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

368 people are talking about this

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

Around this time last year, many retail crypto investors subscribed to the economic theory that cryptocurrency hard forks — the ones that result in irreversible network splits and create new blockchains — were a net positive for their portfolios. “How could they not be?” they asked. “It’s free money!”

Indeed, at that point, the two most prominent cryptocurrency hard forks — Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash — had each proven to be a boon to investors who held on to the coins on both sides of the split. However, both of those forks occurred either shortly before or amidst a historic crypto market rally that masked weak fundamentals in a variety of projects. Absent the sort of black swan event that the cryptocurrency market experienced last year, it seems that when it comes to truly contentious hard forks, the whole may be less than the sum of its parts.

Bitcoin Cash Price Craters in Month Following Fork

As evidence, one need look no farther than Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which is itself now reeling in the wake of a contentious hard fork that took place in the throes of a prolonged bear market rather than a retail-driven market upswing.

bitcoin cash price bitcoin price
BTC/USD (blue) vs. BCH/USD (red)

Before the fork, the bitcoin cash price was trading near $500 with an ~$8 billion market cap that ranked fourth among cryptocurrencies. In the month since, BCH has declined to just $82 on Coinbase, representing a more than 80 percent decline. If one subscribes to the “Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin” philosophy, then the bitcoin price is trading at its lowest price since early 2013. Even if you don’t, bitcoin cash has still fallen 98 percent from its all-time high and now sits at a record low.

bitcoin cash price bitcoin sv price chart
BCH/USD (blue) vs. BSV/USD (red)

Part of that lost economic value did not exit the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem completely but rather migrated to a separate BCH-derived crypto network.

Following the fork, that new cryptocurrency — Bitcoin SV (BSV) — was created, and despite some early struggles its coin price managed to catch up to BCH. At one point, bitcoin sv even surpassed BCH in total market capitalization, though it quickly slunk back below its older sibling and more or less faced a similar plight in the days hence. As of the time of writing, BSV was priced at $77 on Kraken, roughly $5.50 below BCH.

BCH & BSV are Also Plunging against Bitcoin (BTC)

However, the drop cannot merely be attributed to the general market decline, as the combined value of BCH and BSV has also plunged against market bellwether bitcoin (BTC). Prior to the fork, BCH was already trading near an all-time low at approximately 0.08 BTC. Now, bitcoin cash and bitcoin sv are worth a combined 0.048 BTC, and that number shows no signs of finding a bottom anytime soon.

bitcoin cash price bitcoin sv BTC
BCH/BTC (blue) vs. BSV/BTC (red)

It’s unclear what the future holds for bitcoin cash, bitcoin sv, and the crypto sector at large. However, at least right now, it seems that traders are not confident that both BCH and BSV can thrive over the long-term. Until the market can definitively sort out which of the chains is the true economic heir to the pre-fork BCH, both of them may be fated to play increasingly smaller roles in the crypto marketplace.

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

While emerging assets are always turbulent, 2018 has been an especially violent year for the crypto markets.

Many investors who entered during the bull market of 2017 got badly burned during this year’s prolonged crash because they were deluded into believing that market prices accurately reflected underlying value. However, this should not be taken to mean that crypto as an industry is doing poorly.

There are, in fact, two facets to the blockchain industry: the investment side and the development side.

Unlike the traditional financial market where we usually tend to have a clear expectation guidance and consensus around valuation models that can align the two, in crypto we have experienced a significant disconnect between investors and developers due to the distorting effect of hype on market prices and an information asymmetry in regards to actual development.

So, while the bloodshed in the markets we’ve seen in 2018 is likely to continue into 2019, cryptocurrencies are actually making significant progress on the technology development front. This next year will be painful to force us to step out of the bubble, learn the lesson and do a reality check.

Still, a healthy consolidation and the development of fundamentals will lead to eventual prosperity.

We didn’t see another manic gold rush on the internet after the dot.com bubble, but the internet eventually ate the world

In the Market

In the past two months, I’ve had many hours of conversation with key players in all sectors of the industry, including exchanges, traders, miners, founders, primary market investors and regulators.

My conclusions follow regarding why 2019 will be the year our violent delights reach their violent ends.

Far too many projects raised far too much money, often at outrageous valuations in the hundreds of millions. Even zcash, a relatively mature project that is seeing significant growth, is now trading at a ~300 million market cap (fully diluted $1.2 billion). And yet, there were projects with less than six months of development which raised at a valuation on par with zcash’s.

A proper valuation model is missing, investments are largely “FOMOmental” instead of fundamental.

Additionally, many of these high-profile projects are set to launch their mainnets in 2019, and most fail to meet expectations. The underwhelming adoption they face will be a further bear signal to the market that the “real adoption” investors had been waiting for won’t arrive in time to bail them out.

The organic community is tiny, developers are disappointed by the infrastructure and tooling and many investors will cut their losses and sell when they no longer believe “only the sky is the limit.”

Our failure in managing expectations well will set alternative cryptocurrencies up for a major correction, as the market is also highly correlated with BTC’s price. Hashrate and difficulty is a trailing indicator of price and will in return influence supply – for the first time since 2011, the bitcoin mining hashrate has significantly decreased with massive miners scaling back.

Many miners disassembled their mining operations entirely, because prices have fallen so much that bitcoin isn’t even worth the marginal cost to mine it. A big part of what landed us in this situation is the
“hash rate bubble” of 2017, during which many miners overextended their mining operations under the mistaken assumption that the price of bitcoin would surely rise in the short term.

Miners who used to hold their coins may be forced to sell, sending the price of the coins spiraling further downwards. A lesser-known factor that will affect prices over the next few quarters is the fact that many funds that popped up in Asia from late 2017 to early 2018 are on a one year cycle (6 + 6 month terms). This means that they’ll reach the end of their term and must liquidate.

Many western funds are on monthly redemption terms, but they also face panic redemption from LPs.

On Development

When I told my friends that Eric Melzter and myself were leaving our positions at large funds in order to strike out on our own with Primitive Ventures, many asked us “Why now in such a brutal market?” Our answer is that it’s in fact a fantastic time to start a fund.

Although temporary market trends may be brutal, that very condition creates the opportunity for extraordinary returns for anyone who can invests in truly valuable work while it is still massively undervalued by a spooked market. It may be the worst of times for the markets, but it is the best of times for real development.

During the bull run of 2017 and early 2018, there was too much noise in the crypto space. Projects raised tens of millions even before what would normally be a Series A, and became slow, distracted, and unmotivated. Further, even quality teams were forced to compete in the game of token prices and had to divert a significant amount of their time and money toward keeping token price up and investors satiated.

In this current colder climate, those who remain are truly committed, and they no longer feel as much pressure to issue pointless tokens that will only cause friction. It is more possible for a blockchain product to gain organic adoption now that investors won’t be confusing popularity with real usage.

We are beginning to see fairer distribution models with real tech backing, such as Grin and Raven, which have attracted a dedicated community even without offering an opportunity to invest in a pre-sale or pre-mine. We are also observing the products of academic research being implemented in real-world settings, such as the integration of bulletproofs into Monero, the Sapling upgrade for zcash, and the Bitcoin_NG implementation in Aeternity as a part of their recent Roma launch.

We have seen the emphasis return to real developer usability instead of chasing vanity metrics such as transactions per second, and native use case discovery rather than endless discussions surrounding on-chain governance.

The non-technical development of the crypto industry is also by no means in hibernation during this winter. We have seen much activity amongst various jurisdictions hoping to become the “crypto capital” of the world and attract the talent, capital and enterprise that will gain them a share in an industry that could soon be worth many trillions.

Silicon Valley’s dominance in previous technologies won’t necessarily carry over to crypto since it’s crypto ecosystem is not complete. The miners who are a crucial component of the ecosystem are certainly not located in California, with its high electricity and operational expenses, and traders are also largely outside the U.S. due to its high taxes and strict regulations.

The distributed nature of crypto has fittingly allowed for the global distribution of the opportunities it creates.

What does this mean for 2019 and beyond? Crypto is set to radically upend the way we transact, privacy, ownership and many more things we can’t anticipate. In the near term, market conditions will be brutal, but that is actually helping nurture real value that is simply not reflected in the prices yet.

Investors and builders alike must not be blindsided by mistaking short-term market movements with real value. Now isn’t the time to put crypto on pause, but rather to take a much closer look at the projects addressing real needs in a way uniquely enabled by cryptocurrency, distributed ledger and blockchain technology.

In short, it’s the worst of times, but it’s also the best of times.

This post credited to coindesk Image source: Depositphotos 

Reports have suggested that Nasdaq will launch a Bitcoin futures markets in the first half of 2019, pending regulatory approval from the CFTC. Traditional banking institutions have been increasingly open to including the emerging asset class.

Nasdaq has been preparing the launch of Bitcoin Futures for most of 2018 after years of studying the asset class. While Bitcoin currently struggles at the $4,000 area, the number one cryptocurrency was worth the triple exactly one year ago. The spectacular volatility has attracted many traders and investors. The institutional side of the market has shown much interest, especially since 2018, but Nasdaq was invested in the sector years before.

IG Group Chief Market Analyst Chris Beauchamp welcomed “anything that broadens out the liquidity of bitcoin and encourages usability”. David Cheetham, a market analyst at UK-based broker XTB, believes that the listing of Bitcoin Futures by Nasdaq would be a form of legitimizing the cryptocurrency market, which is a game changer in terms of acceptance.

“Broadly speaking, there is always a risk when dealing with unregulated spaces so they would much rather look to use futures and that may even create serious solidity in the market.”

Rumors of Nasdaq’s intention of listing Bitcoin Futures in early 2019 emerged in late November. The news appeared almost a year after Nasdaq announced its plans to do so. Much has happened since then. The price of Bitcoin has gone up through the roof only to experience its sharpest fall in a year, in absolute terms.

A key driver for the explosive Bitcoin rally in late 2018 was the listing of Bitcoin Futures by CME Group Inc. and CBOE Global Markets Inc.

This post credited to News BTC  Image source: Shutterstock

A recent study by blockchain-oriented research firm Clovr found that cryptocurrency coverage in the mainstream media spikes when the market drops off. The analysis tracked the correlation between coverage on crypto values over the past five years and the sentiments of published materials.

Crypto

Source: Clovr

In the course of its research, Clovr surveyed 48 mainstream U.S.-based and international media outlets for pieces covering cryptocurrency from Jan.1, 2013, to July 31, 2018. All articles were analyzed using sentiment analysis tool Valence Aware Dictionary and sEntiment Reasoner (VADER) and the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) library in Python. The analysis included the full text of 7,527 online news articles.

In the last weeks of 2017 crypto coverage in the media spiked following a sharp drop-off in cryptocurrency, which was attributed to a confluence of factors such as strong performance of altcoins, and Bitcoin (BTC) holders selling off their coins to pay for holiday purchases. The same trend was reported in May and June 2018, when a further drop in crypto values was followed by a temporary increase in articles. The study further reads:

“As recently as 2016, positive articles far exceeded negative ones, both in terms of volume and intensity. As coverage surged in mid-2017, however, articles expressing negative sentiment grew more common. This trend was fueled in part to grim prognostications by the likes of Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban, who guessed that ‘a bubble’ was underway.”

Clovr

Source: Clovr

As for news sites that covered digital currency most often, Clovr notes Forbes and Business Insider, where “a combined 1,335 articles from these two outlets alone were more positive than the overall median sentiment of the sampled articles, while only 413 of their articles fell on the negative side.”

CNBC released almost 1,000 crypto-related articles during the analysed period, with 52.9 percent being positive and 47 percent being negative. At the same time, American far-right news website Breitbart News along with left leaning American news organization Raw Story cumulatively published 91 negative articles and just one positive piece. The average sentiment of Reuters, USA Today, and Gizmodo articles reportedly decreased substantially over time.

As previously reported, BTC use for commercial payments reduced significantly this year, according to a study by Chainalysis. Although Chainalysis recognizes a growing stability of BTC, the value of Bitcoin payments reportedly slumped from $427 million last December to $96 million in September 2018.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

Throughout the past 24 hours, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) dropped from $4,065 to $3,600, reversing a short-term corrective rally.

The dominant cryptocurrency has been on a steep downtrend for several weeks but on November 26, for a brief of time, Bitcoin seemed to be initiating a corrective rally after reaching a new yearly low at around $3,400.

Temporarily, Bitcoin spiked to $4,000, engaging in a 17 percent increase in price within a 24-hour period. However, the price of the asset began to fell back to the lower region of $3,000.

What is Bitcoin up to?

The cryptocurrency market is struggling to sustain any sort of momentum in an attempt to create a trend reversal. Sell pressure on major digital assets is increasing and buy pressure is declining, which has led both Bitcoin and Ethereum to drop by more than 40 percent in the past two weeks.

“Bitcoin failing to complete the bull flag and to hold the neckline of the IH&S. Lack of buy pressure and $3,800 range looking weak. Expecting more downside: $3,400 as first target,” cryptocurrency trader Crypto Rand said on November 26.

Since Monday, the price of BTC has moved closer to the $3,400 support level and based on the movement of BTC in the past 12 hours, it is likely that BTC will drop below the level in the days to come, especially if it fails to maintain stability above the $4,000 mark.

Ripple (XRP)EOSStellar (XLM) and other major cryptocurrencies are in a worse position than BTC and ETH because of their low daily volumes. Currently, the volume of ETH remains larger than that of XRP, XLM, and BCH combined.

When the price of an asset falls substantially without a huge spike in volume, it represents a free fall without much sell pressure. Which means as big sell volumes begin to the hit the market, the price of the asset could be vulnerable to additional sell-offs in the near future.

The volume of BTC is decent at $6.5 billion and the volume of ETH is also relatively high. But, the volume of other major cryptocurrencies are lower than where they were from August to November, a period in which BTC demonstrated its lowest level of volatility in recent history.

Alex Krüger, a cryptocurrency trader and economist, said:

“Before the crash BTC had been growing exponentially. Will BTC ever resume exponential growth? Maybe not. Maybe only temporarily. Many assets don’t grow exponentially. What if bitcoin has matured and starts behaving as a currency or most commodities?”

One Positive: Swiss ETP

The newly introduced crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) in Switzerland offered by Amun and the Swiss Stock Exchange, has began to appeal to a large group of traders in the region.

It has become the biggest ETP in Switzerland with the highest trading volume, portraying an immense interest from local investors towards crypto.

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

As 2018 bids its last farewells, the crypto market has stuttered, with a majority of crypto assets establishing new year-to-date lows, leading many analysts to express their sentiment that capitulation is officially occurring. However, the peculiar performance of the market hasn’t fazed this industry’s leading constituents. Binance, for one, continued its investment spree, siphoning millions into a budding upstart.

Binance Throws $3 Million At OTC Crypto Desk, Foray Into China Expected

Binance, the crypto industry’s leading retail exchange, hasn’t seemingly remained unfazed amid the cryptocurrency market downturn, recently diverting $3 million of its venture arm’s war chest into Koi Trading, a U.S.-based over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk that specializes in non-retail crypto exchange.

Per previous reports from NewsBTC, Koi Trading also has hands in the jars of other industries, which include data science and analytics, quantitative research, and compliance. The San Francisco-based startup’s expansive portfolio presumably made it a logical investment for Binance itself, which has been ramping up its ventures throughout 2018’s dismal market.

Still, it was divulged by Ella Zhang, chief of Binance Labs, that her firm’s investment in the OTC desk was triggered by the alignment of Koi Trading’s and that of Binance. Zhang explained:

“Koi’s Trading mission is to bridge fiat and cryptocurrencies in a compliant manner. This aligns with our broader vision at Binance to build the infrastructure which provides the freedom of exchange globally.”

Although Binance’s investment in Koi seems cut and dried, some believe that the $3 million investment was made in a bid to capitalize on China’s tumultuous crypto scene, which has been beaten and battered by local regulators in recent months.

Per Hao Chen, CEO and founder of the startup, Koi has been bolstering its business relationships in “Greater China,” alluding to speculation that it may foray into that market in due time. It isn’t clear how the desk will skirt Beijing’s regulations, which have included a crackdown on OTC platforms and online discussion regarding cryptocurrencies, but many are hopeful that Koi’s entrance into China will catalyze another round of investment “FOMO” from the local clientele.

Bitcoin Commerce Payments Down 80% Since January, Scalability Blamed

Per data from Chainalysis, a leading crypto analytics startup, the U.S. dollar value of on-chain Bitcoin payment processor-based transactions has fallen drastically since early-2018’s all-time high. More specifically, the aforementioned statistic has taken an 80% hit since January, comparable to BTC’s 75% decline in the same time frame.

To attribute figures to this collapse, Reuters expressed that in late-December/early-January, over $427 million in BTC was transacted for retail payments. Now, just shy of a year later, this figure has fallen to a mere $96 million. While the latter figure isn’t something to sneeze at, the fact that such a collapse occurred, even though BTC found a semblance of stability in recent months, isn’t a promising sign for the short-term prospects of crypto.

Speaking on these statistics, London-based UBS strategist Joni Teves explained that scalability should catalyze the global adoption of Bitcoin in commerce. This sentiment echoes comments issued by Joey Krug, an Augur co-founder turned Pantera Capital executive, who told Bloomberg that the lack of efficiency on decentralized blockchain networks is directly hampering adoption.

Although the cryptosphere only recently began to walk on its own two legs, Krug explained that scaling blockchain networks, while difficult, is something that innovators within this industry can accomplish with a dab of elbow grease, grit, and determination. And when that happens, the Pantera executive added the crypto industry will undergo its next round of a Cambrian-level bout of growth, which Krug says will boost digital assets values by tenfold.

Bakkt Delays Bitcoin Futures Launch

After a multi-month hype cycle, Bakkt, an Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-sponsored crypto-centric initiative, has divulged that it has fallen victim to an unfortunate road bump, a byproduct of the corporate world today.

Through a Medium post on the matter, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler, formerly of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), revealed that her startup is now “targeting” January 24th, 2019 for the launch of its physically-backed Bitcoin futures contract, instead of December 12th. Loeffler, evidently aiming to calm players’ qualms regarding Bakkt, noted that “given the volume of interest in Bakkt and work required to get all our pieces in place,” a delay would be duly in order to ensure the program’s clients and business partners are poised for launch.

The 40-day delay aside, Bakkt has maintained that it is hell-bent on putting the pedal to the metal, as it were. Loeffler, wed to ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher, explained that the “level of collaboration at the exchange, customer, and regulatory levels are unprecedented in terms of engagement and effort,” indicating that crypto’s dismal market conditions haven’t fazed true “BUIDLers,” a moniker endowed upon this industry’s diehard believers.

Moreover, the startup chief added that Bakkt has secured cold storage insurance for its Bitcoin (BTC) holdings, a claim-to-fame that is likely to entice institutional investors into crypto.

Still, while the Medium update concluded on a high note, with Loeffler offering a fleeting glimpse of silver linings, the bottom line is that Bakkt’s futures instrument isn’t slated to go live yet. And the timing couldn’t have been much worse, to be frank. In fact, some pessimists have argued that Bakkt’s recent announcement imbued the cryptocurrency market with an influx of skepticism. But, considering the tumultuous market conditions, no one knows for sure.

Related Reading: Bakkt Focusing on Bitcoin Due to Its Liquidity and Classification as a Commodity

Crypto Tidbits

  • Edward Snowden Thinks Cryptocurrency Is Logical: World-renowned, libertarian-leaning whistleblower Edward Snowden recently sat down with Ben Wizner, his legal counsel, to have a candid conversation pertaining to blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, Snowden, who unveiled sensitive NSA documents in 2013, broke down the basic of blockchains, conferring on what makes this newfangled innovation tick and, more importantly, the value of this form of data management. The now-Russia-based former NSA contractor explained that blockchains, while currently inefficient, solve a key issue — the overabundance of trust. As made clear by 2008’s Great Recession, the presence of trust in financial ecosystems may be a detriment to consumers. Keeping this in mind, Snowden eulogized Bitcoin, Monero, and ZCash for their viability as scarce, uncensorable, trustless, and borderless mediums of value.
  • Coinbase Loses Mike Lempres To Andreessen Horowitz: While the crypto industry is lauded for its capability to catalyze Wall Street and Silicon Valley brain drains, Coinbase has divulged that Mike Lempres, the startup’s chief legal officer, decided to abdicate his position to foray into venture capital through Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Interestingly, Menlo Park, California-based a16z, a forward-thinking firm itself, has close ties to Coinbase and the crypto industry, so Lempres’ sudden exit isn’t nonsensical. Taking his place will be Brian Brooks, formerly of mortgage giant Fannie Mae, who initially hopped onto the cryptocurrency gravy train in September. So make no mistake, Coinbase’s legal team is being left in good hands.

This post credited to News BTC Image source: News BTC