and speculations surrounding Tether and how it will affect the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Tether is perhaps one of the most important and largest entities in the cryptocurrency ecosystem with a market share of more than $4 billion. Tether was launched in 2014 with a singular goal of improving liquidity and providing access to this revolutionary, yet nascent technology, which it did, especially considering how it has grown over the years.

In a way, Tether was like this savior that facilitated the growth of an entire ecosystem, perhaps, like Harvey Dent, who was once an upstanding citizen of Gotham. But the naysayers look at Tether and see Two-Face who went insane and became the villain.

Recently, Bitinex posted a new blog, one written in anticipation of a lawsuit that was based on “bogus study.” A day later, the law firm, Roche and Freedman, filed a class-action lawsuit against Bitfinex and Tether alleging market manipulation on various instances. This is not the first legal rodeo for Bitfinex and Tether. The NYAG brought a lawsuit against Bitfnex for violating securities law and servicing NY residents in violation of the Martin Act, a lawsuit which is still ongoing.

With a flood of lawsuits and investigations against Bitfinex and Tether, it is important to know how big both these companies have grown, especially Tether, to have a massive impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem, good or bad.

Getting Rid of the Keyhole: A Broader Look at Tether and other Stablecoins

To put things into perspective, in the stablecoins ecosystem [GUSD, TUSD, USDC, PAX], Tether’s share is a whopping 83%. However, the rest of the stablecoins together make up only 17%.

Not only does Tether rule the stablecoin ecosystem, but it also enjoys a monopoly over it. Further, looking at Tether’s flow in the market, it is evident that most of Tether’s volume is used for trading BTC.

Source: Coinlib.io

According to Coinlib.io’s metrics, more than 50% [$2 billion] of Tether’s trading volume innocuously slithers into Bitcoin, while the rest of it works its way into the hands of Ethereum and other altcoins. A smidgeon of the flow supports other stablecoins like Paxos and TrueUSD.

For a company that is as big as Tether, its sudden and gradual disappearance will have both direct and indirect repercussions on the cryptocurrency space. Although this is hypothetical, Adam Back, CEO and Co-founder of Blockstream, doesn’t seem to think that Tether is going away anytime soon and there are many who share the same opinion. Back told AMBCrypto,

“If Tether went away, it will flood somewhere else!
The trade happens because of the demand, and people use what’s cheapest or most convenient (least sign up or no sign up friction)… but i’m not sure tether is going anywhere soon their operations won’t be disrupted by slow court arguments.”

However, keeping an open mind, addressed below are some of the speculations about what could/would and may happen if Tether went away.

Scenario I

A Chemistry of Panic and FUD 

If the news of Tether shutting shop breaks out, panic will likely take over the markets, clawing its way to Bitcoin and causing it to tank. Although Bitcoin matured as an asset, emotion plays a large role in its price action; the same logic applies strongly to altcoins correlated to Bitcoin. This will most likely be temporary and the price of Bitcoin will rise up again. However, what cannot be speculated about is the extent of the drop. Considering the current price of Bitcoin, if the price falls below important psychological levels, resuscitation of markets would be slower.

Back stated that such an event, although unlikely, would,

“Limit liquidity and increase spreads for a while as people and exchanges adapt but I dont think it makes much difference ultimately to BTC… People would withdraw their USD by wire transfer via a Tether or using exchanges who then do bulk wires from tether. Some might buy up BTC as a simpler exit”

Scenario II

An Abrupt End to the Biggest Liquidity Provider

Although unlikely, if Tether were to shut down suddenly due to some unforeseen event, initially the peg with USDT would collapse temporarily, causing a rise in the value of other stablecoins simply based on an imbalance in demand for stablecoins. This is how events will unfold if Tether’s existence is questioned as the exact instance occurred before. On October 15, 2018, Tether’s peg collapsed by 2.6% and was trading at $0.96. This happened a few days after Bitfinex paused USD deposits [not withdrawals].

Source: CoinMarketCap

Simultaneously, TrueUSD’s peg rose by 8% [$1.08], while that of USD Coin rose by 11% [$1.11], and this can only be explained by the demand for safer stablecoins considering the grim situation Tether faced.

Scenario III

A Temporal Opportunity for Risk Takers

Cryptocurrency exchanges can be classified into two types: those that provide an off-ramp like Coinbase, and those that don’t like Binance. With the former, price of Bitcoin will face a great depreciation as people head for the exit after Tether’s so-called hypothetical misfortune. However, on exchanges like Binance, buying pressure for Bitcoin would increase as people would head to the next safest asset, which at the time would be Bitcoin, thus pushing the price of BTC higher.

This disparity between the price of BTC on different exchanges would provide a temporary opportunity for arbitrage trading. Risk takers would jump at the opportunity without hesitation, especially with Blockstream’s Liquid sidechain. Another possibility here is that people could switch to other stablecoins, instead of exiting.

After-Effects

If there was ever such an incidence where Tether disappeared, there will be a huge void left behind; Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency ecosystem would be left scarred. However, in light of these events, it would call for other stablecoins to band together to prevent the ecosystem from collapsing. Perhaps, exchanges will develop innovative on/off-ramps that are purpose-built as counter-measures to another event, an event that would avert catastrophe.

Irrespective of how the ruling goes against Tether in the recent class-action, one thing is certain. Tether was an important catalyst in the early days of Bitcoin and plays an important role even now. If the lawsuit goes into discovery, there might be light shed on the much-needed transparency.

Source:ambcrypto

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Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis October 14 — 18, 2019

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Bitcoin BTC/USD ends the trading week at the level of 8362 and continues to move as part of the decline and the beginning of the development of the «Triangle» model. Moving averages indicate a bullish trend, but prices were able to break through the area between the lines, indicating pressure from the bears. At the moment, we should expect an attempt to continue growth and test the resistance area near the level of 9250. Where again we should expect a rebound and the continued fall of the Bitcoin rate with a potential target below 6450.

Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis October 14 — 18, 2019

In favor of reducing the BTC/USD quotes in the current trading week October 14 — 18, 2019, a test of the trend line on the relative strength index (RSI) will come out. The second signal will be a rebound from the lower boundary of the «Triangle» model. Cancellation of the Bitcoin fall option will be a strong growth and a breakdown of the 9950 area. This will indicate a breakdown of the lower boundary of the model and continued growth of BTC/USD with a potential target above the level of 12505. A confirmation of the development of the downward trend will be a breakdown of the lower boundary of the upward channel and closing quotes below 6550.

Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis October 14 — 18, 2019

Bitcoin Forecast and Analysis October 14 — 18, 2019 suggests an attempt at the resistance area near the level of 9250. Then, the cryptocurrency will continue to fall to the area below the level of 6450. An additional signal in favor of the Bitcoin exchange rate will be the resistance line test on the relative strength index (RSI). Cancellation of the option of falling Bitcoin cryptocurrency quotes will be a strong growth and a breakdown of the 9950 area. In this case, we should expect continued growth with a target at the level of 12505.

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Bitcoin Forms Coveted EMA Bull Cross Amidst Early Morning Surge

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After drifting lower throughout the day yesterday, Bitcoin’s bulls have attempted to push the cryptocurrency higher and have been able to propel BTC’s price above its 20-day EMA for the first time in over a month.

Today’s tempered bullishness may help the cryptocurrency climb higher in the near-term, and one prominent analyst is noting that BTC has been able to form a coveted EMA bull cross, which could mean that significantly further gains are imminent.

Bitcoin Climbs Towards $8,500 as Technical Formations Shape Up

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up just under 1% at its current price of $8,440, which marks a notable climb from its daily lows of roughly $8,200 that were set yesterday.

Because Bitcoin has been caught in a wide trading range between roughly $7,800 and $8,800, without a major influx of buying or selling pressure, as long as it is in this range it may remain unclear as to where the crypto’s price is heading in the near-term.

It is important to note that analysts do anticipate BTC to incur significant volatility in the near-term that may determine how it trends for the coming months, as its Bollinger Bands are beginning to pinch.

“$BTC – with three weeks of sideways and the bbands starting to pinch, Bitcoin price could see some volatility soon. Good news is the price is above the 20-day MA for the first time in a month,” Josh Rager, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained while pointing to the below chart.

BTC Forms Bullish EMA Cross, But Faces Multiple Strong Resistance Levels

This volatility may ultimately result in Bitcoin surging higher, as it recently formed a bullish EMA cross that may allow it to blast past the multiple resistance levels that lie directly in front of it.

Big Chonis, another popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, spoke about this in a recent tweet, explaining that where BTC’s weekly candle closes tonight could determine how it trends in the near-term.

“$BTC – GOOD MORNING #BITCOIN: First EMA Bull cross on the 1hr chart since the breakdown a couple days ago…still a ways to go to test higher resistance levels…Weekly candle closes tonight… 38.2 current resistance,” he explained in a tweet.

Assuming that BTC has a bullish weekly close, it is highly probable that it will post significantly further gains in the coming week.

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LocalBitcoins Exchange Review | Fees, Security, Pros and Cons in 2019

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LocalBitcoins is a well-known peer-to-peer marketplace for Bitcoin trading. Today we will review the features which the exchange offers and if it’s suitable for your trading needs.

LocalBitcoins Review: Exchange Overview

localbitcoins

LocalBitcoins was established in 2012 by Jeremiah Kangas, in Helsinki, Finland, with the current CEO being Nikolaus Kangas. The platform has quickly gained popularity, with the service being available in over 240 countries.

Recently, the company launched a sister-site called LocalEthereum, which supports Ethereum P2P exchanges. What’s interesting about this company is the fact that it has not received financial backing from venture capitalists.

The platform facilitates in-person meetings or direct negotiations for buyers and sellers, which are able to use over 40 payment methods. This aspect will be discussed later in our LocalBitcoins review.

Supported Currencies and Available Countries

As the name suggests, LocalBitcoins only supports the trading and exchange of Bitcoins.

The website allows traders to use a wide variety of fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, CNY, and 120 other currencies.

The platform is available in 248 countries and 7789 cities all over the world. The countries that cannot be accessed because of regulatory problems and international financial restrictions include the US, China, Indonesia, Syria, Iran, and, North Korea.

LocalBitcoins Compatibilities

The LocalBitcoins interface can be used on all major web browsers, as well as PC and tablet operating systems, such as Windows and Mac. Their mobile app is only available for Android users.

User Interface and Experience

The exchange’s interface has a clean design with all its information being well-displayed, making it easy for everyone to use and find what they need without having to navigate to other parts of the site.

The Local Trader mobile app for LocalBitcoins is an open-source software for Android devices. The app has been reported to have many errors and log-in problems.

LocalBitcoins User Interface

How to get a LocalBitcoins account

Registration Process

  1. Go to the LocalBitcoins website and click on “Sign up”;
  2. Complete the form with your username, email, password, and pass the captcha;
  3. Upload an identity document, such as a passport or national ID card;
  4. It is recommended to complete your profile once you have opened your account. Most traders will refuse to trade with you if you have an incomplete profile.

How to Use LocalBitcoins Exchange

Buying and Selling Bitcoin

  1. Go to the “Quick Buy” or “Quick Sell” tabs to see the offers;
  2. To buy/sell BTC, go to “Quick Buy”/”Quick Sell” option and choose your country from the dropdown menu;
  3. Select the preferred payment method under “All Online Offers” dropdown (payment methods will be discussed later in our LocalBitcoins review);
  4. You will be shown a list of traders that match your filter selection;
  5. Select an offer from the list;
  6. Next to each offer, there is a “Buy” or “Sell” button. Click on the button to get to the user information page. Here you can look at the reputation of the seller/buyer of the individual, and see how many trades he has closed and honored, his overall feedback score, and status of profile verification;
  7. Proceed with the transaction once, you and the seller/buyer has agreed with all the terms of the transaction. You are able to directly talk to the trader to negotiate terms, such as the exchange rate, time, and place of meeting (if in person), etc;
  8. Leave a feedback when you have ended your transaction.

If you want to make your own trading offer, go to the “Post a trade” section.

LocalBitcoins Exchange Fees

LocalBitcoins charges a flat fee of 1% for sellers, with no fees for buyers. The merchant invoicing services offered by the platform incur a fee of 0.5% that will be taken from each invoice made.

If an external transaction is used to pay the invoice, then you will have to pay the Bitcoin network deposit fee which will be subtracted from the invoice amount.

There are no fees for account signup, the buying and selling of Bitcoins, and LocalBitcoins wallet transactions.

You will have to pay whatever transaction fee is applied by the Bitcoin network at the time.

Payment Methods

Users have access to the widest payment method list ever offered by an exchange. Some of the included methods are:

  • Bank transfer (ACH/ SEPA);
  • Cash;
  • Credit card;
  • Cryptocurrency;
  • Amazon gift card;
  • Google Wallet;
  • PayPal;
  • Square Cash;
  • Venmo;
  • Western Union;
  • Xoom.

Transaction Times

Deposit processing times for fiat payments depend on the selected payment method. Bitcoin is released from escrow when the seller confirms that he has received the payment. This can be problematic, as you rely on when the seller chooses to confirm the payment.

Transfer limits

LocalBitcoins users have no limits on their accounts. Members can set their own selling or buying limits and prices.

Security Features

LocalBitcoins Security

The exchange platform includes security features, such as two-factor authentication, HTTPS web encryption, SMS and email alerts, Login Guard, PGP encryption for email communication, and escrow service.

The exchange platform includes security features, such as two-factor authentication, HTTPS web encryption, SMS and email alerts, Login Guard, PGP encryption for email communication, and escrow service.

The escrow holds the money sent by the buyer, and the funds are released when the seller confirms the trade was successful.

The trading platform was hacked in 2015 through its LiveChat account, losing approximately 17 BTC from customer wallets. A year prior, a hacker broke into its servers, but LocalBitcoins alleged that no customer data was stolen. In January this year, the exchange suffered a security breach that lasted around 5 hours, with the hackers breaking into six user accounts and stealing more than BTC 7.9.

Although, unlike other exchanges, LocalBitcoins does not have to keep cryptocurrency on the platform for buyers, sellers have to use their internal wallet system for the platform’s escrow services.

Customer Support

LocalBitcoins’ support team can be reached on a 24/7 basis via an email ticketing system, but it has been rated to not be responsive, with users complaining that they received no reply to their emails.

In an exchange review, support is a very important aspect, as many platforms have trouble in this area.

LocalBitcoins Exchange Reputation

LocalBitcoins Reputation

Many customers have reported to come into contact with fraudulent users or getting scammed on the platform.

There are many online reviews that describe how users got scammed, which has affected in time the reputation of the exchange. It is not actually LocalBitcoins’ fault if fraudsters are using the platform to rip off people. The problem is that peer-to-peer trading comes with a lot of risks, and traders should take all security precautions.

The platform also has a section where users can post fraud and scam warnings, to alert other traders of their experience and to avoid trading with those users.

LocalBitcoins.com faced a huge backlash from the community when it started enforcing stricter Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocols in early 2018. As one of its selling points was user-anonymity, as you would only need an email to register, many users were upset that the P2P platform was imposing these rules.

Section 2.4 states that “verifying account with an ID is currently mandatory to all advertisers and users whose trading volume exceeds [a] certain limit.” The company reasons that the move was made to protect users from fraud, money laundering, criminal activities, and other illicit activities.

LocalBitcoins Review: Verdict

LocalBitcoins is an exchange platform that facilitates peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading. The fee structure is advantageous for buyers, but the downside is that there are many fraudulent traders abusing the platform and looking to scam people of their money.

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