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Crypto Markets See Record Day As Bitcoin Crosses $8,300: What Does This Imply?

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Bears have seemingly thrown in the towel. In the past six weeks, Bitcoin (BTC) has rallied by nearly 100%, moving from $4,200 to $8,300, as of the time of writing this. And while some have been stating that this move seems entirely artificial, caused a result of “fake” and “manipulated” trading activity, data indicates that money truly is flooding into crypto assets.Related Reading: Bitcoin Bulls Are Back: 40 Days of Uptrend Erases Nearly 8 Months of Bear MarketIf this is true, it may corroborate the theories that the brutal bear market of 2018 is, believe it or not, finally over.Bitcoin Volume Booms Across The BoardCall it a Consensus pump, a dead cat bounce, or a full-on recovery, but Bitcoin is back. Bitcoin is back not wounded, but stronger than ever. That’s what the statistics tell us anyway.In a move somewhat uncharacteristic of the cryptocurrency market, BTC rallied well into last weekend, seeing most of its recent gains on Saturday and Sunday. While this was no issue for the crypto-native exchanges, whose trading engines are always online — 24/7, through thick and thin — platforms like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) couldn’t participate in the market influx. This led many to ask, what was going to happen when CME’s Bitcoin futures contract opened on Sunday night and Monday?Some guessed that “fireworks” were going to grace the cryptocurrency market. And, when the market finally opened, that’s exactly what happened. As markets analyst Alex Krüger pointed out, the investment vehicle saw all-time highs on Monday, with the daily volume candle dwarfing any other candle seen before it. What makes this even notable is that it is effectively impossible to fake volumes on the CME, cementing the idea that interest is rapidly returning to the embryonic ecosystem.CME Bitcoin volumes. Record highs as well. There is *zero* fake volume at the CME. pic.twitter.com/dDKW6PZ0N9— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) May 13, 2019 According to exact data compiled by the CME itself, 33,677 contracts were traded, amounting to 168,385 paper BTC. This is absolutely staggering, especially considering that the last record, set in February, was a relatively mere 91,690 BTC.In a similar fashion, the Digital Currency Group’s subsidiary Grayscale was revealed Monday to have seen its flagship product, its Bitcoin Trust, post $141 million in volume today on markets. This is a level not seen since early-2018, when the cryptocurrency market was filled to the brim with speculative interest and FOMO/hype.While $141 million isn’t exactly the largest figure, a reported 73% of the firm’s inflows are from institutional investors. As revealed in a report published Monday and in previous reports, the $42.7 million that was allocated to Grayscale’s products in Q1 of 2019 came from institutional players, half of which were hedge funds. If this trend continued, that likely means that much of today’s influx was a result of institutional players, many of which are likely looking to accumulate BTC for long-term positions.Data compiled by Larry Cermak of crypto publication The Block would confirm this. He suggests that the over 10,000 BTC that Grayscale accumulated in April was likely caused by institutional players, as only “qualified accredited investors can directly invest in GBTC with a minimum investment of $50,000.”1/ I normally never post bullish stuff unless I think it’s justified with data. Well, today might be the day. “Institutions are coming” has been the never-ending story for the last 4 years. Let’s look at some GBTC data. https://t.co/qBK6pPXXEA pic.twitter.com/rqUECQ5tS6— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) May 13, 2019
And on the retail side, volumes have all exploded. Krüger noted that according to CoinMarketCap, the past 72 hours have seen some of the largest levels of volume to date… ever. As of the time of writing this, the 24-hour volume figure on the website reads at a cool $95 billion. While this is most likely a manipulated figure (to some extent), it is still a bullish sign. Increased volume, in the eyes of many, is a sign of renewed interest of a market.Related Reading: Analyst: Ongoing Bitcoin Rally Driven by a Handful of Strategic Buyers; Where Will They Send BTC Next?Bullish News AboundWell, what caused this influx of volume?Krüger attributes the increase to no specific catalyst, citing the fact that markets don’t already move in response to news events or developments of similar stature. Instead, sometimes assets move simply as a result of more “aggressive buyers or sellers”.Trying to explain every market move with narratives is a recurrent behavioural mistake. Sometimes markets do move in response to events. Other times simply due to more aggressive buyers or sellers. This time however the magnitude of the move makes it worthwhile analysing. $BTC— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) May 14, 2019
However, NewsBTC would be remiss not to mention the array of bullish news that has hit the industry over the past few days, because as the analyst above suggests, there is a chance that investors are trying to “front run” positive news events. Said events include, the impending launch of Bakkt’s physical Bitcoin futures, the inaugural trading session of Fidelity’s crypto trade execution service, mainstream adoption through Facebook’s and Samsung’s respective blockchains, and rumors that eBay is going to join the cryptocurrency fray by the end of the week.Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Robinhood Zero-Fee Trading App Officially Launches in New York

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American stock brokerage Robinhood Crypto has officially launched its zero-fee crypto trading app in New York, the company announced in a blog post on May 23.

Following the acquisition of a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in January 2019, Robinhood now allows New York citizens to trade in seven major cryptos with no commission fee using its Robinhood Crypto platform.

From now, the Robinhood Crypto service is available in 39 states in the United States, including California, Washington and Florida, among others.

The Robinhood trading app allows for the trading of bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin SV (BSV), ethereum classic (ETC) and dogecoin (DOGE). Robinhood users can also track price alterations and updates for those cryptos and 10 additional coins, the blog post notes.

Earlier in April, Robinhood applied for a bank charter with regulators in the U.S. in order to offer traditional banking products and services.

Previously, the DFS granted a BitLicense to a institutional-grade crypto trading platform Tagomi Trading, enabling the company to offer trade routing and order execution services for non-security cryptos including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash.

Recently, on April 18, Bloomberg reported that the ICE was considering acquiring a New York BitLicense to launch bitcoin futures, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

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Here’s Why Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin is undervalued at Spot Rates

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Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin are still incredibly undervalued as present valuations stand. This is on account of the potential of these coins and planned upgrades to make them better according to a crypto trader and enthusiast.

Yes, Bitcoin may have rallied back to possible bull territory. However, it is still fair to say that the coin sits below its true and projected position as a currency and security. Bitcoin came about as an alternative currency with decentralization as a catch for investors and enthusiasts alike.

Bitcoin is resilient and has shrugged off legitimacy questions from naysayers time and time again. The price volatility is just a consequence of intense speculation and uncertainty common with new inventions. Nonetheless, Bitcoin’s transcendent ability to transform the financial world remains effectively eliminating borders and regulatory overreach.

Bitcoin as Digital Gold

Bitcoin is a finite currency. Notably, every fiat currency will return to its inherent value of zero at times of hyperinflation. This is clear from the Venezuelan Bolivar which is worth less than its printing paper at the moment. In this light Bitcoin can become an alternative to collapsed currencies especially in failed states.

It’s become a trusted alternative when fiat money’s value is corrupted by politics”

-John McGinnis and Kyle Roche of Wall Street Journal.

The limited availability means Bitcoin can efficiently store value at times of financial crises. This is eerily similar to gold which is also a great commodity to store value that rises in value in hard times for fiat. This has led to some proponents calling Bitcoin digital Gold and rightfully so. As such, the value of $8,000 is momentary as the developed world economy is still doing well.

Ethereum And Litecoin As Alternatives

Ethereum is a great alternative for Bitcoin. That said, the price of $270 is still on the low because of the incredible potential given the possibilities of Smart contracts. More significant is the upcoming Serenity or Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. This upgrade will significantly improve the coin by incorporating technical improvements that improve scalability and performance. At the premier Ethereum Supermeetup, hosted at Token2049, Vitalik Buterin explained the update as follows;

“(It is) a way to bring technical improvements, like PoS and sharding, together to improve the Virtual Machine, Merkle Trees, the efficiency of the protocol, and a whole bunch of small technical things that you have never heard of.”

Ethereum is in this regard still on the downside price-wise. The upgrades are necessary and timely to keep the protocol efficient.

Litecoin, on the other hand, is essentially a better version of Bitcoin. This is because the coin, while having essentially the same possibilities as Bitcoin, is more adaptable to change such as the introduction of smart contracts.

Charlie Lee, a former Google employee, who founded Litecoin, has also given financial support to the Lightning Network.  There are also possibilities of incorporating Mimble Wimble that will inherently scale the network while introducing better security and privacy for the end user. When we add the halving mix in the equation, investors and traders are convinced that we are in the early stages of a mega bull run that will propel asset prices, valuing them fairly.

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Smart contract platform Fantom chooses Binance Chain for interoperability

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Binance Chain, the blockchain from cryptocurrency exchange company Binance, and DAG-based smart contract platform, Fantom, announced today they will be working together to create a multi-asset and cross chain ecosystem.

The Fantom team said it will be supporting a multitude of tokens including the ERC-20 standard, native Fantom token (FTM) standard, along with the BEP-2 token standard on Binance Chain.

“Our reason for choosing Binance Chain as our interoperability partner over any other blockchain is simple, we’re seeing an increasing trend of great projects moving towards Binance Chain, and we want to contribute to the Binance Chain ecosystem so that all these great projects may garner added value from our contributions. Binance and Binance Chain are in a rare position of having the strongest centralized exchange and liquidity on one end, and a very cohesive decentralized ecosystem on the other end, and we believe that there is no better partner for Fantom in its push for greater interoperability within the industry.”

The Fantom Foundation

The collaboration will offer Fantom users a chance to transact and trade FTM while being in custody of their own tokens on Binance DEX.

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Robinhood Opens Trading for 7 Cryptocurrencies in New York

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Robinhood, the popular stock and crypto investing app, has officially launched bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrency trading in New York.

Silicon Valley-based Robinhood received a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in January 2019 and on Thursday opened access to crypto trading in the Empire State.

From the press release:

Currently, you can invest in seven cryptocurrencies on Robinhood Crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. You can also track price movements and news for those and 10 additional cryptocurrencies.

New York is unique and problematic for crypto traders because all purveyors must apply for a BitLicense, most notably for companies that are “storing, holding, or maintaining custody or control of virtual currency on behalf of others,” according to NYDFS.

Many crypto startups have avoided the requirements entirely by becoming BitLicense refugees and refusing to do business in the state.

“Here we are two miles from the Statue of Liberty and you cannot sell CryptoKitties in the state without that license. That’s the absurdity of what’s happened here,” ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees complained in 2018 when asked about the controversial license at CoinDesk’s Consensus conference in New York.

Image courtesy of Robinhood

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Generation Bitcoin: 90% of Millennials Prefer Crypto to Gold: ETF Expert

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By CCN: The US investing industry stands on the precipice of a dramatic upheaval that could see bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets replace gold in investor portfolios.

That’s according to Nate Geraci, president of the ETF Store, an independent investment advisor. He revealed in a Bloomberg TV interview that his millennial clients are clamoring to hold bitcoin in their portfolios – if only the SEC would let them.

Crypto in a Landslide: ETF Expert Says Millennials Plan to Kick Gold to the Curb

Responding to a question from Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas about whether he would ever invest client funds in a bitcoin ETF, Geraci stunned his fellow panel members when he said that millennial investors overwhelmingly desire to hold bitcoin instead of traditional hedge assets like gold.

How overwhelming? Ninety percent.

“When we talk to our younger clients – we have a core gold allocation in our portfolios, and they’ll ask about that and say, ‘What about crypto?’ And if you talk to, primarily millennials, and ask them which they prefer, bitcoin or gold, it’s a landslide. It’s not even close, it’s like 90% prefer bitcoin.”

Geraci’s bold claim was more anecdotal than scientific, but there’s plenty of hard data that demonstrates that younger investors are vastly more comfortable with holding cryptocurrency in their portfolios than investors who grew up in the pre-digital era.

In April, a Harris Poll survey found that 18 to 34-year-olds are “very” or “somewhat” likely to purchase bitcoin within the next five years. That might not seem overwhelming, but consider that only 37% of Americans in that demographic currently own stocks.

Similarly, a February eToro survey found that 43% of millennials trust crypto exchanges more than stock exchanges, even though crypto trading platform hacks dominate the mainstream news cycle.

ETF Would Reduce Crypto Investing Risks

bitcoin etf vaneck bitcoin price

ETF Store President Nate Geraci said that there is rabid demand for a bitcoin ETF, especially among millennials. | Source: Shutterstock

Nate Geraci further pointed to the success of the $1.5 billion Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC) as proof that there is sufficient market demand for a crypto ETF.

He noted that the over-the-counter product regularly trades at a staggering premium to the underlying value of its BTC assets. That’s because GBTC shares fluctuate based on supply and demand, not just the price of bitcoin. An ETF, he said, would flatten that premium and thus reduce investor risk.

“It seems a bit incongruent to me that we have that product out there trading, where investors really could get hurt if they don’t understand that premium, but we don’t have a bitcoin ETF.”

“The demand is there,” he concluded.

SEC Kicks the Bitcoin ETF Can Down the Road

Unfortunately for crypto bulls, millennials aren’t the ones manipulating the levers of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds unilateral authority to approve or deny bitcoin ETF applications.

The SEC, as CCN reported, continues to punt on the issue. Last week, the regulatory agency extended its long trend of delaying ruling on cryptocurrency products when it postponed its decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF to August 19. Most industry insiders expect the SEC to delay the VanEck/SolidX product again, pushing its final ruling until October 18.

Dave Nadig, the managing director of ETF.com, said that he believes the SEC is still in “information gathering mode” but that there is a “reasonable chance” regulators approve the first bitcoin ETF before the end of 2019.

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