Kvě 23

John McAfee Says the Cryptocurrency Bull Rally is Near

· May 22, 2018 · 9:00 pm

John McAfee believes the march of the cryptocurrency bulls is at hand. The renowned tech activist and internet security expert has added his voice to the growing crypto institutional investment narrative.


Prices Will Go Through the Roof

In a tweet on Monday, McAfee urged traders to gear up for the next crypto price rally. He based his assertions on the influx of cash from institutional investors trooping into the market.

He also said that with the money flowing into cryptocurrencies, prices of the top ten coins will increase dramatically. McAfee also believes that other altcoins will experience growth as investors diversify their cryptocurrency trading portfolios.

When challenged on Twitter as to the veracity of his claims, McAfee gave no basis for his declaration. Instead, the controversial crypto proponent told responders to “use their heads,” “check recent news on institutional investors,” and “apply reason.” Safe to say, this is another one of McAfee’s bold assertions, much like his famous 2017 prediction that “Bitcoin will be 500k in the year 2020.”

The Emerging Trend of Institutional Cryptocurrency Investment

While McAfee did not provide any backing for his claims, there is some merit to his position regarding the flurry of institutional interest in cryptos that have made the news in recent times. A few days ago, Coinbase launched four new products targeted at institutional cryptocurrency investors. Goldman Sachs is also making plans to open Bitcoin trading to large investors as well.

Bitcoin

The overarching consensus is that the crypto market is maturing after a parabolic growth spurt in 2017 which saw prices hit record highs. Since the start of 2018, the market has declined in value, dropping 50 percent of its market cap in February. According to an April survey conducted by Fundstrat, 82 percent of institutional investor believe Bitcoin bottomed out when it fell below $6,000 in April.

The entry of hedge funds into the crypto market should increase the perceived level of legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. One important part of the emerging trend of institutional investment in digital currency is the establishment of trusted custodial services. In the past few months, there has been some progress on this front with a significant announcement by Nomura during the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York.

Do you agree with John McAfee’s assertions of an impending crypto price boom? Which altcoins do you think will dominate the market? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Twitter/@officialmcafee, Flickr, and Shutterstock.

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Kvě 21

Wall Street Cryptocurrency Trading is Imminent, Former J.P. Morgan Exec Says

· May 20, 2018 · 7:00 pm

The cryptocurrency market continues to be a trending topic in the world of finance. However, the question remains; when will Wall Street banks begin crypto trading? The day is closer than we think, according to a former J.P. Morgan executive.


Big Banks to Start Trading Cryptocurrency Soon

Amber Baldet, formerly of J.P Morgan believes that the big banks will soon start trading cryptocurrency. She made this declaration during an interview with CNBC. According to her, such a move is even closer than many people think. This revelation holds a fair bit of weight given that it is coming from someone with insider knowledge of Wall Street.

Baldet used to head J.P Morgan’s blockchain division before leaving the bank in April. Goldman Sachs, another prominent Wall Street has already announced plans to establish a bitcoin trading service. When launched, it will be the first ever Wall Street crypto trading platform.

Amber Baldet

Baldet, however, identified some critical issues standing in the way of broader crypto adoption by big banks. Lack of regulatory clarity and problems concerning custodial services are among the main challenges preventing a greater institutional presence in the market. The major banks have no secure crypto custody framework at the moment. This lack of trusted safeguards for cryptocurrencies might soon be a thing of the past, however. Both Nomura and Coinbase announced last week that they were launching crypto custodial solutions.

Search Engine for the Blockchain Ecosystem

Baldet also spoke about her new venture since leaving Wall Street. The former J.P. Morgan executive unveiled Clovyr at the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York. Clovyr is designed to be an app store for blockchain DApps. Commenting on the project, Baldet said:

There’s no way to discover what’s out there right now; there’s no Google for finding applications. The ability to discover apps is helpful, but the ability to build them is also encompassed in there.

Thus, Clovyr is more than a blockchain search engine; it is also a platform that allows developers to create useful DApps. Baldet has a lot of experience with developing blockchain solutions. She was an essential member of the team that created J.P. Morgan’s legacy blockchain project, Quorum.

Will the entry of the likes of J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs be a good thing for the crypto market? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Image courtesy of Twitter @AmberBaldet., Shutterstock

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Kvě 18

US Securities and Exchange Commission Launches ‘HoweyCoins’ ICO

· May 17, 2018 · 8:00 pm

In a surprising turn of events, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has launched its own initial coin offering dubbed HoweyCoins.


‘A Hot Investment Opportunity’

Anyone looking for a hot new initial coin offering (ICO) should look no further than the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s brand new token sale for HoweyCoins. States the regulatory authority in an official press release:

If you’ve ever been tempted to buy into a hot investment opportunity linked with luxury travel, the Securities and Exchange Commission has a deal for you.

Check out the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s mock initial coin offering (ICO) website that touts an all too good to be true investment opportunity. But please don’t expect the SEC to fly you anywhere exotic—because the offer isn’t real.

Unsurprisingly, the SEC isn’t actually launching its own token sale. Rather, the independent agency of the United States federal government has set up a mock website in order to educate investors about the perils of investing in fraudulent ICOs.

Clicking “Buy Coins Now” on HoweyCoins.com — a tongue-in-cheek reference to a landmark US Supreme Court decision in 1946 — will not actually sell you coins, but rather offer tools and advice from the SEC and other financial regulators.

The website has reportedly been set up to protect regular investors, and “features several of the enticements that are common to fraudulent offerings, including a white paper with a complex yet vague explanation of the investment opportunity, promises of guaranteed returns, and a countdown clock that shows time is quickly running out on the deal of a lifetime.”

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s Chief Counsel, Owen Donley — aka HoweyCoins’ Josh Hinze — explains:

Fraudsters can quickly build an attractive website and load it up with convoluted jargon to lure investors into phony deals. But fraudulent sites also often have red flags that can be dead giveaways if you know what to look for.

Likewise, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton states:

The rapid growth of the ‘ICO’ market, and its widespread promotion as a new investment opportunity, has provided fertile ground for bad actors to take advantage of our Main Street investors. We embrace new technologies, but we also want investors to see what fraud looks like, so we built this educational site with many of the classic warning signs of fraud. Distributed ledger technology can add efficiency to the capital raising process, but promoters and issuers need to make sure they follow the securities laws. I encourage investors to do their diligence and ask questions.

HoweyCoins.com does indeed look a lot like the vast majority of websites offering ICOs and may be interpreted as a clever and funny way to educate investors against fraudulent schemes — as opposed to simply providing bullet points on a government website.

What do you think of the SEC’s new mock ICO? Do you think this is a positive move in the education of investors against fraudulent ICOs and bad actors in the cryptocurrency space? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 06

Blockchain Technology to Combat Dodgy Ticket Resales

· May 6, 2018 · 6:00 pm

Secondary ticketing in the UK is a billion-dollar problem, one that Aventus hopes to solve with blockchain technology.


Whether it’s your favorite football match or your music idol’s concert, front-row tickets are probably what you’re after. However, if they happen to be sold out by the time you can afford them, you might be tempted to purchase these tickets from unscrupulous secondary parties.

Prepare to be met with counterfeit tickets and sky-high prices. According to The Guardian, secondary tickets for shows for big artists, such as Adele, can fetch up to $12,000. Preventing these so-called ticket touts seems to be a decades-old issue, but something that blockchain technology could solve.

Blockchain to the Rescue

Annika Monari and Alan Vey, who are the founders of Aventus, will have the opportunity to test this theory at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Their blockchain-based program will be used for more than 10,000 tickets to fan events in the US and Europe.

By using blockchain technology, the records for each ticket will be immutable and therefore protected against counterfeiting. Essentially, each ticket will be linked to its owner, which will combat fraud.

By doing this, Monari and Vey, who both have degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Particle Physics, have said that Aventus will “virtually eliminate ticketing fraud and the scourge of unregulated touting”.

A New Solution for an Old Problem

A New Solution for an Old Problem

The Aventus founders discussed their excitement at working towards a solution for this problem:

“It has been an amazing journey. We used to sit in this common room having coffees and worrying about our coursework. But now, hopefully, we will be the people who can solve the problems in the ticketing industry. That would feel incredible and be such a huge achievement for us.”

The platform’s ICO in September last year sold out in just seven minutes, raising a total of just over $35 million.

Positive Impact

Professor Mike Waterson from Warwick University acted as a technical advisor to Monari and Vey. He had this to say:

“It has a lot of potential. Thinking through the market from a fresh perspective is very useful. If they get genuine buy-in from a wide enough range of people then it is going to have a big impact on the market.”

Expanding Blockchain-based Solutions

Waterson also conducted a government report into the secondary ticket industry, including ticket sales for Premier League games. This is also an issue that Aventus hopes to help with. The platform will be working with another blockchain-based platform, Blocside, for the FIFA World Cup initiative, but hope to expand their offerings to Premier League football clubs soon.

Ticket fraud is quite a lucrative industry in the UK, with an annual value of about $1.3 billion. Bernie Dillon, an entertainment industry expert, discussed how Aventus could make a difference:

“Anyone who has ever attended, hosted, or produced a live entertainment event has been affected by counterfeit tickets or extortionate resale prices. Aventus brings a refreshing solution that could end fraudulent activity and ticket touting once and for all.”

Do you think that blockchain technology is the answer to the ticketing industry’s biggest problem? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

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Kvě 05

3 Altcoins to Outperform Bitcoin For The Week of May 5

· May 5, 2018 · 5:00 pm

To title this week dramatic in the cryptocurrency space would be an understatement. BTC has seen a price surge with renewed interest from big names like Goldman Sachs while altcoins have major events on the horizon. This is a very exciting period for altcoins like BTC, ZCL, ENJ, and DGB.


What a Week It Has Been, What a Week It Will Be 

The cryptocurrency markets have finally broken out of a multi-month bear slump in brute force. BTC is up more than 50% from recent lows with altcoins trading significantly higher. With positive momentum in the cryptocurrency markets, teams from across the world are announcing major cryptocurrency projects, deadlines are being hit, and milestones are being reached.

Bitcoin price

The bearish markets in the past week have begun to seem increasingly bullish with a major forking announcement from ZClassic; a security break-through for DigiByte, and the Unite world tour for Enjin.

BTC- Goldman Sachs Futures Trading and Possible Trading Desk

The most important name in cryptocurrency trading at $9,952 per coin with a market cap of $170 billion is Bitcoin. This week has been exciting and the near future should also be exuberant as Bitcoin bulls have retaken the reigns and it once again is pressing the $10,000 mark. BTC was trading as low as $6,000 during this recent bear raid and looks to have built significant momentum heading into May.

There are a few main reasons BTC has once again accelerated forward in value: renewed interest from the world’s wealthiest via OTC (over the counter deals) and trading platforms/operations opening up to institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs.

So Long, All-Time Highs? Goldman Sachs Says Crypto Peaks Have Been And Gone

Goldman Sachs announced earlier this week they would begin futures trading of BTC and also were considering a trading desk. This was confirmed on Thursday, May 3, 2018, with the likely pursuit of similar operations by other Wall Street Banks. As more money pours into the cryptocurrency space BTC will obviously be the first big winner with institutional money likely trickling off to other altcoins as well.

A recent announcement by the Anonymous Bitcoin team revealed that BTC and ZCL will both be receiving a forked coin on September 10, 2018. Allowing those that enjoy the BTC bull run to have a nice ‘dividend’ at the end of summer.

ZCL – A Real Forking Announcement (FUD, Upcoming Announcements)

ZClassic (ZCL) is trading at $21.50 with a market cap of $83.6 million. This past week a new dev team announced on CNBC they would be forking ZCL with BTC, creating Anonymous Bitcoin. This was the first televised fork announcement by a major broadcaster like CNBC. The technology behind Anonymous Bitcoin WILL include zkSNARKs anonymity features plus masternode staking ability.

ZCL – A Big Forking Announcement (Anonymous Bitcoin)

This would allow individuals to be incentivized to hold their Anonymous Bitcoin vs actively trade it. This fork was officially announced April 28, 2018. ZCL quickly rose to over $40 before conflicting news was announced by prior ZCL dev teams regarding the inauthenticity of the fork.

The Anonymous Bitcoin team has defended their position and remained completely transparent regarding their methods for forking ZCL while being present and doing interviews at the last two cryptocurrency conventions in Miami and Los Angeles.

The Anonymous Bitcoin lead developer, Sam Abbassi, proudly has a speaking engagement coming up at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The Founder of the project, Jake Greenbaum, will be going to Consensus to continue to network, interview, and share the philosophy behind why forks create better technology at little to no cost to the crypto community. The Anonymous Bitcoin team is not hiding behind the veil of a fork but instead attempting to create a new cryptocurrency with a vibrant community behind it.

In the months leading up to ZCL’s prior fork, ZCL was trading as high as $220 per coin with a market cap of almost $700 million. Currently, ZCL is trading under $22 with new advisors to be announced in the near future, the executive summary to be released in the next week, and the white paper to be released by June 1st. At a bare minimum, the next few weeks will be exciting to watch the charts of ZCL.

Enjin Unite Tokyo: May 7-9; Unite Beijing May 11-13 

Enjin (“ENJ”) is currently on the “conference tour” at Unity events. For those that are not big gamers or developers “Unity” may not be a familiar term. Unity is a cross-platform game engine that is used to develop video games for all consoles and mobile devices. The unity platform now includes over 15 platforms and hosts major conferences regarding gaming, app development, and technology all over the world.

This week is important for ENJ because they are speaking and having booths at Unity’s event in Tokyo and next week’s event in Beijing. ENJ is attempting to integrate its currency into multiple gaming platforms and where better to demonstrate their capabilities than at Unite Tokyo and Unite Beijing?

ENJ currently is trading at $.17 with a market cap of $127 million. If ENJ’s presentations and exposure in Asia is viewed positively this numbers should trend upward. As an altcoin ENJ is well suited to enter the gaming market as they are already partnered with Unity for “True in Game Ownership of Digital Assets.” Having a partner like Unity while being on their conference tour should provide ENJ the perfect amount of momentum to build their user base and continue to excel as a cryptocurrency. 

DigiByte (DGB) – Blockchain Based Open Authentication Protocol Service May 11

One of the biggest concerns of individuals actively participating in the cryptocurrency space is the possibility of being hacked. Managing a handful of passwords that conceal what could amount to thousands of dollars is a frightening prospect. May 11, 2018, maybe a revolutionary day for passwords and that irritating 2FA authentication.

A highly secure, DigiByte blockchain-base open authentication protocol service is claiming it can be used to replace usernames, passwords, and even 2FA. If this is correct this will relieve much of the irritation associated with logging into an exchange or accessing a wallet. However, if a hack occurs their entire platform could come crumbling down.

DGB is trading at $0.048 with a market cap of $492 million. DGB was trading over $0.12 January 7, 2018. With one of their biggest developments to date being released May 11, this should be a very exciting week for DGB. The price of DGB will gauge the market’s reaction. DGB’s focus is their security, “by putting security first, our decisions help make sure that transactions, mining, and the blockchain distribution are as decentralized as possible.

DGB blocks occur on the network every 15 seconds making DGB the fastest UTXO blockchain in the world.” DGB has focused on security and speed and this week releases their authentication protocol that very well may revolutionize how passwords and usernames are used as a means of verification.

Bulls Retaking the Reigns 

This has been an exciting week for many as their portfolios have risen nicely and major projects have started back up in the crypto space. Summer should be a period where enthusiasm is rebuilt and the BTC train begins to build major momentum again. With such excitement on the horizon, it is important to look at coins this week like BTC, ZCL, DGB, and ENJ.

[Full disclosure: Jakethecryptoking has a stake in and is the founder of Anonymous Bitcoin. To get in contact directly with the Crypto King, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit (ICO updates and Daily Reports)]

Do you agree with this week’s picks? Share your thoughts below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kvě 04

Ripple Slapped with Class Action Lawsuit from Disgruntled Investor

· May 4, 2018 · 6:00 pm

A San Diego-based law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against Ripple accusing the crypto firm of violating both state and federal securities law. The suit alleges that Ripple investors have incurred losses due to company’s sale of XRP tokens. There continues to be an ongoing debate as to whether XRP tokens are securities.


Details of the Ripple Lawsuit

Taylor-Copeland law is the name of the law firm handling the case. According to a scanned copy of the case filing, the Plaintiff is one Ryan Coffey. The suit lists four charges against the Defendants; Ripple Labs Inc., XRP II LLC, and Bradley Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple Labs.

The four charges allege that the Defendants have profited off the public by running a “never-ending coin offering.” The lawsuit also claims that XRP tokens “have all the hallmarks of a security” and calls for investors who have lost money to Ripple to join the class action.

In the summary brief as part of the lawsuit, the Defendants are accused of creating tokens “out of thin air.” Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, the total XRP supply was pre-mined at the inception of the token in 2013. The suit accuses the Defendants of using inflated metrics to deceive investors into thinking XRP tokens constitute a viable investment.

Ripple is also charged with knowingly offering a tokenized security to the public while not being registered by the SEC. Meanwhile, the case made by Taylor-Copeland also states that Ripple’s earnings come solely from the sale of the XRP tokens, which cost nothing to create. The lawsuit goes even further to claim that Defendants tried to bribe both Coinbase and Gemini, two major U.S.-based crypto exchange platforms.

The Plaintiff in the case, Ryan Coffey, purchased 650 XRP at $2.60 totaling at $1,690. Coffey reportedly bought the coins on January 6, 2018. Less than a fortnight later, Coffey sold the tokens for $1,105 incurring a loss of $551. A recent Weiss Ratings report described Ripple as a passable short-term investment vehicle that isn’t recommended as a long-term asset.

Despite being a cryptocurrency, Ripple is, in fact, a centralized enterprise, which makes it more vulnerable to regulatory clampdowns. Without any change to the Ripple economic model, investors who purchase the company’s tokens for the “long hodl” might end up incurring losses. XRP tokens are not shares. Thus, their profitability is based on their non-mandatory adoption by the banking sector.

The Ripple (XRP) Security Debate

The Ripple lawsuit has a sense of irony to it, given the case between the company and the R3 blockchain consortium. Furthermore, the case underscores the debate of whether XRP is a security or not.  The chief strategist for the company, Cory Johnson, recently declared that Ripple is not a security.

However, reports emanating from the SEC indicate that the Commission views the crypto as a security. Gary Gensler, ex-CFTC Chairman also recently identified the crypto as a “noncompliant security.” This characterization was due to the centralized distribution model employed by the company.

Whether there are any legal merits to the case against Ripple is left for the courts to decide. Preliminary reactions on online cryptocurrency forums indicate that many crypto followers believe the suit to be a frivolous one. Some have even poked fun at the Plaintiff for initiating a legal process that could cost thousands of dollars over a $551 loss.

Where do you stand on the lawsuit? Also, are XRP tokens securities? Let us know in the comment section below.


Image courtesy of Coinmarketcap, Shutterstock

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Kvě 03

Coinmarketcap Launches iOS Mobile App

· May 2, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Coinmarketcap (CMC) has released its first-ever mobile app. The cryptocurrency price and market capitalization website announced the release of the app on April 30. The launch of the app is part of CMC’s five-year anniversary celebration.


The Coinmarketcap App for iPhones

The new CMC mobile app is compatible with the iOS smartphone platform. It enables users to view crypto price, market cap and 24-hour price changes on the go. App users can select from a variety of filter options to see all tokens, the top 100 tokens or their watchlist tokens.

Watchlist tokens are specific cryptos that the users have selected. To include a cryptocurrency in the watchlist, users have to push the star-shaped icon on the token page. The app also uses tokens so people can record save and sync their watchlist between different devices.

The new app doesn’t appear to bring any novel feature. Many crypto traders already use different platforms to monitor price movements in the market.

Commenting on this observation, a spokesperson for CMC told TechCrunch that:

Are there other places where people can get the data and do we have copycats? Sure. However, we are the only site that you can guarantee is sourcing, gathering, and verifying the data itself, and we pride ourselves on being the first and best regarded within the industry.

Five Years in the Business

May 1, 2018, made it five years of CMC being in the business. The platform has grown tremendously to become the 175th most visited website in the world, according to Alexa rankings. Also, more than 60 million people have visited the site so far in 2018. The CMC Twitter account currently has 425,000 followers.

When CMC began, it was reportedly tracking seven cryptos and a few exchange platforms that amounted to about $1.6 billion in market cap. Presently, the website monitors over 1,600 cryptocurrencies and 200 exchange platforms that amount to more than $400 billion in market capitalization. In January 2018, a decision by the site to delist South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platforms caused a wave of massive panic selloffs.

Rebranding the Coinmarketcap Platform

The website has also made some changes to its brand image with a new logo, color scheme, and font. The new Coinmarketcap logo contains the CMC initials and a wavy design that depicts the volatile nature of the crypto market. CMC has also made changes to the website API. The website still plans to release a new commercial API that includes historical data.

A statement by CMC commenting on these latest developments said that:

We pay close attention to the needs of our users and always encourage people to leave us feedback. We are hard at work to bring you more features that will give you more control over your experience while exploring our data.

Do you think the Coinmarketcap mobile app will be as popular as the website? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Coinmarketcap and Twitter.

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Kvě 02

Venezuela Touts Petro To India, Coinsecure With 30% Oil Discount Promises

· May 1, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Venezuela is leveraging its oil wealth to shoehorn president Nicolas Maduro’s Petro cryptocurrency into foreign markets.


Coinsecure Goes For Petro?

The practice came to light following local media in India reporting Caracas had offered a 30% discount on its crude oil imports if the government paid in Petro.

At the same time, a delegation visited India in March and came to an agreement with embattled local Bitcoin exchange Coinsecure to offer the trading of Petro for Bitcoin and rupees.

By the same token, other exchanges could interact with the coin through a white label agreement, Business Standard reported on April 29.

Coinsecure CEO Mohit Kalra told the publication:

That would be run by their brand name, but the back-end will be us. We plan to provide them with 10-15 cryptocurrency players.

Coinsecure Goes For Petro?

Kalra: Venezuela ‘Going To Different Countries’

Venezuela has seen mixed reactions to notionally oil-pegged Petro since issuing it earlier this year. From an outright ban by the US to calls from the international community that the scheme was nothing but a ploy to circumvent sanctions, Venezuela has courted controversy from the outset.

Separate claims involve Russia, which some say was instrumental in facilitating Petro’s creation.

Opening up alternative markets for trade thus comes as little surprise as Maduro attempts to live up to his original promise the coin’s market cap would be a least that of Venezuela’s oil reserves – around $5.9 billion.

Kalra explained:

They are going to different countries and making offers. The offer that they have given to the Indian government is: you buy Petro and we will give you a 30 percent discount on oil purchases.

Coinsecure meanwhile continues to face pressure following a hack of its reserves amounting to $3.5 million last month.

Its most recent update on April 29 seemed to imply that compensation payments for customers would soon begin, but that the exchange “doesn’t have much of a say” as investigations are still ongoing.

What do you think about Venezuela trading Petro with India? Let us know in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, AdobeStock

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Dub 27

Crypto Arbitrage Trading – The Pursuit of Happiness

· April 27, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Arbitrage exists as a result of market inefficiencies and would therefore not exist if all markets were perfectly efficient. How does one capitalize on this market phenomenon?


A trader who, in 1970, pioneered a computerized trading system once said:

The elements of good trading are: (1) cutting losses, (2) cutting losses, and (3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.

This is, of course, Ed Seykota, a former commodities trader. A lot has changed since he first introduced this system, with the onset of blackbox and algorithmic and high-frequency trading, it is harder than ever for point and click traders to make money.

The market has evolved and the inefficiencies that it suffered from in the 70s are unlikely to return. However, while the capital and debt markets are now highly efficient and, for the most part, very liquid, the same cannot be said for cryptocurrency markets. For one, the dissemination of information to the trading community is highly inefficient. The systems that aggregate volume and other data from various exchanges are still in their infancy and most importantly, the size of the trading community is growing every day.

Trading

Nobody Knows If a Stock Is Going to Go Up, Down, Sideways or in Circles

Those that have seen the film “Wolf Of Wall Street” will remember the scene with Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio, where Matthew McConaughey goes on to say “Nobody knows if a stock is going to go up, down, sideways or in circles.”

Is trading an art, a science, or is it no different than gambling and simply requires a degree of luck? Whatever camp you side on, crypto markets provide a unique opportunity to make very good returns on your investment. You don’t always have to be a trend follower or a contrarian, the smart way to approach crypto trading is by applying arbitrage models. The problem, of course, is standardizing the API data from the exchanges. While it is not an impossible task, it can be very laborious and requires a great amount of checking to ensure consistency between the different data feeds.

Despite the fact that the cryptocurrency markets are trading with extremely high-volume levels, they are not nearly as liquid as we might think. This market is still highly fragmented in a web of exchanges under very different jurisdictions. The liquidity is spread through various more or less trustworthy exchanges all over the world. The emergence of more trustworthy regulated exchanges has boosted the overall liquidity but has not yet delivered the desired effect of lowering spreads and slippage costs. Furthermore, increasing liquidity would definitely encourage significant institutional investments and promote mainstream adoption.

Arbitrage

Trading Edge

Volatility is something that has discouraged this much sought after mainstream adoption. This measure is related to uncertainty with regard to the extent of price changes. High volatility is evidenced in sharp and unpredictable price swings, while assets with low volatility will see little or minimal fluctuation in prices over a short-term horizon.

There are various strategies one can follow to capitalize on the potential arbitrage opportunities that currently exist across crypto markets. No one can tell for sure how long these opportunities will remain available, as the broader adoption of these assets by the general public will invariably reduce bid/ask spreads and increase trading volumes. However, for now, one can simply make comparisons between different exchanges to understand the magnitude of potential returns on capital.

The following numbers should be taken as an indication, these are not fixed levels and are subject to change. The price of Bitcoin on HitBTC is 2.55% higher than the price of the same asset on Exmo. Nowhere in capital markets can such discrepancy occur with what is said to be a leading asset in the digital economy and the spread on altcoins can sometimes be even greater.

There are different ways to trade the same markets, directional, technical, contrarian, fundamental – or you can utilize a combination of the above and create a strategy that works for you.

What do you think of market structure and is regulatory uncertainty to blame for such fragmented markets? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Pxhere and Shutterstock.

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Dub 14

Venezuela Decrees Petro ‘Cryptocurrency’ as Legal Tender

· April 14, 2018 · 5:00 pm

All transactions involving government institutions in Venezuela must now accept Petro — the first ever state-issued cryptocurrency — as legal tender, according to an official proclamation in the country’s Official Gazette on April 9. From that date, every such institution has 120 days to comply.


All Petro Everything

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has ordered all institutions under the government’s umbrella to accept Petro as legal tender.

As reported by Bloomberg, the government of Venezuela has created a National Cryptocurrency Treasury which will be the sole regulator of all digital assets in the oil-rich country. Abrahan Landaeta has been appointed to lead the Cryptocurrency Treasury, while Anthoni Camilo Torres has likewise been appointed as the head of virtual exchanges.

Maduro Dancing to His Own Tune

The decree isn’t particularly surprising, given Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s ultra-bullish stance on his government’s pet project, which he claims has already raked in $5 billion from Chinese, Russian and Mexican investors. However, these numbers come directly from Maduro’s administration, and many are skeptical as to their accuracy.

Venezuela is currently in the throes of severe economic issues, including hyperinflation. As noted by Bloomberg, “The International Monetary Fund forecasts inflation will hit 13,000 percent by year-end, while the economy is set to contract 15 percent.” Meanwhile, extreme food shortages have led to malnourishment and hunger, while unemployment continues to skyrocket. No matter how bullish one might be on cryptocurrency, it’s difficult to see how Petro could effectively solve these problems.

The Role of the Petro

From an objective viewpoint, it’s also difficult to understand why any foreign investor would purchase Petro tokens, other than as a means of circumventing U.S.-imposed economic sanctions against Maduro’s government.

Petro is supposedly backed by the oil-rich country’s natural resource, but some experts claim that oil has yet to be drilled — and the government itself isn’t even in complete control of the nation’s oil-drilling operations. Furthermore, the token’s only use case has thus far been to pay Venezuelan taxes, though it appears that it will soon be used to pay for anything and everything government related.

Cryptocurrency research sites that actually took the time to examine the state-issued cryptocurrency have unanimously labeled it a scam.

What do you think about Petro’s increased importance in Venezuela’s plan to save itself from complete and utter economic collapse? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Bitcoinist archives, Bloomberg.

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