Bitcoin (BTC) continues to lose value, and its current price is getting closer to test the $3,000 area.
Tether (USDT) has made a surprising comeback in the last month, thanks to the dumping altcoins.
At the time of writing, USDT is the fourth largest cryptocurrency.
The crypto market situation continues its usual bearish trend as 2018 approaches its end. While many were hoping for an end of the year’s rally, that would spark a new bull run and bring Bitcoin back to over five digits value, it appears that the market will remain bearish until the very end of the year.
Analysts and experts agree that the situation is quite severe at this point. So much so, in fact, that Bitcoin (BTC) value managed to drop to new lows, which were not witnessed since August 2017. While still the largest coin by market cap, Bitcoin’s value has dropped to $3,130 (Bitstamp) at the time of writing.
Despite this, the coin is the most dominant force in the market, with its total market cap ($55.9 billion) amounting to more than half of the entire crypto market’s cap ($101.2 billion). Almost the entire crypto market continues to trade in the red, with few coins within the top 100 being able to experience a slight increase.
The rise of Tether
Another proof of the severity of the bear market is the rise of Tether (USDT), a controversial stablecoin that has managed to overtake Stellar’s (XLM) position as the fourth largest coin by market cap.
Tether currently has a market cap of $1.8 billion. Only a week ago, it needed over $400 million to reach Stellar. Now, however, it overtook its place on the list, due to the drop in Stellar’s own market cap.
Tether was at the center of a large controversy several months ago. Many believed that the stablecoin will disappear after it failed to prove that it can back its coins with an adequate amount of USD. Additional allegations of attempts at market manipulation further damaged its reputation.
However, with the market crash that started on November 15th following BCH hard fork, the crypto markets started losing value, and most coins were affected. Tether, however, was not, and it actually started rising through the coinmarketcap ranks. At the beginning of the year, USDT held the rank of 15 on the list of largest cryptocurrencies. Since then, it was a center of a controversy and it experienced an oversale, but it still managed to recover and climb near the top of the list.
As with all dollar-backed stablecoins, the value of USDT is at $1, which indicates that the coin finally managed to stabilize. It appears that its advancement will be halted at the fourth spot, as its next obstacle, Ethereum, currently has a market cap of nearly $8.7 billion. Whether Tether can rise further up depends solely on Ethereum’s own situation, and whether or not its market cap will continue to spiral fall.
While that the declining cryptocurrency market has hit the business of every chip maker on Earth, the story of Nvidia is no different. The semiconductor chip-making giant is facing severe woes with its stock price falling by nearly 50% in the last three months. At the closing hours on Friday, the Nvidia stock was trading at $146.21, according to MarketWatch.
In August this year, Nvidia announced its departure from the crypto business amidst the market slowdown. At that time, Nvidia CFO Collette Kress said: “Whereas we had previously anticipated cryptocurrency to be meaningful for the year, we are now projecting no contributions going forward.”
However, according to the CNBC report, Citi group told its client to start ‘bottom fishing’ – a term popularly used in the securities market which means to “hunt for securities that they believe are undervalued in the market or that recently have experienced a significant price drop”.
Nvidia Is a Buying Opportunity This Christmas
Citigroup analyst Atif Malik wrote:
“Citi semiconductor team believes a bottom is forming in semiconductor stocks which could be a good entry point into high quality companies where Street estimates have already been cut sharply. We’re “adding Nvidia to Citi Semis Christmas Shopping list on bottom picking.”
Nvidia has a good market share in making graphics chips for data centers and gaming consoles. However, after last month’s release of the quarterly report, the stock price tanked further by 18 percent. Despite the recent turbulence, Malik says that Nvidia is picking up the market share for GPUs. Furthermore, he remains confident about the long-term trends in AI and self-driving car technology.
“We believe a combination of slower (but still robust) revenue growth, increasing capex rationalization, and higher use of storage and compute optimized server-less services like AWS Lambda at three global hoyer-scale cloud players could slow down demand in the next couple of quarters,” says Malik.
But he later adds that “this is already reflected in our current 5 percent/4 percent below-consensus January/April-quarter data center estimates. We maintain our underlying buy-rated thesis of Nvidia as a key beneficiary of secular growth trends such as eSports, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving.”
SoftBank Planning to Exit Nvidia Investment by Early 2019
Citing an anonymous source, Bloomberg recently reported that SoftBank is planning to pull out its investments from Nvidia by early 2019. In May 2017, the Japanese banking conglomerate invested $3 billion in Nvidia through its Vision Fund. The sources say that SoftBank is planning its exit in a structured manner, such that it won’t affect the stock price much.
The banking giant has created a “collar-trade” of $6 billion. This will allow investors to amass stakes while protecting themselves against a decline in stock prices. The sources added: “SoftBank has structured equity trade deals with investment banks to hedge against a drop in Nvidia’s share price”.
President Donald J. Trump has announced that he will be naming Mick Mulvaney as the new acting White House Chief of Staff. Mulvaney is a well-known Bitcoin proponent and has previously expressed his support of blockchain technology.
Mulvaney: New Acting Chief of Staff
Mick Mulvaney, who’s currently the director of the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been named Acting White House Chief of Staff and will reportedly assume the position at the end of the year. He will be succeeding the post from John F. Kelly.
“I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” President Trump tweeted.
I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration….
According to CNN, Mulvaney will not be resigning as director of the OMB while he is acting White House Chief of Staff. Citing sources familiar with the situation, CNN reports that it is President Trump who wants Mulvaney to keep his current role as OMB director as well. The latter has been occupying the position since February 2017.
Good News for Bitcoin
Mulvaney is a well-known Bitcoin and blockchain proponent, spearheading the Blockchain Caucus – a soundboard for policy creation handling blockchain technology as well as the growing impact of virtual currencies.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative,” Mulvaney previously stated.
Mulvaney is yet another appointment of President Trump who seems to be favoring the development of the cryptocurrency industry. In September Bitcoinist reported that the President has appointed Elad Roisman as an SEC commissioner.
Roisman has previously demanded regulations, which treat the industry “in a fair and transparent manner, provide clarity and certainty to the markets and investors.”
What do you think of Mick Mulvaney becoming White House Chief of Staff? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
One month has officially passed since the bitcoin cash blockchain underwent a hard fork on November 15, resulting in the creation of two distinct networks.
They’re now commonly referred to as Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV. Yet in the weeks that followed the mid-November fracture, there is still no favorite in terms of overall price.
Bitcoin cash is designed in such a way that, every six months, its users must ‘fork’ the blockchain and adopt a software upgrade with changes determined by the project’s open-source software developers.
If the developers and miners reach consensus as to what the upgrades should be, the main chain stays intact and simply adopts the software upgrade known as a ‘soft fork’.
All bitcoin cash forks had fallen under the ‘soft’ category, but circumstances were different with the latest fork. This time around, the upgrades could not be agreed upon and tension grew among developers, so the main chain experienced a divisive hard fork – in other words, it split into two separate chains with their own cryptocurrencies.
Since the fork, both BCHABC and BSV have been trading on public cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase, but after 30 days of wild volatility and drastic swings in hash power, their prices stand just $10 apart.
Where are they now?
Bitcoin cash prices reached a peak of $621 in November but had fallen 32 percent to $421 on Nov. 14, the day before the scheduled fork. according to CoinDesk’s pricing data.
After the split, the two newly created cryptocurrencies bitcoin cash ABC and Bitcoin SV hit the market and began trading at $295 and $90 respectively on the Binance exchange.
It should be noted that multiple exchanges including Poloniex and Bitfinex engaged in ‘pre fork trading’ before the fork took place.
These experimental markets involved the trading of ‘IOU’ token place holders for BCHABC and BSV redeemable post-fork, theoretically allowing exchange users to decide amongst themselves which fork to support.
For much of November, BCHABC was the distinct price leader, at times valued as much as 10 times that of its counterpart.
The difference between the two narrowed as the month elapsed, so much so that Bitcoin SV was able to take a brief price lead on Dec. 6.
Since the fork, the broader cryptocurrency market has witnessed a significant sell-off of more than $80 billion in terms of total capitalization. As a result, the two forks depreciated greatly in price.
At the time of writing, BCHABC (currently trading under the BCH ticker on many exchanges) is valued at just $80, while BSV is $70, according to CoinMarketCap, so it’s clear the public has yet to pick an undisputed favorite.
While the long term success of BCHABC and BSV will likely be dictated by usage and hash power, technical analysis can be applied to their price charts so a more immediate direction of the assets prices can be anticipated.
As can be seen in the BSV/USDT chart above, price began forming a bearish consolidation pattern known as the descending triangle on Nov. 26, which broke down on Dec. 16.
The break of triangle support at $84 opened the doors for more depreciation with just two notable support levels nearby: $74 and $54. Based on the large size of the triangle pattern, it seems the lower support level is likely to be reached although the oversold conditions seen on the intraday relative strength index (RSI) may slow the fall.
There is less to glean from the BCHABC chart since it has been in a steady, near 80 percent downtrend ever since hitting the market.
With no known support levels nearby, it’s difficult to predict where its price may eventually pick up bid although oversold conditions are evident on the higher time frame charts, so sellers may soon take a breather allowing for a corrective bounce.
Needless to say, it’s unlikely either of the newly forked cryptocurrencies pick up strong big until bitcoin and the broader market does as well.
Disclosure: The author holds BTC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing.
Emotions were high during bitcoin’s block size debate (each side believing bitcoin would be damaged by the other’s triumph), and they’re high again in this year’s bear market. People are once again listening to the fortune tellers, who shape their crypto outlook on market sentiment, and while there are many that signal allegiance to the cause, some are just here for the quick rewards, both social and monetary.
It disappoints me to see the toxicity in this small cryptocurrency community, but it doesn’t surprise me.
Specifically on Crypto Twitter, it’s the environment itself that rewards the group-think we’re seeing. Previously independent thinkers are rewarded for conforming and are punished for their dissent. While it’s easier to resist threats in groups, it’s harder to create and progress without being open-minded. We see similar patterns in politics and even in debates about nutrition.
All said, I must say that it is my experience that the Twitter toxicity does not transfer to offline interactions. I have met many bitcoiners from both sides of the block, and I can’t recall one time I felt any toxicity in person. In fact, the opposite is the truth, it’s always a treat. I would mention names, but I don’t want to blow their tough-guy covers.
To quote Ian Mackaye of Fugazi, the tough guys are all “ice cream-eating motherfuckers.” I mean that in the fondest of ways.
Instead of checking the daily graphs, it would better serve most crypto-enthusiasts to revel in cypherpunk writings such as Tim May’s Crypto Anarchist Manifesto and Wei Dai’s b-money paper. Both are great reminders of why we’re here in the first place. (If you’re going to look at a graph, make it the BTC:USD logarithmic graph. It has the best chance of predicting the future.)
Bitcoin is activism, not a get rich quick scheme or a startup platform. The point of bitcoin is to regulate bad laws and to democratize bad policies by way of circumventing harmful enforcement.
Any system, software or hardware, blockchain-based or otherwise, that contributes to these goals is worth paying attention to.
Equally, any software or hardware projects that fail in this manner are only of interest to me once they amend their fragility. In this regard, decentralized exchanges and ICOs are worthless in their current form, but DEX or ICO v2.0 or v3.0 may end up being decentralized and powerful tools for preventing oppression in all of its forms.
Go Gig (and Boring)
In 2012, my brother Josh and I printed up bitcoin postcards to give out at regional Students for Liberty events all over the East Coast. At the time, it was mostly the Libertarians embracing the infant technology and this was our activism.
For the International Students for Liberty Conference in early 2013, we decided to do something a bit wilder, we wanted to show these youngsters how bitcoin works. We built a little orange box that accepted cash notes and sent out bitcoin transactions. Not only was it a huge hit at the conference, it reached social media and we started getting interest from media and potential buyers.
This was our chance to take our passion for bitcoin to the next level. We founded Lamassu and started manufacturing bitcoin ATMs, a machine we like to now call “cryptomats.”
Fast forward almost six years and we’re still going strong, still advocating bitcoin and there’s a booming industry making machines that help people buy and sell bitcoin. From the get-go, our business has always been more about activism than pure short-term profit. The business decisions we make are a mix of what we need to do to succeed and how to stay in line with our techno-libertarian ideals of privacy and decentralization.
Our main goal has always been to introduce as many people to cryptocurrencies as possible. And so our software is free, open source and unlicensed. We don’t charge cryptomat operators any fees for machine usage, and they host their own servers. End-users who use the machines never have their coins stored for them by operators, but are required to actually use bitcoin to get it.
As a whole, the cryptomat industry is quite unlike others in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. There’s been very little drama of late.
We’ve seen healthy, steady growth. And the field is made of quality companies, such as our main competitors Genesis and General Bytes, that have endured radical bear and bull markets. All these are very important for the ecosystem, yet perhaps a bit mundane in terms of the news cycle. No ICOs, no mass hacks and the companies involved have at best millions worth of revenue, not billions.
But at the same time, I feel it’s the kind of boring the cryptoverse needs. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people around the world are using cryptomats every month to get small amounts of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly to their wallets. No banks, no third party custody, no waiting.
It’s still the easiest way for a first time user to get crypto, and the more cryptomats there are in the world, the more useful and reliable they become. Inch by inch, row by row.
BUIDLers on the Roof
The hardest part for bitcoin was getting to $0.10.
The exponential growth since has become the norm and would take something extraordinary to derail. As such, we have to think about what happens when a growing population of the world starts owning bitcoin. Will the next financial crisis be the one that pushes bitcoin to the mainstream? What if this actually does happen, but there’s still no good user interface to protect people from losing, misusing and failing to protect their funds? Will they end up trusting people to help them?
For me, this is still the biggest question in crypto. I don’t doubt the success of bitcoin and other key cryptocurrencies, but I’m concerned things will get messy when the central banks run out of tricks.
At Lamassu, we have been keeping our heads down, working to improve our corner of the still unsolved UI problem of crypto. We’ve been aggressively hiring coders and customer support staff and expanding our manufacturing facilities.
We have fierce competition, but it’s one of mutual respect. I know our competitors are doing it for the same reasons we are, a deep rooted ideology with bitcoin at its core, to free money and markets from powerful middlemen.
The whole point of bitcoin is for people to help themselves, but it’s our jobs as proponents to make that easy. The sooner people can actually use, store, and secure their own coins, the safer they’ll be when the bank runs hit. Lest we build skyscrapers of blockchains, with no elevators in which to ascend them.
Have a strong take on 2018? Email news [at] coindesk.com to submit an opinion to our 2018: Year in Review.