Bitcoin price spiked towards the $4,000 resistance, but failed once again versus the US Dollar.The price traded lower and broke the $3,950 and $3,940 support levels.There was a break below a connecting bullish trend line with support at $3,925 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).The pair remains well supported above $3,860 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.Bitcoin price is still facing a strong resistance near the $4,000 zone against the US Dollar. BTC bears and bulls locked horns as the price prepares for the next key break.Bitcoin Price AnalysisYesterday, we discussed about a possible upside acceleration above $4,000 in bitcoin price against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair did gain traction and broke the last swing high near $3,972. It traded close to the $4,000 resistance, but failed to gain strength. A new weekly high was formed at $3,985 and later the price declined sharply. The decline was such that the price broke the $3,950 and $3,940 support levels.More importantly, there was a break below a connecting bullish trend line with support at $3,925 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair traded close to the $3,860 support, where buyers emerged. A low was formed at $3,864 and the price is currently correcting higher. It moved above $3,900 and the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,985 high to $3,864 low. However, the price is facing resistance near the previous support at $3,925.Besides, the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,985 high to $3,864 low is acting as a resistance. It seems like there is an ascending channel in place with resistance at $3,930. A successful break above the channel and $3,940 could push the price towards the $3,970 level. On the downside, an initial support is near the $3,870 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The main support is at $3,860, below which the price could test the $3,830 level in the short term.Looking at the chart, bitcoin price seems to be confined in a tight range below the $4,000 resistance. It could either climb above the $4,000 barrier and trade towards the $4,200 level or extend the recent decline. Having said that, the price must stay above the $3,830 level. If not, there is a risk of a sharp drop towards the $3,720 support.Technical indicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD is placed slightly in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is placed just above the 50 level.Major Support Level – $3,860 followed by $3,830.Major Resistance Level – $3,940, $3,975 and 4,000.
Archives for February 21, 2019
The tensions and bad blood between Apple and Qualcomm have just been driven a notch higher.
According to Reuters, Qualcomm now wants trade regulators in the U.S. to ban the sale of some iPhones in the country. Specifically, Qualcomm wants those iPhones equipped with modems made by its rival Intel taken off shelves.
With the move, Qualcomm is seeking to overturn an International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling delivered last year in September. Then, the ITC concluded that some of Qualcomm’s patents had been violated by Apple.
No Ban on iPhones in the U.S. Despite violation of Qualcomm’s Intellectual Property
However, the regulator refused to slap a ban on the sale of iPhones bearing Intel modems in the United States. The regulator argued that a ban on such iPhones would effectively result in handing Qualcomm a market monopoly. Fortunately for Qualcomm, the regulator indicated in December that the earlier decision would be reviewed in 2019’s first quarter.
Qualcomm has pulled similar moves in China and Germany with mixed success. In Germany Apple no longer sells iPhones bearing Intel modems and only stocks those equipped with Qualcomm chips.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 14, 2019
The models that have been affected include the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X. This was after a German court ruled that Apple had infringed on the intellectual property of the chipmaker.
Software to the Rescue – Apple Escapes Ban in its Second-largest Market by Coding
Last year in December, Qualcomm also successfully obtained a preliminary injunction preventing Apple from selling some iPhones in China. To get around the patent infringement it had been accused of, Apple opted for a software fix, per Reuters:
Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance. Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.
Last week, Apple alluded that it will also apply the same software update to Intel-chipped iPhones in the U.S. as well. While announcing the software workaround Apple indicated that it would require six months to verify the success of the fix to the satisfaction of regulators. This is likely to mean that even if the ITC reverses its September ruling, a ban will likely last less than half a year.
Apple Prepared for a Qualcomm Win
Apple has already urged the ITC to delay a possible ban by six months in the event that the September ruling is reversed. Additionally, delaying the ban would allow Apple to deplete its existing inventory.
In seeking a ban on some iPhones, Qualcomm argues that the software fix Apple has introduced proves that the September ruling by the ITC ought to be reversed, according to Apple Insider:
Apple’s public interest arguments throughout the course of this Investigation have all rested on one fundamental idea: that enforcement of the ‘490 Patent would cause unavoidable harm to the public interest. Apple now admits — more than seven months after the hearing — that the alleged harm is entirely avoidable.
The total crypto market cap declined recently, but it found support near the $126.5B level.Bitcoin cash price corrected lower and declined below the $146 and $145 support levels.EOS price is currently consolidating gains above the $3.85 support areaStellar (XLM) corrected higher, but it struggled to break the $0.0920 resistance area.Tron (TRX) is confined in a range below the $0.0255 resistance area.The crypto market is holding a crucial support and it could bounce back. Bitcoin (BTC), BCH, Ethereum, EOS, ripple, stellar (XLM), tron (TRX) and other major altcoins are likely to grind higher.Bitcoin Cash Price AnalysisRecently, bitcoin cash price started a downside correction after it failed near the $150 resistance area against the US Dollar. The BCH/USD pair slowly declined and it recently broke the $146 and $145 support levels. The price is currently trading below $145, with supports near the $144, $142 and $140 levels.On the upside, the price could face sellers near $146 before it retests the $148 resistance. The main resistance for buyers is near the $150 level, above which the price will most likely trade towards $155 in the coming days.EOS, Stellar (XLM) and Tron (TRX) Price AnalysisEOS price remained in a solid uptrend and it recently broke the $3.80 and $3.85 resistance levels. The price settled above the $3.85 level and it is currently consolidating gains. On the upside, an initial resistance is at $3.90 and $3.92, above which the price could revisit the key $4.00 resistance area. On the downside, a break below $3.85 may push the price towards the $3.80 support.Stellar price started an upside correction and it recently broke the $0.0850 resistance level. However, XLM price failed to gain strength above the $0.0920 resistance and later corrected lower. On the downside, supports are visible near the $0.0850 and $0.0820 levels.Tron price mostly traded in a broad range above the $0.0450 support area. TRX price recently tested the $0.0255 resistance, where sellers emerged. The price declined again below $0.0250 and it may revisit the $0.0245 support area in the near term.Looking at the total cryptocurrency market cap hourly chart, there was a spike above the $132.5B resistance level. However, the market cap failed to stay above the $132.0B level and later declined. It broke the $130.0B support and tested the key $126.5B support area. Later, the market cap bounced back, but it is facing sellers near the $130.0B resistance level. Therefore, there could be a few bearish moves before the crypto market cap attempts to retake the $130.0B and $132.0B resistance levels. Overall, there could be short-term bearish moves in bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, ripple, LTC, bitcoin cash, XLM, TRX, and other altcoins before fresh increase.
Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, believes a market boom for its security trading platform tZERO lies just around the corner.
Speaking to CoinDesk in an interview Wednesday, Byrne said he expected volumes to soar after the year-long lock-up period for the tZERO Preferred (TZROP) token ends in August and the platform opens up to retail investors to register and trade. Right now, only accredited investors can do that.
So far, the daily volume on the platform has been fluctuating between 7,000 and 30,000 units of TZROP – the sole listed asset for now. At current prices, that amounts to less than $200,000 a day, hardly Nasdaq levels.
Still, Byrne is planning additional updates that will help boost liquidity on the exchange, first envisioned in 2014 as a kind of alternative stock market and now realized as an alternative trading (ATS) system for crypto tokens. Specifically, tZERO is also looking into getting more broker-dealers to work with, other than Dinosaur Financial Group, which is maintaining the trading exclusively now.
“I’m looking forward to you writing, ‘they’ve gone from 30,000 tokens to 300,000 tokens a day,’” Byrne told CoinDesk.
However, to introduce new broker-dealers, tZERO will have to get approvals for each one with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Byrne said, which could slow down the process.
Byrne told CoinDesk:
“FINRA and SEC made it clear that they want to see this work with one broker. We’re into an incremental disruption, not like you millennials that want everything burned down tomorrow.”
tZERO, the favorite child of Overstock and its subsidiary Medici (which owns 80 percent of tZERO), is led by former executives of the Overstock-Medici team: CEO Saum Noursalehi, who previously was the president of Overstock, and president Steven Hopkins, who used to be Medici’s general counsel and COO.
Medici’s team in general is actively involved in helping the portfolio companies to strengthen the weak parts and lending its staff when needed, Byrne told CoinDesk. For example, Medici’s team of developers has been helping some startups with technical expertise, while different specialists helped build business operations, he noted.
“At Medici, there are different kinds of talent, and we’re pushing it to the companies as they need it,” Byrne explained. “A lot of these companies are young kids with an idea and maybe some money, but not much more. And they haven’t built a company: they don’t have lawyers, HR people, they might not even have senior engineers.”
But that’s a challenge faced not only by Medici’s holdings but by the industry this 57-year-old CEO has embraced. As he put it:
“People in blockchain are used to building sort of little science experiments. They don’t know how to build something that a million of people are going to use.”
In the meantime, two important deals that are supposed to boost tZERO and the entire Medici portfolio with cash seem to be stumbling so far.
The first one is the sale of the online retail business, Overstock.com, announced in November and expected to get finalized by February. Asked if the process was advancing in any way, Byrne told CoinDesk that he’s “running the business as if I’m going to own it forever.”
Although “there is a process going on” regarding the projected sale, Byrne won’t say more but promises an optimistic future for the online retail business.
“We’re switching from the conventional internet strategy of growing and losing money, and we will have a positive cash flow in retail this year,” he said.
Another important deal for tZERO that seems as though it could be delayed is the one with the Hong-Kong-based firm GSR Capital that was going to invest up to $404 million in Overstock and tZERO, announced at the end of last year.
In December, GSR asked for an extension to close the deal, and the deadline was moved to Feb. 28. Asked about the status of the deal on the stage of the Oppenheimer Blockchain Summit in New York Wednesday, Byrne said that the two parties “have been staggering over the documents,” refusing to go into details.
Even if Overstock ends up keeping the retail business a little longer than expected, the company has already evolved into a blockchain play in investors’ minds. Since Byrne became actively involved in the space a few years ago, Overstock’s image has become closely connected to the cryptocurrency market, even though the company never announced large investments in crypto.
Overstock’s shares, which fell throughout 2018, followed the crypto bear market. Byrne says that according to the Overstock team’s estimate, the price of the stock is now 87 percent correlated with the price of bitcoin.
“Clearly people are confused. We don’t own significant bitcoin,” he said.
Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, at the Oppenheimer Blockchain Summit, photo by Anna Baydakova for CoinDesk.
Ripple price failed to stay above the $0.3250 and $0.3200 support levels and declined against the US dollar.This week’s followed major bullish trend line was breached with support near $0.3245 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).The pair declined below $0.3200 and tested the next key support near the $0.3140 level.The current price action is slightly bearish, suggesting more losses towards the $0.3050 support area.Ripple price failed to hold gains and declined recently against the US Dollar and bitcoin. XRP/USD could decline towards the $0.3050 support before it can start a fresh upward move.Ripple Price AnalysisYesterday, we discussed a few important support levels near the $0.3250 level for ripple price against the US Dollar. Recently, the XRP/USD pair started a downside move from well above the $0.3400 level and declined below the $0.3300 and $0.3280 supports. Later, the price found a strong support near the $0.3250 level. More importantly a crucial breakout pattern was formed with support near $0.3250. However, buyers failed to hold gains, resulting in a sharp decline below $0.3250.During the decline, the price broke the $0.3220 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Besides, this week’s followed major bullish trend line was breached with support near $0.3245 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. The pair even traded below $0.3160 and tested the $0.3150 support. A low was formed at $0.3144 and the price is currently correcting higher. It is testing the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $0.3337 high to $0.3144 low. However, there are many hurdles on the upside near the $0.3190 and $0.3200 levels.There is also a bearish trend line in place with resistance near $0.3200 and the 100 hourly SMA. Therefore, a successful break above $0.3200 is needed for a decent recovery. The next resistance could be $0.3250 and the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $0.3337 high to $0.3144 low.Looking at the chart, ripple price likely moved into a bearish zone below the $0.3250 support level. The current price action is slightly bearish, suggesting more losses towards the $0.3050 support area. Having said that, losses could be limited and sooner or later the price may bounce back above $0.3200. Finally, a close above $0.3250 will most likely boost the market sentiment in favor of buyers.Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD recovered and moved back in the bullish zone.Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD recovered recently, but failed near the 50 level.Major Support Levels – $0.3150, $0.3140 and $0.3100.Major Resistance Levels – $0.3200, $0.3240 and $0.3250.
ETH price is currently trading in a broad range above the $140 and $142 supports against the US Dollar.The price seems to be facing a strong resistance near the $148 and $150 levels.There is a key bullish trend line formed with support at $143 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).The pair must stay above the $140 support to clear the $150 barrier in the near term.Ethereum price is likely preparing for the next break against the US Dollar and bitcoin. ETH/USD could struggle in the short term, but it will most likely break the $150 resistance area.Ethereum Price AnalysisRecently, ETH price traded higher towards the $148 and $149 resistances against the US Dollar. However, the ETH/USD pair failed to surpass the $148 resistance on more than two occasions. As a result, there was a fresh drop and the price traded below the $144 level. The price traded close to the $142 support, where buyers emerged. A swing low was formed and later the price corrected higher. It recently moved above $144 and tested the 50% Fib retracement level of the last slide from the $149 swing high to $142 swing low.At the moment, the $145-146 zone is acting as a short term resistance. An immediate resistance is the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last slide from the $149 swing high to $142 swing low. A fresh close above the $148 level is needed for buyers to gain strength. More importantly, buyers need to successfully break $150 to start a new upward wave. The next key resistance is near $154 and the 1.618 Fib extension level of the last slide from the $149 swing high to $142 swing low.On the downside, an initial support is near $144. Besides, there is a key bullish trend line formed with support at $143 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. The main supports are near the $142 and $140 levels. A downside break below the $140 support could open the doors for a sharp decline in the coming sessions. Therefore, it’s very important for the price to stay above $140 in order to challenge and break $150.Looking at the chart, ETH price seems to be trading in a range above the $140 and $142 support. Having said that, there are a few bearish patterns emerging on the charts, suggesting a pullback below $140.ETH Technical IndicatorsHourly MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is slowly gaining pace in the bullish zone, with positive signs.Hourly RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD is rising sharply and it is placed well above the 50 level.Major Support Level – $142Major Resistance Level – $148
To call the current bear market a simple “correction” is quite a bold statement and one that would be met with counterpoints from numerous scorn crypto investors who bought in at the top of the recent Bitcoin (BTC) bubble. However, according to one crypto analyst, Bitcoin is still in a “ongoing bull market” and that the leading crypto by market cap is in nothing more than a correction, and that investors should accumulate at current prices.
Brian Armstrong, CEO of $8 billion crypto exchange Coinbase, wants to set some misconceptions straight about the security of various types of Bitcoin wallets.
Writing in Fortune, Armstrong clarifies – for a mainstream audience – the difference between hot and cold wallets. If the reader is unfamiliar with the concept, it’s pretty simple. A “hot” wallet is connected to the internet and capable of making immediate transactions. A “cold” wallet is secured offline, by definition, although there are degrees of coldness. A private key stored on an internet-connected device but not loaded into any active wallets is still technically “cold” – it takes more effort to use it on the blockchain.
Four Myths About Bitcoin Cold Storage
The billionaire Bitcoin exchange CEO clarifies what he’s identified as four misconceptions about cold wallets. The first is that “you can’t trade” funds in cold wallets. He says that Coinbase Custody allows for the delayed settlement of trades. That is, you can initiate a trade and it will be settled after the funds have been successfully moved out of cold storage and into the transaction.
The next myth he dispels is that all staking systems prevent the staking of cold wallets. He points out that Tezos allows for this via the “Baker” system.
Next up, the notion that cold wallets are always reliant on a single entity. Armstrong writes:
“A well-designed crypto custody solution doesn’t rely on any single person. Instead, it utilizes multiple keys to achieve consensus and redundancy. The larger the transaction, the more parties need to consent. This is really just scratching the surface of a well-designed custody solution.”
Coinbase CEO: Cold Storage > Crypto Hardware Wallet
The last myth he attempts to dispel is the notion of hardware wallets like Ledger are as secure as cold storage. He says he likes hardware wallets, but they don’t actually match the security offered by cold storage. In his own words:
“I’m a big fan of them, and Coinbase uses them in parts of our architecture. When used correctly, they can come close to, but not match, the security offered by cold storage. “Air gapping” your private keys in cold storage means fully disconnecting them from the internet, such that a remote attacker can’t access them without some physical attack as well. This additional manual step introduces a nice guarantee that it is not just software protecting your money. In theory, any software can be hacked, even if it is unlikely.”
Armstrong’s views match those of most experts. The storage of large amounts of Bitcoin in a hot wallet is a dangerous endeavor. You’re not only relying on your own security measures, after all. Parts of the system far beyond your control, such as the operating environment itself, can be compromised.
Human Error Is More Likely Than Hacking
And, in the end, people make mistakes. As Armstrong says:
“Is it possible to get all those details right? Yes, and I’m comfortable using hot storage for reasonable amounts. (Insurance can add an extra layer of protection.) Do I want to bet my entire business on all those details being right indefinitely? Probably not.”
Most of the largest mistakes in cryptocurrency have happened as a result of human error. One notable example is the social engineering hack that lost BitPay nearly $2 million in Bitcoin several years back. Coinbase has yet to suffer a similar hack, and they are insured to the hilt, but it’s certainly possible.
In the end, it’s always going to be safer to store your coins somewhere you have control. “Not your keys, not your coins” is a good mantra to live by. Does this mean you have to run a full node? No. You simply have to own the private keys. There are several solutions that allow you to do this, even mobile solutions like Coinomi. Custodial wallets like Jack Dorsey’s Cash App or Coinbase are more dangerous than following good security practices.
It’s all up to you, in the end, as it’s your Bitcoin – until it’s not.
Brian Armstrong Image from TechCrunch/Flickr
Over the past couple of weeks Bitcoin (BTC) has seen relatively positive trading action, surging from monthly lows of under $3,400 to highs of $4,000, from which it has only dropped slightly. Importantly, $4,000 has proven to be a strong level of resistance for Bitcoin, and analysts have mixed opinions on where the cryptocurrency is heading next.Although in the short-term it is unclear which direction BTC is heading, Spencer Bogart, a partner at the venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, recently expressed a bullish sentiment while speaking to Bloomberg, importantly noting that he believes now is a great time to buy Bitcoin.Bogart: Now is a “Very Good Time” to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) While speaking to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Emily Chang and Mike McGlone on “Bloomberg Technology,” Bogart expressed an overwhelmingly bullish sentiment over the long-term, importantly noting that although Bitcoin may not be ready to surge back towards its all-time-highs quite yet, the growing entrepreneurial activity and institutional interest makes now a good time to buy.“Bitcoin never left, it’s always been here. So, is it back? It’s definitely back… are we ready to see new all-time-highs? Probably not yet. I still feel like there are still a few more regulatory shoes to drop, but for now the entrepreneurial activity and the institutional interest in the space has not seated with the price,” Bogart said.His comments regarding Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry seeing increased adoption and internal growth that has not yet been reflected in the markets came about after Bloomberg’s Mike McGlone bearishly stated that BTC is still firmly in a bear market, and that it is still “way far away from a typical bottom you’d normally see.”When responding to Chang’s question regarding if Bitcoin has hit bottom, Bogart said that he believes “now is a very good time to buy,” but further adding that he does not know if it has established a long-term bottom yet.According to Spencer Bogart, now could be a great time to buy Bitcoin before its price catches up with its fundamental developments.McGlone also responded to this question and bearishly noted that he believes Bitcoin and the crypto markets still have further to fall before they establish a firm long-term bottom.Where Will Demand for Bitcoin Come From? In order for Bitcoin’s price to surge back towards its all-time-highs, it will have to garner a significant amount of demand. While speaking about where this demand will come from, Bogart said that he believes it will come from three main sources.The first main source of demand will be the “passage of time.” Bogart believes that as time continues to drag on, Bitcoin gains a greater amount of trust and its efficiency and utility will become increasingly proven.Bogart then said that the second “bucket of demand” will come from central banks and institutions that “value it as a non-sovereign digital asset with absolute scarcity.” The fact that Bitcoin does have absolute scarcity leads many to refer to it as a “digital gold” that may ultimately lead banks and institutions to purchase it as a hedge against traditional assets.Bogart believes that the third source of demand will come from tech demand, specifically because Bitcoin is “programable money” with an open network that allows people to build on top of it.Like many Bitcoin and cryptocurrency advocates, Bogart believes that as time goes on, the price of BTC will eventually catch up to the technical developments that have occurred behind the scenes despite the persisting bear market.Featured image from Shutterstock.
IBM VP of Blockchain and Digital Currencies Jesse Lund is bullish on Bitcoin – so bullish, in fact, that he set a long-term $1 million price target.
Bitcoin Price Has Million-Dollar Potential
The IBM executive pointed out that the higher the price of a crypto asset, the more utility it has. Therefore, he thinks people should focus less on the moving prices of crypto assets and more on their utility.
“If the price of Bitcoin were higher, there would be more liquidity on the network, we could be having a really different discussion with banks right now,” he says.
He adds that speculators are hurting the value of cryptocurrencies “because they’re thinking about it wrong.”
Later in the interview, Lund made an astonishing remark as to the future of cryptocurrencies. By New Year’s Eve, he predicts the price of Bitcoin will be $5,000. However, his long-term outlook is much different.
“I have a long-term outlook. […] It goes back to that discussion about the utility of the network with a higher price. I see Bitcoin at a million dollars someday. I like that number because if Bitcoin’s at a million dollars, then the satoshi is on value parity with the US penny. And that means there’s over $20 trillion of liquidity in this network. Think about $20 trillion in liquidity and how that changes things like corporate payments.”
Lund’s view is that when the Bitcoin price gets high enough, serious banks take more interest. When this happens, the utility of the token increases at its core value proposition – less-expensive transfers of value. Both IBM and R3 Corda are working hard on creating solutions for cross-border payment solutions using multiple digital assets.
It’s not every day that someone from the old world of technology predicts such a high price for Bitcoin. The $5,000 figure may even be debatable from here, as speculators make anything possible.
Lund: Stellar is a ‘Viable Settlement Instrument’
“There’s no technical reason or technical barriers that should prevent money from flowing the same way [as information]. […] The architecture of World Wire is really a cross-border payment network, the magic of which, if you will, the novelty of it, is the ability to send payment instructions saying, ‘Hey, I’m sending you something, get ready.’ And on the other end, the receiver is making sure that who you’re sending it to is not some nefarious actor or bad actor.”
“Once that happens, and that happens really fast, then we send the value along with it. That transfer of value is made possible by digital instruments, settlement instruments, of which Lumens is one. So we see Lumens as a viable settlement instrument in this ecosystem of cross-border payments.”
Lund believes that a variety of assets should be available when making cross-border settlements. Most blockchain protocols outside of smart contract platforms don’t allow for the transfer of multiple assets. In essence, IBM’s World Wire is an alternative to R3’s Corda settlement layer, which in part uses Ripple.
Featured Image from Shutterstock. Price Charts from TradingView.