Showing posts with label speculation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label speculation. Show all posts

December 22, 2017

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 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

Coinbase adds Bitcoin Cash as price soars, Bitcoin dips

By Jon Buck - December 20, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)

After a veiled suggestion from president Asiff Hirji that Coinbase would potentially add other assets, the exchange has officially launched support for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), according to the company’s blog post.

The addition is a welcome Christmas gift for those who held Bitcoin (BTC) in Coinbase wallets on August 1 when the BCH fork occurred. Users who had BTC at the time of the fork have received an equal amount of BCH in the newly created wallets.

After previously refusing to support the coin, the company promised that BCH support would come before the end of the year.

The blog post also made clear that Coinbase employees have been restricted from trading BCH on the site for a number of weeks prior to the announcement. Nevertheless, accusations of insider trading have hit Twitter.

hey @coinbase , @GDAX and @brian_armstrong by being part of a product index for @CMEGroup you agreed to certain rules. Since bch news was clearly leaked around 2:30pm CST to certain parties. this qualifies as insider trading. Hope you enjoy the incoming complaints.

— I am Nomad (@IamNomad) December 20, 2017

Price jump, confusion


After the announcement, Bitcoin Cash’s price almost immediate jumped to over $3,000 on huge volume.


Interestingly, GDAX, the Coinbase affiliated site for trading, showed a startling price of $9,500 per BCH, though trading on the site was halted.


The Coinbase site showed the more widely published pricing. At press time, BCH was trading at $3,185, per the Coinbase site.

At press time, Bitcoin was trading at $17,000, having dropped from $19,000 to a low of $15,700 before partially recovering.

December 14, 2017

What is Ripple and why is it beating both Bitcoin and Litecoin?

By Chris Morris - December 14, 2017 (www.bitcointalkradio.com)


Forget Bitcoin. So long Litecoin. There’s a new cryptocurrency on the rise.

Ripple, which was designed for banks and global money transfers, has seen the value of its XRP digital currency skyrocket in the past three days. On Dec. 10, the company had a market capitalization of just over $9 billion. As of Wednesday morning, that market cap had more than doubled to $18.1 billion.

Prices for an individual Ripple XRP are considerably more affordable than its alternatives, making it even more attractive to cryptocurrency speculators. As of late Wednesday morning, a single XRP cost just 47 cents, a 66% jump from yesterday’s close, according to CoinMarketCap.

This surge has pushed Litecoin down to the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency. Both Ripple and Litecoin are still far below Bitcoin and Ethereum, however.

What is Ripple?


While it wasn’t released until 2012, Ripple is actually older than Bitcoin. The original version of the company was created in 2004, according to Bitcoin Magazine. It never really went anywhere, though, until it put a professional management team in place, which included E-Loan co-founder Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb, founder of MtGox.

Ripple’s cryptocurrency has been adopted by banks and other financial institutions. Those companies believe Ripple’s system offers both better prices and is more secure than other digital currencies, including Bitcoin. It allows users to send, receive, and hold any currency in a decentralized way via the Ripple network. The company is cash-flow positive and holds a vast store of XRP, which it periodically releases into the market.

But the real appeal of Ripple’s XRP for banks is its liquidity.

“The liquidity needs of banks today is managed with literally ten trillion of float that sits in these nostro and vostro accounts. We believe very strong this is an inefficient model. You can use digital assets to fund liquidity, and Ripple is uniquely positioned to capitalize on that. Bitcoin takes four hours to settle a transaction. XRP takes 3.6 seconds,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Fortune earlier this year.

Why is Ripple surging?


Ripple’s rise seems to be a (pardon the pun) ripple effect from the surge of interest in Bitcoin. Investors who believe cryptocurrency may be reaching a peak are looking for others that could provide a greater return in the long term. The company has hit some notable milestones in recent months, though.

As of October, Ripple had licensed its blockchain technology to over 100 banks. Last month, American Express came on board. And Michael Arrington’s $100 million cryptocurrency hedge fund will be valued in Ripple’s XRP.

How much has Ripple grown in 2017?


Year to date, Ripple’s XRP has seen its value jump more than 7,000% and its market cap increase by nearly 7,700%.

The Bitcoin bubble – how we know it will burst

December 07, 2017 (theconversation.com)

Ready to pop? Adam Dachis/flickr, CC BY

In the last year, the price of Bitcoin has increased from less than US$800 to more than US$12,000. This huge spike in value has many asking if it is a bubble or if the high price today is here to stay.

Finance defines a bubble as a situation where the price of an asset diverges systematically from its fundamentals. Investment mogul Jack Bogle says there is nothing to support Bitcoin, and the head of JP MorganChase, Jamie Dimon has called it a fraud “worse than tulip bulbs”.

Like any asset, Bitcoin has some fundamental value, even if only a hope value, or a value arising from scarcity. So there are reasons to hold it. But our research does show that it is experiencing a bubble right now.

Together with Shaen Corbet at Dublin City University, we took as the fundamentals of Bitcoin elements of the technology that underpins it (and other cryptocurrencies). We looked at measures, which represent the key theoretical and computational components of how cyrptocurrencies are priced.

New Bitcoin is created by a process of mining units called blocks. Bitcoin is built on blockchain technology – a digital ledger of transactions – which enables the currency to be traded independently from any central banking system, without risk of fake or duplicate Bitcoins being used. Instead of having a bank verify pending transactions (a “block”), miners check them and, if approved, the block is cryptographically added to the ever-expanding ledger.

So the first measure we examined relates to mining difficulty. It calculates how difficult it is to find a new block relative to the past. As per the Bitcoin Protocol, the number of Bitcoin is capped at 21m (there are currently 16.7m in circulation). This means that as more people mine for Bitcoin and more blocks are created, each block is, all things being equal, worth less than the previous block.

Bitcoin mining affects the cryptocurrency’s values. shutterstock.com

The second measure we looked at relates to the “hash rate”. This is the speed at which a computer operates when mining. To successfully mine Bitcoin, you must come up with a 64-digit hexadecimal number (called a “hash”), which is less than or equal to the target hash. The faster you can do this, the better chance you have of finding the next block and receiving payment.

The third measurement was “block size”. This relates to how large the chain is at any given time, with larger chains taking longer to mine than shorter ones.

And lastly we looked at the volume of transactions conducted. Any asset, in particular any currency, which is more widely used will be more valuable than one which is used less frequently.

In our study, we examined data from Bitcoin’s early days – from July 2010 to November 2017. The price of one Bitcoin did not rise above US$1 until April 16, 2011, then to US$10 on June 3, 2011 and US$100 on April 2, 2013. Since then the price rise has clearly been exceptional.

Price of Bitcoin

Source: Data: investing.com






We then applied an accepted method that is used to detect and date stamp bubbles after they burst. In essence, this involves identifying the existence of an explosive component in a series. As the series, here the price of bitcoin, “explodes”, it runs the risk, like any explosion, of flying apart.

A possibly counter-intuitive result of this approach is that if a fundamental driver and the price of an asset both show an explosive component, we might not conclude a bubble is present. A bubble is when something deviates from its fundamental value. If the fundamental value is itself growing explosively then the price would also.

Think of dividends on a stock. If, somehow, these were to grow at an explosive rate we might expect to see the price do the same. While unsustainable, this is not technically a bubble. To overcome this, we then date stamp a bubble as being present when the price shows an explosive component and the underlying fundamentals do not.

Here are the results of the analysis:

The Bitcoin Bubbles. Authors own calculations


The orange lines denote when the price is showing explosive behaviour. We also see a period where the hash rate was growing explosively – the blue columns in late 2013 and early 2014. This is also an indication of a price bubble, which went on to burst.

So there are clear points where bubbles are visible – including now. The price of Bitcoin at present shows explosive behaviour in the absence of anything similar in its fundamentals. We see the price moving upwards in a manner that is not related to the technical underpinnings. It is a clear bubble.

A weakness of these tests and indeed all bubble identification tests is that they take place after the bubble has burst. Even this test, which can be redone as swiftly as new data arrives, is such. Bubbles by their nature grow in a compound manner – so even a day or two delay in addressing the situation can make a bubble significantly worse.

What is not yet available is an accurate advanced warning bubble indicator. In its absence, this approach may be the best. Unfortunately, we cannot use this approach to determine the extent of the bubble. There is no well-accepted model that suggests a “fair” value for Bitcoin. But whatever that level is, it is almost certain that, at present, it is well below where we are now.

December 02, 2017

Meme Chart Mania - Is this the tip of the iceberg or have we already hit peak Bitcoin?

By Kai Sedgwick - December 02, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)


The White House discussing bitcoin. The Big Bang Theory discussing bitcoin. Katy Perry and Warren Buffet discussing bitcoin. Bitcoin web searches exceeding those for Donald Trump. There’s no such thing as a quiet week in bitcoin, but even by its usual agitated standards, this one’s been noisy. Celebrity hangers-on come and go and generic sitcoms move on, but bitcoin refuses to let up. By all reckoning, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But what if we’re all wrong? What if it turns out that this is as good as it gets?

Just the Tip


Everyone’s got a favorite bitcoin chart. It doesn’t matter what data it displays – trading volume; dollar price; transactions; wallet addresses – because the key takeaway is always the same: this is only the beginning. This is just a fraction of the growth we’ll see once the normies pile in. This is just the tip. Just hold, we’re told, and by this time next year we’ll be sitting pretty. Five years from now and we’ll all be driving whichever meme car happens to be de rigueur among crypto’s nouveau rich.

Bitcoin is just beginning.
In the interests of playing devil’s advocate, however, let’s consider the alternative. There’s a case for saying that 2017 will go down as the year we hit Peak Bitcoin, followed by a gradual decline as the world lost interest, the proles returning to their mind-numbing TV shows, the White House focusing on its latest bête noire and investors fixating on the latest asset class to promise sick profits. We’ll inspect that side of the coin in a moment, but first, let’s hear the case for bitcoin.

The Age of Bitcoin is Just Beginning


Since everyone’s got a favorite chart, let’s scrutinize a selection that shows bitcoin’s incredible growth and huge potential. Highly respected crypto assets author Chris Burniske produced the following chart which suggests we’re at the frenzy phase of cryptocurrency. If you thought the last few weeks were wild, you ain’t seen nothing.


Then there’s the following effort from Blockchair which shows the number of bitcoin addresses that are loaded with satoshis. Like most bitcoin-related charts from 2017, this one is exponential.


If the last couple of graphs weren’t exponential enough for you, try this one for size. The Wall Street Journal compared bitcoin’s stellar ascent to every other modern asset class and came up wanting. Nothing like this has ever been seen before, and may never be seen again in our lifetime. Bitcoin in 2017 is so steep it’s almost vertical.


Bitcoin is literally off the charts. This raw data is bolstered by the quotes of investors, analysts, and experts who all see bitcoin going parabolic. “Over the next 10 years the cryptocurrency market will explode… I actually believe that nations will begin issuing digital currencies,” said Chris Concannon on Wednesday.

Between January and November, trading volume at Bitstamp increased by 1,384%. Everyone and their grandmother is now buying bitcoin according to the WSJ.

The Counter-Argument: Peak Bitcoin is Already Here


Two rich white people discussing 
cryptocurrency.
But enough of the bitcoin back-slapping – it’s time to play devil’s advocate. Imagine, for a moment, that 2018 were to unfold as follows:

January: Futures trading rolls out, but proving the maxim “buy on the rumor, sell on the news”, an overbought bitcoin market slumps to $8,000 and a bear phase sets in.

February: Following months of speculation over its balance sheet, Bitfinex/Tether collapses, taking over a billion dollars in customer funds with it.

March: A successful terror attack on American soil, funded from the Middle East using bitcoin, prompts President Trump to issue a crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

There’s more, but you get the gist. Okay, so even the most bullish of bitcoiners isn’t pretending there won’t be obstacles in the road or temporary setbacks. But here’s the thing: none of those nightmarish scenarios could play out and bitcoin could still slump. The wall-to-wall media coverage can’t last forever. The exponential growth can’t last forever. And the sitcom appearances and celebrity endorsements certainly can’t last forever. What happens when the hype fades and the circus packs up and leaves town?

There’s just one chart that needs produced to argue the bear case for bitcoin:


Yep, it’s that one again. What if, rather than the “media attention” phase, we’re actually at the “new paradigm” stage? If so, 2018 promises to be no less enthralling, even if it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Focusing on the price of bitcoin, while headline-grabbing, misses the bigger picture. To the virtual currency’s true believers, it doesn’t matter whether bitcoin goes up, down, or sideways next year. What matters is that the cat is out of the bag.

Cryptocurrency, as a store of value, a means of purchase, a form of remittance, and anything else one may care to use it for, has been normalized. Whether we’re driving Lambos or Ladas 12 months from now doesn’t matter. The days of government-issued fiat currency – or “snail paper” as Erik Vorhees recently called it – are numbered. Bear or bull, bottom or top of the curve, bitcoin is here to stay.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wall Street Journal, Blockchair, and Chris Burnsiske.


Kai Sedgwick

Kai's been assembling words for a living since 2009 and bought his first bitcoin at $19. It's long gone. He's previously written white papers for blockchain startups and is especially interested in P2P exchanges and DNMs.

November 30, 2017

Bitcoin Correction Back Below $10,000

By DataDash - November 30, 2017 (www.youtube.com)

Is there a possibility of Bitcoin going down to 5,000 or 6,000 level?

https://youtu.be/aF5zdVsjO6Q

Bitcoin is a vehicle for fraudsters, warns Goldman Sachs boss

By Angela Monaghan - November 30, 2017 (www.theguardian.com)

 Bitcoin reached $11,395 on Wednesday only to fall to a low of $9,000 on Thursday.
Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

CEO Lloyd Blankfein attacks cryptocurrency after value dives 20% in a day, saying bank will not get involved until it becomes less volatile.

Bitcoin reached $11,395 on Wednesday only to fall to a low of $9,000 on Thursday. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images


The boss of Goldman Sachs became the latest high-profile critic of bitcoin, claiming it was a vehicle to commit fraud as the value of the cryptocurrency plunged 20% in less than 24 hours.

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of the US investment bank, said: “Something that moves 20% [overnight] does not feel like a currency. It is a vehicle to perpetrate fraud.”


His comments came during another wildly volatile trading session for the digital currency, which plunged by over $2,000 in a 24-hour period. Having topped $11,000 to reach a new record high of $11,395 on Wednesday, it fell to a low of $9,000 on Thursday, before picking up slightly later in the day.

Blankfein said Goldman did not need to have a bitcoin strategy, adding the digital currency would need to be a lot less volatile and a lot more liquid to justify closer attention.

“When do I have to have a bitcoin strategy? Not today. Life must be really rosy if that is what we are talking about,” he said. “Bitcoin is not for me. A lot of things that have not been for me in the past 20 years have worked out, but I am not guessing that this will work out.”

Blankfein is the latest boss of a major bank to voice scepticism about bitcoin, after JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, described it as fraud that would ultimately blow up and said it was only fit for use by drug dealers, murderers and people living in places such as North Korea.

On Wednesday, Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, said the digital currency was too small to pose a systemic threat to the global economy. He also cautioned that bitcoin investors needed “to do their homework”.

Despite the fall in bitcoin’s value on Thursday, it remained far higher than it was at the start of 2017, when it was trading at $998. It is the biggest gainer of all asset classes this year, prompting sceptics to declare it a classic speculative bubble that could burst.

Banks and other financial institutions remain concerned about bitcoin’s early associations with money laundering and online crime. Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin is not issued or regulated by a central bank or government.


Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at online trading company Interactive Investor, said the volatility in bitcoin trading was “wild west stuff”.

“Cryptocurrency land’s extreme volatility is like catnip to high-risk traders, and even traditional investors are dipping their toe. Given there’s no logical way to value them with any accuracy, this remains wild west stuff.”

Analysts at the spread betting firm, City Index, said: “While traditional assets are experiencing historically low levels of volatility, the whipsaw action of the bitcoin is drawing the attention of traditional traders. Meanwhile existing traders and newcomers are increasingly interested in fear of missing out.”

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.

November 19, 2017

NEO surges to $44 with vague Tweet hyping an upcoming announcement

NEO has surged by over 50%, trading at $44 after a tweet by a council member made vague claims about an upcoming announcement.

By Hunain Naseer - November 18, 2017 (cryptovest.com)

NEO went through the roof overnight, recording gains of more than 50% and is currently trading at $44, up from around $28 just yesterday. The surge seems to be related to a vague tweet from Malcolm Lerider, a member of the NEO Council.

The message, which is in Mandarin, has been roughly translated to mean:

"Moving forward, never stopping, when you have read this, you are one with neo, let's change the world together 3 days to an announcement 3 lifetimes of blessing"

Though not very clear, the message has fueled bullish sentiment in the community as trading volume went from just under $41 million on Thursday, to over $252 million on Friday, and is currently over $400 million. NEO’s market cap has also gained around $1 billion over the last 24 hours.

There is a lot of speculation around an upcoming announcement to do with China’s ban on ICOs, and some in the community believe NEO may reveal a partnership of sorts, becoming the go-to token for new ICOs seeking to raise capital in the country.

Additionally, Monday also marks the release date of the NEX whitepaper, (NEX is an upcoming decentralized crypto exchange), which would detail how the decentralized exchange will work, and may even be accompanied by a much-awaited announcement about its ICO, which is expected to utilize the token sale legal framework developed by the NEO Council.

According to an official announcement by the City of Zion (CoZ) last month:

“NEX platform is built on a completely new protocol developed within the NEO ecosystem, utilising the best features NEO platform has to offer. NEX will consist of a reference exchange application, which will make it easy for developers building exchanges and payment services, to integrate with the NEX protocol.”

It remains to be seen what big announcement comes out on Monday, and at this point, it’s anybody’s guess. However, if this turns out to be false hype, it will damage NEO’s reputation and buyers entering the market at this stage may regret it.

If there is a major positive announcement regarding NEO’s integration into the China-ICO story, we may see prices rising even higher and easily surpassing NEO’s previous all-time-high.

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 14, 2017

After rollercoaster crypto price weekend, European Union issues two ICO warnings

By C. Edward Kelso - November 14, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)


European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued two same-day warnings concerning initial coin offerings (ICO) on 13 November after the preceding weekend was witness to dramatic swings in prices and volatility. One release is geared toward investors and the other is aimed at participating firms. 

ESMA Warns ICO Investors


In what might be taken as a response to a rollercoaster weekend for cryptocurrency markets, where bitcoin cash traded places with ethereum, and bitcoin shed billions, ESMA has issued two same-day statements regarding ICOs.

Dated 13 November 2017, ESMA50-157-829 focuses its attention on investors. “If you are considering investing in ICOs or have already done so, be aware of the many risks this may entail,” ESMA begins, “including the total loss of your investment. In particular, be aware that you will have no protection,” they note.

ICOs are indeed largely unregulated in the traditional sense, having gained great traction this year as at least a tail in the price-comet that is bitcoin.


“ESMA has observed a rapid growth,” they write, “and is concerned that investors may not realise the high risks that they are taking.” “ICOs are highly speculative investments,” and “depending on how they are structured, may fall outside of the regulated space, in which case investors do not benefit from the protection,” they reiterate.

The regulatory arm is one of the three European Supervisory Authorities within the European System of Financial Supervisors bureaucracy.

They continue, “ICOs are also vulnerable to fraud or illicit activities, owing to their anonymity and their capacity to raise large amounts of money in a short timeframe.” Risks include the above along with money laundering, losing one’s entire capital, lack of exit options and price volatility, inadequate access to information, and fundamental flaws in early, untested technologies, the body urges.

“Virtually anyone who has access to the Internet can participate in an ICO,” they point out.

ESMA Warns Participating ICO Firms


ESMA50-157-828 is decidedly more stern in its tone. Issued the same day, it urges firms “to meet relevant regulatory requirements.” In a cat-and-mouse, near Orwellian turn of phrase, they argue, “If their activities constitute a regulated activity, firms have to comply with the relevant legislation and any failure to comply with the applicable rules would constitute a breach.”

This might be very difficult for firms to ascertain, especially when the very same body refers to them as “unregulated.” Keen readers might ask, are such offerings regulated or not?


Some clarification might be had in the following: “where the coins or tokens qualify as financial instruments it is likely that the firms involved in ICOs conduct regulated investment activities, such as placing, dealing in or advising on financial instruments or managing or marketing collective investment schemes,” the body details. These too seem rather broad and vague.

The memorandum then sets out some basic guidelines for firms. A prospectus is urged among start-ups in the field, containing “necessary information which is material to an investor for making an informed assessment of the facts and that the information shall be presented in an easily analysable and comprehensible form,” ESMA advises.

It continues in this manner, imploring firms to also be transparent in their organizational dealings and structure along with complying with anti-money laundering regulations. “Firms have an obligation to report any suspicious activity and to co-operate with any investigations by relevant public authorities,” they say.

Images courtesy of: Pixabay, Balint Porneczi, ESMA.


C. Edward Kelso

C. Edward Kelso is a long-time fintech journalist, passionately covering the cryptocurrency space since 2014.