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Bitcoin has spent the week mostly holding above $4,000, but has slipped of late.
However, that hasn’t stopped bitcoin bulls deciding it may be the calm before the storm. But there are yet others who see low volatility as a prelude to a steep fall.
Year end $10,000 for Bitcoin (BTC)?
BitMEX co-founder and chief executive Arthur Hayes has decided that the crypto winter will not be ending soon but it will end, towards the end of the year.
And what’s the price target? $10,000 says Hayes, known for his controversial opinions. And once the price hits $10,000 it will be a relatively easy march to reclaim $20,000 he says.
Writing in his Crypto Trader Digest blog Hayes said: “The 2019 chop will be intense, but the markets will claw back to $10,000. That is a very significant psychological barrier. It’s a nice round sexy number. $20,000 is the ultimate recovery. However, it took 11 months from $1,000 to $10,000, but less than one month from $10,000 to $20,000 back to $10,000.”
GalaxyBTC, a trading analyst with a keen Twitter following, sees an ascending triangle pattern on reducing volumes as a 60% chance of a break to the upside.
On the basis of stock trader Thomas Bulkowski’s pattern analysis, which has it that a triangle so identified could see a 35% rally, GalaxyBTC has set a price target of $5,500 for bitcoin.
According to Bulkowski's study, more than 60% of ascending triangles with declining volume end up breaking upwards
with an average price rise of 35%
— Galaxy (@galaxyBTC) March 23, 2019
Luke Martin, otherwise known as Venture Coinist, another prominent crypto trader, this time with nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, this week saw a bearish near term for the bitcoin price as a possibility. However, he thinks that is predicated on a close below $3,930 on the 4-hour and 1-day chart.
If $BTC starts getting higher timeframe 4hr/1D closes below 3930, THEN I'll consider being bearish short term.
Unless you are a short term daytrader flipping your outlook between 4400 and 2k after a red 30 minute candle isn't too helpful. pic.twitter.com/gAIhviwYXy
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) March 21, 2019
Another high-profile trader echoed those thoughts on twitter. DonAlt commented on 22 March: “Sentiment switched from decently bullish to super bearish on a day that closed $60 below its open. A tell-tale sign that BTC has become super boring. Nothing has changed based on yesterday. As long as 3900 holds it’s bullish to me. If it breaks I’d expect 3500 or lower.”
At the time of writing bitcoin is priced at $3,966 on Coinbase.
Phantom bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes
Elsewhere in cryptoland this week, research from Bitwise provided a reminder of the doubts about the veracity of trading volumes on many unregulated exchanges.
In a submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which it is trying to persuade to grant it approval for a bitcoin exchange traded fund, Bitwise said that 95% of reported bitcoin daily trading volume was in fact fake.
The crypto asset manager said it has studied trading at 81 exchanges, both regulated and unregulated, and found that data reported on 71 of them was likely to be inaccurate
Bitwise says that most unregulated exchanges use wash trading to inflate their numbers.
Wash trades are orders made simultaneously by the same trader that cancel each other but nevertheless add to volume.
Bitwise’s research identified unexpected trading patterns that suggested trades were not being conducted by human beings.
The wide buy-sell price spreads on many unregulated exchanges was also a tell-tale sign of low liquidity.
The claimed volumes at unregulated exchanges such as CoinBene were 10x or more greater than those on regulated exchanges such as Coinbase, despite website traffic volume being much smaller.
Bitwise also found that the bitcoin futures markets trading volumes of the two main US derivatives exchanges were far more significant when the fake trading in the spot markets was taken out of the picture.
Exchange coins: Binance and Huobi
Exchange coins continue to perform well as utility coins that have proven use cases and actual users.
Binance Coin (BNB) continues to improve, up 13.7% this week at $17.27, according to coinmarketcap.
It is now the seventh most valuable cryptoasset.
Helping to boost its price was news out of Australia that it has launched a cash-to-crypto service dubbed Binance Lite. The service will let consumers buy crypto at 1,300 newsagents throughout the country on 2.5% transaction fee.
The other exchange coin making steady progress is Huobi Token (HT). It has nearly doubled in price this past month, from $1.17 to $2.54 and is up 22% in the past week.
Huobi is a Singapore-based exchange and like the BNB token can be used to pay for trading fees at a discounted rate.
Interestingly, Huobi has a buyback programme in which it purchases the token every quarter using 20% of its profits from trading transaction fees.
Bitcoin Cash gets its mojo back
Bitcoin Cash had some help this week after bitcoin.com, backed by crypto entrepreneur aka “Bitcoin Jesus”, announced the launch of a new peer-to-peer exchange with a privacy focus.
Using “end-to-end user-side encryption” Local Bitcoin Cash will allow its customers transact privately.
Bitcoin Cash has jumped around 30% since the announcement and is currently trading at $165.
Cardano upgrade sets it on a roll
Also in the price action is Cardano (ADA) which successfully rolled out Cardano 1.5, which is an essential stepping stone in the transition to proof-of-stake consensus to be achieved with the Shelly release.
Heading up the Cardano project is Charles Hoskinson who did an AMA today (Sunday) on YouTube laying out some of the recent developments with the project, from courses in Ethiopia to a meeting with Tron’s Justin Sun and others at a gathering organised by a venture capitalist.
This week the ADA price has advanced 21% from $0.0502 to $0.061.
Trader WallStreet Income is among those in the money with Cardano.
Bitmain to mine with hydro
Bitmain set to deploy 200,000 mining rigs in China’s south west as it hopes to start mining on its own account using cheap hydroelectricity.
The mining giant plans to use its Antminer S11 and S15 machines, according to mining farm operators in the region.
Bitmain’s move is thought to be a response to the bear market which has impacted mining profitability and therefore sales of the ASIC mining rigs whose manufacture it dominates.
Stellar burns bright on IBM World Wire news, then fades
Stellar Lumens (XLM) which has been somewhat out of the limelight in recent times, catching a bid following the launch of IBM World Wire, although the price bump has since faded.
IBM’s real-time cross border payments platform launched last Monday and utilises the Stellar protocol.
World Wire is not fully operational but does currently support the Stronghold USD stablecoin as a liquidity token.
Six banks are already onboard after signing a letter of intent.
Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain, said: “We’ve created a new type of payment network designed to accelerate remittances and transform cross-border payments to facilitate the movement of money in countries that need it most.”
The network is available in 72 countries where it supports 48 fiat currencies.
Among the banks that will be working with IBM are RCBC of the Phillippines, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco and Bank Busan of South Korea.
XLM is trading at 0.106 which is below where it started the week and some way off the week’s highs at $0.117824.
CBOE dropping bitcoin futures
In less favourable news for crypto, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the US’s second-largest derivatives exchange, has decided not to issue further bitcoin futures contracts.
Launched in December 2017, the CBOE product was the first of its kind but trading interest has wilted as the bear market drags on.
Bullish founder of investment form BKCM, Brian Kelly, thinks the CBOE’s shuttering of its futures product is significant in that it shows retail exhaustions and a bottoming in the market.
“This tells me that retail traders are out of the picture because these CBOE futures were one contract, so about $3,900, versus CME, were five, so about $20,000. So I think retail is exhausted. You’re starting to see sellers being exhausted.”