Showing posts with label market. Show all posts
Showing posts with label market. Show all posts

December 22, 2017

Correlation between cryptocurrency value and exchange listings: Expert Blog

By Munair Simpson - December 21, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


There is a positive correlation between the value, or market capitalization, of a cryptocurrency and the number of exchanges that it is listed on. For the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies, the correlation is over 50 percent. Rudimentary data analysis indicates that the market capitalization of the coin or token crudely increases with exchange listings. However, correlation is not causation and it is not wise to conclude that simply listing a cryptocurrency on more exchanges always adds more value to the cryptocurrency.

Correlation

Correlation explains how much two variables are related. A correlation of 100 percent would mean that the positive change in one variable is perfectly related to the positive change in the other variable. If the correlation between cryptocurrency value and exchange listings was 100 percent, then it would possible to observe an exactly proportional increase in market capitalization with an increase in the number of exchange listings.

Since the correlation is over 50 percent, it might be tempting to list on as many exchanges as possible to maximize token value. Do not be tempted. Even though market capitalization and the exchange listings are somewhat linearly correlated, it does not mean that listing on more exchanges definitely results in an increase in market capitalization. Especially when a little more analysis reveals the presence of major outliers.

Outliers

Thanks to the Coin Market Cap API it is easy to observe outliers in the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies. Dumping the market capitalization and exchange listing data into Google Sheets or an RStudio dataset helps to explain a lot. Plotting value against listings shows that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not normal in comparison to the majority of other cryptocurrencies.

Plotting the log of market capitalization against exchanges listed reveals roughly three different clusters of value in the cryptocurrency world.


Clusters of value

The first cluster includes Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. This group of cryptocurrencies are all listed on over 75 exchanges. The second cluster of cryptocurrencies are scattered between 15 and 55 exchange listings. The second includes DASH, Ripple, ZCash, and popular cryptocurrencies. Finally, the vast majority (~98%) of cryptocurrencies have 15 or fewer exchange listings.

Statistical summaries show that median cryptocurrency is listed on just two exchanges and the average is listed on just under four exchanges. Using a box plot to graphically describe the data shows the large number of outliers in relation to the majority of cryptocurrencies.

Box Plot of Exchange Listings. Data obtained from http://www.coinmaketcap.com on Dec. 10th 2017.

In general, the major outliers widely function as mediums of exchange and stores of value. To be globally valuable as intermediary instruments used to facilitate buying, selling or trading goods and services, these cryptocurrencies should be listed on many exchanges as possible. Currencies generally have more legitimacy the more widely they are used, and listing on many exchanges advances those network effects.

Not all of the outliers present in the dataset serve as money. Ethereum is an exception. Though it was designed with a different purpose in mind, the market decided that it too should function as a medium of exchange and store of value.

There are other exceptions in the first and second cluster of cryptocurrencies. Qtum and TenX were also not purposed as mediums of exchange, yet they are listed on over 15 exchanges.

Strategy implications

In spite of these outliers, analyzing the relationship between value and exchange listings has implications for cryptocurrency strategy. Further dividing cryptocurrencies into subsets and rerunning the analysis provides more meaningful information to can reinforce or redirect the intuition of a cryptocurrency strategist.

Knowing that the outliers are primarily used as stores of value or mediums of exchange, it only makes sense to list widely if planning to compete with cryptocurrencies used as money. There are always exceptions. However, if the purpose of a cryptocurrency is to be a better form of money, then it may need to be widely listed to in order to compete with the other widely listed currencies.

For example, cryptocurrencies competing to be a medium of exchange in Venezuela may increase their market capitalization through listing on a Venezuelan cryptocurrency exchange. With each new geographical market entered, it might experience additional increases in value.

This might not be the case with tokens. Since tokens usually represent an asset, the economics of valuation with respect to exchange listings may be different. Being listed on a Venezuelan exchange may add no value at all.

Security tokens may observe increased market capitalization with exchange listings, as investors will appreciate more trading options in the case there are problems at one of the major centralized exchanges. However, there will most likely be diminishing returns to increasing exchange listings.

The long tail

Focusing on cryptocurrencies with fewer than 15 listings makes sense for getting a rough idea of the relationship between value and exchange listings for average tokens. This subset is the third cluster of cryptocurrencies. They represent over 97 percent of the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies. This cluster also includes cryptocurrencies, like IOTA and NEM, which are not tokens but are highly valued and listed on fewer exchanges than their peers.

Top 1000 Cryptocurrency [Data Source: http://www.coinmarketcap.com]

Graphically, with the aid of a histogram, it is possible to observe the concentration of cryptocurrencies. The chart exposes the first and second clusters as the long tail cryptocurrency exchange listings.

Focusing third cluster makes it possible to notice that the linear correlation between market capitalization and exchange listings drops to 20 percent. That means that it might not really matter that much how many exchanges the average token is listed on. The correlation between the average token’s value and exchange listings is not very significant.

Summary

The ICO is becoming an increasingly popular fundraising vehicle. Traditional businesses are starting to look to this crowdfunding mechanism and bypassing other traditional forms of financing.

Nonetheless, planning an initial coin offering requires a lot of thought and thorough research. Even deciding which exchanges to list on and how many exchanges to list on requires careful research. Fortunately, there are already hundreds of cryptocurrencies out there that can help to determine if it is worth the time and effort to pursue a certain strategy.

There is a correlation between market capitalization, but it is not very strong. Be guided by that. Whenever in doubt about correlation and causation, just look at Litecoin and Bitcoin. Litecoin is listed on 94 exchanges compared to Bitcoin’s 88, yet Bitcoin is a magnitude larger in market capitalization.

Munair Simpson is a business strategist and the principal researcher at Useful Coin Research. Munair lives in South Korea and enjoys teaching Capoeira when not thinking about the future of finance. Munair graduated from the Wharton School with an MBA in Marketing.

The Moment of Truth for Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Market

December 22, 2017 (seekingalpha.com)

Summary
  • The chorus of voices labeling Bitcoin a huge speculative bubble is growing louder.

  • 2017 was a pivotal year for the future of cryptocurrencies, but 2018 is likely to be more insightful regarding their ultimate fate.

  • Bitcoin's meteoric rise has ushered in a new era and represents the birth of a new asset class. How digital currencies mature remains an open question.

One of the most notable developments in financial markets during 2017 was the phenomenal rally in cryptocurrencies and their ascent into a new, unique asset class. Throughout the year the mainstream view remained dismissive regarding the prospects of Bitcoin and its crypto-rivals. Yet, it is becoming increasingly clear that this phenomenon has deeper roots and, notwithstanding the vertiginous volatility, it is unlikely to fade away.


Very few could have foreseen the almost surreal pace of appreciation that took place in the past twelve months. In fact, the surging momentum of the Bitcoin rally was unlike anything we have seen in the past. This lack of historical precedent makes it exceptionally interesting, as well as challenging to investigate what triggered this phenomenon and which drivers continue to fuel it.

Admittedly, the substantial correction we saw the past week in cryptocurrency price movements renewed an element of uncertainty about the longer-term direction and, essentially, the fate of Bitcoin.


As a result, the chorus of voices predicting an imminent collapse in the crypto-market grew louder, to some extent silencing the optimists who expect further acceleration amid this meteoric rally. In light of the unprecedented nature of this phenomenon, widely divergent views about what lies ahead are to be expected. Nonetheless, the view that the digital currencies’ massive surge this year is nothing but a huge speculative price bubble, while logical, is inherently flawed.

A more sober examination of what we are actually witnessing is the volatile phase that typically precedes broader acceptance of a newly introduced asset class. If indeed Bitcoin becomes broadly accepted as an alternative global currency, its market capitalization is bound to grow further over the longer term. Until then and until the coexisting -- at the time of this writing -- irrational exuberance and the fatalistic predictions of Bitcoin’s premature demise subside, extraordinary volatility spikes will dominate price action in the cryptocurrency market.

Let us not forget the key developments that transpired in 2017, such as the introduction of Bitcoin futures by CME Group and Cboe Global Markets, which point to a wider recognition of the role that cryptocurrencies have the potential to play in financial markets. Meanwhile, emerging economies as well as a host of technologically advanced countries, including Japan and South Korea, are increasingly adopting a more open stance with regard to Bitcoin transactions. This is, in large part, why 2017 will go down in history as a pivotal year for digital currencies. At the same time, blockchain technology continues to evolve, and it is reasonable to expect that future iterations will address existing security vulnerabilities and facilitate a swifter adoption process, providing a more complete, credible and accessible alternative payment method.

The relentless rise of Bitcoin has also been underpinned by the high degree of difficulty that funds faced in shorting the digital currency. This is gradually changing with the inception of Bitcoin futures, but up until recently it served as a deterrent for speculators to aggressively initiate short positions. It is also especially challenging to identify reliable hedges with sufficient correlation to Bitcoin price movements. As a result, the cryptocurrency market has been relatively sheltered from external forces that tend to cause ripple effects in financial markets. This fostered conditions favorable for “long-only” speculative strategies, which, combined with the current low-volatility environment that encourages increased leverage and momentum trading, served as an excellent propellant for Bitcoin to skyrocket the way it did. In the short term, this tailwind is about to gradually run its course, and that will likely translate into a trend reversal, potentially quite sharp.

The moment of truth for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market will arrive after the critical correction that will inevitably ensue. At that point, it will be easier to assess whether digital currencies possess the necessary resilience to survive a concerted onslaught of external market pressures. The reaction of short-term momentum traders -- who ostensibly dominate the digital currency market-- in the face of a technical reversal remains a crucial unknown factor.

It is important not to lose sight of the fact that cryptocurrencies are built on a technological foundation that grants them a unique and lasting advantage over traditional currencies. This is why the probability of an eventual widespread cryptocurrency adoption as an integral part of the financial system is significantly higher than currently anticipated. It is, however, far too early to predict which cryptocurrencies will actually survive the ongoing tectonic shifts that are likely to redefine the future monetary landscape. In that regard, 2018 will be quite interesting, eventful and, hopefully, insightful.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

December 21, 2017

Warning: Crypto whales selling to the little guy

By Stephen Alpher - December 21, 2017 (seekingalpha.com)


In keeping up with acceptable crypto-community behavior, many of the large crypto holders cashing out are portraying the move as noble act, writes Lionel Laurent.

The fact remains, however, that the Emil Oldenburg's and Charlie Lee's of the industry are selling after massive moves higher. The buyers are the little guys: Since the start of 2017, there's been an explosion of accounts holding tiny amounts of Bitcoin (0.1 or less), and a corresponding tumble in accounts holding sizable amounts.

Laurent: "It will be hard to ignore the niggling feeling that the latecomers piling into Bitcoin at the end of 2017 aren't quite as astute as the early birds who are getting out."

December 20, 2017

The CIO of a crypto hedge fund explains why the market will explode over the next 2 years

By Jacqui Frank, Kara Chin and Trevor N. Cadigan - November 28, 2017 (www.businessinsider.com)

Ari Paul, CIO of cryptocurrency hedge fund BlockTower Capital, talks with Business Insider executive editor Sara Silverstein about the value in cryptocurrency and where he thinks the market is headed in the next two years. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Ari Paul: I’m Ari Paul, CIO of BlockTower Capital and this is why there's value in cryptocurrency

Sara Silverstein: Why do you fundamentally believe that there is value in this cryptocurrency world?

Paul: So there are quite a few use cases. I think the biggest and clearest, and easiest to understand, is as a store of value that can't be censored and is resistant to seizure. And so, the really clear example of demand for this, that I see, is the offshore banking system. Which is roughly 20 trillion dollars today. And it's not just people trying to dodge taxes. Apple, Amazon, every billionaire on the planet, has wealth stored there. And firms like JPMorgan collect fees to offshore law abiding citizens’ wealth. And people want to store their wealth securely, in a way that no single judge could freeze all of their assets. Right? Amazon doesn't want their entire global business operation to be shut down by one judge in Brussels. They want to be able to go through a lengthy appeals process and keep their business operating. So cryptocurrency performs that same task of the offshore banking, of keeping wealth secure an order of magnitude better. So we see massive real fundamental demand for this use case.

Silverstein: And what other financial assets make sense to be on a decentralized database or why would they?

Paul: Yes, there’s a huge distinction between the money use case, store of value, and the blockchain use case, for other assets. And I think it’s useful to kind of separate those. So a blockchain makes a ton of sense to record in real-time legal title. So I was a treasury bond trader, for example, and an example in finance, that anyone who’s traded treasuries is familiar with, is: failure to deliver. So Goldman Sachs will sell a bond to Credit Suisse, who borrows it from JPMorgan, and the same bond, in a day, might trade across 12 banks. And if one back office fails, they fail to make delivery of that bond, you get what's called a cascading failure to deliver. Because no one knows who actually owns the bond. And that can take weeks to fix. So imagine if you just have a shared database, a database that each of those banks held, that was kept accurate in real time,  and that no one could maliciously change or manipulate. You would know who owns what bonds and you might be able to eliminate half of the existing back offices in big banks. So a massive cost savings.

Silverstein: So you believe in the blockchain as having a value in the future for us? How does that translate into value for cryptocurrency?

Paul: So, yeah. I think a really useful idea — a blockchain is just a type of database. It's a distributed ledger that in some use cases, like for a banking back office, is kind of like a database upgrade. So massive improvements in efficiency, but probably not that transformative or disruptive. When you take a blockchain and you make it public and decentralized, and then you add money to that — you add a cryptocurrency — then you're looking at something that is that first use case, that offshore banking system, that I think is fundamentally disruptive. And disruptive financially, economically, and even potentially politically.

Silverstein: Do you see any institutional money in cryptocurrency right now, and is that going to be a huge lever for these values to all skyrocket?

Paul: Absolutely, so we've seen this really clear path of adoption. The earliest adopters were engineers, self-described cypherpunks. Then you had a wave of kind of Silicon Valley tech elites, people who would have a successful exit, who had a high risk tolerance, and who liked taking risk on new technology. Then you had kind of an early wave of maybe people like myself with a little more of a Wall Street background, as well as high net worth individuals, who are a little bit risk-tolerant. What we’re seeing right now is a shift from small family offices to big. Venture capital firms are basically all in. So most of the famous venture capital firms, not only have they been in the space for a few years, they’re now directly investing in new cryptocurrencies. And of the ten largest family offices in the country at least seven of them on cryptocurrency. Maybe more, but seven I'm sure of. So the next wave is — in kind of the institutionalization of the space — is we’re having the CME futures that are likely to launch next month. There's a huge number of entrants who want to invest in cryptocurrency, but can’t. For security reasons, operational reasons, regulatory, but they can easily buy a future, that's on the CME. So that opens the door to groups like endowments and pensions. So far, endowments and pensions own zero cryptocurrency. You have an asset that has been the highest returning asset class over the last eight years and it’s uncorrelated to everything else. And while there’s certainly debate over the future prospects, it lines up as the holy grail for a portfolio. In the sense that, if you size it appropriately, if you size it small, the risks are idiosyncratic. It actually reduces the risk of a portfolio. So endowments and pensions, as they get comfortable with the space, in all aspects regulatory, compliance, as well as underwriting investment risk. They're going to get in. And that's a massive wall of money coming in to a relatively small asset class.

Silverstein: And what do you think the timeline is for that?

Paul: I think the first endowment is probably going to write a check in the next few months, a small check. Endowments won't be in size for probably six months and not in size by — from their perspective for probably 12 months. Pensions are probably 18 months away and the key — the reason given those dates is having third-party custody, that is a legal qualified custodian, is a huge hurdle particularly for pensions. You have issues like ERISA, that are actual fiduciary challenges. And having a third-party qualified custodian, for many crypto assets, is probably something like 12 months away, maybe 18 months away.

The cryptocurrency market is now doing the same daily volume as the New York Stock Exchange

By Oscar Williams-Grut - December 20, 2017 (www.businessinsider.com)

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on December 6
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Global volume in cryptocurrency markets has passed $50 billion, close to the average turnover on New York Stock Exchange.
  • The comparison is inexact but highlights just how popular digital currencies have become.


LONDON — Global cryptocurrency markets are now averaging the same daily trading volumes as the New York Stock Exchange.

Twenty-four-hour trade volume in the cryptocurrency market passed the $50 billion mark on Wednesday, according to the data provider CoinMarketCap.com.

That is close to the average daily volume of trade on the New York Stock Exchange this year. Daily trading volumes on the London Stock Exchange hover at about £5 billion, or $6.7 billion.

The comparison is inexact, as the cryptocurrency market is arguably closer to the foreign-exchange market, which has daily volumes of over $5 trillion.

But it highlights just how hot the cryptocurrency market has become in 2017. Unlike the foreign-exchange market, cryptocurrency trading is largely done by small-time, retail investors, making it closer to the stock market (though some huge institutions are playing in the market.)

Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies in 2017 because of the eye-catching returns of bitcoin, which has grown by about 1,500% against the dollar. A boom in so-called initial coin offerings, in which startups issue their own cryptocurrencies to raise money, has created a raft of other digital assets for investors to speculate on. There are now more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

But many people within the financial industry have expressed concern about the largely unregulated market. The UK's top financial regulator warned earlier this month that people should be prepared to lose all the money they invest in bitcoin, and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has called cryptocurrencies a "scam."

December 19, 2017

Whales at play - Pumps and dumps and Altcoin volatility

Cointelegraph - December 19, 2017 (www.youtube.com)


WARNING: This is an observation not FUD, HODL till the end.

All cryptocurrencies going from green to red in an hour is not a coincidence.

In the last 24 hours the cryptocurrency market has seen massive gains and then in the span of an hour, huge losses.

Is Wall street to Blame? Is it Whales from China? Or a new Mega Pump and Dump Group on Telegram.





Best place to keep your coins is a hardware wallet.
Ledger Nano S is the majority choice:
Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

December 09, 2017

Want to Short Bitcoin? The time to take action is now

By Kinsey Grant - December 07, 2017 (www.thestreet.com)

If you're not buying into the bitcoin hype, now could be the time to go short, as fees related to placing a short bet on the cryptocurrency could more than double
when bitcoin futures go live next week.


Bitcoin is going wild Thursday, Dec. 7. But if you're not buying the rally, now could be the time to place your short bets.

The digital currency has surpassed five major threshold prices in the past two days. After trading above $16,100 midday Thursday, bitcoin pared gains slightly, still higher 16.18% for the day to $15,971.05 Thursday afternoon.

The surge in price comes ahead of the Sunday, Dec. 10, start date for bitcoin futures on Cboe. A week later, on Dec. 17, bitcoin futures will become available on CME. Investors looking to short bitcoin need to take action before futures start trading, according to S3 Analytics.

Shorts on Grayscale Investment's Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) , which is the only ETF whose performance is directly tethered to bitcoin's market price, has averaged $21 million for the year. Short interest hit a high of $71 million on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Shorts are down $45.9 million in year-to-date mark-to-market loss, S3 wrote, or down 217%. About $39 million of that loss has been registered since October, when the bitcoin rally amped up considerably.

But the cost to short bitcoin hasn't been cheap, S3 found. Stock borrow costs have averaged a 10.2% fee for the year, and "borrow rates are getting more expensive as borrow supply diminishes," S3 said. Since GBTC is more of a retail-owned stock than an institutionally owned stock, new shorts are being charged an 18.5% fee.

"If short interest continues to climb, we should see new borrow rates hit the 50% fee level quickly," S3 said.

The cost to short the GBTC fund could rise higher than 50% and possibly near 100% by the time the first futures contract trades, S3 noted. Many analysts have asserted bitcoin is headed for a pullback when futures open for trading.

"While the futures contract will allow easier and safer bitcoin short selling, it will also allow for easier and safer bitcoin long buying," S3 said. "Long GBTC holders may feel the pain of its 53% asset premium shrinking, while short-sellers will probably be incurring a 50%+ stock borrow fee -- both sides will be paying a premium in order to ride the bitcoin roller coaster once the Cboe futures start trading."

December 08, 2017

The Bitcoin Whales - 1,000 people who own 40% of the market

By Olga Kharif - December 08, 2017 (www.bloomberg.com)

Illustration: Patrik Mollwing for Bloomberg Businessweek

On Nov. 12, someone moved almost 25,000 bitcoins, worth about $159 million at the time, to an online exchange. The news soon rippled through online forums, with bitcoin traders arguing about whether it meant the owner was about to sell the digital currency.

Holders of large amounts of bitcoin are often known as whales. And they’re becoming a worry for investors. They can send prices plummeting by selling even a portion of their holdings. And those sales are more probable now that the cryptocurrency is up nearly twelvefold from the beginning of the year.

About 40 percent of bitcoin is held by perhaps 1,000 users; at current prices, each may want to sell about half of his or her holdings, says Aaron Brown, former managing director and head of financial markets research at AQR Capital Management. (Brown is a contributor to the Bloomberg Prophets online column.) What’s more, the whales can coordinate their moves or preview them to a select few. Many of the large owners have known one another for years and stuck by bitcoin through the early days when it was derided, and they can potentially band together to tank or prop up the market.

“I think there are a few hundred guys,” says Kyle Samani, managing partner at Multicoin Capital. “They all probably can call each other, and they probably have.” One reason to think so: At least some kinds of information sharing are legal, says Gary Ross, a securities lawyer at Ross & Shulga. Because bitcoin is a digital currency and not a security, he says, there’s no prohibition against a trade in which a group agrees to buy enough to push the price up and then cashes out in minutes.

Bitcoin: What’s Coming in the Year Ahead


Regulators have been slow to catch up with cryptocurrency trading, so many of the rules are still murky. If traders not only pushed the price up but also went online to spread rumors, that might count as fraud. Bittrex, a digital currency exchange, recently wrote to its users warning that their accounts could be suspended if they banded together into “pump groups” aimed at manipulating prices. The law might also be different for other digital coins. Depending on the details of how they are structured and how investors expect to make money from them, some may count as currencies, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Asked about whether large holders could move in concert, Roger Ver, a well-known early bitcoin investor, said in an email: “I suspect that is likely true, and people should be able to do whatever they want with their own money. I’ve personally never had time for things like that though.”

“As in any asset class, large individual holders and large institutional holders can and do collude to manipulate price,” Ari Paul, co-founder of BlockTower Capital and a former portfolio manager of the University of Chicago endowment, wrote in an electronic message. “In cryptocurrency, such manipulation is extreme because of the youth of these markets and the speculative nature of the assets.”

The recent rise in its price is difficult to explain because bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Launched in 2009 with a white paper written under a pseudonym, it’s a form of digital payment maintained by an independent network of computers on the internet‚ using cryptography to verify transactions. Its most fervent believers say it could displace banks and even traditional money, but it’s only worth what someone will trade for it, making it prey to big shifts in sentiment.

Like most hedge fund managers specializing in cryptocurrencies, Samani constantly tracks trading activity of addresses known to belong to the biggest investors in the coins he holds. (Although bitcoin transactions are designed to be anonymous, each one is associated with a coded address that can be seen by anyone.) When he sees activity, Samani immediately calls the likely sellers and can often get information on motivations behind their sales and their trading plans, he says. Some funds end up buying one another’s holdings directly, without going into the open market, to avoid affecting the currency’s price. “Investors are generally more forthcoming with other investors,” Samani says. “We all kind of know who one another are, and we all help each other out and share notes. We all just want to make money.” Ross says gathering intelligence is legal.

Ordinary investors, of course, don’t have the cachet required to get a multimillionaire to take their call. While they can track addresses with large holdings online and start heated discussions of market moves on Reddit forums, they’re ultimately in the dark on the whales’ plans and motives. “There’s no transparency to speak of in this market,” says Martin Mushkin, a lawyer who focuses on bitcoin. “In the securities business, everything that’s material has to be disclosed. In the virtual currency world, it’s very difficult to figure out what’s going on.”

Ordinary investors are at an even greater disadvantage in smaller digital currencies and tokens. Among the coins people invest in, bitcoin has the least concentrated ownership, says Spencer Bogart, managing director and head of research at Blockchain Capital. The top 100 bitcoin addresses control 17.3 percent of all the issued currency, according to Alex Sunnarborg, co-founder of crypto hedge fund Tetras Capital. With ether, a rival to bitcoin, the top 100 addresses control 40 percent of the supply, and with coins such as Gnosis, Qtum, and Storj, top holders control more than 90 percent. Many large owners are part of the teams running these projects.

Some argue this is no different than what happens in more established markets. “A good comparison is to early stage equity,” BlockTower’s Paul wrote. “Similar to those equity deals, often the founders and a handful of investors will own the majority of the asset.” Other investors say the whales won’t dump their holdings, because they have faith in the long-term potential of the coins. “I believe that it’s common sense that these whales that own so much bitcoin and bitcoin cash, they don’t want to destroy either one,” says Sebastian Kinsman, who lives in Prague and trades coins. But as prices go through the roof, that calculation might change. 

BOTTOM LINE - It’s not necessarily illegal for big holders of some cryptocurrencies to discuss trading with one another. That puts small buyers at a disadvantage.

November 29, 2017

Investors ‘risk’ buying Bitcoin at high prices: ECB Vice President

By Rebecca Campbell - November 29, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)


The vice president of the European Central Bank (ECB) has said that investors are taking a ‘risk’ by buying bitcoin at its high price.

Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, Vitor Constancio, said:

"It’s a very particular asset, it’s a speculative asset by definition looking to the developments in its price. Investors are taking that risk of buying at such high prices".

Constancio’s comments come at a time when the digital currency is experiencing a surge in value. Earlier today, it was reported that bitcoin had risen to over $11,000 along with a rise in various alt-coin prices. To date, the cryptocurrency has increased by over 1,000 percent, a colossal undertaking considering it was trading at $1,000 at the beginning of the year, and has overcome numerous obstacles.

Some, though, are still expecting great things from bitcoin. Mike Novogratz, a billionaire investor and hedge fund manager, believes that it could ‘easily’ rise to $40,000 by the end of 2018. However, at a recent conference in New York, he stated that it wouldn’t be easy getting there, adding:

"There will be wild crashes in it because you’re going to get to levels so far ahead of where the technology’s at".

Central banks, though, have continually been reluctant to embrace the market. The ECB vice president said earlier this month that digital currencies will never replace the fiat system, adding that they were a ‘misnomer‘ merely used as a speculative asset.

At the time, he stated:

"The so-called private ‘cryptocurrencies’ can never prevail as general money substitutes".

Mario Draghi, the ECB President, has also spoken about the digital currency market, claiming that they aren’t ‘mature‘ enough for the central bank to consider regulating them. More recently, Draghi stated that they pose little threat to the central bank-dependent financial system, despite the rise in the cryptocurrency market.

Not only that, but Constancio believes that central banks don’t need to take the digital currency market seriously. During the interview, he said:

"… in the sense that we don’t have responsibility or even instruments that point to particular prices of particular assets, that is certainly not the role of central banks".

Yet, regardless of the fact that the crypto market, in particular bitcoin, have been criticised by various financial CEOs, it looks as though it has its foot firmly in the door and isn’t going away anytime soon. Not only that, but we may soon be reading headlines that the combined crypto market has become more valuable than JPMorgans.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

1 Million Yen, 100 Million INR – Bitcoin sets new price milestones on International Markets

By Samuel Haig - November 28, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)


With all eyes on bitcoin’s meteoric break of $10,000, less attention has been paid to the price milestones recently established on leading international markets. In recent weeks, the CAD, AUD, NZD, and SGD pairings also surpassed $10,000, whilst a single bitcoin exceeds 500,000 RUB in Russia, 1 million JPY in Japan, 10 million KRW in South Korea, and 100 million IDR in Indonesia.

The Price of Bitcoin Exceeds 1 Million Yen in Japan


As Japan is currently host to more than 60% of global trading volume, reaching the seven-figure milestone on the JPY markets is a big deal for bitcoin. According to cryptocompare, bitcoin broke above one million JPY at approximately 7 pm on the 25th of November EDT. The current JPY/BTC price as of this writing approximately (1:30 am November 29th EDT) is roughly ¥1,300,000

Seven hours after bitcoin broke above one million JPY, the South Korean bitcoin markets reached 10,000,000 KRW for the first time ever. Currently, the Korean markets account for 10% of 24-hour trading volume, comprising the third-largest bitcoin market behind the United States. The current KRW/BTC price is approximately ₩12,600,000.

Bitcoin Tests $15,000 in Australian, Canadian, and Singaporean National Markets


With the exception of an anomalous spike in the AUD/BTC price at the end of October, cryptocompare’s price index indicates that AUD trade convincingly exceeded $10,000 for the first time on November 16th at 4 pm EDT. AUD trade comprises the fifth largest national market with roughly 0.45% of 24-hour bitcoin trade. The current AUD/BTC price is approximately $14,400.

Singapore hosts the seventh largest national bitcoin market equating for roughly 0.34% of total trade. The SGD/BTC price broke above $10,000 for the first time at 11 pm on November 15th EDT and is now currently trading for $14,300 approximately.

Canadian trade presently accounts for 0.2% of 24-hour trading volume, comprising the ninth largest national market. The CAD price of bitcoin broke above $10,000 for the first time at 2 am on November 17 EDT, with CAD/BTC currently trading for $13,300.

Other Major Price Milestones on International Markets


At approximately 11 pm on the 25th of November EDT, the price of bitcoin exceeding 150,000 ZAR in South Africa for the first time. ZAR trade comprises the eighth largest national bitcoin market – comprising 0.25% of 24-hour trade.The current ZAR/BTC price is approximately ZAR167,000.

Indonesia’s bitcoin markets comprise approximately 0.1% of 24-hour trading volume, currently making such the fourteenth largest national market. The IDR/BTC price broke above 100,000,000 rupees at 9 am on November 1st EST, and at approximately midnight on November 29th EDT established a new milestone of over 150,000,000 rupees.

Russian bitcoin prices broke above RUB 500,000 for the first time at 11 pm on November 25 EDT. RUB/BTC trading presently comprises the fifteenth largest national market, representing approximately 0.1% of 24-hour trading volume. Bitcoin is currently trading for approximately RUB 600,000 in Russia.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock



Samuel Haig

Samuel Haig is a cryptocurrency and economics journalist who has been passionately involved in the bitcoin space since 2012. Samuel has written about the disruptive potential of cryptocurrency with regards to the dialectical relations within contemporary neoliberal capitalism.

November 28, 2017

Bitcoin is a perfect currency, Beyond the reach of any nation-state or cooperative effort to defeat it - Max Keiser

By Ashour Iesho - November 27, 2017 (bitcoinist.com)


Although many experts still believe that Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency market as a whole, may be in a bubble state, Max Keiser believes that Bitcoin still has room to grow. 

CAN BITCOIN REACH $25,000?


Bitcoin is making headlines – again – as it continues to shatter milestone after milestone. Most recently, the popular digital currency passed the $9000 mark and is quickly edging toward $10,000. According to a recent article by RT, well-known American TV broadcaster Max Keiser believes that Bitcoin still has the potential to climb as high as $25,000 before having a correction.

Keiser stated:

"Up until that price is achieved it looks like we’ll see a pretty strong upward move".

He also believes that the huge inflation rate of major fiat currencies like the US dollar is causing Bitcoin to rapidly rise.

"I think we are seeing fiat currencies in a hyperinflationary collapse against bitcoin".

Keiser posits that one of the reasons behind Bitcoin’s price surge is because it is the perfect alternative to traditional financial systems that are used by banks and other financial institutions:

"Bitcoin is a perfect currency, something that is utterly changing the global finance and market and is putting banksters and the central banks out of business".

Many banks have expressed their desire to work with blockchain technology, but most of them are not yet open to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The reason behind their reluctance is the fact that banks cannot regulate – and therefore cannot control – the popular decentralized cryptocurrency.

GOVERNMENTS CAN’T STOP IT


Another interesting use case for Bitcoin is bypassing government controls and sanctions. Since many countries around the world are currently under financial sanctions, Bitcoin is an easy and efficient way for them to surpass these restrictions. Max Keiser thinks that the fact that governments can’t stop Bitcoin, is giving it immensely value and trust.

"That’s something that no central bank or country will be able to stop, and it’s becoming a real scenario, a real threat".

An interesting remark that Keiser made in the article, is that Bitcoin might become a “financial black hole” where people are rushing to sell stocks and bonds and transfer that money into the decentralized cryptocurrency. If that happens, there is the very real possibility of a stock market or bond market crash, perhaps even both.


November 26, 2017

Bitcoin will be safe haven during next stock market crash, Says expert

By Gareth Jenkinson - November 26, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


As Bitcoin powered ahead to a new high for a second week in a row, some have speculated that institutional investors could seek safe haven in the virtual currency in the future. The prevailing rhetoric over the past month has been more affirming than damning of cryptocurrencies, with the likes of Ronnie Moas and Max Keiser predicting new highs in 2018. Speaking to RT, eToro analyst Mikhail Mashchenko says financial institutions could look to Bitcoin if a major financial crash hits global markets.

“The demand for Bitcoin is growing as the crypto market has become less volatile, and an increasing number of professional investors see it as insurance.”

Second-oldest bull market


The current bull market in stocks is the second-longest in history, according to Fortune, having lasted 104 months so far. The longest bull market in history ended in 2000 after an impressive 113 month run. With the current rally getting a bit long in the tooth, many on Wall Street are making contingency plans for the stock market’s inevitable turn. If Mashchenko is right, Bitcoin will have a role in some of these plans.

Shifting opinions


Mashchenko’s statements come on the back of changing sentiment in the mainstream financial sector. Last week, JP Morgan Chase announced plans to offer Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange - an important move by one of the biggest banking and financial services providers in America. Even more satisfying, this moves comes only months after Chase CEO Jamie Dimon condemned Bitcoin as a scam.

Online banking service providers and exchange operators LedgerX and Revolut are also adopting Bitcoin support. The former was recently cleared to offer Bitcoin derivatives as people look to do more than just trade the cryptocurrency.

“LedgerX launched its first long-term options for Bitcoin, with an expiration date of December 28, 2018. In the coming months, we will continue to see the ‘domestication’ of Bitcoin: the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are planning to launch tools based on the cryptocurrency in the near future.”

Big money


If and when a stream of institutional investors start investing large amounts of capital into cryptocurrencies, some of the stunning predictions made by Bitcoin bulls could well be realised. However, Mashchenko’s prediction was quite conservative, suggesting that Bitcoin reaching a $10,000 high by the end of 2017 would be driven by emotion rather than fundamentals:

“We could see a Bitcoin at $10,000 in a month or so. However, such a surge will be based on emotions, not on fundamental factors. So, further growth of the cryptocurrency will require something more than euphoria.”

Having hit the $8,000 mark last week, Bitcoin surged another $1,000 dollars in just a few days, breaching the $9,000 level during the Thanksgiving weekend. At press time, the price of Bitcoin sits at $9,500, just $500 below Mashcenko’s predicted level.

November 18, 2017

Pump and Dump - Know the signs when trading Altcoins

By Carter Graydon - September 07, 2014 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)


Like penny stocks traded on the NYSE or those on pink sheets, cryptocurrency is a prime target for pump and dump scams. For those with buying power, it’s an easy way to get rich quick by inflating the price. For everyone else, nine out of ten times, you will lose. This is one of several reasons people are afraid to trust Bitcoin.

For those of you who don’t know how the pump and dump works, it’s fairly straight forward. They are also illegal in the market, though federal agencies do not actively protect Bitcoin users.

Pump and dump scams involve two groups of people. First there are the players who artificially increase the price of a coin by promoting or endorsing it. They’ve spent several minutes, hours or even days buying up cheap coins, and when they are ready to dump them, they build up the buzz.

As buzz around the coin gains momentum, trading volume increase and the coins value goes up. You are both the pump and dumper. Once the coin hits a desired price the players sell all their coins, and people begin to panic sell, dumping their coins on the market and sending the price plummeting.

It’s not too difficult to detect a coin that’s being primed for a pump and dump. You’ll often see buying patterns like the ones in this graph. The price is falling and rising just slightly each time the players buy, loading up on the cheap coins without drawing too much attention.


Once they’ve purchase the coins the players head to the forums and chat boxes to talk up their coin of choice. They’ll use several different accounts, and there can be many players involved helping make this look real. The  coin will be talked up until there is a buzz and people start buying – this is when the pumping happens. The chatter picks up on trading platforms, and people start purchasing the coin and pumping the price skyward. This fuels the buzz even further, and more people begin purchasing.

Once the coin hits a high point, the players will start selling off their coins, but not all of them at once – this signals the dumping process is about to begin. It can happen in a matter of seconds or be dragged out over hours. Players will sell small amounts of coins as fast as they can without dragging the price down until their out. Once the players are out, a panic sell begins, and this is when the dumping process happens. The price is no longer climbing the volume is down, and people start realizing their own sell orders aren’t getting filled. Panic sellers will sell below the market value just to get out, and this can send the coin’s value crashing to the floor.

The players are the ones getting rich, and they have the capital and knowledge to do so, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose out every time.

If you are able to spot a coin that’s being prepped for a pump and dump, you can purchase cheap coins yourself. If you were able to grab up some coins before the pump starts, you can make money if you’re not greedy. It shouldn’t be hard to make decent profit in five minutes if you’ve spotted the signs early.

If you come late to the party and the coin has already begun being pumped, but still in the early stages, you still can make a profit. Your risk will be greater and your profit smaller, but if your enter and exit fast the market fast you should be able to expect a modest return.

There are many people offering to “let you in” on the next coin to be pumped and dumped for a fee. Some people charge as little as .5 Bitcoins, but is it worth it?

Most of these are scams in order to get your Bitcoins. They will tell you what coin is going to be targeted but do nothing because they don’t need to. They have already made their profit. At .5 Bitcoins, with only five subscribers these people have already made over $2,000, which is about what you’d expect to make on pumping and dumping a coin, but now there is no risk.

Even if these offers for insider trading – that’s what it is – were real, and they did pump and dump the coin, you’d have to invest a significant amount of money to see a return of half a Bitcoin. Which means greater risk for you and a smaller return.

Always remember:

Buy the rumor.

Sell the news.

Information provided in this article is not intended to constitute an invitation or an inducement to engage in any investment activity. Featured image by Shutterstock. 

Posted by Carter Graydon
A UNC Chapel Hill graduate, blockchain enthusiast and analyst. I have a background in programming and IT, strong studies in econ, stats and game theory. Currently working as a Social Media Director and pursuing my MS in Online Marketing – busy!

November 15, 2017

Massive Hedge Fund likely to begin trading Bitcoin

By David Dinkins - November 15, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


Reuters reports that Man Group, a UK-based hedge fund, will be getting involved in Bitcoin trading if CME Group’s plans to open a regulated futures exchange are approved. According to Business Insider, Man Group is “one of the largest hedge funds in the world” and the fund’s website points out that they manage $103.5 bln in funds.




































Effects


Even a fraction of $103.5 bln could make a big impact on the markets, but more important, Man Group’s announcement continues to solidify digital currency as being worth of Wall Street’s attention. Bitcoin in particular is finding more and more acceptance in traditional markets. Likewise, futures markets and hedge fund involvement create more on-ramps into the mainstream financial system and more ways for large but cautious investors to get involved.

Hedge funds are only open to accredited investors, that is, those whose net worth exceeds $1 mln. However, such funds have a much wider latitude to trade whatever types of assets or instruments it thinks would be profitable for its clients. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are open to regular retail investors but have greater restrictions as to how they can invest their funds.

The holy grail for retail investors would be an exchange traded fund, or ETF. A Bitcoin ETF would allow ordinary investors to easily gain exposure to Bitcoin by adding it to their brokerage or retirement accounts. Greater acceptance by Wall Street and greater liquidity on regulated futures markets, such as CME’s, will almost certainly usher in an ETF.

October 31, 2017

Bitcoin-related jobs booming along with Bitcoin

By Darryn Pollock - October 31, 2017 ()


International employment marketplace Freelancer has noted that Bitcoin-related jobs are the highest growers, hitting 82 percent growth in the third quarter alone.


The company's periodic report tracks top trends in online jobs based on the listings on its Freelancer.com platform.

ICO boom


Freelancer notes that a lot of the growth is coming from companies that are looking for freelancers to design new coins, essentially helping them launch ICOs.

"People are getting freelancers to design new types of cryptocurrencies," Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer, said.

One of the main skills for which companies are looking is the ability to manage an ICO. ICOs have been seen to be highly lucrative, and many are popping up all over the place. However, recent regulations have slowed down the frenzy.

It is not only the developers and designers of these new coins that are in such high demand for new ICOs according to Freelancer. Employers are looking for people to create new cryptocurrencies but also to write proposal plans for technologies employing Blockchain.

Cryptography


The related field of cryptography saw the number of job listings rise 59 percent in the third quarter, according to Freelancer. Cryptography is essentially the underlying theory upon which the Blockchain and by extension Bitcoin is based.

It is not only useful in cryptocurrency, but it is also a skill that has played a significant role in Internet security and privacy.

Job quality


Not only is their a higher demand for crypto-workers, but the jobs on offer are also decidedly better than most in a similar field.

A report done in September found cryptocurrency jobs pay, on average, 10 to 20 percent more than the industry norm. Further, they offer better benefits.

Second, cryptocurrency companies have far more flexible remote working perks. In fact, within cryptocurrency companies, employees are 22 percent more likely to have remote working freedom.

Third, cryptocurrency companies and especially ICOs offer far superior liquidity options. Typical equity positions require a liquidity event in order to be sold and have complex restrictions. ICOs generally offer employees coins as part equity positions. While those coins may still have some restrictions, they are far more liquid than options.

October 21, 2017

LedgerX Bitcoin Derivatives Trades Explode Past $1 Mln Following Soft Launch

By Jon Buck - October 21, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)


The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. The demand for ways to trade Bitcoin beyond simply buying and selling has become crystal clear by the trading spike on the LedgerX platform this past week.

 In July, LedgerX received full approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to become a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). While the initial announcement was met with little fanfare, the impact on investors will be massive.

 The company announced via their blog this week that the platform has gone live with a ‘soft launch.’ The company on boarded several institutions and opened doors for trading. The response was huge, with over $1 mln being trading in the first week alone. According to the company:

 “…we ended up completing swaps and options trades worth over $1,000,000 USD. Crucially, these trades were cleared through LedgerX, which is the only institutional grade, US federally regulated exchange and clearinghouse for digital currencies. And we are literally just getting started.”

 The explosion in trading simply shows the massive level of demand that is underpinning the market at this time. Coupled with the recent price spike and stability over $6,000, these signs indicate a strong bull market for the near term.