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All you need to know about Blockchain and Bitcoin

Discussion in 'Sive Morten- Currencies and Gold Video Analysis' started by Sive Morten, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Morning guys,

    So, it seems that our stake on collapse has worked. Now, since drop is rather solid, we need to shift to higher time frames. First is daily chart - now we again take in focus our 5900$ COP target .
    BTC_d_11_10_18.

    On 4H market has hit some intraday extension and within few hours we expect technical bounce:
    BTC_4h_11_10_18.

    But again - as yesterday, 3/8 Fib resistance will be an area for selling:
    BTC_1h_11_10_18.

    It is important feature of crypto that we have to note here. Take a look that BTC behaves mostly as an equity, so probably investors treat it closer to stock market rather than bonds or currency... Major currencies aprreciated against dollar yesterday.
     

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  2. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Greetings everybody,

    Today is just minor update on BTC. Scenario that we've described yesterday stands the same and today we need slightly adjust the shape of price action that we expect to see.

    On 4H chart we have bullish engulfing pattern, and it suggests AB-CD upside retracement on 1H. Also - keep an eye on possible bearish grabber on 4H around 3/8 Fib level.

    Hourly chart suggests that we should get something like shown on the chart. Final AB-CD target could be slightly different and depends on the depth of "C" point, which we do not know yet.

    But, as soon as AB-CD will be completed, this should be a chance to re-establish bearish position. It shoud happen somewhere around 3/8 Fib level:
    BTC_1h_12_10_18.
     
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  3. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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  4. Butcherfx

    Butcherfx Corporal

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    Time to return back to Bitcoin again. Everyone is selling dinapoli traders buying.

    See below weekly cluster of fibonacci expansion supports... For scalp trading you can expect a decent pullback at least on 4hr/1hr timeframes. I have several long positions inside the box at cluster support zone.

    We have also XOP controlling expansion support at 2390ish . Take note of stops below 3k low. I dont expect a drop to these levels but in case I have already pending buy limit order.

    BTCUSDWeekly.
    Note : Above chart is a snapshot from a broker platform, for accurate fib levels refer bitmex and/or bitfinex data.
     
    #144 Butcherfx, Nov 20, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
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  5. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Nice to see you again, Rodge.
    Great insight on BTC.
     
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  6. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Bitcoin fundamentals briefing. December 2018

    Here is guys, our traditional monthly view on Bitcoin fundamentals. Here we observe most important fundamental events in cryptocurrency world, analyze them and try to estimate possible impact on the market, what to expect in long-term perspective. So, here we go.

    For truth sake, mostly it will be sentiment analysis rather than fundamental, but for any cryptocurrency, this is common situation because of specific features and qualities of these assets.

    We try to estimate as positive as negative driving factors and try to understand which of them are stronger right now. Here we go.

    Our positive side.

    At first glance it is a real challenge to find something positive. Bitcoin lost more than 80% of its capitalization, and overall sentiment stands far from positive euphoria that was less than a year ago. But, everything stands not as bad as it seems on the surface. Our analysis tells that now we have two rather strong long-term factors that have real potential to change the situation drastically. They are long-term, and we should not wait for results too soon, but the same reasons bring more confidence that these factors really could work.

    The first big block is the strong activity of large financial corporations in cryptocurrency sphere. Such big whales as Fidelity, NASDAQ, ICE, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley will not deal with sphere where they do not see potential, especially when they turn to crypto all together. They intend to enter the cryptocurrency market in 2019. These events can significantly change the situation in the industry, and the price of Bitcoin is expected to rise sharply again, many well-known experts say, - Thomas Lee, the founder of the Fundstrat, billionaire, and head of Galaxy Digital Mike Novogratz to name some, and others. But let’s start with the facts first and provide our analysis of these facts second.

    - As Bloomberg tells - Nasdaq Inc. is moving ahead with a plan to list Bitcoin futures, according to two people familiar with the matter, betting on sustained interest despite the cryptocurrency’s dramatic plunge over the past year. Nasdaq has been working to satisfy the concerns of the U.S.’s main swaps regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, before launching the contracts, the people said. The Nasdaq futures will be based off the Bitcoin’s price on numerous spot exchanges, as compiled by VanEck Associates Corp., the person said.

    - New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. said it would launch its contracts on Jan. 24. We briefly talked about it in our previous report in November.

    - Fidelity Investments is launching a cryptocurrency trading and storage platform. Fidelity Digital Asset Services, LLC will provide cryptocurrency custody and trading services for enterprise clients, the company announced Monday. Tom Jessup, who is heading up the new division, announced the platform at Bloomberg’s Institutional Crypto event. It hopes to draw institutional investors, including hedge funds, family offices, and market intermediaries. Fidelity is one of the five largest financial services providers in the world, maintaining some $7.2 trillion in client assets.

    “Those efforts have been successful in helping us understand and advance our thinking around cryptocurrencies … The creation of Fidelity Digital Assets is the first step in a long-term vision to create a full-service enterprise-grade platform for digital assets,” he said, going on to add - “In our conversations with institutions, they tell us that in order to engage with digital assets in a meaningful way, they need a trusted platform provider to enter this space. These institutions require a sophisticated level of service and security, equal to the experience they’re used to when trading stocks or bonds.”

    - While Goldman may not directly offer a service for storing client coins, it has made efforts to enter the space–despite the murky legal landscape of cryptocurrency–by investing in custodial service provider BitGo Holdings Inc. in October. Also, Goldman was one of the first to clear Bitcoin futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc., showing some inclination by the company to wade into the space of cryptocurrency–even with prices in their present spiral.

    - Morgan Stanley is reportedly preparing to offer bitcoin swap trading for clients, joining other top banks in a sector-wide effort to explore digital currencies. Traders will have the choice to go either long or short using so-called price return swaps; Morgan Stanley will charge a spread for each transaction, the source told Bloomberg.

    Well, it seems as good news, but why it is so big rush and euphoria around big banks coming to crypto market. Major suggestion stands around new money flow that should come from big clients of these banks who wants to invest in cryptocurrencies. This is a new and large source of liquidity. Here are some statements on this subject:

    The current bear markets are the “golden time” to be in crypto, major Wall Street crypto bull and co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee said Wednesday, Nov. 28, during his speech at BlockShow Asia 2018.

    Fundstrat’s co-founder named three main reasons behind the recent crypto market collapse: Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) contentious hard fork, the regulatory actions of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) forcing Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) to return funds to investors, and the “terrible” condition of global markets, which have dropped by approximately 10 percent in October and November.

    “[We] have a price correction taking place, which has caused the price to fall even below its 200-day [a popular technical indicator used by investors to analyze price trends], but if you’ve got time, it will arise. It will not happen within three months, or one year, but in two to three years, and this is the golden time to be in crypto. As soon as Bitcoin crosses its 200-day, we know there will be a flood of money coming.” “The only time the return is better than 7 percent is when you buy at a bear market [...] Bitcoin may have downsides in the near term, but this doesn’t change the fact we are still in the earliest days of crypto, and it’s about to become an emerging asset class.”

    According to his BlockShow speech, crypto has only 50 million active wallets so far against the 254 million PayPal accounts in Q3 2018 and 4.6 billion Visa and MasterCard accounts. Comparing Bitcoin (BTC) to other payment systems in terms of social network value, Lee supposed that in ten years Bitcoin could be worth $10 million per one coin.

    - Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, says bitcoin and other digital assets are here to stay. Sprecher is also CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange, which is teaming with Microsoft and Starbucks to launch Bakkt, a company that will facilitate bitcoin futures in January. “We’re creating that infrastructure that doesn’t exist today, which we think is a big opportunity for institutional investors to come in,” Loeffler said.

    The second block suggests changing the structure of the market. Major drop of Bitcoin happens because of a massive restructuring of the market framework, algorithms that it works on, regulation, etc. When restructuring is over, new upside cycle should start. At first glance, some regulation issues bring negative moments, especially SEC intruding, but this is the time of purification of the market and its civilization, new spiral of evolution. Maybe the crypto market will stop to be romantic Wild West, but it definitely will benefit from a civilized approach to clients and safety of their money and transfers.

    Here are the facts:

    - VanEck has been trying to win approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for a crypto-based exchange-traded fund. They have followed to the pioneer in this sphere - SolidX startup cryptocurrency that applied to SEC in March 2016. SEC verdict should be given in March 2019. According to VanEck manager Gabor Gurbacs, a new instrument may be approved shortly; the company has never been so close to the positive verdict of the regulator. This is not denied by the SEC representative Hester Peirce; she believes that the agency should be more loyal to bitcoin-ETF, while the Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton said that this is possible only after the problem is solved with manipulations.

    - Colorado startups were closed by the regulator. SEC Colorado obliges to close ICO startups of Global Pay Net, Cred LLC (Credits), CrowdShare Mining and CyberSmart Coin Invest.

    - SEC ruled that non-custodial cryptocurrency exchanges allowing users to trade are firmly within their scope - Aphelion Disables Mainnet DEX.

    - Securities and Exchange Commission Recent Actions
    upload_2018-12-19_15-39-45.
    Source: Diar.com

    - Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) is all but over with November seeing total raised funds at $65Mn. ICOs in 2018 have raised over $12.2Bn but have now petered out from regulatory backlash fears, as well as a slow-down in cryptocurrency markets with token prices plummeting leaving retail investors with a bitter taste. In a speech, last week the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton said that he believes that "ICOs can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise capital. However, the novel technological nature of an ICO does not change the fundamental point that, when a security is being offered, our securities laws must be followed." It's unlikely the contentious fundraising mechanism, at least in its current unregulated format, to garner much interest moving forward with regulated tokenized securities platforms paving the way for a new realm of finding investor capital.
    upload_2018-12-19_15-40-32.
    So, although we call it “positive” factors a lot of negative issues stands behind, such as the closing of ICO’s and different crypto authorities by the regulator. Still, we think that this is the phase of restructuring of the market, bringing it to some unification, and this can’t hold absolutely smooth and silent.

    Now what we have on the negative side? Speaking in two words, events on the dark side include market drop and its impact on miners, ICO popularity, hackers’ attacks and either issues that SEC struggle against or just short-term consequences of SEC action. Except for SEC action, other events are technical mostly and not new.

    Our negative side.

    - Coindesk analysts Omkar Godbole thinks BTC could drop below 3000$;

    - Ethereum looks ready to resume its selloff as it found resistance at the top of its descending channel.

    - Between 600,000 and 800,000 bitcoin miners have shut down since mid-November amid declines in price and hashrate across the network, according to the third-largest mining pool. Stepping back, Mao said there are multiple factors that contributed to the shakeout among miners, including the recent market decline that followed the bitcoin cash hard fork on Nov. 15; an increase in electricity costs in China; and the fact that Chinese manufacturers are still racing to upgrade their products, making older machines increasingly uncompetitive. “All these factors are overlapping right now which led to this recent phenomenon,” Mao said.

    - The Bitcoin hashrate has fallen around 31% since the start of November 2018, equivalent to around 1.3 million Bitmain S9 machines. The price drop has so far caused two large downward difficulty adjustments to Bitcoin, 7.4% and 15.1%, on 16th November and 3rd December, respectively. The 7.4% adjustment was the largest since January 2013, and the 15.1% adjustment was the largest since October 2011.

    - The Norwegian government raise 34 times the power cost for miners;

    - Thin air Etherium bug. When ETH is sent to an address, that address is able to perform arbitrary computations paid for by the originator of the transaction. This is a known vector for griefing. However, in some cases, at-risk systems such as exchanges did not put proper protections in place. GasToken, which takes advantage of the refund mechanism on storage in Ethereum, allows users to store gas when the gas price is low and receive a gas refund when the gas price is high. By minting large amounts of GasToken when receiving ETH, the griefing vector mentioned above can now be a profitable attack. Because it was unknown which exchanges did and did not have the protections in place, the private disclosure was made to as many exchanges as possible, many of which were not at risk. To our knowledge, all affected exchanges that received the disclosure have patched the vulnerability.

    - Hackers steal approximately $1 Bln. In 2018, according to CipherTrace report. In the third quarter of 2018, the total amount of stolen funds from cryptocurrency exchanges exceeded $ 927 million, according to a study by CipherTrace. In the first half of this year, hackers stole more money from the marketplaces than in the whole of 2017. In early 2018, criminals broke into the Japanese stock exchange Coincheck and stole $ 533 million worth of cryptocurrency from it, after which BitGrail clients suffered, and $ 170 million was stolen from it. In the summer, the criminals successfully attacked the South Korean Bithumb and Coinrail, after which the country significantly tightened the regulation of the blockchain industry. In mid-October, analysts at Group-IB reported that over the past year and a half, criminals had hacked 14 large marketplaces, five of which attacked members of the North Korean hacker group Lazarus. Experts believe that next year the number of such thefts will increase.

    Conclusion:

    So, guys, putting it all together we see two big processes on the cryptocurrency market. First is wide intruding of big capital. This process will be slow, but as it has started already - it should continue. Beyond major world exchanges and transnational banks serious capital stands, and once they have started this invasion – this will stay in this way. They are not the kind of authorities that do something occasionally. They smell money and keep nose to the wind, following it. The activity of big banks in crypto sphere resolve the very big concern that was standing around crypto a few months ago – what the phenomenon of crypto is? Either this is a long-term new market, the new asset, or this is just temporal modern toy. Now it seems that the former is more correct than the latter. This, in turn, means that somehow, maybe slowly but stubbornly this process will continue and sooner or later, but big money of investors should come on the market. This lets us suggest at least deep upside retracement on the market within a year.

    Second is regulation. This is a two-edged sword, and it will change the circle of market participants. Initial romantic of Wild Bitcoin market is disappearing and replaced by pragmatic features of the common exchange-traded product. All negative moments that we’ve talked above are short-term, mostly technical consequences of the first stage of market development. Such issues as hackers’ attacks, drop of miners’ activity, bugs in blockchain protocols, etc. are not global. They are just a result of market specific features on the first stage, its construction nuances. As government regulation steps in – many features will remain on paper only. Regulation definitely brings centralization, safety, and strict control. Bitcoin and Blockchain start to lose such features as decentralization, users’ incognito, etc. They could stay on the paper, but if 80% trades on exchanges or through big banks such as Goldman – they will control everything. Hackers’ activity also should decrease, because it is more difficult to steal coins from NASDAQ or ICE exchanges accounts. Besides, SEC has a legal right to put the hand on everything, to regulate all ICO’s and other processes. So, Bitcoin gradually will become very similar to traditional futures on financials or commodities. What this step will lead the market to? There will be one big change. The participant contingent will change. Those who need special features of incognito transactions, decentralization start to leave the market or will use small agents services. There is a big part of different criminal spheres that use these features as well. While other people who just invest in Bitcoin or trade it are don’t care, or even should see improvement in more safety and liquidity in the market.

    Thus, as a bottom line, our opinion on the market is very close to what Vinny Lingham, Civic CEO, said on whether bitcoin can actually make a comeback. Bitcoin will be in the $ 3000- $ 5000 range in the next 3-6 months, thinks Vinni Lingham, head of the Civic blockchain-startup. In an interview with CNBC, the expert said that shortly, the cryptocurrency exchange rate is unlikely to fall below the $ 3,000 area, since there are active purchase stands. However, if the bearish cycle does not end in the next one or two quarters, this level may not withstand, and the asset will fall sharply in price.

    Currently, we see culmination point for investing in Bitcoin, a kind of “pain or gain” situation. Our all-time downside targets stand at 2900 and 1800$ correspondingly. Investing around 3000$ brings the best risk/reward ratio. While it is safer to buy at 6000$ when upside action already will start, but the price level will be less attractive. Taking into consideration fundamental background that we have – the destruction and closing of cryptocurrencies right now are hardly possible. It makes the long-term investment at current levels, with adding more in case of a drop to 1800-2900$ very good strategy for a long-term perspective.

    Finally - here is some technical positive. A simple comparison of 2014 and 2018 price action shows that they are similar. Following the harmonic relation, there is a suggestion of price action for 2018-2019 years. It assumes a final drop to our 1800$ before real rising from the ash.
    upload_2018-12-19_15-43-2.
    Source: rbc.ru
     
    #146 Sive Morten, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
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  7. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Bitcoin fundamentals briefing. January 2019

    Here is, guys, our traditional monthly fundamental briefing on cryptocurrencies. There are some changes have happened which make impact on Bitcoin perspective, especially in short-term.
    January_19.
    Source: dreamstime.com

    So, the time has come to take a look at the fundamental background of the crypto world in 2019. Here we continue topic that we have started in December by our article. 2018 was the very furious and cruel year for cryptocurrencies in general, not only for bitcoin. It has its comings and goings major tendencies and events, but closer to the end of the previous year the new vector of progress becomes visible.

    This vector cares big hopes of bitcoin fans and enthusiasts. As we’ve estimated in December, it consists of two major directions. First is tighter government regulation of crypto markets, not only in the US but in other developed countries. Second – multiple hints on the possible interest of institutional investors and big banks that is ripening but is not ripened yet. Bitcoin experts, traders and whole economic society thirst for this decisive, turning point in the crypto world – when finally some big bank, exchange or hedge fund will start working with bitcoin. That was a topic of our December discussion. Now it’s time to see what has changed on the market.

    When I’ve dived in the scrutiny of the crypto market and study recent news and events, I’ve found a lot of ones about hacker attacks, stolen coins, miners’ problems and other events that previously drove the market. We’ve heard a lot of this stuff in recent 3-4 months. Once these issues were new for the market – they strongly hurt cryptocurrencies, investors were nervous and started at any noise. But gradually the degree of impact was becoming weaker and weaker, and now these events almost pass unheeded, despite that their amount has become even greater. I would say that the market has got some immunity to these events of the wild first crypto world.

    The decreasing of sensibility to these events confirms very important thing that we see at first hand – restructuring. Yes, cryptocurrency world is changing everything - structure, its shape, and rules. Yes, any global change rare comes without some turmoil on the market, and we see it right now, and it could be that downside trend is not over yet. But, at the same time, it is few talks or no talks at all about the demise of cryptocurrencies. This is very important. It means that cryptocurrencies have future and as restructuring gradually will come to the final stage there will be more and more reasons for the positive dynamic of cryptocurrencies.

    Also, common sense leads me to the conclusion that it is not occasional talks here and there from representatives of big institutional financial companies and banks on bitcoin subject. They keep interest in cryptocurrencies hot, but nothing comes from nothing. It means that some hidden, disguise work stands underway on this market by these companies, but it is not time yet to make public its results.

    So these are directions of my investigation in January and here is what I have found to test these thoughts.

    Definitely, on the positive side, we have growing interest among big international companies and opinion of respectable analysts. In general, expectations on institutional investors’ money stand high, despite some temporal postpones and problems.


    I. Governments and international companies on crypto markets.

    'Exciting Things' for Crypto Ecosystem Expected in 2019, PwC Says

    Henri Arslanian, fintech and crypto leader for Asia at PricewaterhouseCoopers, talks about the outlook for the cryptocurrency markets. Arslanian touched on various aspects of the crypto debate, including his expectations for 2019, the effect of the bear market on the plans of institutional players and the belief that the bear market brought balance to the industry. In general, his sentiment is one of optimism.

    “In 2018, we saw a lot of the big players entering the space. In 2019, I expect even more players to enter into the sector as well, especially in different ways. Some of them may decide to launch their solutions, others may look to partner with crypto firms, and others might look to invest in crypto companies.”

    CCN news brings text transcription of his speech to Bloomberg TV and points that are citing the importance of institutional entry into the crypto space, Arslanian said that it would be able to provide the kind of expertise and institutional backing that the industry needs. Also, concerning the perceived notion that that bear market has affected the plans of various institutional players from entering the crypto landscape, Arslanian ascribed their late entry to the lack of regulatory clarity that has plagued a lot of countries. However, as it is with the previous case, the FinTech expert is hopeful that things will get better in 2019.

    “I think a lot of things are changing on a global level. For example, take a look at regulatory clarity in 2018, a number of jurisdictions provided more regulatory clarity than we had before… I expect more of this to happen in 2019, and that will give even more comfort to institutional investors and players as well,” Arslanian argued.”

    Approximately the same thing said Changpeng Zhao, CEO of crypto exchange platform Binance to Bloomberg, who revealed that his company is maintaining a bullish start to the year, and they aim to begin 2019 “with a bang:

    “2018 has been a tough year in terms of pricing for the cryptocurrency. And we see a lot of projects not making it this year, so its a correction year. But technology will stay, and we wanna kick off 2019 with a bang… So I think the people in the industry are still very confident about the future. So there’s no worries about that.”

    Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March

    Japan's Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost, starting next March. Under the plan, retail shops using the currency will be charged fees significantly lower than for credit card services. The banking group aims to promote cashless payments by bringing about 60 regional banks on board. To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes. The value of the digital currency will be fixed at 1 yen (1 cent) per unit, and will not fluctuate on the market, as virtual currencies such as bitcoin do.

    Bitcoin on the highway to being legit In India

    NEW DELHI: Holding cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is banned in India, but that could change, as the second interdisciplinary committee is in favor of legalizing it, with harsh riders.

    “We have already had two meetings. There is a consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon,” a senior official who attended the panel’s meetings told this paper. The committee has met twice on the issue and is likely to submit its report to the finance ministry by February next.

    Malaysia launched cryptocurrency Law. Bitcoin gets security status

    KUALA LUMPUR: The law on digital currencies and digital tokens will come into effect on Tuesday, and any person operating unauthorized initial coin offerings (ICOs) or digital asset exchange faces a 10-year jail and RM10mil fine.

    Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Monday after the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 would be effective Tuesday and the framework in place by the end of the first quarter of this year.

    With this ruling, digital currencies and digital tokens or digital assets are prescribed as securities and will be regulated by the Securities Commission (SC).

    “The Ministry of Finance (MOF) views digital assets, as well as its underlying blockchain technologies, as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries.

    “In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fundraising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses, and an alternative asset class for investors,” he said.

    II. Regulation

    As we’ve mentioned in our Dec 2018 briefing, next big part of new reality on cryptocurrencies stands regulation. SEC shows rising activity on this subject, as well as similar entities in other countries.

    Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX ditches clients in the US, Quebec amid regulatory pressure

    The move by leading bitcoin exchange with a turnover of US$965 billion comes amid US action against unregistered entities. BitMEX’s move to bar Quebec traders comes after the province’s financial regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), sent a letter to the exchange in early 2018 asking it to close all accounts linked to Quebecois, saying the exchange was not authorized to provide trading services.

    “BitMEX has banned all US traders since 2015, and has been proactively closing accounts since the guidance was obtained by US regulators, in particular, the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC),” said Joe Coufal, whose firm Wachsman represents the cryptocurrency exchange, in an emailed statement.

    Definitely we see rising enforcement actions from the SEC on digital token trading platforms and intermediaries dealing with bitcoin. In November, the SEC imposed a fine of US$388,000 on Zachary Coburn, the founder of EtherDelta, for operating an unregistered national securities exchange.

    Similarly, in June, both the SEC and the CFTC pressed charges against 1Broker, a Marshall Islands registered a company, for allegedly violating federal securities laws by soliciting US investors to buy and sell securities-based swaps funded with bitcoin, without registering itself as a securities-based swap dealer, or trading them on a registered exchange.

    The SEC’s charges also targeted 1Broker’s Austria-based chief executive Patrick Brunner.

    NY TO HAVE FIRST CRYPTO TASK FORCE

    Recently, New York State became the first state in the nation to create a cryptocurrency task force to study how to properly regulate, define and use cryptocurrency. Last week, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, signed into law THE DIGITAL CURRENCY STUDY BILL, A8783B/S9013.

    ShapeShift regularly receives requests from various law enforcement agencies.

    In 2018, ShapeShift assisted with 60 law enforcement inquiries from around the world. Below you’ll find a detailed look from our legal and compliance team concerning legal requests for information over the past year.

    LawRequest.

    Source: https://info.shapeshift.io

    Just to provide you, guys, opposite views as well, here is the opinion of Ardo Hansson, the governor of Bank of Estonia and ECB council member:

    “Cryptocurrencies will probably die as a “complete load of nonsense,” according to European Central Bank policymaker Ardo Hansson.”

    “The bubble has already started to collapse, and maybe we should just see how far this collapse goes, and what is left when we’ve reached a new kind of equilibrium,” the Estonian central-bank governor told a conference in the Latvian capital of Riga. “I think we will come back a few years from now and say how could we ever have gotten into this situation where we believed this kind of a fairy-tale story.”

    At the same time, the nation’s police issued almost 500 licenses to crypto-currency exchange providers in a year, and more than 440 licenses to companies offering a wallet service.

    I would treat Hansson view as biased one, just because his major occupation is regulation. He wants to escape any problems and new issues in this sphere, and the most simple way to achieve this – spread bitcoin bubble opinion.

    Wall Street Quietly Shelves Its Bitcoin Dreams

    At the same time, it seems that involving of institutional investors postpones. According to Daniel H. Gallancy, the CEO of SolidX Partners, it was unrealistic to anticipate Goldman Sachs to run a Bitcoin business before the year’s end.

    As we’ve said in our previous briefing, in December, this was one of the major driving factors for Bitcoin, If not right now but in the nearest future. In fact, Henry Arslanian from PwC and Changpeng Zhao have talked about the same and a lot of representative persons of big international banks and hedge funds, such as Fidelity, Goldman, Morgan Stanley, and some others hint on this possibility.

    We also have mentioned Daniel Gallancy and his SolidX Company, who tries to launch first crypto ETF and get the green light from SEC, but registration and accommodation take more time that it was suggested initially. He probably knows better what is going on around this topic.

    Thus he said: “The market had unrealistic expectations that Goldman or any of its peers could suddenly start a Bitcoin trading business,” said Daniel H. Gallancy, chief executive officer of New York-based SolidX Partners, which hopes to launch a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. "That was top-of-the-market-hype thinking."

    As Bloomberg tells, Goldman remains a focal point for expectations of an establishment embrace of crypto. The firm was among the first on Wall Street to clear Bitcoin futures, and people familiar with the matter said last year it was preparing a trading desk—the bank even provided its bankers to the New York Times for an interview on its plans. After considering a custody service for crypto funds, the firm invested in custodian BitGo Holdings Inc. It’s also offering derivatives on Bitcoin called non-deliverable forwards.

    Justin Schmidt, who was hired to head its digital-asset business, said at an industry conference last month that regulators are limiting what he can do. Still, Goldman plans to add a digital-assets specialist to its prime brokerage division, the person said.

    With regulators offering little clear guidance on how they will classify the broad universe of tokens—as commodities, securities or something else—banks and investment firms are treading cautiously. Criminal and regulatory probes aren’t helping either.

    “We are clearing some futures around Bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” said Solomon in an interview with Bloomberg TV in China. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.”

    Although Goldman Sachs could clear Bitcoin futures with the assistance of CME, CBOE, and other established futures markets in the U.S. market, it cannot hold onto the cryptocurrencies owned by its investors or invest in the asset class on behalf of its clients without obtaining an approval to operate as a custodian.

    “Custody is this foundational piece that is absolutely necessary. Custody is part of an overall integrated system where different parts need to work well with each other and safely with each other, and you have to be able to trust all the different parts in that chain, from buying something to transferring it to storing it in for the long-term,” Schmidt said at the time.

    Morgan Stanley, which hired Andrew Peel as its head of digital assets earlier in the year, has been technically prepared to offer swaps tracking Bitcoin futures since at least September, yet thus far has not traded a single contract, according to a person familiar with the matter. A person with knowledge of the business said in September the contracts would be launched once there is proven institutional client demand.

    Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc. has not traded any of the products it designed for cryptocurrencies within existing regulatory structures, according to a separate person with knowledge of its business. The so-called digital asset receipts enable trading by proxy without direct ownership of the underlying coins, a person with knowledge of the plans said in September.

    Officials for Citigroup and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on their cryptocurrency businesses. For its part, Goldman’s “primary focus is thoughtfully and safely serving our clients’ needs,” said spokesman Patrick Lenihan in New York.

    Fidelity Investments said in October it’s preparing a new business to manage digital assets for hedge funds, family offices and trading firms. Another encouraging sign for the bulls came the same month in the form of Yale University’s investment in a crypto fund.

    “The more important story is all the infrastructure that’s being built now to enable institutional trading,” according to Ben Sebley, a former Credit Suisse Group AG trader who is now head of the brokerage at crypto boutique NKB Group.

    So, what conclusion we could make on these stories?

    First of all – the topic of involving institutional investors in crypto markets is more alive than dead. This work stands underway. Despite a lot of problems and pitfalls, we see a lot of commentaries of top managers on this subject, and this indirectly confirms that sometime, but Bitcoin ETF’s will be launched, as well as other services on cryptocurrency market.

    Second, we see some competition even on high political government level among countries. This is the major discovery that we’ve made from recent materials in media. Example of Malaysia is very representative. They hurry to get the largest piece of the crypto market pie as they understand that those countries who could create better regulation, safer trading process and do this fast – will get the largest advantage. They could get huge money inflow as Malaysia, for example, could become a capital of cryptocurrency ETF’s and crypto branches of international banks.

    This is a very valuable driving factor that brings big confidence in future bull trend on Bitcoin.

    Here is also we use sentence of Deutsche Bank AG trader that explains slow development of this business by international banks, which we agree either.

    “It appears as if progress is coming to a halt, yet nothing could be further from the truth,” said Eugene Ng, a former Deutsche Bank AG trader in Singapore who has set up crypto hedge fund Circuit Capital. “The bear market is going to allow many of these institutions to build the proper foundations without rushing to build-out infrastructure without adequate testing for fear of missing out on a gold rush.”
     
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  8. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Continuation...
    Tactical short-term issues


    So long-term perspective looks fascinating and thrilling, but what about tactical, short-term perspective? In general, the postponing of the positive impact of major driving factor agrees with our technical view that Bitcoin should drop a bit more, show final leg down to our long-term 1800$ target before bearish trend will be over:
    BTC_W.
    Many famous persons and Bitcoin analysts have similar thoughts:

    Anthony Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets, told on CNBC that Bitcoin probably would continue downside action. In November 2018 he correctly forecasted a drop to 3000$

    "I think it is a good chance we are going to retest 3,000 as a low and there is a good chance it will probably break through that ー if it hits that low," said Civic CEO Vinny Lingham in an interview with Cheddar. "The market is definitely trying to find a bottom, and I don't think we've found one yet. The reality is, it will probably trade sideways between $3 -$5,000 for another month or two while it's trying to find which way to go and when it finds direction it will be a breakout or a breakdown."

    Aaron Brown is a former Managing Director and Head of Financial Market Research at AQR Capital Management, provides very interesting analysis on the possible tempo of Bitcoin market recovery and compares it with the same Bitcoin in 2011 and 2013 as well as with NASDAQ and DJ indexes in similar situations. To put the price decline in perspective, the chart below shows Bitcoin prices in 2017 and 2018 in blue and superimposes prices from Bitcoin’s 2011 and 2013 peaks, all scaled to the same peak price and time. Bitcoin’s 2017 price rise was smaller and steadier than earlier run-ups. The decline fell between the rapid 2011 event and the slower 2013 one.

    BTC_11-13-18.
    Source: Bloomberg.com

    What happened afterward? In the 2011 event, Bitcoin bottomed within a year and was on its way up in less than two years. The 2013 event didn’t turn around for almost two years and took four years to set a new peak.
    BTC_11-13-18_recovery.
    Source: Bloomberg.com

    Or, compare the 2018 crypto crash to the Dow Jones US Financials Index in 2007. The charts look similar from one year before peak to one year after, but if crypto follows the same path, it could take more than three years to recover.

    For instance, here is Bitcoin/NASDAQ comparison. The 2000 boom-and-bust of the Nasdaq Composite Index was slower and took 15 years to recover. Cryptocurrencies might stay low for a very long time, or go to zero and stay there forever, but recoveries from crashes are common.

    BTC_NSDQ.
    Source: Bloomberg.com

    Still, my personal opinion guys that it is not quite correct to compare these markets. US stock market already was a mature one with the well-built regulation framework as in 2000 as in 2008 and 2011 while Bitcoin stands at the initial stage of its development and is still wild. Maybe it would be correct to compare Bitcoin with US stock market at the beginning of 20th century.

    Besides, I’m not sure that equities could be compared with cryptocurrencies as they have no similar background for comparison. Anthony Pompliano in the interview above tells the same as he doesn’t see any correlation among cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular and high technology companies, such as Apple, Facebook, and others.

    Another interesting technical moment that seems important to us is 98% volatility drop on Bitcoin market.

    As major buyers still wait for proper conditions and level to step in, speculators lose interest in trading and leave the market. This is a positive sign, and it shows that purifies from chaos and speculators, while real holders of Bitcoins stand.

    Bottom line

    Market shows progress. The market is developing, no doubts. International companies, banks, and even governments show real interest in the cryptocurrency sphere due to huge potential. It means that the bull trend has good chances to start someday in the foreseeable future. At the same time, existing of the bear trend on the market, lack of necessary regulation and legislation make institutional investors be careful with new market and increase the term of reversal on the market. Curing period of the market probably will be longer. It means that bear market that could turn to flat action would last longer than it is anticipated initially.

    Fundamental situation mostly agrees with our technical view, as by our suggestion Bitcoin should complete the last leg down before the major bear trend is over.
     
    #148 Sive Morten, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  9. Sive Morten

    Sive Morten Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Bitcoin fundamentals briefing. February 2019
    So we keep up with the crypto, guys. It's time for fundamental briefing again. Let's take a look at what has happened on a background of cryptocurrencies in the last 30 days because technically it was the most boring period ever - activity only now is returning to the market.
    February.
    Source: instadayz.com

    Since the market was standing flat almost the whole month, it is obvious that no drastic turns have happened in major driving factors, no breakout has followed. Still, there are some points that need to be mentioned.


    In the recent few months, whole crypto society is twisting around two major clusters of information. First is the money of international investors and everything that has a relation to this subject - regulation, ETF launching, big banks participation, etc. Second - analysts' view on the perspective of cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular. So let's follow the same two subjects in our report as well.


    I. Money of institutional investors, regulation and big banks activity on the crypto market


    Let's start with the most positive news. This has happened recently, and this might be the reason for BTC rally in a recent week. The first jump has happened on the 8th of February while the article was released on 12th of February. It was surprising, and I even asked on the forum about possible reasons for the rally, but now it seems that we know the reason or at least one of them.


    Bloomberg reports that two US Pension Funds have made investments in cryptocurrencies.

    Morgan Creek Digital has scored what it says is probably the first investment in the crypto asset universe from a U.S. pension fund. Two pension plans in Fairfax County, Virginia are anchor investors in a new $40 million venture-capital fund, according to a statement from the company. Other investors include an insurance company, a university endowment and a private foundation, said Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano, who declined to provide further details.


    The Virginia pension funds join a handful of institutions to invest in the crypto world, including Yale University, the second-largest endowment in higher education that invested in a digital assets fund last year.

    We understand that the major point here not in the sum of the investing but in fact of investing per se.


    Western Union is experimenting with blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.

    Molly Shea, general manager of Asia Pacific from Western Union, said in an interview, that WU has to be ready technically to a potential rally of cryptocurrencies. Particular speaking WU experiments with Ripple and its xRapid technology that is based on XRP token.


    JP Morgan to launch its own cryptocurrency

    J.P. Morgan Chase will be the first major U.S. bank to create its cryptocurrency. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of the $6 trillion the bank lends to corporations will happen over something called 'JPM Coin.' The digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. The "Squawk Box" crew discusses the possible implications of this rollout for crypto investors.


    Yes, it is fixed price coin, equal to 1$, it is private blockchain only for clients transactions with no link to the major market, but this event itself is significant. Besides, JP Morgan serves 80% of companies from the Fortune 500 list. Such banks as Mitsubishi (MUFG coin) and Mizuho intend to do the same but in Japan.

    Another important conclusion that could come - JPM coin and other bank altcoins could make a significant impact on Ripple and its XRP token, that is made for fast cross-border transactions. But, for truth sake, there are a lot of argues on this subject still.


    ATM Coin Radar tells that the number of ATM crypto machines increased 720% in the last three years,

    and there is about 4723 crypto ATM. It is very interesting that the service of the machine brings approximately 3000$ per month. This dynamic tells about growing interest to cryptocurrencies in the world among common people.


    Liechtensteinische Post AG launch Bitcoin operations

    Lichtenstein Post in partnership with Swiss Värdex Suisse AG launch bitcoin selling in its postal offices. Later they intend to a wide list of cryptocurrencies, available for purchase.

    In 2017 the same thing was done by Austrian Post. Now it is possible to do in more than 1800 offices across the country.


    Central Bank of Chile criticizes cryptocurrencies in their recent report

    The major idea in the report that cryptocurrencies are too young and the perspectives of this market are a blur. Hardly they could replace traditional money in the nearest future. The market is thin, and cryptocurrencies gapped significantly behind common money as transaction processing is too slow.


    ETF Tied to Bitcoin Futures Withdrawn After SEC Staff Request

    Reality Shares ETF Trusts, a division of Blockforce Capital, is withdrawing an exchange-traded fund proposal that, if approved, would have included exposure to bitcoin futures.

    The move comes just days after the proposal for the Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF was first submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a note submitted to the SEC on Tuesday, the company withdrew its ETF proposal at the request of agency staffers.

    A lawyer for Reality Shares confirmed the move when reached for comment by CoinDesk, stating:
    “I can confirm that we did withdraw it and it was withdrawn because the staff are still taking the position that it’s not appropriate to file a registered 40 Act fund with cryptocurrency exposure at this time.”



    VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust proposal is withdrawn by CBOE

    So, the same story as Blockforce Capital, but maybe more famous and long-running. The proposal was sent to SEC in June 2018 and was on a table since then, although the final decision was postponed multiple times. Due shutdown it was not able to make reasonable and scrutiny decision by 27th of February where it should follow. To avoid a negative impact on the cryptocurrency market by SEC deny, CBOE has initiated withdraw.

    Taking into consideration multiple negative results on trying to launch bitcoin ETF, it seems that it will be a long-lasting process. Indeed, maybe crypto analyst Brian Kelly is right - ‘No Shot’ for Bitcoin ETF in 2019


    ABN AMRO TRIALS BITCOIN WALLET WHERE BANK HOLDS PRIVATE KEYS

    According to marketing literature uploaded to Twitter, ABN AMRO aims to offer Bitcoin storage in the same online banking environment customers uses for their day-to-day activities through a product called ‘Wallie.’

    The move sees ABN first to provide direct Bitcoin tools out of the major Dutch banks, beating off competition from Rabobank, which had announced a similar project, ‘Rabobit,’ in February last year.


    The exact reasons for the change of heart remain unknown. In its current form, the Bitcoin wallet constitutes something of a compromise; users will not hold their private keys, while the bank says it will provide insurance guarantees for up to €6,000 worth of funds.


    Fidelity Investments’ new crypto custody service may officially launch in March.

    This is not a new topic for us as we've talked about it in December and January. Now it seems that work moves from the dead point.

    The storage component of Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC (FDAS) is already live, with some assets under management, a person familiar with the situation told CoinDesk Tuesday. Bloomberg reported, in a story initially available only on its terminals, that Fidelity was aiming for March for a formal launch.


    Cryptocurrency thefts, scams hit $1.7 billion in 2018: report

    Cryptocurrencies stolen from exchanges and scammed from investors surged more than 400 percent in 2018 to around $1.7 billion, according to a report from U.S.-based cybersecurity firm CipherTrace released on Tuesday.


    ICE published official Bakkt futures contract specifications

    Bitcoin overtook PayPal and Western Union in terms of transaction volume, says Satoshi Capital Research

    The volume of BTC transactions is 6 times more than that of PayPal and 16.5 times more than that of Western Union, according to experts from Satoshi Capital Research. Such indicators are the main cryptocurrency demonstrated in 2018. During this period, its transaction volume exceeded $ 3.3 trillion.

    “Over $ 3.3 trillion was sent using bitcoin in 2018, which is more than 6 times the amount sent by Paypal. BTC is not only a serious world currency but also a serious global payment system. ”


    And, as a bottom line of regulation and ETF topic here is a survey of institutional investors - what they would prefer to see in cryptocurrencies and at what conditions they would agree to invest:

    - 58% of American investors would prefer to invest in Bitcoin via an exchange-traded fund (ETF), a formal survey found.

    - Conducted by Bitwise Asset Management, a San Francisco-based crypto hedge fund, the survey saw participation from 150 financial advisors in the US market. When asked what would make them allocate Bitcoin in their client portfolios, 54% of them said “better regulations” and 35% said “the launch of an ETF.”


    Thus, this is not just the SEC whim; this is what investors' need to invest...


    II. Analysis review and sentiment of the market

    Here is the second part of our Feb briefing. We try to estimate how sentiment has changed and what well-known crypto analysts think on the perspective of the market.

    You probably know our technical view on BTC. We still expect for the last drop, somewhere to 1800-2000$ area before the bull trend will get the chance to start. We do not expect a sharp reversal and unstoppable rally right after the bottom. Bitcoin could spend a long time in a wide range before the trend will start, but, it should stop falling as soon as the major target is hit. So, our strategic entry level is the 1800-2000$ area.

    Here is what other analysts think.

    First, I would like to share with you the chart that is very popular right now:


    upload_2019-2-20_14-18-29.

    There are a lot of analysts and investors who wait for a repeat of previous price action and follow the idea of harmonic swings in very long-term scale. As in 2013-2015 drop was about 84%, as now - drop from 20'000 peak is approx. 84%. The conclusion that is made - BTC should start bullish trend somewhere in mid-2019.


    Bitcoin investors are running from the crypto to invest in gold this year: ETF strategist

    Signs show that bitcoin investors are moving toward a more traditional commodity, says Jan Van Eck, CEO of Van Eck Associates.

    "I do think that Bitcoin pulled a little bit of demand away from gold last year, in 2017," Van Eck told CNBC's "ETF Edge" on Wednesday. "Interestingly, we just polled 4,000 bitcoin investors and their number one investment for 2019 is actually gold. So gold lost to bitcoin, and now it's going the other way."

    "Not only have we lost all liquidity on the underlying [commodity] but truly outside of the existential blockchain argument, it's been very difficult to argue store of value which is really what we started hearing about," Seymour said on "ETF Edge" on Wednesday. "Gold is a store of value, and there's no disputing that."


    Bitcoin, which stood at around $3,565 in afternoon trade, is likely to have cost support at around $2,400, and could fall below $1,260 if a bear market persists, JPMorgan said.

    The value of cryptocurrencies is unproven, and the widely-hyped blockchain technology that grew out of them will not make any real difference to banks for at least three to five years, JP Morgan analysts said.

    The comments underscored widespread skepticism about the assets by established finance firms while offering some succor for advocates of blockchain who are still waiting to see it take root.

    JP Morgan said it was skeptical of the value of cryptocurrencies - suggesting the assets would only make sense in a dystopian scenario where investors have lost all faith in gold, the dollar, other major reserve assets, and the global payments system.

    “Even in extreme scenarios such as a recession or financial crises, there are more liquid and less-complicated instruments for transacting, investing and hedging,” it said in a report on crypto and blockchain.


    Crypto Could Take 10+ Years to Regain 2017 High, But Then Will Be Mature: Cardano Founder

    “It might take 11 years for us [the crypto industry] to recover back to where we were in 2017, but we will be a dramatically different ecosystem at that point. We'll have millions, perhaps even billions of users. We will be in many consumer products, be easy to use, [even] grandma can use it. A lot of the hard stuff will have been figured out. Like if somebody dies, how do we get their private keys, how do we handle taxes, all of the regulation will be done.”
    Hoskinson compared crypto’s major growth spurt in 2017 with Amazon’s performance during the dot-com bubble. The entrepreneur — who is also the co-founder of Ethereum (ETH) — noted that it took 11-12 years for the internet giant to recover its all-time highs at the peak of the bubble. He argued that by 2011-2012, the firm was a “very much more mature company, much more realistic company.”


    Digital Currency Group CEO says most cryptocurrencies will fail, but bitcoin is still king

    Barry Silbert, CEO, and founder of Digital Currency Group and Grayscale Investments said besides bitcoin the majority of the once blazing hot crypto market would eventually be worthless. "I'm not a believer in the vast majority of digital tokens and believe most will go to zero," Silbert told CNBC in a phone interview following a call with Grayscale investors.

    Silbert said he is "as bullish as he has ever been" on bitcoin. As an early investor, he lived through multiple price plunges, all of which were followed by a full recovery. Despite bitcoin's relatively short 10-year existence, it's already on its third bear market plunge of 80 percent or more. The most recent one has yet to bounce back.

    "As far as I'm concerned bitcoin has won the race to be digital gold," Silbert said. Although Bitcoin has seen "an ugly technical chart," Silbert said there's still a high degree of interest from institutional investors.

    "I'm convinced that whatever money is in gold is not going to stay in gold," Silbert said. "That gets handed down to millennials -- I'm highly confident a lot of that will go into bitcoin."

    "There are certainly institutional investors that have put money to work, and many more are considering it," Silbert said. "Until now they wanted to make sure they're not catching a falling knife."


    Chinese Bitcoin mining whale predicts Bitcoin will surge to at least $74,000

    Zhu Fa, the co-founder of crypto mining pool Poolin, has made a bullish statement on Bitcoin’s price. In a WeChat group, he predicted that Bitcoin would surge to new highs 10-20 times the level it reached in the previous bull run.

    And finally is a curious case :rolleyes::
    Digital exchange loses $137 million as founder takes passwords to the grave
    A cryptocurrency exchange in Canada has lost control of at least $137 million of its customers’ assets following the sudden death of its founder, who was the only person known to have access to the offline wallet that stored the digital coins. British Columbia-based QuadrigaCX is unable to access most or all of another $53 million because it’s tied up in disputes with third parties.

    As a bottom line:
    So, guys, this was BTC brief look on February. We do not have any reasons to be disappointed on the BTC perspective. Slowly but stubbornly big whales swallow the hook, and now we definitely could say that BTC will stay for a long time. In general, despite forecasts on how high and how fast bitcoin could climb - this is just a question of yield return on investment. Now price stands at such levels, that are attractive for long-term investments per se, whether this is 2000$ or 4000$. Now we should not ask whether the upside trend will start, but should ask when this will happen.

    We think that it is too much attention to Bitcoin and blockchain, especially from big banks and governments to the point that Bitcoin is useless and on its last legs. This lets us to keep our strategy - be prepared to take long-term bullish position as soon as our technical conditions will be achieved.
     
    #149 Sive Morten, Feb 20, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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