Tesla Billionaire Elon Musk Reveals How Much Bitcoin He Owns

 

Tesla Billionaire Elon Musk Reveals How Much Bitcoin He Owns

Billionaire Elon Musk is a huge fan of cutting-edge technology and is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to finance, but he's not a bitcoin bull. The co-founder of Tesla Inc. revealed on Twitter that he owns only a tiny fraction of one bitcoin token.

"I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago," Musk confessed. Using today's bitcoin price of about $10,000 a coin, that translates to $2,500.

The serial entrepreneur – whose net worth tops $20 billion – made the revelation in response to a question about a Twitter scam where random users posed as celebrities (like Musk) in a bid to steal people's cryptocurrencies.

Musk's indifference to bitcoin probably wasn't a shock to his fans, since he recently told his 19.8 million Twitter followers that "a friend sent me part of a BTC a few years, but I don’t know where it is." (See also: Elon Musk: Education, Success Story and Net Worth.)

In November 2017, Musk denied rumors that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of bitcoin. The brouhaha erupted after a former SpaceX intern claimed in a blog post that the serial entrepreneur was "probably" Nakamoto.
 

Is Elon Musk Satoshi Nakamoto?

In a blog post on Medium, Sahil Gupta, who had interned at Musk's space company SpaceX in 2015, said "Satoshi is probably Elon."

Gupta reasoned: "Elon is a self-taught polymath. He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge. It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin."

The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has never been confirmed, but there has a steady stream of rampant speculation about who he really is ever since bitcoin quietly launched in 2009. (See also: Has Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Been Found?)

Meanwhile, Elon Musk isn't the only billionaire who's skeptical of bitcoin and the crypto phenomenon. Bitcoin cynics are put off by the virtual currency's erratic price movements, lack of regulation, and absence of a valuation guarantee because it's not backed by a central bank.

Billionaire Charlie Munger, the second-in-command at Berkshire Hathaway, slammed bitcoin as a "noxious poison" and called the media hype surrounding digital currencies "totally asinine."

Similarly, Munger's boss, mega-billionaire Warren Buffett, predicted that cryptocurrencies will almost certainly "come to a bad ending." (See more: Bitcoin Is 'Poison,' Says Berkshire Billionaire Charlie Munger.)

And in its latest letter to clients, the Paul Singer-led Elliott Management, which oversees $34 billion in assets, excoriated cryptocurrencies as a bubble, a scam and a fraud. “This is not just a bubble," Elliott wrote. "It is not just a fraud. It is perhaps the outer limit, the ultimate expression, of the ability of humans to seize upon ether and hope to ride it to the stars."

 

 

Author Samantha Chang | Updated February 23, 2018 — 6:50 PM EST

 

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Bitcoin Fees Are Down Big – Why It’s Happening and What It Means

 

Bitcoin Fees Are Down Big – Why It's Happening and What It Means

$26 down to $3.

The average cost of sending a bitcoin transaction is cheaper than it's been in a year and a half, showing the price isn't the cryptocurrency's only unpredictable metric these days.

But with all the debate about growing fees, this might come as a surprise. After all, it wasn't so long ago that fees were so high a group of prominent investors and miners created a whole new version of bitcoin mostly to keep fees lower.

Backing up a bit, much of the conflict centered on the fact that while called "fees," these expenses are best considered as transaction costs that are necessary to the network, as necessary as paying for someone to deliver a protocol service, be it SMS, VoIP or email, or even a pizza.

This is because bitcoin is a software that requires all of the many thousands of computers that run it to stay in sync. To do so easily, there's a limit on how much data the network can process at intervals, and users need to pay more to get their transactions in at times of congestion.

So, as bitcoin grew more popular in the last year, fees skyrocketed to over $25, according to a graph from data website Bitinfocharts.

Bitcoin users, those who truly rely on the protocol for essentials, have been affected by this, as were those who believed bitcoin could be competitive with legacy payment systems.

But, bitcoin fees have fizzled out, declining since the end of December.

So, why did fees take a nosedive? The simple answer is users are making fewer transactions right now. In December, there were roughly 400,000 transactions per day, while today bitcoin is seeing only 200,000, according to data from Blockchain.info.

"I think its really simple," BitGo engineer Mike Belshe told CoinDesk. "There is substantially less transaction demand."

The question, he added, is why has there been a decrease in transactions?

SegWit and beyond

If Twitter and Reddit are any indication, sentiment on the matter tends to be influenced by personal politics, in this case, where users stand in bitcoin's long-standing block size debate, which, at its core, was about network economics.

Popular Twitter figure "Armin van Bitcoin" cheered that the low fees mean the "scaling debates are now a thing of the past," pinning the development partly on growing adoption of Segregated Witness, a scaling feature at the center of bitcoin's long-raging fee debate.

And there is truth to the claims. SegWit reduces transaction fees and adds more space to the blockchain, but it still isn't widely adopted, so it's hard to say how much it actually helped. There hasn't been much of a recent increase in SegWit use either. For the past several months, only about 10-14 percent of transactions, according to SegWit tracking site SegWit Party.

Plus, SegWit doesn't reduce the number of transactions, it makes each one cheaper.

Another possibility, according to Belshe, is that fee prices "finally forced" some large transaction processors to implement a technology called "batching," rolling many transactions into one, to leave more space on the blockchain.

Indeed, exchanges like Coinbase have said they were working on implementing the feature in the past. And Thursday, cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift announced it now batches transactions, making a point that it makes up 2 percent of all the transfers that occur on the bitcoin blockchain.

However, it's a theory that's difficult to get hard data on, unless an exchange were to formally announce that they were using this technique. "This is hard to confirm with 100 percent certainty," Belshe said.

Still, he argued that even if just one large exchange started batching transactions, it could have a huge impact on the overall transaction load.

These sorts of technical theories add to the idea that developers and those building services on top of bitcoin can make optimizations in order to free up space on the blockchain, without compromising on some of its core features.

"This is why Bitcoin Core worked so hard to get 'layer-two solutions' working, and why they focus so much on optimization of the size of transaction through various things like Schnorr and Bulletproofs," XO Media CEO John Carvalho said.

"They are doing everything to minimize the footprint of every type of transaction attached to bitcoin because they are all stored forever," he added.
 

Ditching bitcoin

Others, especially those critical of how bitcoin developers favor a smaller blockchain and limited transaction space, argue the lower fees are a consequence of people that are sick and tired of the high fees leaving bitcoin.

"Bitcoin isn't useful for anything that involves low fees so people are migrating to alternatives. this has the consequence of lowering the fees on bitcoin," said Ryan X. Charles, founder of Yours, a media startup building on bitcoin cash.

Charles notably moved his startup off of the bitcoin blockchain last year, migrating to alternatives before building on bitcoin cash.

It's possible that some users are doing the same. Payment processor Stripe stopped accepting bitcoin in January payments due to the high fees, and BitPay, a startup that offers payment services over bitcoin has differentiated into supporting multiple protocols for its merchants.

Yet, if they are pushing users elsewhere, it's not clear where they're going. Bitcoin cash, the cryptocurrency created as a cheaper alternative to bitcoin, still has about 10 percent the number of transactions bitcoin currently does.

"Apparently [high fees] don't incentivize folks to switch to bcash," BitGo engineer Jameson Lopp said.

Bitcoin developer Meni Rosenfeld doesn't think so either. In fact, he disagrees with both of the above theories.

"The main reason for the drop in [bitcoin transaction] fees is not SegWit adoption, and it's not people moving to [bitcoin cash]. It's simply that the craze for buying cryptocurrencies in general has calmed down," he tweeted.

Indeed, there's been a downtick in outside interest in bitcoin. A lower price has less new investors searching for bitcoin on Google and coming in to buy and trade the cryptocurrency.

This view seems supported by the fact that the second most valuable blockchain by market cap, ethereum, has also seen a dramatic drop in fees in recent months. The same goes for litecoin, clocking in at number five, and XRP, at third place.

Charles also argued it's possible crypto's waning hype cycle has contributed to lower fees.

"I wouldn't be surprised if ethereum is also lower due to the decline in market value. There may simply be less demand for sending transactions across all blockchains. We went through a hype cycle," he told CoinDesk.

And it's always possible the low fees were caused by a mix of the factors described above.
 

Fees forever

What do lower fees mean for users? In short, it shows that under the current setup, fees might fluctuate over time.

The hope is that – eventually – fees will always be "low," with the word low having somewhat of a relative definition. After all, a low-cost airline flight may be better than an expensive bus ride.

In this way, supporters hope that bitcoin will one day offer the best of both worlds, supporting high demand and "low" fees that reflect the quality of service, while also supporting miners, computer operators who devote real-world costs to securing transactions.

"The fee market is necessary as a counterweight to market price. [Theoretically,] demand for blockspace is infinite, so there must be levers to manage it," Carvalho said.

In the meantime, fees could continue to decline, creating a new standard of "low" that might be friendlier to today's internet users. Carvalho and Rosenfeld, for instance, think the much-touted Lightning Network will help get bitcoin to that point, as it moves more transactions off of the main bitcoin blockchain.

If Lightning really takes off, then low fees may become another problem, as they might not be enough to defray mining costs when the network finally produces all 21 million bitcoin.

For this reason, developer Greg Slepak had an almost ominous-sounding view of the future, arguing that users should "take the opportunity" of today's lows fees, adding:

"It might not come again."

 

Author Alyssa Hertig Updated Feb 23, 2018 at 02:11 UTC

 

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Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

Crypto Mining Craze Creates Global GPU Shortage

The cryptocurrency bull run of 2017 attracted multitudes of investors looking to get rich quick but it also created a mining boom that has resulted in a worldwide shortage of computer components.

 

Miners Plunder Singapore, Hong Kong For Cheap Rigs

Scores of miners from around the world come to the electronics bazaars in Asia to buy cryptocurrency rigs. Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po and Singapore’s Sim Lim Square to name just a couple are jammed with people of all ages ordering specialized rigs.

This new demand for mining rigs has revitalized these electronic markets that were dying only a few years ago when shoppers turned online for computers, cameras, and gadgets of all kinds.

“It’s 30-50 percent cheaper to buy equipment related to crypto-mining in Hong Kong than in Europe,” Russian bitcoin miner Dima Popov said. This is because Hong Kong has no sales tax and is in close proximity to Chinese components manufacturers.

Miners are demanding more powerful rigs that can include up to 500 graphics cards each which has created a worldwide shortage of the cards allowing manufacturers and retailers to gauge buyers on the price.

 

Scarce GPU Cards Selling At Double Price

The market for high-end graphics cards used to work like anything else. You went to the electronics shop, found the card you wanted and paid just about the Manufacturer’s retail price. Today due to the escalating demand from mining you’ll most likely find the shelves that once held them bare but if you do actually what your looking for expect to pay a premium.

These high-end graphics cards are the most efficient way to mine cryptocurrency and as hobbyist miners and big players alike scramble to snatch up as many as they can prices go through the roof. Last summer popular GPU’s like the AMD Radeon RX 580 sold for about $250 at retail, today the price is more likely to be over $500 and that is if you can find them.

Checking the price of the 5 most popular graphics cards from last year and comparing it with the updated version shows a general price increase of between 70 and 100%. This leaves many wannabe miners trolling online for the best deals on new or even second-hand cards. Buying older cards though means slower computing ability which reduces the profitability of a rig.

Rigs using, for example, a high-end Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 ti card costing around $1,300 (MSRP) can earn as much as $10 dollars a day at current crypto values. This means that the card may pay for itself in about 4 months.

String the math out and it’s easy to see how a fair sized rig can make a very nice profit over a year or more. Retailers reported a dip in demand for the cards during the crypto market correction but now that Bitcoin and it’s like are on the rise sellers and manufacturers are looking for demand to reach and surpass 2017.

Author JMCMAHON • FEB 21, 2018 • 05:02

 

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CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

CFTC Warns Against Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

The rising popularity of cryptocurrencies is of great concern. Especially when it comes to pump-and-dump schemes, there’s reason to be concerned. As such, the CFTC issued an official warning against this type of market manipulation. They advise customers to avoid such schemes, especially when it comes to small and new altcoin markets. It is evident doing one’s research is always the best course of action.

In the world of cryptocurrency, pump-and-dump schemes are nothing new. In fact, they are a lot more common than some people might think. The CFTC has issued an official warning on this topic earlier this week. This is quite a surprise, even though it is evident consumers need to be aware of these manipulative efforts. Especially smaller cap coins and new alternative cryptocurrencies pose a significant risk in this regard. Moreover, it is always best to avoid any promotion on social media altogether.
 

Avoiding Cryptocurrency Pump-and-dump Schemes

This seems to stem forth from the recent BitConnect issues. That pump-and-dump scheme caused hundreds of millions in financial losses. It was mainly promoted on social media and YouTube. The CFTC doesn’t want history to repeat itself in this regard. They now want consumers to blow the whistle on any suspicious currencies first and foremost. It’s always better to submit tips than ignore pump-and-dump schemes altogether. Whether or not the general public will follow this guideline, remains to be seen.

According to the CFTC, pump-and-dump schemes in the cryptocurrency world take place on social media first and foremost. Online chat rooms, such as the ones on Telegram, are also problematic in this regard. Ignoring these buy signals will prove to be rather difficult for a lot of novice users. It is these people the marketers and scammers prey on first and foremost. A lot of people never do any research for specific coins or projects, even though they really should.

For now, the CFTC will not undertake further action against pump-and-dump schemes. They are not in a position to do so either, unfortunately. It is evident users need to conduct their due diligence first and foremost. Those who purposefully defraud other investors will face legal issues sooner or later, though. Anyone participating in market manipulation also violates the law. It is evident this new financial industry needs some boundaries first and foremost. Cracking down on pump-and-dumps is the right way to go in this regard.

 

Author JP BUNTINX • FEB 18, 2018 • 03:02

 

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 16th Feb – One More Hurdle to Clear

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 16th Feb – One More Hurdle to Clear

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price has broken past its inverse head and shoulders pattern neckline to show that an uptrend is in the cards.

  • Price is hitting another upside barrier at its descending trend line, though, and this might prompt profit-taking.

  • Technical indicators are also suggesting that the rally is overdone.

  • Bitcoin price is testing the descending trend line on its 4-hour time frame, and moving past this hurdle could mean more gains.

 

Technical Indicators Signals
 

The 100 SMA is below the longer-term 200 SMA to signal that the path of least resistance is to the downside. This suggests that the downtrend is more likely to resume than to reverse.

The 200 SMA also lines up with the descending trend line to add to its strength as resistance. This means that it would take a strong catalyst to trigger and sustain an upside break.

Stochastic is indicating overbought conditions, though, so selling pressure could still pick up. Similarly, RSI is in the overbought region and looks ready to turn lower, so bitcoin price might follow suit.

Market Factors
 

Bitcoin price has drawn a lot of support from easing regulatory concerns, stemming from the US Senate hearing and remarks from South Korean officials suggesting that they are open to introducing something like BitLicense.

Recall that Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Christopher Giancarlo and Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton mentioned that they have no plans on banning bitcoin. Instead they plan on regulating the industry without quashing development.

More positive updates like these could help improve the sentiment in the industry. Apart from that, the continuation of risk-taking in higher-yielding assets like stocks and commodities has also benefitted bitcoin.

Besides, the move all the way to the $10,000 area of interest could bring more buying interest as this could signal an end of the correction. A sustained move past the next $12,000 area of interest could confirm that buying momentum is in play, attracting even more buyers.

Author SARAH JENN • FEB 16, 2018 • 05:02

 

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Prices Aside, Crypto’s Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Prices Aside, Crypto's Tech Stack Is Steadily Improving

Rachel Rose O'Leary and Alyssa Hertig

Feb 11, 2018 at 14:45 UTC

 

A look at the headlines of late may leave you with a familiar conclusion – with all the ups and downs in the market, it's just too early to take crypto seriously.

And it's true, despite the best efforts of even the industry's most notable developers, the world's largest cryptocurrencies remain not just volatile, but difficult (and risky) to use, at least in a way that their creators' intended.

Still, heading into 2018, enthusiasts the world over are hard at work on improvements.

As such, there's optimism advances could start to compound, creating a user experience that finally starts to transcend the issues – namely, the high fees and long wait times – users of most blockchains have become all too accustomed to.

In fact, in the year ahead, blockchain users could see exciting new features and scientific firsts that just might help push the industry closer to that vision:

 

1. Off-chain channels

What if it was possible for blockchain-based transactions to avoid using the blockchain at all?

That's the big idea behind off-blockchain payment channels, an idea that harkens back to 2015, but whose time may have finally come this year. Most associated with Bitcoin's Lightning Network, the idea is actually more general than this specific instance.

Essentially, off-blockchain payment channels would allow two people using any one cryptocurrency to send small payments back and forth, settling to the blockchain (and dealing with its high fees and slow transaction times) only when absolutely necessary.

Due to the potential impact, the idea is catching on – ethereum developers, while they often don't see eye-to-eye with their bitcoin peers, are at work on the same type of solution.

But there's more than just a rivalry at play, there's also reason to believe 2018 might be different in that actual live transactions could be sent in significant numbers.

The developers behind bitcoin's Lightning Network have declared the technology almost ready based on successful tests. Meanwhile, ethereum's developers have also unveiled successful tests for their versions of the concept, Raiden Network, with a more ambitious version, Plasma, potentially around the corner.

 

2. Real-live staking

As their popularity grows, attention is also being paid to the electricity required to sustain cryptocurrencies.

While the relevant data is difficult to pin down, proof-of-work, the consensus protocol that underlies bitcoin mining, is best defined as an energy-intensive process. As such, there are concerns about its electricity use could have large-scale environmental effects.

This is leading to new research on an idea from 2011. Called proof-of-stake, or "consensus by vote," the idea has been implemented, however, not at the scale intended by ethereum.

As such, it's long-awaited project Casper is likely to be under significant scrutiny this coming year, and early versions are beginning to see the light.

In a testnet released on New Year's Eve, one variation of Casper, was claimed to be functional. Karl Floersch, a leading developer behind the technology, told CoinDesk at the time that the code is working with "no hiccups."

Work remains to adapt this early version of Casper across the different ethereum clients, but ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has said he expects the technology will be tested alongside proof-of-work sometime in the future.

 

3. Privacy advances

Privacy has been a somewhat neglected promise in the majority of blockchains, but it's nonetheless an issue that could see improvement this year.

Most notable is the advances in zero-knowledge proofs, what Buterin has called "the single most under-hyped thing in cryptography right now," are getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

A form of cryptography that hides information without risking validity, it's already been adapted to a small degree into ethereum, which could lead to a wave of startups experimenting with private smart contracts in novel and unexpected ways.

Plus, in a white paper published earlier this month, a system for achieving zero-knowledge without compromising trust – a point of contention in some earlier iterations of the tech – was released, an update which could have exciting consequences.

And as existing tech matures, privacy-centric cryptocurrencies such as monero and zcash are also set to improve.

In preparation for an upgrade, zcash has been steadily reinforcing its security, while monero is stepping up to implement "bulletproofs," a feature that could cut fees by 80 percent.

 

4. Decentralized exchanges

No, this isn't just a new version of Coinbase or Kraken.

As the industry's largest exchanges struggle to cope with the influx of new adopters, an increasing number of projects are at work developing something called a decentralized exchange. The term denotes not just a new browser-based exchange, but rather a type of software users can use to swap one cryptocurrency with another without a central entity.

2017 saw a flood of new decentralized exchange projects, such as ShapeShift's Prism, 0x, OmiseGo, Kyber Network, and many others.

Expect those efforts to accelerate this year.

So far, hardware wallet Ledger has already integrated with decentralized exchange Radar Relay, allowing users to trustlessly exchange tokens based on ethereum.

While functionality is limited (it's only supported by a single wallet and only ethereum-based tokens can be sent), many in the industry see it as a glimpse into the future of not just cryptocurrency exchanges, but the technology itself.

 

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Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian nuclear scientists arrested for Bitcoin mining plot

Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies.

The suspects had tried to use one of Russia's most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins, media reports say.

The Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov, western Russia, is a restricted area.

The centre's press service said: "There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining."

The supercomputer was not supposed to be connected to the internet – to prevent intrusion – and once the scientists attempted to do so, the nuclear centre's security department was alerted. They were handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian news service Mash says.

"As far as we are aware, a criminal case has been launched against them," the press service told Interfax news agency.

Crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not rely on centralised computer servers. People who provide computer processing power to the crypto-currency system, to enable transactions to take place, can get rewards in Bitcoins.

In the Cold War the USSR's first nuclear bomb was produced at Sarov, during Joseph Stalin's rule.

The top-secret town was not even marked on Soviet maps and special permits are still required for Russians to visit it.

Putin, power and poison: Russia’s elite FSB spy club

Sarov is surrounded by a tightly guarded no-man's-land, with barbed wire fences to keep the curious away.

There are suspicions that the radioactive polonium-210 used to kill ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 came from Sarov.

The Federal Nuclear Centre reportedly employs up to 20,000 people and its supercomputer boasts a capacity of 1 petaflop, the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

Mining crypto-currencies requires great computational power and huge amounts of energy.

There have been reports of some other industrial facilities in Russia being used for crypto-mining, and one businessman reportedly bought two power stations for the activity.

 

Source BBC News 9th February

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 9th Feb 2018 – Slow But Steady Climb

Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 9th Feb 2018 – Slow But Steady Climb

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price is testing an area of interest at the $8,000 major psychological level which lines up with several support levels.

  • For one, this is the bottom of a short-term ascending channel visible on the 1-hour time frame.

  • This also coincides with the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level, which already appears to have held as a floor.

  • Bitcoin price could be due for a small bounce off these short-term support levels as bullish pressure appears to be slowly returning.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is still below the longer-term 200 SMA to indicate that the path of least resistance is to the downside. This means that the selloff is more likely to resume than to reverse.

However, the gap between the moving averages is slowly narrowing to indicate that bearish pressure could be fading. The 100 SMA might also hold as dynamic support if this keeps up.

Stochastic is turning slightly higher to signal that buyers are returning, but RSI is still on its way south so bitcoin price might follow suit. If the $8,000 level holds as support, price could bounce up to the swing high or the channel resistance closer to $9,000.

Market Factors

Risk aversion returned to the financial markets and these days bitcoin price has been tracking equities and commodities, unlike in the past when the cryptocurrency tends to benefit from safe-haven flows.

However, analysts are confident that the market slump is just a mere correction from the overdone rallies earlier in the year. If so, higher-yielding assets including bitcoin could see the longer-term uptrend resume at some point.

For bitcoin price, it seems that traders are mostly waiting for a strong catalyst that could encourage investors to reopen their long positions. One possible factor could be the Senate hearing that called upon regulators to increase oversight without hampering development, something that could still be overall positive for the cryptocurrency industry.
 

Author SARAH JENN • FEB 9, 2018 • 05:02

 

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Wells Fargo strategist – Bitcoin and the market are correlated

Wells Fargo strategist - Bitcoin and the market are correlated

Wells Fargo strategist – Bitcoin and the market are correlated

  • Assessing risk is a good gauge for determining stock market and cryptocurrency movement, says Wells Fargo strategist.

  • Wells Fargo raises its price target for equities up by 10 percent this year.

  • Both the market and bitcoin are now beginning to recover from dips earlier this week.

If the bitcoin bubble bursts, the stock market may go down along with it, said Christopher Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo, who sees a correlation between the two.

"On Monday what we saw is all risk products sell off," Harvey said Wednesday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

A hit on the market, he said, can cause investors to panic and begin selling bitcoin as well.

"It sometimes adds fuel to the fire," Harvey said.

Risk in the marketplace was at a high earlier this year as the stock market rallied, which led to more interest from investors who saw the potential for big gains in the crypto market.

"Last year what you had was money chasing performance," Harvey said. As volatility shot up, he said, there was a "massive" demand for liquidity.

Then on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1,175 points by the end of the day. Bitcoin also fell to one of its lowest points in two months on Monday, trading at $5,947.40.

Harvey said the best gauge for predicting future market movement and the price of digital currency is simply by assessing the risk.

"We think of it more as what we have to watch out for, what we have to … tell our clients to be careful of," Harvey said. "We don't make a call whether it's going to go up or down but that it's a risk in the marketplace, and it's really far out on the risk spectrum."

Wells Fargo raised its price target for equities, up about 10 percent over the next year. Its 2018 S&P 500 year-end target is 2,950, compared with the earlier target of 2,863. Cryptocurrencies and the market should trade in correlation over the next three to six months, it said.

"If we're right, what we should see is risk product going higher," Harvey said.

"If we're right and risk starts to be bid again, it wouldn't surprise us to see a bid in some of the crypto markets," he said.

All eyes remained on bitcoin Wednesday as the market began to recover. The cryptocurrency was trading above $7,000, even briefly tipping over $8,000 in the evening.

As the crypto market becomes more regulated some of the risk should disappear, Harvey said.

 

Author Kellie Ell News Associate for CNBC

 

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Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months

The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.

Bitcoin plunged 20 per cent to a three-month low today, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks for the cryptocurrency that, with a collapse across global mainstream markets adding to the selling.

The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time since mid-November, according to Bloomberg News, and represents the latest hammering for a unit that saw a stratospheric 26-fold rise last year.

Today's collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood of speculators looking to make a quick buck, with warnings it could fall another 50 per cent.

Since those heady days the cryptomarket — which includes dozens of other units — has been pounded by news of crackdowns by governments including in China, Russia and South Korea, one of the biggest markets for the sector.

On Thursday, India said it would "take all measures to eliminate" cryptocurrencies' use as part of a payment system and in funding illegitimate activities, while Japanese authorities raided a virtual currency exchange after it lost $530 million to hackers.

Central bank in Europe, Japan and the United States have also flagged concerns about the unit and this week saw several commercial lenders say they would stop allowing their customers to buy bitcoin through their credit cards owing to debt concerns.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said "the dynamics behind the moves are regulatory clampdowns and investors losing confidence in crypto".

The sell-off on Tuesday was exacerbated by crushing losses on world stock markets, with the Dow on Wall Street suffering its biggest one-day points loss and wiping out all its 2018 gains.

The global rout comes as panicked investors fret over rising US borrowing costs, leading them to cash in profits after a stellar couple of months that have seen many indexes hit record or all-time highs.

Equities have enjoyed months of surges fuelled by optimism over the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.

But while traders have been piling into equities, pushing many global indexes to record or multi-year highs, there has been growing concern on trading floors about elevated US Treasury bond yields — at four-year highs — and the likelihood of fresh Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

"The risk-off tone is hitting Bitcoin almost as hard as a global regulator and bank scrutiny," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader. "The latest dent to the Cryptospace has been banks saying they are shutting down the ability of clients to buy bitcoin with their cards."

"This could end up a full round trip back into the $1,850/$2,966 region.

Source: Feb 06, 2018 10:39 AM IST | Source: PTI

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency entrepreneur

 

 

David