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‘Extreme’ Bitcoin Warning Spooks Crypto Market

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency traders and investors are nervously watching prices after market sentiment appeared to take a turn for a worse, dropping to its lowest level since December 2018.

The bitcoin price has been hovering around $10,000 per bitcoin for a few weeks, with many hoping bitcoin was becoming a safe haven from turbulent markets.

Bitcoin and crypto investors are worried, however, with the Crypto Fear and Greed Index showing “extreme fear,” and earlier this week dropping to a 244-day low last seen when bitcoin crashed to around $3,000.

The fear index hit an all-time high in late June as excitement around Facebook’s plans for its bitcoin rival reached fever pitch but has since dived as regulators signal their dissatisfaction with the social media giant.

“The current regulatory roadblock on Facebook’s plans for its digital token has dimmed down investor sentiment for cryptocurrencies,” said Christel Quek, chief commercial officer at Bolt Global, a cryptocurrency wallet provider and entertainment company.

The fear index is currently showing a reading of 20, but earlier this week dropped as low as 11 after falling sharply throughout August.

Since the index hit its year-to-date lows, the bitcoin price has fallen a further 2%, while the overall cryptocurrency market has seen more than $30 billion wiped from it over the last week.

Meanwhile, the bitcoin price dropped below the psychological $10,000 per bitcoin mark this week, further worrying traders and investors.

Some in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry pointed out the wider cryptocurrency market has declined along with the bitcoin price.

“Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies including litecoin, ethereum and Ripple’s XRP have declined [this week], weighed down by concerns of a slowing economy,” Quek added.

The fear index, created by website and software comparison company Alternative.me, calculates the index’s value daily on a scale of 0 to 100 using volatility, market volume, social media, survey, dominance, and trends. Zero means “extreme fear,” while 100 means “extreme greed.”

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: ‘Extreme’ Bitcoin Warning Spooks Crypto Market

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Bitcoin Has ‘No Intrinsic Value,’ As U.K. ‘Moves Towards’ Crypto Ban

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation has been pushed into the limelight over recent weeks, thanks to social media giant Facebook’s high profile plans to launch its own potential rival to bitcoin sometime next year.

The bitcoin price, which had been climbing on rumors that big technology companies were taking an interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, has plateaued at around $10,000 per bitcoin after a number of countries rebuffed Facebook’s plans, unveiled in June.

Now, the U.K.’s financial services watchdog has warned potential investors that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have “no intrinsic value,” with some taking the caution as a signal the country could be moving towards a bitcoin ban.

“This is a small, complex and evolving market covering a broad range of activities,” said Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which oversees London’s huge banking industry.

“Today’s guidance will help clarify which crypto-asset activities fall inside our regulatory perimeter,” Woolard added, with the FCA warning: “Consumers should be cautious when investing in such crypto-assets and should ensure they understand and can bear the risks involved with assets that have no intrinsic value.”

The FCA branding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as without “intrinsic value” is likely to rile many bitcoin believers who have long argued blockchain technology, which underpins bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies, gives the digital tokens value.

“It is technically true that cryptocurrencies have no ‘intrinsic value’ when compared to share ownership in actual companies, however there are many examples where a marketplace bestows value on an intangible asset,” Jon Ostler, of comparison site Finder.com, told the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper. “For example, the brand of ‘bitcoin’ itself has value and although its future place in society is still unclear, it is one of the most likely coins to stay the course.”

The warning from the U.K. comes shortly after U.S. president Donald Trump unleashed a scathing attack on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, comments that were then echoed by other senior officials in his administration, including Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin who branded bitcoin and cryptocurrencies a “national security issue.”

It’s thought that Trump’s attacks on bitcoin and crypto were in direct response to Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency project, which, if successful, could undermine the international dominance of the U.S. dollar.

“Although not a ban, [the U.K.’s FCA warning is] a move in that direction,” said Herbert Sim, head of business development from Broctagon Fintech Group. “This lack of enthusiasm is shared by several countries; the U.S. with its scrutiny of libra, and India, who are looking to implement a similar ban on cryptocurrencies which are not state regulated. These movements could end up coming back to bite. The international competition on cryptocurrencies is heating up and there are huge risks in being left behind.”

Meanwhile, the watchdog warned investing in what it called “unregulated crypto-assets” will not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which pays out if the investment collapses.

“It remains possible in the future that if an unregulated token is subject to common acceptance and usage in the U.K. then either the FCA or the Bank of England will reconsider this position in order to ensure that adequate consumer protection exists,” said Tim Dolan, partner at law firm Reed Smith.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk

 

Source: Bitcoin Has ‘No Intrinsic Value,’ As U.K. ‘Moves Towards’ Crypto Ban

US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Those who have been longtime critics of Bitcoin usually have one key theory in common, which is that governments will eventually ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will then cease to exist in any meaningful form. For examples of this point of view, just look at economist Nouriel Roubini and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

That said, implementing such a ban is no easy task. After all, Bitcoin was built by cypherpunks as a form of digital money that would be unaffected by the desires of politicians and regulators around the world.

Lately, it appears that lawmakers in the United States are starting to realize the difficulties associated with a potential Bitcoin ban.

Bitcoin Ban Deemed Unlikely During Congressional Hearings

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulation. During that hearing, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) shared his belief that the United States would not be able to succeed in banning Bitcoin.

“If the United States were to decide — and I’m not saying that it should — if the United States were to decide we don’t want cryptocurrency to happen in the United States and tried to ban it, I’m pretty confident we couldn’t succeed in doing that because this is a global innovation,” said Crapo.

This statement came in the form of a question to Jeremy Allaire, who is the co-founder and CEO of global financial services company Circle. In his response, Allaire explained the new reality created by the creation of Bitcoin.

“I think the challenge that we all face with this is some of these cryptocurrencies — they’re literally just a piece of open-source software,” said Allaire. “There’s nothing else. It exists on the internet, it’s open-source software, anyone can implement it, it runs wherever the internet runs, and these have a monetary policy where these assets are algorithmically generated . . . That is a challenge that every government in the world now faces — that money, digital money, will move frictionlessly everywhere in the world at the speed of the internet.”

These remarks made during Tuesday’s hearing follow comments made by U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) from earlier in the month when he stated “there’s no capacity to kill Bitcoin” during an interview with CNBC.

Back in May, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) claimed that Congress should implement a ban on Bitcoin, but Sherman did not share specific details as to how such a ban could be effectively achieved.

                                

The difficulties associated with implementing a ban on Bitcoin are behind one economist’s theory that the best way to kill the cryptocurrency would be for governments to become more competitive in terms of monetary policy and financial freedom.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt has also pointed out that bringing forth a Bitcoin ban could be legally difficult for the U.S. Government. That said, there is growing support for bans on encryption-based technologies among various law enforcement agencies in the United States, in addition to the Trump White House.

On the other hand, more centralized cryptocurrency systems like Facebook’s Libra project, which is really a cryptocurrency in name only, would be much easier for governments to control.

It should be noted that extreme limitations on technology and financial freedom, such as the new cash-related bill making its way through the Parliament of Australia, may end up unintentionally educating more people as to why Bitcoin has value in the first place.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

I’m a writer who has been following Bitcoin since 2011. I’ve worked all over the Bitcoin media space — from being editor-in-chief at Inside Bitcoins to contributing to Bitcoin Magazine on a regular basis. My work has also been featured in Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, and many other financial and tech media outlets. I’m mostly interested in the use of Bitcoin for transactions that would be censored by the traditional financial system (think darknet markets and ransomware) in addition to the use of bitcoin as an unseizable, digital store of value. Altcoins, appcoins, and ICOs don’t make much sense to me. Find all of my work at kyletorpey.com. Disclosure: I hold some bitcoin.

Source: US Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin

Despite Bitcoin’s Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k | UseTheBitcoin

Image result for Despite Bitcoin's Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k

Bitcoin (BTC) experienced a very positive year. The digital currency was able to end the bear market that it started in 2018 and it reached the highest point in over 9 months. Although Bitcoin fell from almost $9,100 to $7,800 in a few days, analysts consider it can reach its previous all-time high once again.

Could Bitcoin Reach $20,000?

During an interview with The Independent, the cryptocurrency analyst Oliver Isaacs said that Bitcoin could eventually reach $25,000 by the end of the current year. That means that Bitcoin would experience a price increase of 224% in just six months, something that doesn’t seem impossible. Indeed, Litecoin (LTC) and Binance Coin (BNB) have surged over 300% and 500% respectively in the last six months.

He believes that there are several catalysts behind Bitcoin’s move towards $9,000, including the U.S.-China trade war that started some months ago. Bitcoin could eventually be used as a safe haven, even when the digital currency is volatile and is still young compared to other assets.

In addition to it, Garrick Hileman, the head of research at Blockchain.com, said during a conversation with the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that he sees a strong inverse correlation between Bitcoin and the Chinese Renminbi. Nonetheless, he said that they cannot be sure that the recent price surge experienced by Bitcoin was driven by trade tensions between China and the United States.

Isaac has also mentioned that there is increased adoption of Bitcoin and other technologies such as Blockchain. Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and others are starting to work with digital assets and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in order to offer better services and products to people around the world.

It is also worth mentioning that there are other firms such as Fidelity Investments and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) that have also been trying to offer new services to firms and larger investors. Although their products are not yet ready to be released to most of the users, they have made significant improvements in the last months.

Finally, during a conversation with Bloomberg TV, Jehan Chu, the co-founder and managing partner of Kenetic, said that he expects Bitcoin to be traded close to $30,000 by December 2019.

Currently, CoinMarketCap shows that Bitcoin is being traded around $7,766 and it has a market capitalization of $137 billion.

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Source: Despite Bitcoin’s Drop From $9,000 Analysts Expect The Digital Currency To Reach $20k | UseTheBitcoin

Bloomberg Issues Bitcoin (BTC) Warning, Plus Ethereum, Ripple and XRP, Litecoin, Stellar, Tron

A technical indicator designed to detect market reversals is flashing its first sell in more than a month.

According to the GTI VERA Convergence Divergence indicator, the price of Bitcoin will likely continue to move lower in the short term, reports Bloomberg. The gauge utilizes typical Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) and attempts to identify increased volatility and delete excess noise.

Meanwhile, veteran trader Peter Brandt sent out a viral tweet identifying a Doji top in Bitcoin’s weekly chart, which could signal the start of a significant market correction. The Doji is a candlestick pattern that’s used to identify potential market reversals based on prior price action.

However, Brandt later clarified that further analysis shows a Doji pattern has not been confirmed across all crypto exchanges.

Ethereum

A new demo of an Ethereum-based platform from accounting and consulting giant Ernst & Young is now online. Project “Nightfall” is a transaction protocol designed to move tokens on the blockchain with complete privacy.

Ripple and XRP

Ripple continues to move large amounts of XRP.

The company just sent 50 million XRP, roughly $20 million, to one of its over-the-counter (OTC) distribution wallets that are used to sell the digital asset to crypto exchanges and institutional participants.

Litecoin

Litecoin’s hash rate hit a new all-time high on Sunday, amid rumors that new mining hardware from Bitmain will soon be released. The hash rate is a sign that the network is thriving as new miners join the network.

Source: BitInfoCharts

Stellar

The Stellar Development Foundation’s Jed McCaleb and Denelle Dixon are hosting a new ask-me-anything on Reddit.

The event is set for Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. PST.

Tron

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao says he won’t be able to go to the charity lunch with Warren Buffett. CZ says he was invited by Tron CEO Justin Sun who pledged millions to a charity, winning a lunch date with billionaire investor Buffett and a chance to invite seven colleagues. CZ is passing the torch to outspoken crypto supporter Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital.

Source: Pivot – Blockchain Community

Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

bitcoin, bitcoin price, image

Bitcoin, which has been swinging wildly over recent weeks, has crashed under $8,000—suddenly losing almost $1,000 per bitcoin in a matter of minutes last night.

The bitcoin price, down around 8% over the last 24 hour trading period, is still up around double where it began this year after a terrible 2018 that saw many of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies including bitcoin lose around 80% of their value.

It’s been suggested the latest sudden bitcoin sell-off, which sent the wider cryptocurrency market sharply lower, was caused by a so-called bitcoin whale selling a large amount of bitcoin then buying it back after the market has dropped due to the influx of supply—potentially earning millions of dollars in the process.

Last night a large bitcoin holder moved some 25,000 bitcoin, worth more than $200 million, from an off-exchange wallet to the San Francisco-based Coinbase bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, as reported by a bitcoin and cryptocurrency whale tracking Twitter bot.

Shortly after that, 14,000 bitcoin, worth $112 million, was moved from Coinbase to another wallet, then a further 11,000 bitcoin, worth $88 million.

“If you do a little math and follow the timeline, it’s not hard to see that someone dumped 25,000 bitcoin for $215 million and bought it back shortly after for $200 million,” wrote Reddit user u/makoveli in a post to popular cryptocurrency forum r/cryptocurrency. “In doing so, they pocketed $15 million and walked away with the same amount of bitcoin as they started with.”

Bitcoin, despite being the most widely traded cryptocurrency with trading volume into the billions of dollars every day, still struggles with wild price swings due to large holders moving significant volumes of bitcoin.

bitcoin, bitcoin price, chart

The bitcoin price has risen and fallen sharply multiple times over recent weeks.

Following the sharp bitcoin price plunge, other major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, EOS, and bitcoin cash all fell with EOS leading the field lower, down over 10% on yesterday’s price, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Bitcoin SV, a variant of bitcoin cash, itself a fork of bitcoin, was the only top 10 cryptocurrency largely unaffected by the sudden sell-off—something that will likely further speculation the controversial token suffers from low liquidity and high price manipulation.

You can follow me on Twitter @billybambrough and read my other Forbes posts here

Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world.

Source: Bitcoin Plunged Below $8,000–Did This Cause The Sudden Price Drop?

NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

Bakkt – the cryptocurrency startup launched by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) owner Intercontinental Exchange – just yanked the lid off the full range of its blockchain ambitions.

The firm announced today that it has acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) as part of its efforts to gain regulatory approval for its crypto products.

Reportedly, Bakkt is less concerned with merely building a Bitcoin exchange than they are with offering institutional custody and payment platform services, all of which still requires regulatory approval.

Bakkt Acquires Crypto Custodian DACC

bakkt bitcoin futures

Bitcoin startup Bakkt acquired a crypto custodian to help bring its regulated platform to market. | Source: Shutterstock

The company recently announced its application for a BitLicense, and it is also pushing to become a trust company in New York. The company’s efforts have been repeatedly stalled by regulatory delays, despite positive news around its partnerships with Starbucks, Microsoft, and others.

Coinbase previously acquired a trust charter with the New York Department of Financial Services. Becoming a trust can be a faster process than becoming a BitLicense recipient, which can take several years. Bakkt says in a new blog post that it’s applied for a charter, and recently we reported that they’re also seeking a BitLicense.

Bakkt wants to offer Bitcoin futures contracts that pay out in cryptocurrency, which would set them apart from other Bitcoin futures offerings. Bakkt has several other ambitious projects in mind, but it must get through several layers of red tape before it finally launches.

Adam White wrote in Bakkt’s blog today:

“To provide regulated custody, we have filed with the New York Department of Financial Services for approval to become a trust company and in this capacity serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets. […] It is with that same commitment to setting a new standard for securely storing digital assets that we’re excited to announce that we have acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC). DACC shares our security-first mindset and brings extensive experience offering secure, scalable custody solutions to institutional clients. The team’s experience integrating multiple blockchains and operating cutting-edge consensus mechanisms is a valuable addition to our team and future product line.”

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler told Fortune:

“From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”

Custody: The Key to Mass Bitcoin Adoption?

bitcoin wallet crypto

A lack of regulated custodians has kept many crypto-curious institutions out of the burgeoning asset class. | Source: Shutterstock

Bakkt and Coinbase have both claimed that offering secure, modern custodial solutions for cryptocurrency will encourage institutional investors to expand their portfolios to include the speculative asset class. Thus far, Coinbase and Circle’s offerings have yet to make a significant dent in the overall market.

Fidelity, a traditional assets management company, also nears completion of its custodial solution. A range of options doesn’t necessarily equate to investor interest, but their availability may play a vital role during any future bull run. Institutional investors will, at a minimum, have several popular options to choose from if they consider getting into the market, opportunities that didn’t exist in previous times.

Bakkt’s current push is three-pronged:

  • They’ve acquired a company already engaged in playing custodian to digital assets.
  • They’ve applied for a BitLicense.
  • They’re working to become a registered trust.

There are other avenues they might still pursue, such as operating without New York as an available market at first. What is clear is that the company is anxious to get into the game, and the recent bull market activity is probably not far from their mind.

Source: NYSE-Linked Bitcoin Exchange Bakkt Just Unveiled a Major Acquisition

Bitcoin (BTC) Darknet Transactions Doubled In 2018: Why This Is Bullish

 

Since Bitcoin (BTC) burst onto the global stage in 2009, the cryptocurrency, known for its decentralized, immutable, censorship-resistant, pseudonymous, and borderless nature, has become a medium for transactions of all shapes and size. And just like U.S. dollars and other government-issued currencies, BTC has found use cases in illicit transactions. Whether it be purchasing questionable goods or otherwise, the flagship cryptocurrency has found a place……..

Source: Bitcoin (BTC) Darknet Transactions Doubled In 2018: Why This Is Bullish

Crypto Analyst Brian Kelly: ‘No Shot’ for Bitcoin ETF in 2019

Crypto entrepreneur and regular contributor to CNBC, Brian Kelly, claimed that there is no chance for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in 2019. Kelly made his remarks in an interview with Cointelegraph at the Crypto Finance Conference, Switzerland, Jan. 18. Discussing the overall state of the cryptocurrency market, Kelly predicted that 2019 will turn out better than 2018. The analyst argued that “we are somewhere close to the end of [the bear market]………

Source: Crypto Analyst Brian Kelly: ‘No Shot’ for Bitcoin ETF in 2019

Crypto Market Begins to Fall Rapidly Again: Bitcoin Below $3,500

Bitcoin fell below $3,500 as $5 billion was wiped out of the crypto market, and major digital assets like Ethereum recorded a six percent drop against the U.S. dollar. The 4.8 percent drop in the combined valuation of all cryptocurrencies in the global market comes after a strong sell-off on January 11………

Source: Crypto Market Begins to Fall Rapidly Again: Bitcoin Below $3,500

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