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Bitcoin price hits $51K as U.S. Senate passes $1.9 trillion stimulus

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) reached over $51,000 on March 7 after the U.S. Senate passed the anticipated $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which is roughly two times larger than the market capitalization of BTC.
United States’ President Joe Biden said that the Senate’s approval shows major progress in delivering a “desperately needed” stimulus bill to Americans. He said:

“Today I can say we’ve taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise, that help is on the way. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was so desperately needed, urgently needed.”

BTC/USDT 4-hour price chart (Binance). Source: TradingView.com
Why is the stimulus bullish for Bitcoin price?
When a stimulus bill gets passed, it immediately relaxes the financial conditions in the U.S. The past year has shown that the effect of such measures raises investors’ appetite for risk-on assets, including stocks and cryptocurrencies.
In April 2020, when the first stimulus bill was passed, it coincided with a massive bull run in both the U.S. equities market and the cryptocurrency market.
Naturally, investors anticipate the second stimulus package to have a similar effect on the price of Bitcoin in the short term.
Peter Brandt, a long-time trader, said the devaluation of the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar has only started.
The combination of a devaluing dollar and the new stimulus package would likely cause the market sentiment around Bitcoin to improve. Brandt wrote:

“The devaluation of the purchasing power of the U.S. Dollar $DX_F has only just begun. This is why Bitcoin $BTC, real estate, U.S. equities and commodities will continue to trend higher when expressed in $USD fiat terms.”

Consumer price index for all urban consumers. Source: Peter Brandt, Fred
If the U.S. stock market begins to recover after a week-long pullback, it could further catalyze Bitcoin given that equities and cryptocurrencies fell in tandem during the recent correction.
Chinese companies following MicroStrategy’s strategy? 
Atop the improving macro environment for Bitcoin, the first Chinese listed company called Meitu has officially bought $40 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company stated:

“The Group has purchased 15,000 units of Ether and 379.1214267 units of Bitcoin (BTC), both cryptocurrencies, in open market transactions at an aggregate consideration of approximately US$22.1 million and US$17.9 million respectively, on March 5, 2021.”

“The first Chinese listed company to buy a large amount of Bitcoin appeared,” a popular Chinese journalist by the name of Wu Blockchain commented on March 7. “Photo-retouching software company Meitu announced that it would buy Bitcoin and Ethereum for 40mln$. But its founder was criticized for issuing multiple ICOs in 2017.” He added: 

Meitu said that crypto has enough room for appreciation, it can diversify the risk of holding cash in fund management. Affected by this, there may be more Chinese companies buying Bitcoin to boost their stock prices, but they may also be banned by the Chinese government.”

If a new trend emerges where public companies in Asia begin to buy Bitcoin, it could lead to an influx of new capital into the Bitcoin exchange market.
While it is unlikely that many publicly listed companies in China would announce Bitcoin purchases due to the uncertain regulatory environment, countries like Japan and South Korea could see a similar trend occur in the next few months.

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Bitcoin nerves, Tesla told to dump crypto, NFT madness: Hodler’s Digest, Feb. 28–March 6

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week

Bitcoin traders worry as price remains pinned below $50,000
After reaching lows of $43,500 last Sunday, Bitcoin staged a comeback, managing to hit $52,000 on Wednesday. There was optimism that the correction was over and that BTC would now have the chance to return to all-time highs.
Alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Fast forward to this weekend, and Bitcoin is once again struggling to break above $50,000 — a psychologically important milestone. Now, the nerves are starting to set in.
A drop below recent lows of $46,000 could open the door to further downward movement, endangering a bull run that’s been in place for almost a year… at least in the short term. Pseudonymous trader Rekt Capital believes BTC could bottom between $38,000 and $45,000 if this level fails to hold.
Traders are now beginning to speculate that Bitcoin may continue to trade sideways for now. A gloomy macroeconomic picture dominated by rising bond yields and a pullback in tech stocks certainly isn’t helping matters.
Then again, there’s always a metric that shrugs off the gloom… suggesting everything is fine. Glassnode’s Reserve Risk indicator suggests that BTC’s rally is still in the early to middle stage — even after this week’s pullback. Great. Nothing to worry about, then.

Analyst tells Tesla to dump Bitcoin for buybacks as shares plunge
Tesla is now coming under pressure to sell off the $1.5 billion it holds in Bitcoin. Since the electric vehicle maker announced its crypto buy-in, TSLA shares have fallen by a stomach-churning 30.8%.
Gary Black, the former CEO of Aegon Asset Management, tweeted that Tesla would generate “positive momentum” if it bows out of crypto, adding: “Highly unlikely, but shareholders would be very supportive.”
Bitcoin’s price correction has also been hurting MicroStrategy — the business intelligence firm that owns more than 91,000 BTC. MSTR’s share price has tumbled by 52.8% in less than a month.
The company doesn’t seem too worried, though. MicroStrategy bought another 205 BTC this week in a $10-million spending spree that coincided with the latest dip.
While the software company began putting its existing assets into BTC in 2020, back when Bitcoin traded at about $10,000, its latest purchases have yet to break even.

Kings of Leon is releasing an album as an NFT
Buckle yourselves in… we’ve got so much NFT news to get through. One of the more attention-grabbing headlines this week came when Kings of Leon announced it is releasing its eighth album in the form of a nonfungible token.
Three types of NFTs are on offer, with the rarest offering front-row seats to Kings of Leon concerts for life, a personal driver and the chance to hang out with the band before shows.
Frenzied activity in the NFT sector doesn’t end here. The rarest Pepe of them all — “Homer Pepe” — went under the hammer for 205 ETH this week… that’s worth $323,000 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, an NFT made up of 100 individual pieces from 100 different artists sold out within minutes on Rarible.
Aavegotchis — NFTs inspired by the Tamagotchi devices that were oh so trendy in the late 1990s and early 2000s — were snapped up in under a minute. And as sales on NBA Top Shot continue to go through the roof, the executive chairman of the sports merchandise company Fanatics, Michael Rubin, said: “It’s almost a frenzy happening right now.”
If all of this wasn’t crazy enough, an original artwork by Banksy has been burned and turned into an NFT. Ironically, the piece is called “Morons” and depicts buyers at an art auction bidding on a piece emblazoned with the words “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.”

Tether hit with 500 BTC ransom demand, but says it won’t pay
Still dusting itself off after a showdown with the New York Attorney General, Tether is really struggling to catch a break right now.
This week, hackers threatened to release sensitive company documents that supposedly belonged to Tether… unless they were paid a 500-BTC ransom — a staggering sum worth $23.8 million at the time.
Tether announced what was happening on Twitter and declared: “We are not paying.”
The deadline has now passed, but what remains unclear is whether the extortionists are attempting a simple cash grab, or whether it’s all part of a greater effort to undermine Tether and the rest of the Bitcoin ecosystem.
“Either way, those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate,” the company added.

No crypto ban in India: Finance minister predicts “very calibrated” stance
There’s been another dramatic twist in the “will they, won’t they” saga of India’s planned crypto ban.
On Saturday, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said reports that the government is pursuing a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies are overstated. She stressed that regulations won’t be as “severe” as previously reported and that the authorities were determined to take a “very calibrated” stance.
The comments will no doubt come as a relief for crypto businesses and investors in the world’s second-most populous country following years of uncertainty.
At one point, India was considering introducing jail terms of up to 10 years for anyone caught dealing in cryptocurrencies — along with a hefty fine. The country’s central bank also introduced a ban that stopped banks from offering services to crypto businesses, causing several to collapse. Those restrictions were sensationally overturned by the Supreme Court last year.
Sitharaman’s latest remarks are at odds with a Bloomberg report last month that claimed crypto assets would soon be completely banned in India.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $48,445.86, Ether at $1,607.45 and XRP at $0.46. The total market cap is at $1,484,740,419,357.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Chiliz, Enjin Coin and Flow. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Cardano, 1inch and Stellar.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis. 

Most Memorable Quotations

“You should look for relative strength when others are weak. Global macro sold off yesterday and BTC did not give a donkey.”

Kyle Davies, Three Arrows Capital co-founder

“Bitcoin is holding up against the macro spectacularly well.”

Lex Moskovski, Moskovski Capital CEO 

“The fact that Bitcoin continues to show strength even with GBTC acting like a resistance band holding it back is very encouraging and shows to me that the overall story, that of accelerating adoption, is still intact.”

Chad Steinglass, CrossTower head of trading

“I think there’s going to be tremendous value created, but also there’s so many people getting into it, I don’t think everyone’s going to be successful.”

Michael Rubin, Fanatics executive chairman

“It’s early stages, but in the future, I think this will be how people release their tracks: When they sell a 100,000 at a dollar each, then they just made $100,000.”

Josh Katz, Yellowheart CEO

“I think Reed Hastings is a very innovative guy and has a lot of creative thinking, and I think he still controls the reins at Netflix, and so I think that might be the next big one to fall.”

Tim Draper, serial investor

“What we are seeing built with crypto today is just proof of concept. As tech continues to get better/cheaper/faster there will be new applications and maybe even something that supersedes what we know as crypto today.”

Mark Cuban, billionaire

“I see HOMERPEPE as the most important NFT in art history because its headline-making sale in 2018 influenced so many of the original crypto artists to believe we could put our art to work building both a market and belief around this new technology.”

Matt Kane, artist

“Is Bitcoin a currency? Property? An asset? Maybe all of the above, I’m going in with a 3% portfolio allocation.”

Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank investor

“Bitcoin has returned almost 200% (so nearly tripled your money), every single year for 10 years, *compounded*.”

CaseBitcoin

“We’re sending a clear message to the entire industry that you either play by the rules or we will shut you down.”

Letitia James, New York Attorney General

“Those seeking to harm Tether are getting increasingly desperate.”

Tether

“There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress. But weighing these potential hurdles against the opportunities leads to the conclusion that Bitcoin is at a tipping point.”

Citi

Prediction of the Week

Bitcoin price is going to “infinity” — Kraken CEO
Hodler’s Digest has been home to some pretty sky-high Bitcoin price predictions over the years — $500,000 here, $1 million there. Determined not to be outdone, Kraken’s CEO has gone nuclear… predicting that BTC will be worth “infinity.”
Jesse Powell believes that, one day, humanity will simply give up pricing Bitcoin in U.S. dollars — telling Bloomberg that a $1-million price tag in 10 years’ time is reasonable.
Research from the company he runs is perhaps a little more realistic. Kraken’s latest analysis suggests Bitcoin could next top out somewhere between $75,000 and $306,000.

FUD of the Week 

BitMEX’s Arthur Hayes and Ben Delo negotiate surrender to U.S. authorities
The former CEO of the crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is in negotiations to surrender to U.S. authorities next month.
Arthur Hayes and fellow executives are accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Transcripts from a virtual court hearing suggest he’s going to surrender to the U.S. in Hawaii on April 6 — six months after he went on the run.

McAfee faces crypto-related fraud charges from NY court
Criminal charges are piling up for John McAfee. The crypto advocate and internet security pioneer has now been accused of fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes. Allegations relate two schemes where cryptocurrencies were “fraudulently promoted” to investors.
Prior to today’s news, McAfee already faced charges from U.S. governing bodies for tax evasion and initial coin offerings that he allegedly advertised for compensation without properly informing the public. 
After going on the run from the U.S. government in 2019, McAfee was arrested in Spain in October 2020.

Dev says $31 million Meerkat Finance exploit was a “test” and funds will be returned
Alarm bells rang this week when Meerkat Finance, a decentralized finance protocol based on Binance Smart Chain, lost BNB worth $31 million — hours after it had launched.
The team initially claimed it had been the victim of an exploit but then deleted all its social media channels. Due to the nature of the breach, some believe that a “rugpull” scam had taken place.
But there might be some good news on the horizon for the victims of the exploit, which is one of the largest in DeFi’s short history. A Meerkat Finance developer posted in a newly created Telegram channel and revealed the exploit was a “trial” testing users’ greed and “subjectivity” — adding that the team was preparing to refund all victims.

Best Cointelegraph Features

DeFi who? NFTs are the new hot stars on the crypto block
NFTs are taking over from where DeFi left off, and data suggests asset tokenization will dominate 2021.

Crypto Pepes: What does the frog meme?
Cointelegraph Magazine talks to BarnBridge founder Tyler Ward, who has inadvertently created a Pepe the Frog NFT meme craze.

Pricing the hype: Crypto companies valued at billions as market booms
Crunching the numbers: Analysts and industry experts weigh in on crypto firms like Coinbase and Kraken being valued in the billions.

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Bitcoin traders worry as BTC price remains pinned below $50K

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has failed to break above the psychological $50,000 resistance going into the weekend and has dropped below the $48,000 level on March 6. 
BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview
Now traders are watching whether BTC/USD can break above the $50,000 level to resume the bull cycle. Conversely, a drop below the recent lows below $46,000 will likely open the door to new lower lows, which may then pose a threat to the bull run that has been in place for almost a year, at least in the short to medium term. 
Pseudonymous trader Rekt Capital pointed out similar price levels to watch. If BTC fails to hold the current levels above $46,000, the trader expects Bitcoin to bottom somewhere in the area between $38,000 and $45,000 despite Bitcoin posting higher lows in recent days. 
“BTC higher lows hold until they don’t,” he wrote. “Each subsequent reaction from the January HL was lesser and lesser. Could be the same now. Better to be safe than sorry by preparing for a potential breakdown from this HL.”

#BTC Higher Lows holdUntil they don’tEach subsequent reaction from the January HL was lesser & lesserCould be the same nowBetter to be safe than sorry by preparing for a potential breakdown from this HLAnd should this breakdown occur – $BTC will bottom on this retrace pic.twitter.com/VUzgXbVkCX
— Rekt Capital (@rektcapital) March 6, 2021
One major factor that’s likely causing the current downward pressure on price is an uptick in whales’ activity. Data from CryptoQuant shows an increase in large transactions to exchanges on March 6, though miners’ activity remains relatively low. 
As shown in the chart below, previous upticks in whales moving funds to exchange coincided with drops in Bitcoin price on March 3-4.  
Whales (blue) vs. Miners (orange) vs. BTC price (red). Source: CryptoQuant
Macroeconomic headwinds for Bitcoin
As Cointelegraph reported, Bitcoin is also facing downward pressure from macroeconomic headwinds. A sharp spike in 10-year U.S. Treasury yields and a pullback in tech stocks, in particular, are weighing on cryptocurrency prices as investors flee risk-on assets.
Meanwhile, the Dollar currency index, or DXY, has broken through technical resistance, hitting the highest levels since November 2020. 
BTC (blue) vs. DXY (orange). Source: Tradingview
Cointelegraph Markets analyst Michael van de Poppe points out that Bitcoin’s downtrend remains intact after the latest attempt to break $50,000 failed. 
“This means that the trend is still down and overall weakness on the markets in the short term,” he explained. “$50,000 is so far a no-go for Bitcoin.”
However, Bitcoin, as well as gold, may see some respite soon as the DXY and Treasury yields are nearing their own technical resistance levels.  
“I believe that the yields are getting topped out relatively soon including the DXY,” explained van de Poppe. “Both are in resistance areas, which means that we should be close to a top formation on these two, but also on a bottom formation for Bitcoin and gold relatively soon.”
He added: 

March is often a bad month for markets and history repeats itself. So macro-wise, we’re still bullish on the cycle and heating up for continuation, despite the recent interest in yields.”

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Thailand's crypto market seeks clearer regulations as industry interest peaks

Thailand currently lays claim to one of the more regulated crypto trading markets in the world, with exchanges having to adhere to strict regulatory standards. For example, at the start of the year, Bitkub, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, was shut down by regulators after the trading platform faced a series of lengthy service outages. 
Despite these seemingly stringent conditions, the country’s crypto market has continued to thrive. That being said, a tipping point came recently when Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission released a statement that it plans to enact a 1 million baht (about $33,000) minimum annual income requirement for crypto investment in the country.
The decision was met with immediate backlash from the local investor community — as it would potentially exclude low and middle-income earners from the cryptocurrency market — so much so that the regulatory body had to clarify its above-stated stance within days of making the announcement.
In this regard, the SEC noted that the previous draft document was just a means of gauging investor sentiment, with Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the Thai SEC, claiming: “I proposed the criteria that many considered too tough to prompt people to express their opinions on the matter and did not intend to say these are the exact qualifications that will be implemented.”
Providing his thoughts on the matter, Mr.Pinpraaj Chakkaphak, CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange ERX, told Cointelegraph that the original intention of the SEC was not malicious but one that sought to create a mechanism that could help protect investors from any unwarranted market risks, adding:

“We understand the good intentions of the SEC. However, many stakeholders in the digital assets market and the majority of the public disagree with the plan. From ERX’s point of view, this protection mechanism should not focus on minimum income, instead, it should come in the form of improved information disclosure by operators and investor education.”

Regulations should not impede market growth
To gain a better overview of the situation, Cointelegraph spoke with Konstantin Anissimov, executive director at CEX.IO, one of the most widely used crypto exchanges in Thailand. In his opinion, by taking a stance that potentially hampers lower-income families from gaining access to a potentially lucrative investment class, the SEC was going against the very fundamentals of a free-market economy and freedom of choice.
However, on the other hand, he did concede that if a majority of the lower-income population did not have any basic financial education and understanding of the risks of such investments, the SEC’s approach may have been the only way to protect the public’s best interests. Anissimov added:

“Multiple approaches can be taken and minimum income is just one of them. I am sure that Thai SEC will take on the feedback received from the investment community and act in the interest of its population.”

Additionally, in a statement shared with Cointelegraph, Dr. Akalarp Yimwilai, CEO of a local crypto trading platform Zipmex, pointed out that he sincerely believes that the proposed draft law comes from a place of good intent and that it serves to protect investors by minimizing unnecessary risks.
He highlighted that the Thai crypto market is still in its infancy and that regulations around the space have only come into being around three years ago. As a result, the SEC is still looking to craft a legal framework for this asset class that can protect investors from future risks. However, Yimwilai did go on to say:

“The proposed draft aims to protect but it is important to also see that in doing so, a higher wall is being proposed which limits the opportunity of access to digital assets for many in this country. The key here I believe is to work hand in hand with the SEC to ensure the sustainability and height of that wall.”

Lastly, he believes that if the current draft was to get implemented, it could potentially lead to a substantial rise in the number of scams, potentially driving investors into an unregulated market where they could run into uncharted territory. Not only that, it could also lead to a lot of much-needed capital flowing out of Thailand, resulting in the long-term detriment to the country’s development and finances.
The Thai crypto market has been booming
The Thai digital assets industry has grown significantly during recent months. According to the country’s SEC, the number of cryptocurrency trading accounts within the county has risen from 160,000 at the end of 2020 to 470,000 on Feb 1. Not only that, approximately 50% of these accounts are owned by investors younger than 30 years of age.
Furthermore, Chakkaphak pointed out that crypto trading volumes in November 2020 lay at 18.44 Billion THB, compared to 100.90 Billion in February 2021, thus showcasing a staggering increase of 447.18% within a matter of just three months. He went on to add:

“Investors wanting to invest in the traditional stock market or in digital assets should educate themselves and do in-depth research. Our priority is to enable and educate investors to learn and build knowledge about investing in digital assets, as it is a new opportunity for all investors.”

Also, according to Yimwilai, Zipmex traded $1 Billion in 2020 in Thailand, with the figure expected to grow exponentially in 2021. Not only that, the cryptocurrency exchange was also able to raise $6 million in fresh funding from U.S.-based VC from Jump Capital.
He further highlighted that the assets under the company’s management are currently valued at around $100 Million, which seems to back up the notion that the Thai masses are ready to dive head into the burgeoning crypto sector.
Do things look promising?
Though for now, the SEC seems to be backtracking on its initial outline for market entry requirements, according to the Suwanmongkol, people who are putting their hard-earned money into cryptocurrencies are mostly new investors who may not be fully aware of the risks that come with investing in high-risk, highly volatile assets. “If the SEC just stands by and does nothing, it would be totally our responsibility if investors lose on cryptocurrency”, she added.
Lastly, the SEC reportedly had a dinner talk with representatives from local digital exchanges recently, suggesting that the government agency may still be looking to consult prominent members from within the space. The final hearing, regarding the matter, will take place on March 24 before the survey finally closes on March 27.

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Traders speculate that Bitcoin’s price may continue to trade sideways for now

Bitcoin’s price has declined in recent days. While it has rebounded from its weekly lows, the asset’s trajectory remains uncertain says CryptoWendyO, a crypto trader on Twitter.  
“The daily timeframe is not looking great as we are having trouble sustaining $50K,” she told Cointelegraph on Friday. “I am feeling like we will get a run to $51.6[K].”
She added:

“From there I would be cautious as rejection could lead back to the $50K -$45K range. A break down there could be a swift wick to $42-38K with a glorious recovery. Invalidation would be a sustained consolidation at $52K.”

After hitting record highs of approximately $58,360 in February, Bitcoin (BTC) dropped down to roughly $43,015 in subsequent days, based on TradingView data. The asset then rebounded up to about $52,660, before continuing its downward price action below $50,000. Bitcoin is trading at roughly $49,020 at time of publication.
Cheds, a trader on Twitter holding his CMT level I certification, expects “more consolidation from BTC above that key 42k level,” he told Cointelegraph on Friday. He also tweeted a chart of his range expectations.
“The big question is if the recent 27% correction is enough to bring us to a new high,” Cheds said. “In the meantime we will watch a tightening range on the daily of lower highs and higher lows.”
A number of technology stocks have also suffered price decline recently.

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Price analysis 3/5: BTC, ETH, ADA, BNB, DOT, XRP, UNI, LTC, LINK, BCH

Analysts expect the U.S. economy to stage a strong recovery in the second half of this year as coronavirus vaccines are distributed and economic activity begins to increase. As growth picks up, inflation concerns are also on the rise. Speculation is rife that the U.S. Federal Reserve may have to adjust its dovish stance to hold down interest rates. 
In anticipation, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has jumped from about 1% at the start of the year to 1.626%. This has resulted in profit-booking in assets considered as risky and as equities pullback, a temporary pause may be put on Bitcoin’s (BTC) rally.
Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360
The drop in investor sentiment has also hurt the stock prices of MicroStrategy and Tesla who have each invested in Bitcoin recently. MicroStrategy’s stock price has plunged by over 50% from its all-time high at $1,315, even though the price of Bitcoin is currently only down about 20% from its all-time high.
Tesla, which had announced a $1.5 billion Bitcoin position on Feb. 8 has also seen its stock price plummet by over 34%. To stem the decline, longtime Tesla analyst Gary Black has suggested the electric car maker dump its Bitcoin holdings and instead use the proceeds for a stock buyback.
Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to spot the critical support levels where buyers may step in and arrest the current decline.
BTC/USD
Bitcoin turned down from the $52,040.95 overhead resistance on March 04, which suggests that traders are lightening up their positions at higher levels. The selling has continued and the price has dipped below the 20-day exponential moving average ($48,087).
BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
If the bears can sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, the BTC/USD pair could now drop to the critical support at $41,959.63 where buyers are likely to step in.
If the price rebounds off this support, the pair could trade between $41,959.63 and $52,040.95 for a few more days.
The flat 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) near the midpoint also suggest a few days of range-bound action.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current levels and rises above $52,040.95, it will open the doors for a rally to the all-time high.
On the other hand, if the bears sink and sustain the price below $41,959.63, the pair could drop to $37,000 and then to $28,050.
ETH/USD
Ether’s (ETH) relief rally from $1,289.09 on Feb. 28 hit a wall at the 20-day EMA ($1,593) on March 3. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover and the RSI is in the negative zone, indicating a possible change in trend.
ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
If bears sink the price below $1,289, the selling could intensify and the ETH/USD pair could drop to the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $1,220 and then to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $1,026.
Another possibility is that the pair rebounds off $1,289 and stays range-bound for a few more days. A breakout and close above $1,670 could result in a retest of the all-time high at $2,040.
ADA/USD
The bulls are currently attempting to arrest the pullback at the 20-day EMA ($1.07). This suggests that the sentiment remains positive and the bulls are viewing the dips in Cardano (ADA) as a buying opportunity.
ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The buyers will now try to push the price above $1.23. If they succeed, the ADA/USD pair may rally to $1.35 and then to the all-time high at $1.4852896.
However, the bears are unlikely to give up easily. The negative divergence on the RSI shows that the momentum is weakening.
If the current rebound fails to sustain, the bears will once again try to sink the price below the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair could drop to $0.80 and then to the 50-day simple moving average ($0.72).
BNB/USD
The relief rally in Binance Coin (BNB) turned down from the overhead resistance at $265 on March 2. This suggests that traders may be using the rallies to close their long positions. The price has again dropped to the 20-day EMA ($211).
BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
If the price rebounds off the 20-day EMA with strength, the bulls will once again try to drive the price above $265. If they manage to do that, the BNB/USD pair could start its journey to the all-time high at $348.6969.
But the 20-day EMA is gradually flattening out and the RSI continues to weaken. This points to possible range-bound action in the short term. The pair could consolidate between $189 and $265 for a few days.
A break and close below the $189 support could result in panic selling that can pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($126).
DOT/USD
Polkadot (DOT) turned down from $38.68 on March 3, which suggests that traders may have booked profits during the relief rally. The altcoin has dropped to the 20-day EMA ($32.49) and the buyers are now attempting to defend this support.
DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
A strong bounce off the current levels will suggest that the sentiment remains bullish and traders are buying on dips. If the bulls can push the price above the downtrend line, the DOT/USD pair may retest the all-time high at $42.2848.
On the contrary, if the price breaks and sustains below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the supply has exceeded demand. In such a case, the pair may extend its decline to the 50-day SMA ($24.89).
XRP/USD
XRP broke above the 20-day EMA ($0.467) on March 4, but the bulls could not maintain the momentum and thrust the price above the $0.50 overhead resistance. This attracted profit booking and the price has broken below the 20-day EMA today.
XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The XRP/USD pair could now drop to the 50-day SMA ($0.42) and then to $0.359. The flat 20-day EMA and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest a range-bound action for the next few days. The price may remain stuck between $0.359 and $0.50.
A trending move could start if the bulls push the price above $0.50. That could result in a rally to $0.65. On the other hand, a break below $0.359 may sink the price to $0.25.
UNI/USD
Uniswap (UNI) is in an uptrend and the bulls have been buying the dip to the 20-day EMA ($24.05). The bulls tried to push and sustain the price above $29 on March 4 but the higher levels attracted profit-booking.
UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The bears will now try to pull the price down to the 20-day EMA. If the UNI/USD pair again rebounds off this support, it will suggest that traders continue to buy the dips. The bulls will then try to push and close the price above $29. If they succeed, the pair could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $38.
Conversely, if the bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, the pair could drop to $20. Such a move may result in a consolidation between $20 and $29. The trend will turn negative on a break below the 50-day SMA ($18.85).
LTC/USD
Litecoin (LTC) broke and closed above the $185.58 resistance on March 3, but the bulls could not build upon this strength as the price turned down and dipped back below the 20-day EMA ($184.43) on March 4.
LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
The bulls are currently attempting to defend the 50-day SMA ($169.29) as seen from the long tail on today’s candlestick. If the rebound sustains, the bulls will again try to push the price above the $185.58 to $196.30 overhead resistance zone. If they succeed, the LTC/USD pair could rally to $205 and then to $240.
However, the flat moving averages and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest a possible range formation. The pair could trade between $152 on the downside and $205 on the upside. A break above or below the range could start the next trending move.
LINK/USD
Chainlink’s (LINK) relief rally turned down from $31.43 on March 3, which shows that traders are booking profits at higher levels. The altcoin has dipped to the 50-day SMA ($26.29) but the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests the bulls are trying to defend this support.
LINK/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView
Buying on dips and selling rallies usually results in a range-bound action. The flat 20-day EMA and the RSI near the midpoint also suggest a balance between supply and demand. The LINK/USD pair could now consolidate between $24 and $32 for a few days.
A breakout of the range may result in a rally to $34 and a retest of the all-time high at $36.93. Conversely, a break below $24 could pull the price down to the critical support at $20.11.
BCH/USD
The bounce from the uptrend line stalled at the 20-day EMA ($537) on March 3, which shows the traders are selling on rallies. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has again dipped to the uptrend line. The repeated retest of the support at short intervals tends to weaken it.
BCH/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView
The downsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative territory suggest that bears are in control. A break below the uptrend line could sink the BCH/USD pair to $432.02 and then to the critical support at $370.
This negative view will invalidate if the price rises from the current levels and rises above $539. Such a move will suggest aggressive buying at lower levels. The pair could then rally to $631.71.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

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Is Bitcoin a Ponzi scheme? Pick your side in the latest Cointelegraph Crypto Duel!

Does Bitcoin meet the definition of a Ponzi scheme? This is the subject of the latest Cointelegraph Crypto Duel, where Bitcoin strategist at Kraken meets professor of computer science at the University of Campinas, Jorge Stolfi.
Similar to other Bitcoin skeptics, Stolfi repeatedly defined Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme. The core of his argument is that Bitcoin doesn’t produce any cash flows and the money with which Bitcoin investors are paid comes exclusively from new investors buying Bitcoin.
“Every time you invest in Bitcoin, the money that you invest goes to the previous investors or to the miners and disappears”, Stolfi said.
Responding to Stolfi’s argument, Rochard pointed out that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cash system and, like other forms of money, it is not supposed to produce a cash flow.
“It’s just a general property of money because it is cash. So it doesn’t have cash flows and that doesn’t make it a Ponzi scheme.”, Rochard said.
Rochard also pointed out that Bitcoin is different from Ponzi schemes in that it does not guarantee fixed returns, and is well known to be a highly risky asset.
“Bitcoin’s promoters repeatedly emphasize that there is a risk of loss and that if we look at the empirical data, this risk has repeatedly been realized”, said Rochard. “That’s not how Ponzi schemes work”, he added.
Stolfi, however, is convinced that effective Ponzi schemes do not promise return since that would be “a dead giveaway.” “The S.E.C. would come knocking at your door the next day”, he argued.
As an example, the computer scientist mentioned the notorious Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which defrauded thousands of investors for $65 billion. “He didn’t promise anything. […] The reason why people invested in it is that he was paying everybody who wanted to cash out”.
Pick your side and watch the full debate on Cointelegraph’s Youtube channel!

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Big Tech sell-off and rising Treasury yield pin Bitcoin price below $50K

Bitcoin (BTC) continues to struggle below $50,000 on March 5 as a spike in the 10-year Treasury yield to 1.62%, its highest level in over a year, has taken a toll on global financial markets and hit risk-assets especially hard. 
At the time of writing the S&P 500 and Dow are up 0.46% and 0.64% but the tech sector sell off continues as companies like Apple and Tesla continue to slump further. 
Economists see rising bond yields as the result of improvements in the economy thanks to the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and the expectation that economic activity will ramp up as the rate of coronavirus infections drop. The rise in yields has led some to speculate that the Federal Reserve may institute yield curve control or take a more hawkish stance, but so far the central bank has refrained from altering its current plans. 
Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that Bitcoin bulls attempted to stage a rally during early trading hours on Friday, pushing the price up 5.25% from a low of $46,280 to an intraday high of $48,725. The $50,000 level has yet to be reclaimed as a firm support and traders are still looking for a daily close above $52,000 to confirm that bullish momentum has been restored.
BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView
Despite this week’s pullback, optimism among investors remains high following February’s record-breaking month which saw Bitcoin reach a total market cap of $1 trillion and a new all-time high at $58,532. Ether (ETH) price has also been consolidating for the past two weeks after hitting a new high at $2,033 on put in a record high of $2,033 on Feb. 20.
After strong parabolic rallies, a cooling-off period of range-bound trading and lower support retests is customary and from a technical point of view, Bitcoin and Etheruem are in a consolidation phase.
Historical data shows Bitcoin struggles in March
2021 has seen Bitcoin put on its best yearly start since 2013, but historical data shows BTC price tends to struggle from mid-February to the end of March. A recent report from Delphi Digital highlighted this trend, which has also been applicable to Ether since 2018.
Bitcoin yearly performance. Source: Delphi Digital
According to analysts at Delphi Digital, Bitcoin’s volatility also increases in March, meaning that moving forward 20% price drawdowns should not come as an unexpected surprise.
Despite the most recent corrections below $50,000, Delphi Digital’s overall outlook remains optimistic and the analysts said there is “nothing in the data or charts giving us reason to believe the peak for BTC this cycle is behind us.”
The report said:

“Bitcoin’s breakout above $20,000 at the end of last year served as a strong confirmation for its uptrend and marked a significant milestone; zooming out the long-term chart for BTC/USD looks very promising.”

The analysts also suggested that Bitcoin could possibly overtake gold in the future as the precious metal’s 9.8% decline year-to-date has been its worst in more than 30 years.
This is possibly due to a divergence in fund flows between Bitcoin investment products and the world’s largest gold ETFs that has emerged in recent months and Delphi Digital hinted that the longer gold underperforms, “the more attention BTC is likely to garner.”
New all-time highs amidst the market sell-off
Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360
While Bitcoin and most major altcoins are in the red today, there are a few notable standouts for the week. 
 Theta (THETA), a blockchain-powered video streaming platform, saw its price surge to a new record high of $4.50 on March 4. SwissBorg (CHSB) price also rallied 13.04% to establish a new high at $1.16.
Ether experienced a 6.24% pullback earlier today, dropping to $1,481 and Polkadot (DOT) has been the hardest hit project in the top 10, down 10% and trading at $32.42.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.44 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 60.7%.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Bitcoin EFT may come to US, but not all crypto investors think it’s needed

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s floor is littered with failed crypto fund filings, but this year, following Canada’s lead, the U.S. might actually have an exchange-traded fund that tracks digital assets. 
After all, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is booming, the SEC has a new crypto-savvy chairman, and Canada, which is sometimes viewed as a beta test site by U.S. regulators, debuted a Bitcoin ETF in late February that by most accounts has been stunningly popular. But does a crypto ETF really matter anymore?
Clearly, a lot has changed in the past year — what with a global pandemic, a change in administrations in Washington and new price records being set regularly on the crypto front. Whereas many predicted as recently as June 2020 that an SEC-sanctioned Bitcoin ETF would be a very “BIG Deal” and “open the flood gates” to BTC adoption, with a crypto ETF now on the brink, some observers aren’t so sure anymore.
“I used to think it would be a game-changer but now I think it would be just another step in the evolution of crypto,” Lee Reiners, executive director of the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke University School of Law, told Cointelegraph.
Eric Ervin, CEO of Blockforce Capital and Reality Shares and co-founder of Onramp Invest, told Cointelegraph: “I think a crypto ETF is less significant than we thought before because a lot of institutional investors finally got tired of waiting and figured it out.” Ervin’s firm was one of nearly a dozen whose application was sideswiped by the SEC — the Reality Shares ETF Trust application was pulled in February 2019 “on SEC advice.” That said, Ervin acknowledged that there “are still a massive number of investors on the sidelines” who might welcome such an investment option.
Meanwhile, applications to the U.S. agency keep flowing. Most recently, the Chicago Board Options Exchange requested permission to list a Bitcoin ETF proposed by asset manager VanEck.
State Street Corporation — one of the world’s largest custodians, with $38.8 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration — will be servicing the VanEck ETF, if approved. Nadine Chakar, head of State Street Global Markets, told Cointelegraph that the company is working to bring ETFs and exchange-traded notes to market in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, adding that “Our clients have seen interest grow in Bitcoin and […] there is a feeling the market is maturing.” Indeed, in the three years since early 2018 when Bitcoin interest last peaked:

“They feel that the market has become more efficient, crypto custody solutions have evolved to offer better security that they are comfortable with, and regulatory clarity has increased such as we’ve seen with the OCC’s [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] recent announcements.”

More success in 2021?
Has the crypto ETF climate really changed in Washington though? Michael​ Venuto, co‑founder and chief investment officer of Toroso Investments, told Cointelegraph: “I believe the odds of a U.S. Bitcoin ETF being approved are higher than in previous years.” Improved crypto custody, reporting and transaction transparency have calmed many regulators’ concerns, he said, and “The fact that BNY Mellon announced its move towards crypto custody on the same day as a Bitcoin ETF was approved in Canada is not a coincidence.”
“Investors have been looking to the US as the next potential market for ETFs that track digital assets,” wrote FTSE Russell, a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group that produces stock market indices, in a recent blog post, adding: “And speculation has only increased in recent weeks with the first Bitcoin ETF launch in Canada joining crypto ETP listings in Germany and Switzerland, as well as the continued popularity of the Grayscale investment trusts tracking this market.”
Regarding Gary Gensler’s nomination as SEC chairman, “This goes a long way towards advancing innovation in the US financial markets,” added Ervin, who agreed that the likelihood that U.S. regulators will approve a Bitcoin ETF this year has improved. He added further:

“As a former Chair of the CFTC, Gensler understands the importance of financial innovation, but he also has a healthy respect for the potential damage that unchecked markets bring.”

Reiners observed that based on what the SEC had been saying recently ETFwise — which isn’t much — a U.S. crypto ETF seems to be no closer than a year ago. However, when taking a broader look at the maturation of the crypto market and the subsequent institutional interest, he believes “It’s getting harder for the SEC to continue to say no.”
Is an ETF better than a trust?
But would an SEC-sanctioned ETF really be of major consequence now? What, for instance, does an ETF offer Bitcoin investors that current “trusts” like Grayscale Bitcoin Trust don’t?
GBTC and other trusts trade over the counter, not on major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange, noted Reiners. By comparison, “An ETF is widely accessible to all,” including retail investors without access to OTC markets.
State Street’s Chakar noted that GBTC is essentially a closed-end fund open to qualified investors, and although shares of the trust are available on the secondary market to retail investors, those shares “are not tied directly to the price of Bitcoin. As such shares most times trade at a premium — or a discount — to the underlying price of Bitcoin.”
Venuto added further: “The ETF structure provides for intra-day creation and redemption to meet demand. This function removes the premium and discount issues which have impacted the pricing of GBTC” — though he opined that if regulators were to approve a Bitcoin ETF, “Then in short order they would allow GBTC to convert to a similar ETF like structure.”
Along these lines, Canada-based investment manager Ninepoint Partners, which launched a Bitcoin trust two months ago, this week announced plans to convert its trust to an ETF on the Toronto Stock Exchange — following other Canadian investment firms seeking to capitalize on the untapped crypto ETF market in the country.
More adoption?
If a U.S. crypto ETF comes to pass, how would it play out? Would it bring in more institutional investors, for example? “Many institutions can only invest in funds, so the ETF is a wonderful step in the right direction,” Ervin said.
Institutional interest will continue to build regardless of an ETF, opined Venuto: “In terms of institutional adoption, that ship has sailed. […] An ETF will be primarily used by individual investors and financial advisors.”
“An ETF is more attractive to both institutions and retail investors in that it does tend to carry much less liquidity risk and more transparency to the underlying price of the asset — and fees associated with it,” said Chakar.
But what about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption in general? Would a U.S. crypto ETF transform that landscape? Reiners told Cointelegraph:

“There are now lots of ways for retail investors to get exposure to crypto, and the list keeps growing. Plus now we have Tesla and other public companies investing in Bitcoin. The barrier between the crypto sector and the traditional financial system has been eroding for several years now; a Bitcoin ETF would further blur this boundary.”

Regarding Tesla, MicroStrategy and other public companies that have purchased Bitcoin recently, Chakar told Cointelegraph that “Investing in a company that has publicly acknowledged that it’s buying Bitcoin is probably not what most institutional [investors] would do to gain exposure to the asset.”
She added that crypto has been around for 10-plus years now, “But it has never been packaged in a way that allows for integration into a portfolio that is seamless.” By comparison, “ETFs have proven themselves to be a preferred and growing investment alternative thanks to the fact they offer a lower cost, liquidity and tax efficiency that direct investments may not, especially in nascent vehicles like Bitcoin.” Ervin told Cointelegraph that he likes the idea of an ETF for things like gold or silver, but for him, “Wrapping bitcoin up into a fund seems silly to me.” He added:

“There is no doubt that it is a better vehicle than a closed-end product, and competition will bring better fees and price discovery, but I don’t think most investors realize that they can buy Bitcoin directly without worrying about the cumbersome burden and costs of a fund.”

“Bitcoin doesn’t need an ETF”?
All in all, it looks like a U.S. crypto ETF will eventually come. As Reiners noted: “Regardless of their [the SEC’s] view on the merits of an ETF, if they are the lone holdouts, you have to wonder how much longer before they cave to the immense pressure and interest for an ETF.”
Under present circumstances, a U.S. government-approved Bitcoin exchange-traded fund may not be the game changer that some once predicted. A year ago, most didn’t anticipate the current institutional absorption of digital assets.
As Macrae Sykes, portfolio manager and research analyst at Gabelli Funds — an investment management firm — told Cointelegraph, institutional interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow. Coinbase’s initial public offering filing and Bank of New York Mellon’s recent announcement that it will support digital currencies offer further evidence of potential growing demand: “The ETF approval in Canada is just another step in the evolving regulatory process for accessing digital assets.”
“Bitcoin doesn’t need an ETF,” Venuto told Cointelegraph. Still, even if no longer a game changer, there is little for a crypto enthusiast not to like about an SEC-sanctioned crypto ETF: “Access is access and the more access to the asset class, the better,” said Ervin. After all, “Not everyone wants to own bitcoin directly.”

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No more 'Bitcoin effect'? MicroStrategy stock falls by 50% in 17 days

The Bitcoin (BTC) price correction isn’t just hurting individual hodlers — the biggest players are suffering in more ways than one.
Data from markets on March 5 revealed that MicroStrategy, which owns over 91,000 BTC, has seen its stock price dive by more than half in just three weeks.
MicroStrategy keeps buying BTC
On the day that the company confirmed that it had added another 210 BTC to its reserves at a cost of $10 million, MicroStrategy’s stock hit local lows of $628. At its peak in February, MSTR traded at just over $1,300.
The volatility is a commentary on the ups and downs of Bitcoin in its latest bull run, which has been characterized by wild swings in both directions.
$MSTR (red) vs. BTC/USD (blue) chart. Source: Tradingview
Since beginning to add Bitcoin to its balance sheet in August last year, however, the overall impact on MSTR remains transformative. Prior to the move, it barely traded above $100.
“They now hold 91,064 bitcoin on their balance sheet,” Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano commented on the latest buy.

“This may be one of the greatest displays of conviction in public market history.”

Hayes: Bond resurgence could make investors “exit Bitcoin”
That “conviction” may serve the company well far beyond the short term as Bitcoin’s bull cycle is being challenged by macroeconomic headwinds. 
For Arthur Hayes, former CEO of derivatives giant BitMEX, central bank policy could, in extreme circumstances, cause capital to drain from cryptocurrency altogether. 
The reason, he explained in a new blog post this week, is that the Federal Reserve could choose to hike rates, causing pain for investors across the board, but also see periods of record low rates, creating a swell of volatility.
“I do not have a model for an estimate of the ratio between the two, but at a high level if global fiat liquidity can earn a real return again in government bonds, it will exit Bitcoin / crypto,” he wrote.

“The whole point of this exercise is to preserve / grow purchasing power against energy. If that can be done in the most liquid asset, government bonds, then liquidity will take the easy option.”

Should such an event occur in the future, Bitcoin would be more dependent on its technological premise, something which Hayes believes will be decidedly underwhelming without the big money on board.
“The amount of remaining technological value is beyond my skills to estimate,” he warned.

“However, it is much lower than the current fiat price of Bitcoin today.”

Arthur Hayes’ anti-inflation options chart. Source: David Venturi/ Twitter
To counteract the risk, investors should take advantage of both cryptocurrency’s unparalleled potential and future rate volatility.

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