The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Bitcoin rallied about 101.55% between April 2 and May 14. This sharp rally after a long bear phase surprised many, including us. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase have said that, after the rally, Bitcoin is trading above its intrinsic value. They find some similarities in the current rally to the one in late 2017. However, we believe that a rally of such a magnitude was necessary to change the sentiment from sell on rallies to buy on dips. Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Tom Lee tweeted that the bear market is over. In a recent conference, he cited 13 reasons that indicate the end of the bear phase. The recent upsurge in prices has attracted investors back into cryptocurrencies. The trading volumes at the centralized exchanges skyrocketed in April. Notwithstanding, we do not expect a vertical rally from current levels. It is likely to be a gradual up-move. We may witness one more round of selling that will shake out the weaker hands before starting a sustained uptrend. BTC/USD Bitcoin (BTC) held the 20-day EMA and rebounded sharply on May 19. However, the bears are mounting a strong defense at the overhead resistance of $8,496.53. If the bulls fail to scale this level, the digital currency might remain range bound between the 20-day EMA and $8,496.53. A breakdown of the 20-day EMA can drag the price down to the next critical support of $5,900. We expect this level to hold. On the contrary, if the bulls scale above $8,496.53, the BTC/USD pair can rally to the next target of $10,000. The trend is bullish as both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is close to the overbought zone. However, we do not find any reliable buy setups yet, hence, we are not suggesting a trade in it. ETH/USD The drop in Ethereum (ETH) took support at $225.39. This is a positive sign. Both the moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in positive territory. This suggests…
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its decision on the VanEck and Bitwise bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal, according to an official SEC filing on May 20. The SEC has added a 35 day period for gathering more information and opinions on the proposal, which was initially filed by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) last year. In January, CBOE withdrew its request for a rule change when the U.S. government shutdown decreased the SEC’s operational abilities, then subsequently reapplied on January 31 after the government shutdown was resolved. In today’s filing, the SEC lists 14 questions open to the public about the proposal, with the intent of using the answers and arguments provided to help them reach a verdict. The questions specifically pertain to protecting investors and public interest from fraud and similar exploitations. As per the report: “The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade,’ and ‘to protect investors and the public interest.’” The SEC previously delayed its decision on the Securities Act update proposal which would allow bitcoin ETFs to be traded on CBOE. Bitwise initially filed for the proposed SEC rule change on February 15 with a 45 day period assigned for approval or disapproval. Since then, the decision has been postponed twice. ETFs are securities that are valued as a percentage of the associated asset, making them functionally similar to traditional stocks. The funds are seen by some in the industry as a step toward the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and a sign crypto’s maturation as an asset.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is working on its first tax guidance for cryptocurrency since 2014, the agency’s commissioner told a lawmaker Monday. In a reply to Rep. Tom Emmer’s request for further guidance on reporting cryptocurrencies, IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig outlined a non-specific plan to release in-depth guidance in the near future. “I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance,” Rettig wrote. The IRS is working on guidance for “acceptable methods for calculating cost basis, acceptable methods of cost basis assignment, and the tax treatment of forks” according to the letter. Guidance on these and other issues will be published “soon,” Rettig wrote. 5.16.2019 emmer 2019-11771 by John Biggs on Scribd “I am glad to hear of the IRS’ plans to issue guidance on this important issue,” Rep. Emmer said in a statement after receiving Rettig’s reply. “Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value. I look forward to seeing their forthcoming proposal, and working together to serve the American taxpayers.” Rep. Emmer is part of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a group of lawmakers that aims, among other goals, to solidify the reporting requirements and legal requirements associated with cryptocurrencies. His original request called for the IRS to “issue more robust guidance clarifying taxpayers’ obligations when using virtual currencies” with a deadline of May 15, 2019. 2019 IRS Letter Final by John Biggs on Scribd Image via Shutterstock
Weekly trading volume for the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market value, Ethereum (ETH), reached its highest notional value in over 17-months on the popular exchange Coinbase. In Coinbase’s two most popular ETH markets, ETH/BTC and ETH/USD, a combined total of 3,675,570 units of ETH changed hands from May 13 to May 19, which at current market prices ($246) has a notional value of over $904.1 million – its highest total in a week since Dec. 11, 2017 according to data from TradingView. If the trading volume of Coinbase’s remaining and more recently-added ETH markets (ETH/GBP, ETH/EUR, and ETH/USDC) are added to the mix, a total of 4.271 million ETH moved in that 7-day stretch, activity that was worth over $1.05 billion at current market prices. ETH/BTC + ETH/USD Weekly Volume (Coinbase) The forceful return of trading volume during a week in which ETH prices rose 37 percent (USD value) indicates the rally may be sustainable and that retail investors have re-entered the cryptocurrency markets after months of waning interest as a result of falling prices. Coinbase’s brand recognition is among the strongest in the cryptocurrency exchange sector as its $8 billion valuation and status as the largest US-based crypto exchange make it a primary destination for investors and traders alike who want quick and safe exposure to the market. Interestingly, weekly volume increases of this magnitude on Coinbase have preceded more significant advances in ETH’s price history. Since late 2016 and not including this past week, the combined weekly trade volume of Coinbase’s ETH/USD and ETH/BTC markets has exceeded 3.13 million ETH only 4 times and in the six weeks after ETH’s USD price went on to increase 87.1, 91.3, 54.6, and 67.1 percent respectively. That said, ETH wasn’t the only cryptocurrency to flash notable growth last week. Bitcoin (BTC), the sole cryptocurrency larger than ETH by market cap, increased 17 percent in price and climbed to a 42-week high of $8,388. In all, the value of the broader cryptocurrency market now records $242.4 billion, up 91 percent rom the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap. Disclosure: The author holds several cryptocurrencies. Please see his author bio for more information. Ethereum image via Shutterstock; Charts via TradingView
Venezuela and Russia are in talks to use the ruble in mutual trade settlements, thereby abandoning the commonly-used US dollar in country-to-country transactions. Further, the two countries are considering using El Petro, Venezuela’s oil-pegged cryptocurrency, as another medium of exchange. Venezuela‘s UN representative, Jorge Valero, told Russian house organ Russia Today about the upcoming trade plans. The Petro is pegged to the value of a barrel Venezuelan oil and the national currency, the bolivar, is pegged to the Petro. Venezuela hopes to avoid sanctions by disconnecting from USD and the Petro is an integral part of this process. It is also “swapping crude oil for imported products” according to RT. RT writes: The diplomat stressed that the US penalties against the Venezuelan oil sector, along with freezing its dollar accounts, has had an enormous negative impact on the country’s economy. The measures deprived the Latin American nation of free access to international financial support and investments in its oil sector. The US Treasury imposed sanctions against the Venezuelan government and its crypto exchange Evrofinance after Petro’s launch. The treasury wrote that “Evrofinance’s involvement in the Petro demonstrated Maduro’s hope that the Petro would allow Venezuela to circumvent U.S. financial sanctions.” Given there are no open crypto exchanges and no real way to pay with crypto in Venezuela, even after months of effort, this effort to route around sanctions appears aimed directly at getting Venezuela’s catastrophically broken government back on track but may or may not have much effect on the local economy. Image via Shutterstock
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again delayed a decision on a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal. In a new document filed Monday, the SEC said it was instituting proceedings on whether to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change that would allow the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to issue and list its shares. The regulator invited comments from the public, due 21 days from when the order is published in the Federal Register, and rebuttals to those comments, due 35 days after such publication. The new deadline for the SEC to make a decision is August 19, and it can delay one more time for a final deadline of October 18, attorney Jake Chervinsky tweeted. The VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF was first filed last year with Cboe BZX, but was pulled in January due to a long-lasting government shutdown. The companies re-filed the proposal later that month, shortly after Bitwise Asset Management filed its own ETF proposal with NYSE Arca. The SEC has delayed making any decision on the two proposals so far this year, with the latest delay on Bitwise’s proposal coming on May 14. The regulator has yet to approve any bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., and has so far either deferred making any decisions or outright rejected proposals over the past few years. In the past, the SEC has cited concerns with market manipulation, liquidity, financial crime and other issues as reasons for its rejections. VanEck digital asset strategist Gabor Gurbacs image via CoinDesk archives
Even as hacked crypto exchange Cryptopia goes into liquidation, the thieves who cleared at least $16 million in ethereum appear to have begun moving the stolen crypto into multiple wallets. In January Cryptopia went offline before announcing that it had “suffered a security breach which resulted in significant losses.” Although the company never disclosed the amount, independent analytics firms estimated that a hacker or hackers made off with over $16 million in ethereum and other tokens. On May 15 the exchange shut down trading and posted a message regarding liquidation: “Despite the efforts of management to reduce cost and return the business to profitability, it was decided the appointment of liquidators was, in the best interests of customers, staff and other stakeholders. … “Given the complexities involved we expect the investigation to take months rather than weeks.” Image courtesy of CoinFirm Now, according to an analysis by CoinFirm, the hackers are moving that cash into separate wallets, including two directly connected to Huobi. “The Cryptopia hacker moved 30,790 ETH (~$7.67M) from the last red address to the yellow one which is a new address of the hacker as of May 20, 2019 at 01:43:57 AM +UTC. The yellow address still has got 29,770 ETH,” said CoinFirm’s Grant Blaisdell. Two other addresses – here and here – received a combined 1010 ETH while another 10 ETH landed in what appears to be a Huobi deposit address and then went to a Huobi hot wallet. This suggests the hackers are preparing to pull cash out via these exchanges. Screenshot from Etherscan As of about 2pm EST on May 20 another 30,788 ETH moved into a new set of wallets. Image courtesy of CoinFirm While there is no telling what exactly is happening to this ether as it moves from wallet to wallet, it’s clear that the $16 million isn’t going to sit still for long. Cryptopia image via Shutterstock.
A senior official in Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, has argued that cryptocurrencies have the potential to ruin governments, Russian financial media agency Rambler reported on May 20. Nikolai Arefiev, a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and vice-chairman of the Duma’s committee on economic policy, innovative development and entrepreneurship, claimed that cryptocurrencies were created in order to hide large offshore assets from the government. If cryptos such as bitcoin (BTC) had emerged by 1994, Russia would have been “fully destroyed” so far because it would have lost all its capital offshore, Arefiev stated, speaking at a recent press conference of local media agency, National News Service. The 70-year-old official has further suggested that it is useless for a government to attempt to be involved in cryptocurrencies’ operations, emphasizing that those jurisdictions that decided to ban cryptocurrencies have chosen the easiest way to protect their capital. Also today, Arefiev warned the public against speculative capital, claiming that it accounts for more than 90% of the global economy. According to the official, bitcoin is a part of those speculative schemes, which create “money from money” and do not actually produce any products. The cryptocurrency industry is still not regulated in Russia. Recently, Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, requested that a client provide information on their income from operations with cryptocurrency. Last week, Russian prime minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev claimed that crypto regulation is not a priority for the Russian government since cryptocurrencies “have lost their popularity.”
Weekly trading volume for the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market value, Ethereum (ETH), reached its highest notional value in over 17-months on the popular exchange Coinbase. In Coinbase’s two most popular ETH markets, ETH/BTC and ETH/USD, a combined total of 3,675,570 units of ETH changed hands from May 13 to May 19, which at current market prices ($246) has a notional value of over $904.1 million – its highest total in a week since Dec. 11, 2017 according to data from TradingView. If the trading volume of Coinbase’s remaining and more recently-added ETH markets (ETH/GBP, ETH/EUR, and ETH/USDC) are added to the mix, a total of 4.271 million ETH moved in that 7-day stretch, activity that was worth over $1.05 billion at current market prices. ETH/BTC + ETH/USD Weekly Volume (Coinbase) The forceful return of in trading volume during a week in which ETH prices rose 37 percent (USD value) indicates the rally may be sustainable and that retail investors have re-entered the cryptocurrency markets after months of waning interest as a result of falling prices. Coinbase’s brand recognition is among the strongest in the cryptocurrency exchange sector as its $8 billion valuation and status as the largest US-based crypto exchange make it a primary destination for investors and traders alike who want quick and safe exposure to the market. Interestingly, weekly volume increases of this magnitude on Coinbase have preceded more significant advances in ETH’s price history. Since late 2016 and not including this past week, the combined weekly trade volume of Coinbase’s ETH/USD and ETH/BTC markets has exceeded 3.13 million ETH only 4 times and in the six weeks after ETH’s USD price went on to increase 87.1, 91.3, 54.6, and 67.1 percent respectively. That said, ETH wasn’t the only cryptocurrency to flash notable growth last week. Bitcoin (BTC), the sole cryptocurrency larger than ETH by market cap, increased 17 percent in price and climbed to a 42-week high of $8,388. In all, the value of the broader cryptocurrency market now records $242.4 billion, up 91 from the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap. Disclosure: The author holds several cryptocurrencies. Please see his author bio for more information. Ethereum image via Shutterstock; Charts via TradingView
After an initial round of polling last Thursday, MakerDAO token holders have failed to finalize a decision to decrease fees for users on DAI stablecoin loans taken out through MakerDAO’s programmatic lending protocol. On Friday, a secondary round of polling was launched in order to execute a 2 percent decrease to MakerDAO fees in the system. However, for the first time, the minimum threshold of 117,631.90 MKR tokens was not reached over the weekend and the executive vote remains unfulfilled with a total of 46,546.86 MKR tokens staked. Taking a step back, MakerDAO is the most popular decentralized finance application in the cryptocurrency industry, according to decentralized application tracker DeFi Pulse. MakerDAO has issued over 81 million DAI tokens backed by the world’s second largest cryptocurrency in the world, ether. For the first time in 5 months, MakerDAO token holders agreed to reduce accumulating interest – called the Stability Fee – on all MakerDAO DAI loans from 19.5 percent to 17.5 percent. However, the majority vote threshold itself was actually reached by a total of two large token holders who collectively staked 54,000 MKR tokens and outweighed other polling options which had a higher number of individual voters but a lower number of tokens staked overall. “There are two important signals the community should be monitoring,” highlighted head of community developer at the MakerDAO Foundation Richard Brown in a Reddit post.”MKR staked, which determines the governance polls, and the overall voter turnout. We need to know as a group if two large holders pushed through a vote, while a majority of smaller holders voted differently. Being able to have this information is important for the community, in order to identify disconnects.” Brown added in the same post that there is absolutely no MakerDAO token holder large enough to overpower 5 or 6 MakerDAO token holders staking in favor of a competing proposal. However, as noted by a Reddit user in response, token holders no longer feel safe staking their MKR after a critical vulnerability was disclosed roughly two weeks ago that could have frozen user funds. “Rich, one of the reason people were panicking is [the] last voting contract had [a] ‘bug’ and they are not prepared [to] risk large chunk of money until they are 100 percent…