This week, a major crypto exchange ShapeShift was forced to lay off 30 percent of the company’s workforce, letting go 37 employees.

In a letter to the company and to the users on the platform, ShapeShift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees said that the crypto winter had left the firm with no other viable choice but to adjust to worsening market conditions.

“Today, we let 37 employees go, reducing the size of our team by a third,” Voorhees said.

Not Wholly Negative: Lessons from Crypto Winter

Following one of the largest bull markets in the history of the cryptocurrency market in 2017, the vast majority of companies in the industry including ConsenSys, Bitmain, and ShapeShift aggressively expanded their services, often outside of their core business.

CCN.com@CryptoCoinsNews

Calling Crypto a ‘Harsh Mistress,’ ShapeShift Announces Major Layoffs https://www.ccn.com/calling-crypto-a-harsh-mistress-shapeshift-announces-major-layoffs/ …257:24 AM – Jan 9, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacyCalling Crypto a ‘Harsh Mistress,’ ShapeShift Announces Major LayoffsShapeShift exchange has become the latest in a string of cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to announce major layoffs due to the ongoing cryptocurrency bear market. In a Medium post entitled…ccn.comSee CCN.com’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy

During that time, ShapeShift recorded a massive growth rate of 3,000 percent as the valuation of cryptocurrencies surged past $800 billion. Exchanges were seeing record volumes, and businesses in the industry received substantial venture capital money from prominent investors.

Voorhees explained:

We ride high and fast during the ascents, growing at rates unseen almost anywhere else in the business world (ShapeShift grew 3,000% in 2017). And when the markets turn, the crypto recession is similarly dramatic and severe.

But, as the market eventually entered a correction phase and most crypto assets began to record 70 to 80 percent drops from their all-time highs, the market started to struggle; less venture capital money was coming in, revenues declined, and overall trading activity dropped.

bitcoin price ethereum price
With the Bitcoin (blue) and Ethereum (red) prices down more than 70 percent over the past year, crypto firms are starting to tighten their belts.

Having already expanded to different areas within the cryptocurrency market and in some cases outside of finance, many companies could no longer sustain large teams working on a variety of products.

He said:

As a company, we’ve made a thousand mistakes. The most thematic has been a lack of focus. Here’s the lesson we learned: regardless of any particular project’s marketability, they were pulling our attention in too many directions. They cost financial resources. They required legal review. And then further review, and then additional review after that.

Consequently, ConsenSysBitmain, and ShapeShift all laid off 30 to 50 percent of their workforce to redirect their focus to their core products, realigning their vision.

Bitmain eliminated entire departments working on areas like artificial intelligence (AI), ConsenSys announced the second phase of the company to work on products that can be used by the mainstream and casual users, and ShapeShift has also begun to shift more attention to its core business.

The realignment of vision by large companies in the crypto sphere is not entirely negative; they are going back to their roots to serve their core user base and drive adoption into their main services before expanding again to other areas.

Importance of a Bear Market

A bull and bear market cycle is crucial in an emerging market like crypto because it allows companies to re-evaluate their progress and move forward to achieve greater success in the long-term.

This post credited to CCN. Erik Voorhees Image via ShapeShift/YouTube

Ethereum, which has regained its spot as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after recent gains, is soaring today, helping to boost the cryptocurrency market—including bitcoin and ripple (XRP) as a post-Christmas rally rolls on.

Ethereum has climbed some 80% over the past month, adding a further 12% rise over the last 24 hours, as an upcoming so-called hard fork pushes up demand for ethereum’s tradable token ether.

Bitcoin has added some 4% over the last 24 hours, while ripple, a common name for the XRP tradable token, has climbed 3%. Ripple last year overtook ethereum as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency on the back of surging interest from the established financial services sector but has failed to hold on to those gains.

The hard fork, which usually means a cryptocurrency splits in two, will see ethereum miner rewards fall from three ether to two and decrease the block time, making the network faster. The update is set for January 16 and is thought to be a key component of ethereum’s transition from using a proof of work protocol to proof of stake.

Cryptocurrency forks do not always mean their value rises, however.

Bitcoin forks have previously led to minor drops in the bitcoin price in the short term. When bitcoin cash forked from the bitcoin network in July 2017, bitcoin dropped some 4%—though bitcoin had risen strongly in the months leading up to the fork and continued to do so in following months before peaking in December 2017.

Bitcoin cash itself then rallied hard ahead of its split in November last year. The bull run proved to be short-lived, however, with both bitcoin cash, and the hived off bitcoin SV, falling sharply in following weeks.

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Ethereum, ethereum price, bitcoin, bitcoin price, ripple, ripple price

Ethereum has rallied this month after falling steadily throughout most of 2018.COINDESK

The ethereum price has lost some 80% from its peak 12 months ago, as many of the digital tokens built on the ethereum network failed to hold their value. However, ethereum co-creator Joe Lubin called the “cryptobottom of 2018” in mid-December, saying it was “marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt from our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.”

The bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency bear market forced Lubin to make changes at his company ConsenSys last year.

Last month, closely followed economist and a cryptocurrency trader Alex Krüger tweeted he expected the reaction to the upcoming ethereum hard fork would be “bullish.”

“Once mining is past the initial (painful) adjustment period, less mining supply mined by fewer miners will be decidedly bullish,” Krüger wrote.

Meanwhile, bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP have also climbed over so far this week, kicking off 2019 with a rise and greeting many traders and investors returning to work today after the holidays with a sea of green.

ethereum, ethereum price, bitcoin, bitcoin price, ripple, ripple price, chart

Traders returning to work today have reason to be cheerful.COINMARKETCAP

Many will be hoping this positive start to 2019 will continue for the rest of the year after 2018 ended in what’s been called Crypto Winter, due to its debilitating effect on the market and crypto investment and development.

This post credited to forbes  Image source: Forbes

Over the past 12 months Bitcoin has continued to fall, dragging the entire crypto market down with it. The daddy of all digital currencies hit a 16 month low in mid-December when it fell below $3,200. Things could be on the verge of a reversal soon though according to analysts.

Turning The Tide On The Bears

A positive start to 2019 and new technical analysis suggests that trends are about to turn for Bitcoin and its brethren.  An indicator used to detect trend reversals shows that Bitcoin is in its longest buying streak for six months according to Forbes.

The GTI Vera Convergence Divergence indicator has previously been used to highlight buy signals and it has not been wrong. Bitcoin had a month long rally the last time this indicator showed positive signals. “Should buying pressure persist as it has over the past 13 days, Bitcoin could continue to see a rise in prices,” Bloomberg added.

Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index, which tracks some of the top crypto assets, is similarly indicating Bitcoin’s longest buy streak since September when its market dominance climbed to 58%. This sentiment has been echoed by senior analysts such as eToro’s Mati Greenspan who said the market is much closer to the bottom than we are to the top, before adding;

“I’m seeing an industry that is growing at a very rapid pace right now where we see companies that are involved in bitcoin and blockchain hiring at a rapid rate. We see new projects coming online. We see all kind of indication that people are getting more and more involved in the market.”

While it is true that large scale mining operations have downsized, crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase have continued to expand and take on new staff and new geographic locations. The looming promise of institutional investor involvement from the likes of Nasdaq and ICE is another signal that the market is not likely to fall any further.

Ethereum has led the rally so far this year with its upcoming Constantinople hard fork being the catalyst. A recovery of over 80% in just three weeks for ETH has bolstered crypto markets which have grown almost 5% since the new year started. Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin called the bottom in mid-December when most cryptos were at their lowest levels for 18 months;

Joseph Lubin

@ethereumJoseph

I am calling the cryptobottom of 2018. This bottom is marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt from our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.

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The momentum at the moment is slow but recovery is a painful process and will not happen overnight. A steady upswing for crypto markets will be far healthier for the ecosystem than the mass volatility of 2017’s bull run. The snow from the crypto winter could slowly be starting to melt.

This post credited to News BTC Image source: News BTC

Following a several day period of relative stability in the cryptocurrency markets, Bitcoin has now risen nearly 4%, which is leading the overall crypto markets to surge. Today’s positive price move is being led by Ethereum, which is currently trading up well over 10%.

Today’s move marks the first market surge of 2019, although Bitcoin faces historical resistance around $4,000 which may prove to be a difficult level to break through.

Crypto Markets Add $7 Billion From Daily Lows 

Today’s price surge has led the crypto markets to add over $7 billion to their aggregated market capitalization, which has risen from daily lows of $125 million to its current levels of nearly $133 billion.

Bitcoin is naturally leading the direction of the market and is currently trading up 4.4% at its current price of $3,900. This has been a relatively volatile week for Bitcoin’s price, which fell to lows of $3,600 before rising to highs of nearly $4,000.

During its last price rise, Bitcoin appeared to treat $4,000 as a level of resistance, as its price was swiftly pushed downwards after touching this level. More time is required to see if Bitcoin will be able to maintain its current upwards momentum and break above $4,000 during its current price surge.

Altcoins Surge, Ethereum Leads the Way 

Bitcoin’s price rise has allowed the altcoin markets to see some decent gains, with Ethereum and EOS being today’s best performing cryptocurrencies so far.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading up 13% at its current price of $152. Ethereum is nearing its one-month highs of $156, which may act as a level of resistance. Ethereum is trading up 83% from its monthly lows of $83.

Ethereum’s massive price rise over the past month is the likely result of two primary factors, consisting of being in oversold territory earlier this month, and its upcoming Constantinople fork, which will reduce its block rewards and in turn decrease the new Ethereum supply.

Alex Krüger, an economist who focuses primarily on cryptocurrencies, linked Ethereum’s performance directly to this event, saying in a recent tweet that the supply reduction will be a bullish event.

“Notable outperformance of $ETH over $BTC in the last few weeks. There’s a reason for it: the upcoming fork / supply reduction. Another BAKKT delay adds to it,” he said.

In the past, Krüger has spoken bullishly about the Constantinople fork, which is set to occur around January 16th of this year, saying:

“Ethereum’s Constantinople fork is coming on block 7080000, around January 16, 2019. Constantinople will reduce the block rewards from 3 to 2, decreasing new $ETH supply accordingly… On the long run, this is decidedly bullish.”

Ethereum has now retaken the number two spot by market capitalization from XRP.

XRP is slightly outperforming Bitcoin and is trading up nearly 6% at its current price of $0.374.

EOS is also having a good day and is trading up over 10% at its current price of $2.84.

This post credited to News BTC Image source: Shutterstock

Digital assets platform Bakkt — created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) — has announced the completion of its first funding round in a blog post today, Dec. 31.

The institutional investor-focused cryptocurrency platform from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has officially raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors, according to the post.

The partners and investors reportedly include major names in both traditional finance and crypto-oriented investing, including ICE, Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm and Pantera Capital.

Bakkt also noted in the announcement that the company is working with United States regulators — namely the  Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — to obtain “regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin,” adding:

“We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”

Also today, ICE separately announced in a notice that the firm “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.” In late November, the long-awaited digital assets platform stated that it was targeting Jan. 24, 2019 as a launch date, pending CFTC approval.

ICE first announced plans to create a Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” in August, as Cointelegraph reported at the time.

Multiple experts and commentators in the crypto and blockchain industry have pointed to Bakkt’s coming launch as a major factor that will help crypto markets rebound from this year’s ongoing bear market.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

Bitmain, the world’s leading ASIC manufacturer, is facing major headwinds in its attempt to launch an Initial Public Offering.

According to a report published by the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong stock exchange regulator is fidgety about approving an IPO related to the cryptocurrency market given its tempestuous nature. The market has seen many companies close shop in recent months following an unprecedented price dip that led to many cryptocurrencies losing over 75% of their value within weeks, and crypto mining becoming largely unprofitable.

On September 26, 2018 Bitmain Technologies filed a $3 billion IPO that lapses in March 2019. According to the listing rules, rejection or approval should be made within six months after all questions regarding the proposal are answered. The application lapses if the regulators take over six months to issue a response.

So far, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has kept mum about the IPO, and the China International Capital Corporation (CICC) which is sponsoring the venture has also kept the public in the dark. Hong Kong regulators seek to have a robust regulatory framework in place to ensure that investors and other stakeholders are protected prior to the approval of a crypto industry IPO.

Bitmain currently operates Antpool and BTC.com, two of the largest mining pools on the Bitcoin network. Together, they dominate 31% of the market. The company also dominates about 75% of the ASIC hardware market. This means that a change in the Bitcoin ecosystem significantly affects its margins.

On December 10, Bitmain laid off employees at its development center in Ra’anana, Israel. It blamed the vicissitudes of the market, which impelled the company to reconsider some of its projects. The Bitmain division is Israel was tasked with developing blockchain technology, mining pools and coming up with innovative artificial intelligence solutions.

According to BitMEX Research, Bitmain is facing major issues due to the current bearish market trend, and may be incurring significant losses brought on by declining demand for miners.

Although Bitmain reportedly earned over $1 billion in profits during the first quarter of 2018, its $328 million initiative to acquire a Bitcoin Cash stash is also deemed to have backfired, and investor capital injection is now crucial for its survival.

Many cryptocurrency mining companies are wading through choppy waters following the recent market slump. One widely reported victim is Giga Watt.

The company, which provides turnkey mining services, filed for Chapter 11 in November after it was unable to pay off debts totaling about $7 million. Its creditors included electricity provider Neppel Electric, Talos Construction, the Douglas County PUD, and Schmitt Electric.

This post credited to Daily HODL Image source: Daily HODL

In December, traders’ investment in the cryptocurrency market has been comparatively better than what it was on Wall Street, as demonstrated by the relative performance of the Bitcoin price and S&P 500 index.

S&P 500 Slumps Below Bitcoin Price on 30-Day Chart

Bitcoin underwent an impressive bullish correction after falling almost 85% from its all-time high near $20,000. The price at the beginning of December established an interim bottom level at $3,127 before jumping towards its monthly high near $4,237. That totaled its correction to almost 35.5%.

Chart comparing the December trend of Bitcoin and S&P 500 Index | Source: TradingView.com

The S&P 500, on the other hand, was already undergoing a downside correction after establishing its 52-week high at 2,940.91. As December kicked in, the index noted ten back-to-back daily selling sessions during mid-term — causing a crash of almost 20% from the recent peak, its lowest since April 2017.

The S&P’s sister indexes, Dow Jones and Nasdaq, also plunged significantly within the same timeframe. The trio together came closer to record the worst monthly crash since October 2008, during the time of the financial crisis.

Overall, The S&P 500 slumped 19.8% by Tuesday from its September 20 record close. The Nasdaq and the Dow depreciated 23.3% and 18.8% from their record closes set August 29 and October 3, respectively.

Different Fundamentals

The fundamentals of both Bitcoin and S&P are quite distinctive from each other. While Bitcoin is a standalone asset, which is traded mainly via retail and OTC markets, S&P is a market capitalization index of the US’s biggest public-traded corporations by market value. Each market was responding to its specific catalysts, without establishing any definitive correlation with the other.

The Massive Fall and Minor Rise of the Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin, for instance, corrected all this year after overreaching its upside targets without confirming real demand. Along with Ethereum, it was used as a method to raise funds to many young blockchain startups that eventually failed without making the product they intended to make. Some of them even turned out to be vaporware or outright scams. This and other factors finally increased the selling pressure on the Bitcoin market and caused a huge plunge.

The cryptocurrency only recently found a temporary bottom, which influenced speculators to accumulate the asset at lower prices. The crypto market is eyeing 2019 to be the year of BTC’s institutional adoption, which influences the traders within it to “buy the dips” and hold the digital currency unless their respective upside target is established.

S&P 500 Faces Continued Bearish Indicators

Unlike Bitcoin, the S&P 500 is reacting to macroeconomic factors, ranging from Fed interest rate hikes to global political scenarios rooting from the Trump administration. A recent tweet from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday revealed that he was in talks with the CEOs of the Untied States’ six biggest banks. It led to a pessimistic market sentiment over the liquidity among these institutions.

The ongoing US-China trade war is also heading into a blank despite the assurance from both Washington and Beijing. A vice presidential-level meeting between the two powerful economies, as reported on Sundayby the South China Morning Post, hinted positive outcomes. But it wasn’t enough to reinject optimism into the US stock market.

The S&P is expected to consolidate until the new year kicks in. Most of the traders and stockbrokers are away from their desks during the holiday season, which is likely to reduce the volume in these markets.

Despite being the two distinctive asset classes altogether, Bitcoin has proven to be better in terms of return of investment this month.

This post credited to ccn Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

While many poke fun at the performance of crypto in 2018, global macro markets have begun to falter. Since reaching a year-to-date high in early-September, the Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, has seen its index collapse by 22%. Nasdaq’s index, which houses the publicly-traded stocks of tech powerhouses, namely Alphabet (Google), Amazon, and Apple, has fallen so far that it is now in “bear market” or “recession” territory.

Nasdaq isn’t the only market suffering, far from, in fact. The SPDR Homebuilders ETF, which holds notable positions in development groups, construction giants, and appliance providers, has also stumbled, is down 30% year-to-date. Prospects are arguably even worse overseas. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite is down 29% from its year-to-date high, with other notable indices posting similar losses.

This pullback in global industries hasn’t gone unnoticed, as the U.S. Federal Reserve (FED) has already undertaken preemptive measures to unwind the decade-long period of seeming “asset inflation.” Case in point, just a few days back, the FED hiked the benchmark interest rate to 2.5%, an evident sign of a slowing economy in the eyes of many analysts and pundits.

But with worldwide debt now sitting at a staggering $184 trillion, a jaw-dropping $86,000 per every living, breathing human being and 225% of global GDP, some fear that further legs lower are right around the corner.

Related Reading: Messari CEO: Killer Use Case For Bitcoin Is Still Money, Digital Gold

Crypto Born Out Of Bear Market, It Has Never Existed In One

As Bitcoin (BTC) was born in the depths of 2008’s Great Recession, the flagship cryptocurrency, coupled with the other digital assets that spawned off it, has never existed in a bonafide equity markets crash. But with prospects for traditional equities looking more than dismal, as established earlier, BTC may be about to get its first taste of a worldwide recession (or even a depression).

This has led many cryptocurrency enthusiasts to ask the theoretical, but pertinent question — how will crypto perform as traditional assets crumble?

Travis Kling, the founder and chief investment officer at Ikigai, recently drew attention to the fact that BTC was brought to the world at the commencement of globally-coordinated quantitative easing (QE) — “the largest monetary experiment [of all time].” In Kling’s eyes, it is only logical that traditional equities have stumbled as QE has started to slow, catalyzed by the shift in strategy touted by international monetary incumbents.

Travis Kling@Travis_Kling

Crypto has never existed during a bear market in traditional assets.

BTC was birthed at the very beginning of the largest monetary experiment ever- globally coordinated QE. Ending QE is causing pain

There is a significant chance Crypto is the best performing asset class in 2019

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Keeping all this in mind, Kling noted that there “is a significant chance [that] crypto is the best performing asset class in 2019.” This isn’t any old baseless claim, as the Ikigai founder laid out his reasoning for this outlook in a recent TD Ameritrade interview. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Kling stated that crypto assets, namely Bitcoin, give consumers “the ability to opt-out of the largest monetary experiment of human history,” as it is a “non-sovereign digital money” that transcends shortcomings in traditional markets.

This post credited to News BTC Image source: News BTC

In 2018, I thought about two anniversaries.

The first, we’re all familiar with. By the end of this year, it will have been a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin and launched a new industry.

The second anniversary is a personal one. After launching the Deloitte blockchain practice with two friends in 2012, I moderated a panel at Money/2020 in 2013. This space was so new, we did not have a name for blockchain yet; rather, the panel I led was called “Bitcoin 2.0.” Yet, we knew more would come from the technology.

There, Charlie Lee, David Johnson and Taariq Lewis talked about self-governing organizations, digitized commodities and decentralized business models. You could tell most of the room was completely lost.

As we close 2018, one of the key lessons is that the most important stories in cryptocurrency aren’t always the ones with the loudest headlines. While the “crypto winter” was at the center of many discussions, it was not, to me, the key story of the year. What do I think was more important?

First, the rise of the “other” tokens – security tokens, non-fungible tokens, stablecoins and equity tokens, all of which demonstrated the continued vitality of the blockchain community. That a single year – and a tough year at that – saw so many diverse and innovative products proves the enduring value of the blockchain.

Second, significant investments in crypto and blockchain infrastructure from traditional financial institutions and new technology companies mean we have much stronger foundations to build on: wallets, trading technologies, custodian solutions, exchanges, broker solutions and more.

Finally, our regulatory environment. While, to a certain strain of crypto enthusiast, regulation sounds a death knell for blockchain, I think this viewpoint is misguided on two counts.

First, regulation removes and discourages the bad actors who have done such harm to blockchain’s reputation. Second, regulation proves that blockchain is here to stay. There’s no need to regulate a fad; it will expire well before a bill reaches committee.

An enduring new asset, however, needs a place in a legal framework. Legislators have decided that blockchain is growing, not evaporating.

What do I expect to see in 2019? Given the speed and volatility of cryptocurrency, you’ll have to allow me some margin of error, but here’s what I see coming in the next 12 months:

  1. Investing at the bottom: If we haven’t reached the solstice of the crypto winter yet, we’re very close; brighter and warmer days are coming soon. The early days of 2019 are the time to make bets on the best tokens and the best teams. I call it the new Rockefeller moment.
  2. A new Howey test: The SEC’s increased scrutiny of blockchain has meant that blockchain proponents have had to learn about SEC v. W.J. Howey Co., the 1946 Supreme Court case that defined securities in U.S. law. I expect the courts to promulgate a new test for blockchain, which will let investors place their money with greater confidence.
  3. Better core tech: It may have taken a bear market to drive this point home to some, but blockchain is not about getting rich tomorrow. We need to pay more attention to improvements in performance and scalability and pay less attention to new projects. #BUIDL is the new #HODL.
  4. Decentralized business models: This may be the hardest of my predictions to imagine. In 2019, we will see the rise of decentralized businesses in banking, capital markets, payments, insurance, supply chain and other fields. The next Google or Amazon could make its appearance, but they’ll be very different: They won’t be looking for a place on Nasdaq, because they’ll be generating network value more than equity value.
  5. A killer consumer app: While blockchain conferences were the killer app of 2018, we’re still looking for the product that will bring blockchain’s value to the non-tech, non-business consumer audience. I’ve tried a few apps that purported to be killer apps, but the experience was so bad I wonder if the developers thought killer apps were supposed to kill their users. I survived, and I’m hoping for more and better next year.

To return again to that long-ago Money 2020 conference: it’s rare to be talking to a single visionary, much less three. Most of the ideas that Charlie, David and Tariq discussed that day were so forward-looking that they were, at the time, dismissed as impossible or ignored as incomprehensible.

Today, many of their ideas have become implementations. Tomorrow, more will follow.

I’m beginning to wonder if those pie-in-the-sky predictions for 2020 were, in fact, too conservative. Who knows what we’ll see next year? Sometimes, good ideas arrive too early. Time and again, I’ve seen that the difference between genius and stupidity, between a project that will succeed versus one that is premature, is 18 months.

Have an opinionated take on 2018? CoinDesk is seeking submissions for our 2018 in Review. Email news [at] coindesk.com to learn how to get involved. 

This post credited to coindesk Image via Shutterstock

In December 2017, the market participants were eagerly waiting for the total crypto market capitalization to touch $1 trillion. Fast forward to December 2018, and the total market capitalization is struggling to hold on to the $100 billion mark.

This shows the complete change in sentiment in the past one year: last year, it was fear of missing out and this year it is fear of losing all the money invested in cryptocurrencies.

During extremes of the bull or the bear phase, the markets overshoot and undershoot the technical targets by a large margin. We believe that the decline has reached a panic state, which will end with a bottom formation, sooner than later.

Therefore, investors who believe in the long-term potential of the asset class should be ready to invest once the decline ends. The downside risk from the current levels is limited while the upside potential is attractive.

EOS/USD

EOS (EOS) block producers are operating in negative margins and many will land up in trouble if the price does not recover or if no change is made to the existing reward system.

Hackers are also having a field day with the decentralized apps (DApps) that are based on the EOS blockchain. Their hacks have resulted in a loss of about $1 million since July.

Charles Hoskinson of Cardano believes that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is likely to train its guns against the $4 billion initial coin offering (ICO) of EOS. So, how does the future look according to the charts? Let’s find out.

EOS/USD

The major trend on the EOS/USD pair is down. The price has been making new year-to-date lows since the breaking down of $4.493.

The bulls had attempted to form a base from mid-August to mid-November, which failed. The pattern target of that break was $2.1561. However, the bears easily broke through this level and plunged the digital currency to a low of $1.55. Even at these levels, there is no urgency among the buyers to step in and provide support.

This suggests that the decline can extend to the next support at $1.2 and below it to $1, which is a major psychological support. The RSI is close to the oversold territory, which shows that the selling has been overdone.

A pullback to the breakdown level is likely, which in this case is the $3.8723–$4.493 zone. However, traders should initiate long positions only after the virtual currency signals a trend reversal. Until then, it is best to remain on the sidelines.

BNB/USD

Binance, one of the top crypto exchanges in the world by trade volume, has launched educational content to provide “unbiased” information about crypto and blockchain to the public. The development of the content is being undertaken by Binance Academy, which is the dedicated education arm of the exchange.

Another arm, Binance Labs, has released its first batch of blockchain projects from its incubation program, which provided the projects with funding and other necessary resources. The exchange has added six new pairs, with Circle’s USD-pegged stablecoin USD Coin recently being included in its Combined Stablecoin Market.

BNB/USD

The Binance Coin (BNB/USD) pair is relatively strong, as it has not given up much ground since the breaking down of the year-to-date low of $5.4666, formed on Feb. 6. It is currently falling inside a descending channel.

If the bears break below the immediate support of $4.1723848, the decline can reach the support line of the channel at $2.5.

Though the trend is down and it is advantage bears, the RSI is in the oversold territory, hence, we can expect the bulls to attempt to climb back above the overhead resistance at $5.4666. If successful, the current dip can be termed as a bear trap and the pullback can extend to the resistance line of the channel, just above $7.5. Traders should attempt a trade only after a reliable buy setup is formed.

TRX/USD

TRON (TRX) launched its TRC20 exchange this week. With the exchange going live, it is expected that the liquidity of the TRON network will increase. The 24-hour transaction amount for DApps increased 48 percent compared to the previous week. Similarly, the 24-hour trading volume increased 151 percent over the last week. With these developments, how does the chart pattern look? Is a bottom in sight?

TRX/USD

The bulls have been attempting to put a bottom in place for the past few months. The TRX/USD pair consolidated between $0.0183 and $0.0281551 for about three months, before breaking down on Nov. 19. An attempt to climb back into the range failed and the bears are attempting to extend the downtrend. The breakdown gives it a pattern target of $0.00844479. If the decline doesn’t stall at this level, then the next support is at $0.00554133.

However, if the bulls defend $0.01089965 and push the price back above $0.0183, the digital currency will indicate a probable trend change. Until then, every pullback will be met with a wave of selling, hence, it is better to wait and watch.

LTC/USD

The Litecoin (LTC) Lightning Network is ready for launch on one of the largest payment gateways, CoinGate. The creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, cheered the news in a recent tweet, “Even Litecoin will soon have more than 1000 merchants accepting LN payments!  Thanks @CoinGatecom!”

Lee had sold all of his Litecoin in December 2017, citing a conflict of interest. He had then indirectly indicated that the price of Litecoin could plunge to $20. With the price declining close to his prediction, will it find a bottom at these levels or will it continue to slump? Let’s find out.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair has been in a strong downtrend since peaking out at $370 in December of last year. Though there was an attempt to form a base at $47.246, the bears broke down on Nov. 13 and resumed the downtrend. There was another attempt to defend the support at $29.349, but it did not hold even for a week.

Currently, the downtrend has resumed and the next support on the downside is the $19–$21 zone. If this also fails to hold, the fall can extend to $15. The RSI has reached oversold levels, last seen in the beginning of 2015.

If the digital currency rebounds from current levels and climbs above $29.349, it will indicate that the markets have rejected lower levels. In such a case, a pullback to $47.246 is probable. However, as the bears have an upper hand, the traders should wait for the trend to reverse before attempting a long position in it.

BTC/USD

Some believe that after the crushing bear market Bitcoin (BTC) will meet its end. However, Jeremy Allaire, co-founder of Circle, believes that Bitcoin will be worth “a great deal more” than it is now in the next three years.

Co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors, Thomas Lee, believes that the fair value of Bitcoin is between $13,800 and $14,800, a good 315 percent higher than the current levels. During bear markets, prices can drop to crazy levels, which turns out to be a good buying opportunity for the brave hearted who can go against the trend.

BTC/USD

The trend in the BTC/USD pair is clearly down. Since breaking down of the critical $5,900 support, the bulls haven’t been able to defend any intermediate support levels, which shows that the bears are in command.

The selling has pushed the RSI into the oversold territory, a level last seen in the beginning of 2015. The immediate support is at $2,974, from where we anticipate a strong bounce.

Conversely, if the virtual currency fails to recover, the downtrend can extend to $1,752. With every fall, the pair gets closer to the bottom, but it is difficult to predict where the decline will end.

As the slide has been sharp, the next pullback is likely to be equally sharp. Therefore, traders can expect a retest of the breakdown level of $5,900 once the trend reverses. Until then, the short traders will pounce on every small pullback.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph