Is the Sell-Off Over? Why Bitcoin May Be Nearing its Bottom

Bitcoin (BTC) prices dropped to a 50-day low of $6,630 earlier today, but a glimmer of good news for the bulls is that the cryptocurrency appears to be nearing a bottom.

To start with, BTC tends to reverse course every time the relative strength index (RSI) drops to or below 30.00, according to historical data (see chart below). As of writing, the relative strength index is close to that mark, at 32.00.

At press time, bitcoin is changing hands at $6,950 on Bitfinex, while the average price across leading exchanges, as represented by CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index is seen at $6,930…

Continue reading at COINDESK

Move over Bitcoin, Ethereum is the future

The idea behind Bitcoin is to act as a transparent peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system and, on this, it has had varying degrees of success.

But there is a much more exciting project, also based on blockchain technology, known as Ethereum.

While Bitcoin’s only use is as a payment system, Ethereum dwells on building the infrastructure within which smart contracts can be executed.

A smart contract is code built on blockchain that executes when certain conditions are met.

CODED CONTRACT
Smart contracts are nothing new; we interact with them all the time. In their basic form, they are just “if-then” instructions.

A common example usually used to explain this is the analogy of the vending machine.

The machine is programmed to dispense particular products on certain conditions.

If Sh50 gets you a bottle of water, the machine will verify your Sh50, confirm your selection and give you the bottle of water.

A simple coded contract in this machine would be: “If Sh50 is confirmed received, then issue a bottle of water.”

PUBLIC LEDGER
While this example is rather simplistic, at their very core, smart contracts operate on this model.

The only distinction is in the manner in which the contract is verified.

All Ethereum transactions and confirmations are recorded in a decentralised public ledger that can never be tampered with.

While regular contracts will require the intervention of a third party — such as a court of law or a bank due to issues of trust — for Ethereum and blockchain, the contract is…

Continue reading at DAILY NATION

10 Facts You Should Know About Bitcoin

All aboard the crypto-coaster

The biggest investment story of the past 12 months has been the meteoric rise — and fall and then rise and then fall and then rise and then fall — of cryptocurrencies. Of course, the headline act of the group has been bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency to arrive on the scene more than nine years ago. In the past year, the price of bitcoin has rocketed from about $970 to $8,713, where it stands today — an eightfold increase! Of course, during that time, its price peaked at nearly $20,000!

Because of its rapid rise in price, the asset has attracted lots of attention from both would-be investors and those that are just curious. Yet there still exists a lot of confusion about bitcoin and the blockchain technology behind it. If you are in either one of these camps, here are 10 facts you should know about bitcoin:

Continue reading at MOTLEY FOOL

Bitcoin Hits a Critical Low Today – And Here’s Why

Volatile bitcoin took another punch to the gut.

Bitcoin (XBT) briefly fell below $8,000 because of concerns that top social media companies are no longer running ads tied to cryptocurrencies. Twitter (TWTR) is the latest to take action against crypto ads.

The company confirmed in a statement to CNNMoney Tuesday that it has banned ads for initial coin offerings and token sales.

Initial coin offerings, or ICOs, allow companies to raise money, often by crowdfunding, through the sale of their own cryptocurrencies or digital tokens.

Google (GOOGL) said earlier this month that it will begin restricting some crypto ads in June.

And Facebook (FB) announced in January that it was prohibiting the sale of ads that “promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices” — which included ICOs and bitcoin.

Related: Google to ban crytpocurrency ads

The moves come as regulators around the world, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, warn that some ICOs are scams and have begun to crack down on…

Continue reading at CNN MONEY

Investing expert makes a MAJOR Bitcoin price prediction for 2018

LDJ Capital founder and chairman David Drake went on record, saying that “Bitcoin will be worth $30,000 at the year end.” After a “cold winter” for cryptocurrencies, the noted investor says that 2018 will shape up as a refining one for the field.


David Drake

“Cryptocurrency Wall Street Time”

Speaking to Bloomberg, LDJ Capital’s David Drake went on to express his positive outlook for the direction which Bitcoin is moving. He notes that cryptocurrency is hot in Asia right now as well as the US, which he states is the “biggest market right now.” Drake is very optimistic, predicting a serious surge in the price of the world’s leading cryptocurrency. This is due to increasing guidance from regulatory bodies as well as Wall Street getting more involved.

While Drake does believe in the bright future of Bitcoin, he seems to have a rather different take on it compared to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, who said that Bitcoin will be the internet’s “single currency” recently. Instead, Drake insists that “hundreds” of different cryptocurrencies shall remain present on the market.

Bitcoin

Calm Your Horses

The noted bitcoin investor is firm on the fact that there are highly-innovative projects offering “great solutions” that could shakeup the cryptocurrency rankings. He notes several virtual currencies are hot on the heels of Ethereum, but he maintains Bitcoin will stay on top. According to Drake, Bitcoin is all about capital preservation.

He’s also taking a laid-back approach to all the ongoing hype. “We’ve got to  calm down a little bit”, Drake says after acknowledging the SEC claims that some of the existing currencies are “fraudulent.”

Bitcoin bright future

Bright Future Ahead

Even after the recent moves of Google and Facebook to ban direct advertising of initial coin offering (ICO) projects, Drake remains entirely optimistic. He says that they are “doing the right thing” as it places the emphasis on projects with real solutions. His position is the same regarding the SEC clamping down on ICOs, believing that this will only legitimize projects with real value, actionable solutions, and products with actual application.

After a “cold winter” for cryptocurrencies, LDJ Capital’s founder seems to believe that 2018 will shape up as a defining one for the field.

What do you think 2018 holds for the crypto world? Will Bitcoin hit $30,000? Let us know in the comments down below!


Images courtesy of Pxhere, LinkedIn, and Bitcoinist archives.

The post LDJ Capital’s David Drake: ‘Bitcoin Will be Worth $30K at the Year End’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

You won’t believe this 2018 Ripple (XRP) price prediction

A Ripple price prediction for gains of 840% in 2018 shows just how much of an impact this cryptocurrency could have on the global financial system.

The goal of the Ripple project is to create nothing less than an “Internet of Value” – a system that allows almost any asset to be transferred over the Internet as easily and quickly as a text message, photo, or video.

Featured: The Best Cryptocurrencies to Buy in 2018

That’s why Ripple (XRP) made the biggest gains of any cryptocurrency last year – bigger even than market leaders Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Ripple price soared 35,000% in 2017, from a miniscule $0.006386 to $2.25.

And the Ripple train has continued to barrel full steam ahead in 2018, as these new price predictions show…

These Ripple Price Predictions Anticipate Big Gains

Two major remittance companies – MoneyGram International Inc. (Nasdaq: MGI) and The Western Union Co. (NYSE: WU) – announced this year they had started testing Ripple for its potential to streamline their money transfer businesses.

The good news for investors is that the Ripple price, fueled in part by last year’s monster cryptocurrency rally, went way too high way too fast. The XRP price has corrected 83% from its all-time high in January of $3.77. Today, the price of Ripple is a more reasonable $0.65.

That’s a good thing for investors, since buying Ripple now will yield bigger gains as it hits targets beyond January’s high.

Finder.com‘s current consensus Ripple price prediction for the end of 2018 is $6.13 – an 840% gain from today’s XRP price.

If You’re Not Making Millions of Dollars with Cryptocurrencies… you could be. Click here to discover the tiny coin that will soon be BIGGER THAN BITCOIN… and how to claim YOUR cryptocurrency fortune while you still can.

Other Ripple price predictions see the cryptocurrency soaring to $10 or beyond over the next few years.

But are such high expectations really justified?

To understand why a lot of cryptocurrency experts see such big price gains for Ripple, you need to know a few basics…

What Ripple Is – and Isn’t

Ripple is the No. 3 cryptocurrency by market cap behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its roots go back to 2004, predating even the birth of Bitcoin in 2009. And yet, Ripple is a unique and somewhat controversial cryptocurrency.

The first point of confusion is that there is both a Ripple company (Ripple Labs) and a Ripple cryptocurrency (XRP) that trade on the exchanges.

The two are related – Ripple Labs did create XRP, launching it in its current form in 2012. But in 2015, the XRP protocol was made open source, meaning anyone can contribute to it. It functions mostly independently of the company now.

But the link between the two creates confusion for investors when Ripple Labs announces new customers or its global payments network product, xCurrent. Despite the name, xCurrent doesn’t use XRP.

Muddying things further is that two other Ripple Labs products, xRapid and xVia, do use the XRP cryptocurrency.

When assessing XRP’s value, investors need to keep these relationships straight. Ripple Labs has more than 100 banks using xCurrent, including several of the world’s largest, such as Credit Agricole SA (OTCMKTS: CRARY), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and Banco Santander (NYSE ADR: SAN).

But Ripple has just a handful of customers using xRapid and xVia (although MoneyGram and Western Union are among the companies using xRapid).

The willingness of Ripple Labs to partner with traditional banks doesn’t sit well with crypto advocates who believe the purpose of cryptocurrency is to cut out traditional banks and eventually leave them on the ash heap of history.

The Ripple Labs connection also has led to accusations that XRP is not decentralized in the way that, say, Bitcoin is decentralized. That’s because Ripple Labs still controls the majority of the “validator” nodes that confirm the transactions on the network (the role of Bitcoin’s miners).

However, Ripple Labs has successfully encouraged third-party validators to join the network, with a plan to reduce the number of Ripple-controlled validators as new third parties join.

In fact, the validators are one of the key differences between the XRP and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin…

This Is What Will Power the XRP Price Higher

Ripple’s xCurrent is designed to be much faster and cheaper than existing options for global cross-border payments, such as the SWIFT system (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications). Transactions on xCurrent can execute in seconds (compared to days for SWIFT) and cost about 60% less.

And while xCurrent doesn’t require the use of XRP, doing so makes the network more efficient, saving more money for the banks and companies that use it. That’s because XRP can provide liquidity to the system – something of particular importance in foreign exchange conversions between infrequently traded pairs.

Banks that conduct a lot of international transactions hold foreign currencies in so-called “nostro” accounts. These are accounts a bank maintains with another bank in a different country, but stocked with that country’s native currency. Nostro accounts make foreign exchange transactions easier by ensuring currencies are on hand when needed.

But nostro accounts tie up a lot of capital while waiting to be used, which costs the banks money. Such accounts make up 80% of the costs of international payments.

This is the problem XRP seeks to solve. One large XRP account can take the place of many nostro accounts, because XRP is instantly convertible, through the Ripple network, to any fiat currency – or, for that matter, to just about any asset you can think of.

There’s $27 trillion stored in nostro accounts today. XRP need only grab a small portion of that for its price to skyrocket.

Ripple Labs still need to convince the banks that using XRP is in their best interest, but that’s the beauty of xCurrent – it’s the foot in the door that will enable widespread XRP adoption.

These lofty Ripple price predictions take this catalyst – and more – into account…

Ripple Price Predictions for 2,300% Gains – and Beyond

Read more

What caused Bitcoin’s price to fall today?

Bitcoin fell $500 in hours to hit two-day lows March 22 after news broke Japanese regulators may ban the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.


Co-Founder Ye Not Concerned

UPDATE: Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has responded to the news on Twitter stating that the source showed “irresponsible journalism” as the crypto exchange is currently in “constructive talks” with the FSA and did not receive any mandates so far.

Original article:

According to local news outlet Nikkei, Japan’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) is “investigating” Binance for operating without registration.

Should these operations not stop, the report states, the FSA will instigate “criminal charges” in collaboration with law enforcement.

The news appeared to have an almost instant effect on cryptocurrency markets, BTC/USD dropping below $9000 and continuing to head towards $8500 – its lowest levels since March 20.

While Binance has yet to provide official correspondence on the matter, co-founder He Yi poured cold water on the FSA’s threats, reportedly telling consumers they had nothing to worry about and that there were no official outposts of the company on Japan’s territory.

Anonymity ‘Irked’ Regulators

The Hong Kong based exchange had applied for a licence to operate in Japan in January, as part of a scheme begun in April 2017 which has so far delivered 16 licensed exchanges.

Following domestic exchange Coincheck’s half-trillion dollar hack in January, the FSA stepped up rigorous inspections of remaining exchanges, demanding transparency to ensure no repeat of the Coincheck fiasco, which is ongoing, occurred.

Binance “has irked the FSA by failing to verify the identification of Japanese investors at the time accounts are opened,” Nikkei Asian Review meanwhile continues.

The Japanese officials suspect Binance does not have effective measures to prevent money laundering; the exchange handles a number of virtual currencies that are traded anonymously.

The comments mirror those of authorities in South Korea, who hastily instigated an anonymous trading ban at the end of January.

What do you think about Binance’s regulatory problems in Japan? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

The post Bitcoin Price Falls As Markets React To (False) Japan Binance Threat [UPDATED] appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin’s price stops falling but is the ‘Death Cross’ still a risk?

Bitcoin’s (BTC) three-day winning streak is encouraging for the bulls, but only a quick move above $10,500 would negate the risks of the so-called “death cross.”

Having bottomed out at $7,335 on Sunday, prices on CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) rose to $9,127 today – the highest level since March 14. As of writing, the BPI is seen at $9,074. The retreat from the intraday highs could be associated with the signs of bearish relative strength index divergence seen on the hourly chart.

The 22.7 percent recovery from $7,335 suggests the bulls have regained control, at least for the time being. However, the cryptocurrency is not out of the woods yet, the long duration technical studies indicate.

To start with, the cryptocurrency is still in a downtrend as indicated by the trendline sloping downwards from the Dec. 17 high and Jan. 6 high is intact. And furthermore, the imminent and scary-sounding “death cross”…

Continue reading at COINDESK

How many Americans own cryptocurrency? The answer may surprise you

Nearly 16.3 million Americans, or 8 percent of the country, own some form of cryptocurrency, according to a new survey by Finder.com, which also found slightly more than 5 percent of Americans owned Bitcoin. If accurate, the results mark an increase from a study the Pew Research Center published in December 2016 that revealed roughly half of Americans had heard of Bitcoin but only 1 percent had traded, collected or used it.


WHY ARE PEOPLE HESITANT TO BUY CRYPTO?

The survey asked the remaining 92 percent of people why they hadn’t purchased cryptocurrency, finding that 40 percent believe “there is no need or they are disinterested” followed by 35 percent saying “it’s too high risk.”

Among the rest of respondents, 27 percent said “it’s too complicated to understand,” 18 percent said “it’s a scam,” 17 percent said “it’s a bubble,” 11 percent said “it’s too difficult to use” and 6 percent said “there are too many fees.”

Men were almost three times as likely to hold cryptocurrency than women, with nearly 12 percent of men reporting owning cryptocurrency compared to only slightly more than 4 percent women.

The survey further broke down respondents among millennials, gen x and baby boomers. Seventeen percent of millennials said they held cryptocurrency, making them the generation most likely to own it. But they were also the most likely to say “it’s too difficult to use” at 15 percent and “too complicated to understand” at 31 percent.

On the other hand, Gen X was the least likely to say cryptocurrency was too hard to use. Only 9 percent said “it’s too difficult to use” and nearly 26 percent saying “it’s too complicated to understand.”

The survey also asked what cryptocurrencies people were investing in. Bitcoin topped the list at 5 percent followed by Ethereum at 2 percent and Bitcoin Cash at 0.90 percent. Among those who had the cryptocurrencies, respondents reported owning an average of $3,453 in Bitcoin, $1,243 in Ethereum and $636 in Bitcoin Cash.

Personal finance website Finder.com commissioned the survey on 2,001 American users of Pureprofile, a website where people voluntarily answer questionnaires for cash and rewards.

It’s worth noting that users of Pureprofile know how to use the web well enough to make money. This can skew the survey’s findings since the respondents don’t necessarily represent less tech-savvy Americans.

CONSUMER CRYPTO CONFIDENCE PICKS UP

According to separate research published this month by cryptocurrency lending platform Lendingblock, more than half of people believe cryptocurrency will be widely accepted in shops by 2025.

Lendingblock CEO Steve Swain said his company’s research shows “the public is sure that cryptocurrency is here to stay.”

“Cryptocurrency is a maturing market, and this is exactly what we would expect to see happening at this time as we move from early adopters to more mainstream awareness and use,” Swain said.

Another study by Nomura Instinet also published this month, found that 60 percent of the merchants using Square’s mobile payments system would accept Bitcoin instead of cash. These merchants were vendors who earned $100,000 or less in yearly revenue.

“This result is surprising, especially amid Bitcoin’s elevated volatility,” said Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Doley.

What do you think of the survey results? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Dieter Holger/Bitcoinist, Shutterstock

The post Over 16 Million Americans Now Own Cryptocurrency, Survey Finds appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst

Bitcoin is unfolding like the dot-com crash — just 15 times faster

  • Bitcoin is behaving a lot like the Nasdaq did in the dot-com bubble but 15 times faster, Morgan Stanley says.
  • Similarities in price moves and trading volume could be signs that history is repeating itself, according to a note published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.
  • Morgan Stanley also points out changes in bitcoin trading volume into a cryptocurrency called tether.

Bitcoin is behaving a lot like how the Nasdaq did during the dot-com bubble nearly 20 years ago, but the timeline is unfolding much faster, according to research published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.

The Nasdaq in 2000 and modern-day bitcoin both rallied 250 to 280 percent in their most “exuberant” periods ahead of bear markets, Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients.

“Just that the bitcoin rally was around 15 times the speed,” Sheena Shah, strategist at Morgan Stanley said.

Bitcoin is behaving a lot like how the Nasdaq did during the dot-com bubble nearly 20 years ago, but the timeline is unfolding much faster, according to research published by Morgan Stanley on Monday.

The Nasdaq in 2000 and modern-day bitcoin both rallied 250 to 280 percent in their most “exuberant” periods ahead of bear markets, Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients.

“Just that the bitcoin rally was around 15 times the speed,” Sheena Shah, strategist at Morgan Stanley said.  These price moves and similar behavior in trading volume could be signs that…

Continue reading at CNBC.com