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Crypto Market Cap at Critical Resistance, Is Altcoin Season Around The Corner?

The current crypto winter and bear market has been brutal for Bitcoin investors who are now underwater, but it’s been even worse for many altcoin holders.

Most of the thousands of altcoins on the market have fallen as much as 99% from their all-time high prices, have reached extremely oversold conditions, and are at the absolute bottom of the barrel sentiment-wise. However, according to one crypto analyst, altcoins are on the verge of breaking out of long-term downtrend resistance and an “altseason” may be around the corner.

Analyst: Altcoin Crypto Market Cap at Pivotal Resistance Point

Altcoins such as Ethereum and XRP have had a much further fall from their all-time high prices than their eldest sibling, Bitcoin. Bitcoin has fallen roughly 85% from its previous peak back in December 2017, while number 2 and number 3 cryptocurrencies Ethereum and XRP respectively have each fallen 90% from their high points.

Related Reading | XRP Beware? Industry Reacts to JP Morgan ‘JPM Coin’ Crypto Announcement

The added sell pressure has caused sentiment around altcoins to be at extreme lows, but the tides may be turning soon, if critical resistance can be broken.

According to a chart shared by prominent crypto analyst GalaxyBTC, the altcoin market cap – an aggregate of the total crypto market cap minus BTC – is at pivotal overhead resistance that has served as such all the way since January of 2018.

The early signs of an “altseason” are already showing, with Ethereum, EOS, and BCH all posting 15-25% gains on the day, while Bitcoin rose just 8.5% by comparison. The rest of the altcoin market is a sea of green today, as a clear sentiment change is occurring in the crypto space.

Bitcoin Has Long to Go Before Downtrend is Broken, BTC Dominance to Suffer

GalaxyBTC also shared some thoughts around a pattern commonly found in cryptocurrency trading. The analyst discovered that oftentimes following a build-up of BTC dominance – a metric that weighs Bitcoin’s market cap against the rest of the crypto market – it breaks down, causing a spike in altcoin dominance also referred to as an “altseason.”

The reason for this could be normal ebb and flow of capital to and from Bitcoin into altcoins, faith being restored by crypto market participants, or quite possibly due to the fact that most altcoins have broken through downtrend resistance, while Bitcoin hasn’t.

A chart shared by Senior Market Analyst for eToro Mati Greenspan shows that Bitcoin still has a long way to go before it brushes up against the downtrend resistance. The resistance dates back to January of 2018, after the first ever crypto’s parabolic advance was broken, kicking off the bear market that continues even today.

Related Reading | Bottom Doesn’t Matter, Last Time General Population Can Afford Entire BTC

Altcoins and Bitcoin are closely correlated, so a strong rally in the altcoin market could help restore confidence in Bitcoin again, and drag Bitcoin up through resistance along with the rest of the cryptosphere.

Featured image from Shutterstock

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Ripple Offered Multimillion-Dollar XRP Bonuses to Lure Top Tech Talent

Silicon Valley fintech startup Ripple goes out of its way to say it didn’t create the cryptocurrency XRP. But that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t rely on its vast reserves of the token when courting prospective hires.

One engineer who asked to remain anonymous showed CoinDesk a recruiting email from late 2018 that promised an XRP package from Ripple of worth up to $3 million, in addition to a generous salary offer.

According to the company’s LinkedIn, Ripple is looking to hire more than a dozen engineers and technical experts, including a new head of engineering for its xCurrent project, which aims to rival the legacy messaging network SWIFT at the center of the current global payments infrastructure.

Salaries may vary according to seniority, but based on conversations with two prospective recruits, XRP bonuses for engineers generally range in value from $1 million to $6 million, according to the company’s own evaluation. As of press time, XRP is trading at roughly $0.30 per token.

(Ripple declined to comment on bonus packages, including whether they are still being offered in 2019.)

One former Ripple employee, who asked to stay anonymous for fear of legal retribution, told CoinDesk he never heard of such XRP bonus packages before 2017. However, he also noted generous equity deals are standard in Silicon Valley.

In September 2018, one prospective engineering recruit, who asked to remain anonymous because he works at a company that might someday collaborate with Ripple, told CoinDesk that he also received an email from Ripple that stood out because it offered lucrative XRP packages, supposedly worth $3 million to $6 million. Both engineers currently work at top-tier tech companies in Silicon Valley, albeit the second programmer at a crypto company (thus the higher offer).

Additionally, the email claimed the global market cap of “its [Ripple’s] coin” was worth $48 billion. According to CoinMarketCap, on the day the email was sent XRP’s global market cap was closer to $13.3 billion. The prospective engineer recruit told CoinDesk he found this discrepancy alarming.

Speaking to the unusual bonus offering that caught his eye, the anonymous engineer said Ripple is “a very unpopular entity in the crypto sphere among technologists,” so he believes the company is “forced to go above and beyond to attract engineers” during the bear market.

Bear recruiting

A Ripple representative told CoinDesk the company currently employs roughly 90 engineers and technology experts, with plans to hire “aggressively” in order to expand its software as a service offering plus support RippleNet mobile wallets and payout processes.

This is part of an ongoing hiring spree. The company representative said that Ripple added 100 new employees across the company in 2018, adding:

“We move fast to acquire the best talent out there – especially considering the highly competitive nature of other startups who want to hire similar candidates.”

Former Ripple community liaison Jon Holmquist told CoinDesk that developer salaries and compensation are ballooning across Silicon Valley. As such, Holmquist said any hiring challenges might be related to the broader market downturn, not Ripple in particular.

“No one wants to join crypto for the first time during a bear market. I think that’s more of an industry-wide problem,” Holmquist said. “There’s always a shortage of talent.”

The anonymous engineer disagreed, considering the other types of recruiting emails he routinely receives.

“This is for a devops role, which is generally harder to find, but these are really big numbers,” the anonymous engineer said, referring to both the salary and XRP bonus package. “It comes across a little bit desperate.”

Serial entrepreneur Dave Schukin tweeted last June that the company offered him more than $175,000 as a base salary, which appears consistent with the other offer shared with CoinDesk.

In terms of what Ripple is looking for, the company representative said they are recruiting software experts with Java or C++ language expertise and an ample dose of teachability.

“We are not necessarily looking for blockchain experts – we can always teach domain-specific expertise,” she said. “We also think it’s important that our engineers carry themselves with humility and are able to think creatively about how to solve hard problems.”

Ripple image via Shutterstock

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XRP Price Analysis: Visa Partners with Ripple Associate

  • XRP prices bullish. Targets at 40 cents
  • InstaReM join hands with Visa in the Fast-track Program
  • Transactional volumes shrink but could rise as buy momentum pick up

After SWIFT and Corda Settler announcement, InstaReM is now collaborating with Visa to enhance Fintech’s money transfer arrangement. Everything else constant, this is good news, and as XRP find support in lower time frames, it is likely that prices will inch higher towards 40 cents in coming days.

XRP Price Analysis

Fundamentals

Latest news is that InstaReM—a money service provider that mainly serves the Asian market and a Ripple partner has joined Visa’s Fast-track Program.

The objective of this program is to give Fintechs in Singapore better payment experience. That means speed, veracity, and efficiency which is lacking in legacy systems.

Together with Visa, the two companies will work toward building new solutions that will lead to fast, cheap and efficient money flow between countries.

To that end, Prajit Nanu, co-founder, and CEO of InstaReM said they would begin issuing out cards to new partners within the first month of joining the program down from nine months it used to before the partnership.

The head of Visa’s Digital Partnership in Asia Pacific Hamish Moline said:

“Even with all the digital forms of payment that exist today, transferring money internationally can still be a time-consuming, inefficient process. We are keen to work together to tackle an area of payments where there is still a lot of opportunities to bring innovation to the customer experience.”

Candlestick Arrangements

Ripple

XRP/USD price action points to bulls, and at stop rates, prices are stable. Because of our previous guidance, it is likely that XRP prices will expand over the weekend, confirm the bull bar of Jan 30. Subsequently, this shall set in motion the next wave that will pump prices back towards 34 cents and most importantly above 40 cents.

It is easy to see why. Notice that the past two bars do confine XRP prices inside Jan 30 high low. From an effort versus result point of view, this is bullish. Already, there is a long lower wick hinting of buy pressure in lower time frame meaning our trade conditions will likely be true in due course. Should prices rally above 34 cents, then risk-off traders can buy on dips with first targets at 40 cents and later Dec 2018 highs of 60 cents.

Technical Indicators

Technically, bulls have an upper hand as mentioned above.  But, from an effort versus results, approach, we first need to see gains above 32 cents confirming buy pressure of Jan 30.  Volumes should preferably exceed 47 million on the upper end and 15 million current averages on the lower end. Moves as such will lay the building blocks for 40 cents and 60 cents.

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Ripple Price Analysis: SWIFT Unlikely To Use XRP Even After Corda Trial

  • Ripple price cool off after yesterday’s eruption
  • SWIFT using XRP unlikely even after Corda test phase
  • Bull momentum building up as transactional volumes increase

After impressive gains, candlestick arrangement supports XRP bulls. To that end we expect bull momentum to build up as uncertainty around SWIFT using XRP after Corda test phase mills.

Ripple Price Analysis

Fundamentals

A level deeper and the excitement around the newfound, indirect partnership between Ripple and SWIFT through R3’s Corda Settler will subside. After a technical review, it is apparent that SWIFT GPI Link is, in fact, a direct competitor or Ripple’s xCurrent with end-to-end tracking capabilities.

While SBI Holdings and Yoshitaka Kitao may be pulling string–SBI Group has investments in both companies, Corda Settler, it appears, will only act like any other “Layer 2” router. A layer that will facilitate cross border payment between these two networks. That is despite their supporting XRP. After all, it can support any other cryptocurrency—even XLM—”Settler will be open to all forms of crypto and traditional assets.” Nothing is exclusive.

The Proof of Concept is in progress, but at the end of the day, both companies will be advancing their solutions. Everything else constant, a scenario where SWIFT GPI Link and SWIFT in particular use XRP is highly unlikely.

Candlestick Arrangements

On the charts and XRP prices are cooling off. Despite double-digit gains of Jan 30, there has been no follow through, and prices are overly stable. All the same, we are bullish. Even if there are counter-arguments around XRP, SWIFT, and Corda, candlestick arrangement points to bulls.

Like before, we shall trade in line with our previous XRP/USD trade plans. That means, before we recommend longs, there must be a full close above 34 cents. That’s not all. Confirmations that trigger risk-off long traders must have the support of high trade volumes. These volumes should preferably exceed recent averages of around 17 million.

Only then shall we suggest buys on dips. First modest targets will be at 40 cents and later Dec 2018 highs at 60 cents. Before then, our optimism stems from the double bar bull-reversal pattern printing after yesterday’s upswings.

Technical Indicators

Although it would have been ideal for yesterday’s volumes to exceed those of Jan 10—83 million, there is a shift of momentum. After a clear high-volume bull bar—49 million versus 17 million averages, there is a propensity for traders to “jump in.”  However, patience is needed. Prices must first rally above 34 cents confirming yesterday’s bull bar preferably with transactional volumes exceeding Jan 28’s 31 million.

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XRP Price Pumps As SWIFT Partners With Ripple Rival R3

The CEO of SWIFT revealed today that the institution is working on a proof-of-concept for integrating blockchain start-up’s R3 trade finance platform with SWIFT’s GPI framework. 


Proof-of-Concept Blockchain Integration

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a global banking payments network. It works with over 11,000 institutions and moves an estimated $200 billion every day.

Today, speaking at the Paris Fintech Forum, the company’s CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt, revealed that they are working on a proof-of-concept for integrating R3’s blockchain-based trade finance platform with SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation (GPI) framework. Leibbrandt said:

We are announcing later today a proof-of-concept with the R3 blockchain on trade where you can initiate a payment on the trade platform and then it goes into GPI. We’re exploring interconnectivity with a lot of things and banks have always been a part of that interconnectivity.

The GPI initiative was introduced by SWIFT back in 2017 and it’s intended to speed up payment-processing times, lower the costs and increase transparency. However, it relies predominantly on currently existing infrastructure and as such, it can be rather slow and expensive.

Shots Fired

Leibbrandt was speaking on stage right next to Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The latter has previously criticized SWIFT for its high published error rate, saying:

SWIFT’s published error rate is six percent. Imagine if six percent of your emails didn’t go through without additional human intervention.

Garlinghouse didn’t miss the chance to highlight the benefits of decentralization, while also outlining some of SWIFT’s weak points:

Swift today is a one-way messaging framework, it isn’t a liquidity provider. When we think about an internet of value, it’s a mixture of two-way messaging frameworks — moving to a real-time chatting protocol if you will — coupled with real-time liquidity.

On the other hand, Leibbrandt said that his company’s historic reluctance about blockchain has been fueled additionally by volatile swings and sharp declines in the price of cryptocurrency.

He also outlined that a large part of Ripple’s value proposition is XRP – the cryptocurrency and that banks are reluctant to convert because of the volatility.

While none of them hinted at a potential near-term partnership, Garlinghouse said that they are open to “ways we could work with SWIFT.”

It’s worth noting, however, that last year R3 launched an application aimed to enhance global cryptocurrency payments, Corda Settler, the first settlement mechanism that it decided to use was XRP.

And while R3 and Ripple are technically competitors, following SWIFT’s announcement the price of XRP 00 marks 8.8% increase at the time of this writing.

What do you think of SWIFT’s announcement? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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