SEC Commissioner Sees Increasing Demand for Cryptocurrency

SEC Commissioner Sees Increasing Demand for Cryptocurrency

Crypto-friendly commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Hester Peirce, said there is an increase in demand for cryptocurrency as investors seek to diversify their portfolios. The commissioner has been an avid proponent of the SEC approving bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).Growing Interest for CryptocurrencySEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, also known in the crypto community as “Crypto Mom,” talked about cryptocurrency and digital dollars during a livestream discussion with Crypto Finance Conference St. Moritz on Tuesday. Noting that the covid-19 pandemic has affected all industries, including cryptocurrency, she said:We’re seeing more interest coming from institutional quarters than we have in the past. I think that will continue … as people are looking to diversify their portfolios, I think people are also likely to look more to the crypto space.‏‏‎She elaborated, “As people are more comfortable working in a virtual world in every industry now, I think people are likely to turn more interest to the crypto space.” Peirce previously said even before the coronavirus pandemic that one major advantage of the cryptocurrency industry was that it brings together people from across the world and helps them work together virtually. Industry participants don’t have to be in the same place to be working together.SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said that she sees increased institutional interest in cryptocurrency and more people will be interested in the crypto space to diversify their portfolios.Peirce was sworn in as an SEC commissioner on Jan. 11, 2018; her term is due to expire on June 5. She has consistently supported the idea of the SEC approving bitcoin exchange-traded funds but so far the SEC has not approved any. In May last year, she said the time was already right for the commission to approve a bitcoin ETF. In February, she announced her Token Safe Harbor Proposal to fill the gap between regulation and decentralization.Commissioner Peirce on Digital DollarsPeirce also talked about digital dollars during the livestream. She said that the subject has drawn more interest to cryptocurrencies and more people are now asking questions about crypto. Noting that “It’s helpful for people to think about the positives and negatives of having it be a government-issued versus a private-issued currency,” she opined:I will say that I think that the idea of a government…

Latin American Markets Post Record P2P Volume in April

Latin American Markets Post Record P2P Volume in April

Amid declining global volume, Localbitcoins.com continues to comprise a hub for Latin American peer-to-peer (P2P) trade — with Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela posting record volume over recent weeks according to Coin.dance.This past week saw Localbitcoins trade between Bitcoin (BTC) and the Mexican peso spike by 71%. As such, the week of April 25 saw roughly $430,000 worth of BTC change hands in Mexico — comprising the fourth-strongest weekly trade activity on record.Latin markets post record volumes during AprilArgentinian P2P trade rallied to post a new record of more than $710,000 in weekly volume during the week of April 18. The past week has seen a slight retracement in volume, with $670,000 worth BTC changing hands.Colombian trade has also rallied to test all-time high volume thresholds this past month — with the week of April 4 producing the market’s second-strongest seven days of trade with $2.7 million in volume. The following weeks have seen volume oscillate between $2.1 million and $2.6 million.The week of April 4 saw record volume coming out of Chile. with nearly $400,000 in trade. The record followed months of consistently increasing volume, and has been preceded by weekly trade activity worth between $280,000 and $325,000.Venezuela posts consecutive volume recordsThis past week saw Venezuelan trade on Localbitcoins post a new record for volume with $4.1 billion worth of BTC changing hands in seven days.The week comprised the fourth consecutive record for Venezuelan weekly trade since the start of April.

Bitcoin Rally Above $9K Stalls as Sellers Push BTC Back to Key Support

Bitcoin Rally Above $9K Stalls as Sellers Push BTC Back to Key Support

Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly broke above $9,000 as bulls appear to be in the process of trying to quietly move the price above the resistance level.Since Friday trading volume for the top-ranked cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap had been virtually non-existent as the price traded sideways between $8,750-$8,850 for the majority of the day but the weekend is bound to bring about a stronger directional move.Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360Will the TD9 ring true again?As reported by Cointelegraph, the presence of a TD9 on the daily time frame, overbought technical indicators, and decreasing trading volume suggested that Bitcoin price had become overextended and traders believed that the loss of momentum would culminate as a retest of underlying support levels.Although the TD Sequential has proven to be a fairly reliable indicator of trend changes in Bitcoin price action, the digital asset is known for its tendency to push higher even when indicators like the Stoch RSI and MACD are strongly overbought.Given that the halving is a mere 9 days away, excited investors could simply be overlooking any bearish signals with the belief that the price will continue higher into the halving.Weak volume weighs on momentumThe move to $9,000 occurred on gradually increasing purchasing volume and a bull cross on the moving average convergence divergence. The MACD histogram has flipped positive as momentum continues above the 0 line but the relative strength index has dropped below 50 on the 1-hour timeframe.BTC USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TradingViewWhile the move above $9K is encouraging, it lacks strength and the Chaikin Money Flow oscillator remains below 0, and even though there is an hourly pattern of higher lows the tight candlesticks slightly longer upper shadows show momentum and volume remain weak compared to the rally which occurred earlier this week.As shown by the volume profile visible range indicator on the 1-hr and 4-hr time frame, Bitcoin price needs to hold above $8,950 as this resistance here has prevented the asset from moving higher for the past 2 days.BTC USDT weekly chart. Source: TradingViewAccording to Cointelegraph contributor, Micheal van de Poppe, this week’s 35%+ rally ended right at a key resistance block located at $9,200-$9,500. Van de Poppe explained that:This whole resistance zone provided support throughout the summer of 2019.For the…

Coinbase: Bitcoin Is Superior to Gold

Coinbase: Bitcoin Is Superior to Gold

A report published by leading U.S.-based crypto exchange, Coinbase, has argued that Bitcoin (BTC) offers a distinct advantage over gold. They state that Bitcoin is afforded these advantages by its lack of dependence on physical supply chains.While the report’s authors assert that “Bitcoin and gold are fundamentally similar as scarce and globally accessible units of value,” Coinbase advances that gold’s recent supply squeeze, resulting from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, has highlighted Bitcoin’s superior global accessibility.Bitcoin offers advantages over goldIn a report published on May 2, Coinbase argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the advantages that BTC offers over gold, asserting that “Bitcoin does not rely on fragile physical supply chains and is truly globally accessible.”Coinbase emphasizes the recent price gaps exhibited by gold markets worldwide, as disruptions to supply chains result in disparate levels of scarcity across different markets.The report notes a roughly 4.5% divergence in the price of gold in New York and London. This divergence resulted from a lack of gold bars that are used to settle Comex’s futures contracts.The report notes that the Perth Mint in Western Australia has recently increased production of gold kilobars to meet supply shortages — with at least 11,000 bars being shipped to New York.COVID-19 pandemic has minimal impact on miningCoinbase notes that while “gold refineries, miners, and supply chains have been disrupted, Bitcoin’s core protocol continues to function as designed” — with Bitcoin’s hash rate reapproaching all-time highs in recent weeks.Further, the report asserts that “Bitcoin will be approximately as scarce as gold,” however, possesses the distinct quality of teleportability.“Bitcoin’s rate of new supply is ~3.6% per year and will soon drop to ~1.7% on May 12th, setting it on par with gold’s historic scarcity. As gold miners and refineries have gone offline, Bitcoin’s global mining ecosystem seems resilient according to hash rate measurements in recent days.”Coinbase also notes that Bitcoin markets are currently posting year-to-date gains of 20% and 12% respectively. 

Bearish TD9 Sell Signal Hints at Correction After 40% Bitcoin Price Rally

Bearish TD9 Sell Signal Hints at Correction After 40% Bitcoin Price Rally

The Bitcoin (BTC) price rose to as high as $9,065 on May 1, after peaking at $9,481 the previous day. The 35% increase in the price of BTC within nine days led a highly accurate sell signal called the TD9 to spark.TD9, a sell sign that is a part of the TD9 Sequential system, is triggered when the price of an asset increases nine days in a row above its price four days prior to the nine-day run.As an example, on the daily timeframe the Bitcoin price closed at $7,125 on April 19. From April 23 to May 1, BTC consistently remained above $7,125 for nine consecutive days, leading the TD9 to light up.Bitcoin daily chart prints a TD9. Source: TradingviewHistorical data shows that the TD9 signal typically leads to a 12 to 20 percent near-term pullback in the Bitcoin price. The indicator identifies overextended movements to both the upside and the downside, showing whether BTC is oversold or overbought.Traders expect a post-halving sell-off for Bitcoin, and TD9 matches the timingThe Bitcoin block reward halving is expected to occur on May 12 and in previous halvings the Bitcoin price tended to see a run up prior to the event then a see a sell-the-news style correction right after it.Traders already expect the 2020 halving to have a similar effect as the impact of the 2016 halving on the price of BTC.Cryptocurrency investor and hedge fund manager Logan Han said:BTC halving right in front of our noses. Previous halving – BTC made a dip down and then made its run to ATH. If $9,450 was the top of this pre-halving pump, I expect BTC to pull a move similar to the previous halving.Bitcoin price fell right after the 2nd halving in 2016. Source: Logan HanIn the past two weeks, the Bitcoin price rose by 40 percent, surging past key levels such as the 200-day simple moving average (SMA) and the 0.618 Fibonacci Retracement level calculated in between $3,600 and $14,000.Often, when an asset surpasses key levels in the way BTC did in a short period of time, it becomes vulnerable to a steep downtrend in the short-term.Bearish signals suggest a correction loomsThe case for a post-halving sell-off in the cryptocurrency market is now stronger due to…

Binance Pooling Up Mining Game Amid Centralization Concerns

Binance Pooling Up Mining Game Amid Centralization Concerns

This week marked the launch of Binance Pool, a mining platform powered by one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Coming less than a month after Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao confirmed rumors of this forthcoming addition to his brainchild company’s product family, the announcement paints the new mining pool as the bridge between “traditional mining and financial services.” The lowest fees in the market and seamless integration with a full suite of Binance’s financial products are the major selling points meant to lure miners.The news reinvigorated the debate about how big a crypto company can get before the community is justified in throwing the dreaded “c-word” (centralization, that is) at it. For Binance, criticism has been mounting up as of late.Even before the mining pool came about, the company stirred controversy by extending its influence into the field of crypto data aggregation with the acquisition of one of the industry’s favorite token price hubs, CoinMarketCap. On top of that, the newly published outline of Binance’s prospective Smart Chain drew some sharp criticism in part for its governance mechanism’s alleged proneness to centralization. Is Binance crossing the line, becoming too big for an industry founded on the vision of disrupting centralized power structures?Crypto exchanges meet mining poolsLong gone are the times when geeky crypto enthusiasts could run a lucrative mining operation from their own garage, using only a repurposed antiquated PC. The spikes in Bitcoin’s popularity and market capitalization have driven mining difficulty through the roof, first igniting the hardware arms race that had led to the triumph of application-specific integrated circuits and then rendering individual home-based mining all but untenable altogether.In order to have at least a realistic shot at a slice of the block rewards, miners were driven to consolidate their computing power in pools, divvying up the spoils according to individual hash rate contributions. In addition to hardware and electricity costs, some mining pools also charge fees for participation.Crypto exchanges stood to gain a lot from entering into the mining scene, and so they did. The hallmark of an exchange-powered pool, as it is explained in Binance’s blog, is that “rewards go directly to the participants’ exchange accounts,” rather than to individual miners’ wallets, as in traditional mining pools. This seemingly trivial distinction…

Bitcoin Halving 2020: How the World’s Largest Mining Pool Is Helping Miners ‘De-Risk’

Bitcoin Halving 2020: How the World’s Largest Mining Pool Is Helping Miners ‘De-Risk’

“There have been days that F2Pool has lost 100 BTC in terms of having to pay miners without mining blocks themselves, but over a long period of time and with a significant amount of network hashrate those ups and downs even out,” said Thomas Heller, the mining pool’s global business director.F2Pool is the largest bitcoin mining pool in the world, controlling 20% of the collective computational energy, also called hashrate, on the Bitcoin network. On the fifth and final episode of Bitcoin Halving 2020: Miner Perspectives, Heller discusses the economic incentives driving cryptocurrency mining and mining pool operations.Though miner revenue has decreased sharply over the last two years from around $0.60 per terahash to $0.10, Heller explained that bitcoin mining continues to be profitable due to the release of more efficient hardware and the discovery of cheaper sources of electricity. Positive movement in bitcoin’s price is also a major factor, albeit a frustratingly unpredictable one. Heller, who operates a slew of his own mining machines, said that without “significant price action” over the next two weeks leading up to Bitcoin’s mining reward reduction, also called the halving, both he and other miners would have no choice but to turn off “older machines.”For more information about the halving event, download the free CoinDesk Research explainer report, which features over 30 different charts and additional commentary from bitcoin mining industry experts.

Bitcoin Price $9.5K Resistance Puts BTC Halving Rally in Jeopardy

Bitcoin Price $9.5K Resistance Puts BTC Halving Rally in Jeopardy

Investors in Bitcoin (BTC) have seen a tremendous week, as the price of the top-ranked cryptocurrency rallied from $7,500 to $9,500. A rally of $2,000 in just a matter of a week.Is this halving FOMO? Sustainable growth? All questions are arising in the recent movements, but overall a solid week for Bitcoin and crypto. What can the markets expect from here?Crypto market daily performance. Source: Coin360Bitcoin touches a crucial resistance level and rejectsThe price of Bitcoin held the $7,600 level for support throughout the beginning of the week and momentum picked up after breaking $7,800.The rally of Bitcoin ended at the significant resistance block between $9,200-9,500. Why did it stop there? This whole resistance zone provided support throughout the summer of 2019.BTC USD 1-week chart. Source: TradingViewAlongside with the horizontal resistance zone, the CME futures chart showed a clear CME gap between $8,200-9,055, which closed during the given rally.The chart is also showing support levels of $7,800 and $6,600 that could be tested if the price of Bitcoin retraces.BTC USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingViewAt the same time, the daily chart of Bitcoin is showing clear levels of support and resistance. The range has resistances at the $9,200-9,500 area, and the support levels are found at $8,200-8,400 and $7,800.The structure is pretty straight-forward. The price was rejected hard from the $9,500 area as a $1,000 crash occurred in a matter of hours. Such a dropdown marks the confirmation of a strong resistance area with sellers clicking the sell button in this zone.BTC USD 30-min chart. Source: TradingViewThe 30-minute chart is showing a clear picture of the recent movements. Normally, I wouldn’t use these smaller time frames inside an article. However, with the recent volatility, these lower time frames can perhaps better identify a structure on the chart than the larger time frames.Therefore, the chart is showing a clear rejection at the $9,400 area, after which a crash of $1,000 occurred. The chart shows a support area around $8,400 as the price of Bitcoin compressed there just before the big surge happened, making it a key price point that may serve as significant support.As the chart shows, the price bounced from the $8,400 area and rallied towards $9,000. Here, the same compression occurred, which is now acting…

The DeFi Hack: What Decentralized Finance Should and Shouldn’t Be

The DeFi Hack: What Decentralized Finance Should and Shouldn’t Be

Decentralized finance, or DeFi for short, became a buzzword in 2019 following the valuations of MakerDao and Compound after both companies raised sizable rounds from the elite Silicon Valley-based Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.2020 has been a difficult year for the crypto DeFi sector — it’s been going through the wringer. Over the weekend, the dForce ecosystem protocol Lendf.me lost 99.95% of its funds from a hacking exploit. Just days later, the hacker leaked information about his identity that resulted in him returning most of the stolen funds. This news comes following DeFi’s greatest test on March 12, when the Ether (ETH) price sharply fell, causing systems to become overly stressed and fail. The big loser that day was MakerDao, whose poor architecture and infrastructure was exposed due to the limitations of the Ethereum network.The leading decentralized finance platform MakerDao accrued debt that had to be bailed out by its venture capital firm’s money. A month later, DAI’s dollar peg was experiencing stability issues and a $28.3 million class-action lawsuit was filed against the Maker Foundation in the Northern District Court of California for negligence. Users want their money back.Back on April 18, $25 million in Ether and Bitcoin (BTC) was stolen from users of the lending protocol Lendf.me. Lendf is a protocol with security issues and is part of the dForce Foundation’s ecosystem. Surprisingly, it was actually able to collect almost all funds back from the attacker who exploited the reentry loophole in its protocol, as he eventually returned almost all of the money he had stolen. After draining $25 million, the hacker returned $24 million of it, keeping $1 million for himself for… you know, gas fees and these difficult COVID-19 times, maybe.Ironically, the hacker didn’t return the same mix of assets that was stolen, instead returning the $24 million in a different combination of cryptocurrency tokens. This comes immediately following the news that the dForce Foundation closed a $1.5 million round led by Multicoin Capital, with participation from Huobi Capital and CMB International last week. We can assume these funds are going to cover the losses from the hack.I spoke with two DeFi CEOs of Compound Finance and Kava Labs to ask them about their experience with dForce and what key takeaways…

Digital Dollars Give the State Too Much Control Over Money

Digital Dollars Give the State Too Much Control Over Money

Max Raskin is an adjunct professor of law at New York University.A bipartisan group of U.S. congressmen wrote Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week, urging him to consider the use of blockchain technology in administering the federal government’s coronavirus response. This comes just a month after Democrats in the House and Senate proposed bills that would allow individuals to hold checking accounts directly with Federal Reserve banks. Such accounts have been referred to as “digital dollars,” and such plans aim to both stimulate the economy with direct cash injections and bank the unbanked.Although this may seem like a sleek new idea riding the crest of enthusiasm over blockchains, digital currency and financial inclusion, a similar proposal, dubbed the “Chicago Plan,” was considered by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression of the 1930s and ultimately rejected. Then, like now, the plan is not without benefits. But then, like now, it should be rejected because it would be one of the biggest power grabs in American history, politicizing our system of finance irrevocably.See also: Money Reimagined: As Tech, Politics and COVID-19 Collide, a Global Reset LoomsIt is important to acknowledge that there is a kernel of truth to the digital dollar plan. Right now private banks act as middlemen between depositors and the government. These middlemen take fees for this role. And it is true some individuals do not have enough savings to participate in, or have confidence in, the private banking system. A digital dollar system would allow the government to subsidize the unbanked as well as directly target countercyclical monetary stimulus and even enact non-discretionary monetary rules. But the temptation and fraught incentives created are simply too great to justify such marginal benefits.In cutting out the middlemen, this plan cuts out all that stands between our bank accounts and the Washington Leviathan. It sounds nice to be able to directly target cash injections into, let’s say, all small restaurant owners’ accounts. But a government that gives can also take. What if an administration decided to inject money directly and seamlessly into your competitor’s bank account? Imagine Republicans targeting clean energy companies and abortion clinics or Democrats targeting gun manufacturers. Every credit or debit on your account would be subject to the ballot box or,…