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Bitcoin

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Prominent bitcoin advocate and author Andreas Antonopoulos believes that a crypto-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF) is inevitable, but will ultimately do more harm than good for peer-to-peer money. According to this view, proponents of virtual currency should stop debating whether regulators will approve a bitcoin ETF and start considering the long-term implications of securitization.

Pseudo-Centralization

Although there are many reasons why Antonopoulos rejects the idea of a bitcoin ETF, the core of his argument stems from the underlying principle of decentralization. A bitcoin ETF, while inevitable in his view, induces pseudo-centralization that could have negative effects on the market’s long-term health.

“ETFs fundamentally violates the underlying principle of peer-to-peer money, where each user is not operating through a custodian but has direct control of their money because they have direct control of their keys,” Antonopoulos says, as quoted by CCN.

An ETF would concentrate influence and decision-making power in the hands of the custodians, who hold bitcoin keys on behalf of their investors (under an ETF model, investors hold no keys and have no role in the ecosystem).

While crypto purists have conveyed similar concerns, most investors are preoccupied with what regulators think the bitcoin market should look like for securitization to be granted. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes the bitcoin market lacks the liquidity, size and manipulation constraints needed for securitization. To be fair, their judgment has been applied to funds that purport to track bitcoin futures as opposed to physical units of the digital currency. A recent application by VanEck and SolidX attempts to overcome these issues by tracking underlying bitcoin and insuring the fund against loss or theft. The SEC is expected to deliver its ruling on the VanEck/SolidX fund later this month.

Intermediary vs. Real Investment

In Antonopoulos’ view, the eventual passing of a bitcoin ETF will create two classes of institutional investors: those with the technical prowess to actually own physical units of bitcoin and those who depend solely on intermediaries like futures and ETFs.

At the moment, it appears that institutional demand is pivoting toward intermediaries, with banks, hedge funds and day traders gravitating toward bitcoin futures and other indirect investments. Several fund managers ranging from ProShares to Direxion and up to the Winklevoss brothers, who own and manage the Gemini Exchange, are pushing hard to make bitcoin ETFs a reality. This is where much of the institutional debate lingers.

The first wave of institutionalization via bitcoin futures appear to have had mixed results. On the one hand, the futures market has contributed to a sharp drop in bitcoin’s underlying volatility. On the other hand, it gave traders the power to short BTC with relative ease, which many believe has actually been responsible for bitcoin’s decline since December. To be sure, futures have probably played a very minor role in the bitcoin price due to underlying liquidity constraints in the market. There simply aren’t enough futures trades being placed to cause the earth-moving collapse in bitcoin’s price over the past eight months. That said, there’s no going around the fact that short positions have dominated the futures market since launch. Case in point: CME’s bitcoin futures contract recently recorded its smallest-ever bearish position at -1,266 contracts. That’s still a net short position.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 587 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Analysis

The steep segment-wide decline that started yesterday continued today, with all of the major cryptocurrencies falling overnight, most of them by double-digits. Ethereum continues to lead the way lower, and the second largest coin hit the lowest level since last September after the expected breakdown.

Bitcoin’s, still relatively strong technical position also deteriorated and now the short-term picture in the segment is overwhelmingly bearish, similarly to the long-term setup, which hasn’t changed despite the recent rally. The leaders of the counter-trend move are also sporting heavy losses, although Dash, Monero, IOTA, and even the weaker Litecoin and Ripple are all above the August lows.

A successful test of the lows by the stronger coins would be a positive long-term sign, while all eyes will be on the key $5850 level in Bitcoin if the selloff continues. For now, traders should still remain defensive, since the dominant bearish long-term is in play again, and another leg lower in the top coins is the most likely scenario for the coming weeks.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin clearly broke below the short-term trendline during the second wave of selling, and it also broke violated the key $6750 level in the process, triggering a short-term sell signal in our trend model. The coin remains relatively strong from a short-term perspective, but the failed rally attempts of the recent months are not positive for bulls, and another test of the key zone near $5850 would be a negative sign. BTC bounced of the key $6275 support in early trading, and another weaker zone is found near $6000 while primary resistance is now ahead at $6500.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum confirmed its severe relative weakness again, breaking below the August low near the $260 level as expected, and it also fell below the next support level at $235 overnight. The coins decline has been a major drag on the whole segment, and the total value of the market got back to $200 billion today in early trading, even as most of the smaller altcoins are above their respective lows. The next major support level is found near $205, with another, stronger zone at $180, and as the steep downtrend is clearly intact, traders should still away from the coin.

No Safe-Haven Among Altcoins

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple continued yesterday’s breakdown overnight, plunging below $0.30, but it remained above the $0.26 low, slightly outperforming the bearish leader ETH. XRP is also in a structural bear market, with our trend model on a sell signal both the short- and long-term, and a test of the lows is very likely in the coming days. The next main support zone is near $0.23, while further resistance is ahead between $0.3130 and $0.32 and near $0.35.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin erased most of its recent gains after breaking below the short-term uptrend line yesterday, and the coin is now likely headed for the test of the August lows. LTC is back below the key $56 support/résistance level as well, and as the long-term setup remained clearly bearish despite the rally, another leg lower is possible in the coming period. Below the $51levle and the August low, the $44 level provides the next main level of support, while key resistance is ahead at $64.

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Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 333 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s precipitous drop intensified on Thursday, dragging other cryptocurrencies down with it as investors reacted to reports that Goldman Sachshttps://hacked.com/goldman-sachs-reneges-on-crypto-trading-desk-prices-tank/ is scrapping plans to launch a crypto trading desk.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price reached a low of $6,302.20 on Bitfinex, virtually offsetting last week’s gains. At press time, BTC was down 4.9% at $6,373. Its 24-hour losses amounted to 10.2%. Last week, BTC peaked above $7,400.

Bitcoin’s sudden reversal has pushed the asset deep into oversold levels, according to the 4-hour relative strength index. Price action indicators also convey underlying weakness, with the 50-day moving average trekking sharply downward. The bitcoin price now sits roughly $300 below its 200-day moving average.

At current values, BTC is capitalized at $110.8 billion compared with recent highs north of $124 billion. The coin’s share of the overall cryptocurrency market soared to 54.9%, the highest of the year. Bitcoin’s dominance rate previously peaked around 54.5% on Aug. 14.

Altcoins Plunge

Altcoins and tokens have suffered the disproportionate share of the selloff, which seems to have started over 24 hours ago. As Hacked reported Wednesday, altcoins and tokens were the first to crash on Wednesday, selling off roughly ten minutes before bitcoin.

The digital currency market’s combined value clocked in at $201.9 billion on Thursday, down roughly $40 billion from the recent high. Ethereum fell another 15.2% to $225, its lowest in a year. Bitcoin cash plunged 15.3% to $498 while EOS, the fifth ranked crypto by market cap, shed 17.1% to $5.02. XRP declined 8.8% to $0.285 while Stellar, Litecoin and Cardano each fell double-digits. All figures come courtesy of CoinMarketCap.

Trading volumes surged to $19.4 billion, a gain of nearly 50% from last week.

Goldman Sachs Reneging on Crypto Trading Desk?

The market selloff intensified on Wednesday after Business Insider reported that Goldman Sachs was shelving its plans to launch a crptocurrency trading desk. Goldman’s anticipated entry into the cryptocurrency market was heralded as a major stepping stone in pursuit of wider mainstream adoption.

Business Insider, which quoted private sources familiar with the matter, said the Wall Street mega bank will direct its efforts toward creating custody services to keep institutional money secure. As Hacked reported earlier this year, Goldman’s venture into bitcoin was driven by client interest. The latest shift reflects ongoing concerns over regulation and continued research over how to best serve the growing market.

“In response to client interest in various digital products we are exploring how best to serve them in this space,” a Goldman spokesperson told Bloomberg. “At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 587 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Continue Reading

Bitcoin

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When one starts to immerse themselves in the world of cryptocurrencies, and specifically Bitcoin, a whole group of previously invisible politics start to emerge. One of the most prominent is the technocratic view that the smartest people are the ones who should be in charge.

On its surface, this doesn’t sound very controversial, but underneath, it starts to become clear that there is a very distinct divide between those who are “in the know” and those who would become disenfranchised. This is much of why certain portions of the U.S.A. hold a certain level of mistrust towards the tech space and the people who make their money there.

Bitcoin Meets Control

Many of the top technology companies come from the idea that some of the oldest problems in life can be solved by employing technological innovation. Technocrats believe this, but to the extreme. Their goal is “optimization” in the most extreme sense, as technology is the enabler of all problem-solving.

And this is justified in a sense. Advancement has allowed us to extend our lives, limit our need for war, and generally improve our lives every year. But there are still problems which persist over the years and need a grander solution than a new iPhone.

Bitcoin does exactly this by offering a solution to inappropriate monetary policy, counterfeit money, censorship, and numerous other problems. For everyone who feels dissent towards the last 100 years of economic policy, Bitcoin is a possible redeemer.

Additionally, if it reaches even a fraction of the adoption that it is aiming for, has the potential to completely disrupt the current economic and financial system. Decentralization is a often-cited principle and belief behind Bitcoin, but the ability of investors to hold large portions of the wealth, and centralized exchanges to control large portions of the flow of capital says otherwise.

Although you don’t need to understand Bitcoin obsessively to invest it in, it is unlikely you would throw your money away without strong belief. And Bitcoin is one of those concepts and solutions that tends to make smart people feel dumb.

Lace Century Fashion of Era the Antique Turn Victorian Edwardian Mid Calf Boots Heeled Leather Fashion Up Titanic Boots A Divisive Long-Game

Bitcoin is by its nature an exclusionary good. There will only ever be 21 million coins, and a large percentage of the coins that have been mined are owned by a small group of investors.

If the Bitcoin maximalist’s dream were to come true, then Bitcoin would become the world currency and all of those who didn’t buy early would be financially ruined by the change. Not owning Bitcoin earlier would put them at such a disadvantage compared to anyone else that they would almost become second-class citizens.

In this way, you can see how the technocratic endgame would give allow them to retain control over non-technocrats using Bitcoin. They would essentially have made a bet on themselves being the smartest, have profited handsomely, and be able to turn their money into power.

One interesting observation can be made here: there are many groups who support Bitcoin, but for extremely different reasons. The libertarians want freedom, the anarchists want less control, and the technocrats want more control. Basically, there are many solution providers with different political agendas, but similar actions.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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