Your dose of crypto news and analysis from @BTO and @Goldfinger

After so much blood was spilled last week, I’ll be honest, I was worried heading into this week. And it wasn’t a great start with relentless FUD continuing to be unleashed on nervous investors:

Bitcoin bottomed out around US$6,000 with the above stories dominating the headlines.

But then, cryptodads to the rescue!

On Tuesday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo testified before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and absolutely killed it! No FUD. You can watch the entire testimony here:

Or watch the moment when Giancarlo became a legend (beginning around the 1:09 mark):

And when he went off-script to become the Godfather of the cryptodads:

The result in the markets?

And in the mainstream media headlines?

Forbes (again)

Thus ending the FUD news cycle — for now. The Senate hearing memes also started pouring in:

All in all a positive week, in my opinion. And we after a couple weeks of double-digit percentage losses, we can see in the performance of some of the major cryptos this week (close UTC time last Friday to today) that the tides may have shifted:

  • Bitcoin trading around US$8,600, down 2.7% on the week
  • Ethereum trading around US$860, down 5.9% on the week
  • Bitcoin Cash trading around US$1,285, up 8.0% on the week
  • Litecoin trading around US$157, up 19.6% on the week
  • Stellar trading around US$0.39, down 3.2% on the week
  • Dash trading around US$627, up 6.8% on the week
  • Monero trading around US$253, up 7.4% on the week
  • Ethereum Classic trading around US$25, up 8.6% on the week
  • ZCash trading around US$454, up 18.3% on the week

In other market news, the Dow Jones has apparently taken a page out of the crypto playbook. This snapshot of the week looks like a Bitcoin chart:

WTF did I miss this week in crypto?

Report: Bank of America, JPMorgan Ban Credit Crypto Purchases

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase will reportedly no longer enable customers to purchase bitcoin with credit cards starting this month, reports say. Other financial institutions have followed suit — e.g., Lloyds Banking Group in the U.K. and Barclays in the U.S.
Canadian banks have not yet cracked down in this way, to my knowledge — see, e.g., this article. But don't expect this to last.
This follows another related development, which has credit card companies coding crypto exchange transactions in such a way that the payments are treated as cash advances (and subject to high fees), as opposed to regular purchases of goods. See, e.g., the email sent by Coinbase to its customers on Jan. 31:

Bitcoin ATM Installations Skyrocket Throughout Market Correction

In my view, the credit card company crackdowns (see above) are actually fairly positive. If tons of people are using credit, taking out loans, etc. to speculate on cryptos (which they have been), the whole house of cards could come tumbling down at any moment; it's probably part of what has driven the 2018 plunge in prices. That’s why I was also happy to see this week that Bitcoin ATM (BTM) installations are still accelerating — and in fact outpacing regular ATM installations, notwithstanding the crypto market downturn. 136 BTMs were installed during the market pullback alone, bringing the worldwide total to 2,177 (at the time the linked article was published, as tracked by On average, 5 BTM locations spring up every day. This is just one more example of how the crypto ecosystem continues to grow, despite depressing market sentiment.

North Korea is a suspect in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency heist

North Korea is no stranger to cryptocurrencies: The rogue regime has been accused of launching a global ransom attack to raise bitcoin, hacking South Korean exchanges, and mining crypto both within its borders and secretly on your computers. Now, it has become a suspect in the world’s largest crypto heist, Reuters has reported.
South Korea’s national spy agency told a parliamentary committee on Monday that North Korean hackers may have been behind the theft last month of about $530 million worth of digital tokens from Japanese exchange Coincheck, according to the Reuters report, which cited anonymous sources.
In other news, North Korea is also accused of stealing billions on Korean Won in cryptocurrency, according to South Korea.

The Winklevoss Twins Take A Shot At Old People Who Don't Get Bitcoin

And here they are again on Bloomberg discussing Bitcoin price and cryptocurrency regulations.

A Tiny Canada Bank Is Building a Vault for Cryptocurrencies

VersaBank Inc. (TSX:VB), a Canadian lender led by a tech-savvy CEO with a penchant for planes and classic motorcycles, is building a virtual safety deposit box for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. The firm is taking the lead in a global banking industry that’s been reluctant to venture into most things crypto. The London, Ontario-based bank plans to have its digital vault ready by June and offer the service to global customers.

IBM-Maersk Blockchain Project Adds Logistics Provider Agility

Agility, a global third-party logistics provider, has joined IBM and Maersk's blockchain collaboration, the companies announced Tuesday. The project, built on the Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 blockchain, has been piloted by DuPont, Dow Chemical, Tetra Pak, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and others. Agility will share and receive information about individual shipment events through the blockchain in hopes of reducing the massive cost of administration and documentation – which reportedly accounts for one-fifth of the world's total $1.8 trillion annual shipping costs.

SEC Office to Step Up Crypto Disclosure Policing

The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) intends to prioritize an examination of developments in the cryptocurrency and initial coin offering markets this year. Revealed Wednesday in the agency's annual "examination priorities" update, the OCIE said it will work to improve compliance, monitor risk, and prevent fraud in the U.S. financial markets. In particular, the agency resolved to explore whether "adequate disclosures" were being given to investors.

Cryptocurrencies Are Like Ponzi Schemes, World Bank Chief Says

Well, I guess there’s still some FUD out there. “In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said Wednesday at an event in Washington. “It’s still not really clear how it’s going to work.”

Blockchain Rival to Wikipedia Raises $30 Million, Plans Token 'Airdrop'

On Thursday, Everipedia announced $30M of funding from a group of strategic investors led by Galaxy Digital's EOS.IO Ecosystem Fund, which is dedicated to expanding the blockchain platform known as EOS. News release available here.
Everipedia plans to distribute tokens that will permit people to edit entries on the site. In practice, this means contributors will post tokens along with proposed edits, and if the community approves the edits, they get to keep their tokens and also earn a little more. If the edit is deemed wrong or unhelpful, the would-be editors lose their tokens. Giving Everipedia contributors a financial stake in the project is intended to encourage quality contributions, and to discourage the partisan gamesmanship that can sometimes arise on the all-volunteer Wikipedia.

Nvidia: Crypto Mining Sales Beat Q4 Expectations

Nvidia's GPU products continued to see strong demand from cryptocurrency miners in Q4, the company's CFO said on an earnings call Thursday. Issuing the remarks as the company unveiled its fourth-quarter earnings for 2017, Colette Kress said the company banked $2.91 billion in revenue during that period, an increase of more than 34% compared to the same time a year prior.

French, German Finance Ministers Call for G20 Crypto Discussion

Senior officials from France and Germany are calling for the G20 group of nations to discuss cooperative action on cryptocurrencies ahead of a summit next month. In a letter addressed to the Argentinian government – which currently holds the presidency of the G20 – French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, German finance minister Peter Altmaier, as well as the governors of those country's respective central banks, voiced concerns about the impact of cryptocurrencies, which they wrote "could pose substantial risks for investors."

Google Trends data suggests bitcoin price may have bottomed out

Searches on Google for Bitcoin are apparently seeing a repeat of what happened in the beginning of last year. The Trends chart shows a reversal to the uptrend for interest in Bitcoin for February. Says the writer: “if you believe that price follows interest, and therefore, more buyers and greater volume, there’s a good probability that Bitcoin could test new all-time highs in the next few months as some market analysts have predicted”.

Coins and tokens and stocks, oh my!

[Note — Net change and % change figures are from the close last Friday to the close today.]

HIVE Blockchain (TSXV:HIVE) — $HIVE — Net Change: -$0.27; % Change: -12.5%

In addition to the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (NYSEMKT:BLOK) and Reality Shares Nasdaq NexGen Economy ETF (NASDAQ:BLCN), HIVE has now been featured as a select holding in Canada’s first blockchain ETF: the Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX:HBLK) launched by Harvest Portfolios. See their 2-pager summary here. Also, yesterday B-TV released a profile on HIVE: click here - definitely worth checking out. This will be playing through various B-TV distribution channels in Canada and the U.S. over the next while. A great profile of Chairman Holmes also came out this week:

HIVE also got a nice plug from Forbes — click here — where it was included as a Top 5 pick for blockchain-related stocks, alongside NASDAQ, IBM, Hitachi, and Daimler AG. — Private, but partly owned by $RIOT

Originally reported in Crypto Wars Issue No. 10, Coinsquare’s latest financing has now closed: a $30 million financing at a $430 million post-money valuation. The financing was originally shopped around as a $50 million deal, $20 million of which I understand was to be existing shareholders selling. Presumably this is still how it went down, but Coinsquare’s press release announcing closing does not mention the $20 million part, nor does $RIOT’s.

Other crypto/blockchain-related stocks riding the wave:

  • HashChain Technology (TSXV:KASH) — $KASH — Net Change: +$0.10; % Change: +15.2%
  • Mogo Finance (TSX:MOGO) — $MOGO — Net Change: -$0.27; % Change: -5.4%
  • Neptune Dash (TSXV:DASH) — $DASH — Net Change: +$0.02; % Change: +5.6%
  • Overstock (NASDAQ:OSTK) — $OSTK — Net Change: +US$2.60; % Change: +4.6%
  • MGT Capital (OTC:MGTI) — $MGTI — Net Change: +US$0.04; % Change: +1.5%
  • LeoNovus (TSXV:LTV) — $LTV — Net Change: +$0.035; % Change: +16.7%
  • Global Blockchain (TSXV:BLOC) — $BLOC — Net Change: +$0.17; % Change: +16.0%
  • BTL Group (TSXV:BTL) — $BTL — Net Change: +$0.78; % Change: +8.6%
  • NetCents Technology (CSE:NC) — $NC — Net Change: -$0.38; % Change: -16.3%
  • 360 Blockchain (CSE:CODE) — $CODE — Net Change: +$0.01; % Change: +8.3%
  • Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT) — $RIOT — Net Change: +US$3.89; % Change: +32.0%
  • eXeBlock Technology (CSE:XBLK) — $XBLK — Net Change: -$0.01; % Change: -1.4%
  • BIG Blockchain Intelligence Group (CSE:BIGG) — $BIGG — Net Change: -$0.04; % Change: -3.6%
  • And a few others that have been getting some attention: Atlas Cloud (CSE:AKE) - $AKE; Block One Capital (TSXV:BLOK) - $BLOK; Calyx Bio-Ventures (TSXV:CYX) - $CYX; ePlay Digital (CSE:EPY) - $EPY; LottoGopher (CSE:LOTO) - $LOTO; HealthSpace Data Systems (CSE:HS); Blocplay Entertainment (CSE:PLAY; formerly BOT); Imagination Park (CSE:IP); Blockchain Power Trust (TSXV:BPWR.UN) - $BPWR-UN.

Follow @Evenprime’s crypto watchlist should you wish to track the now dozens of names apparently in the crypto/blockchain game.

The CryptoTechnician Report

Another tumultuous week for cryptocurrencies in which we saw Bitcoin trade as low as $6,000 before reversing to the upside and rallying more than 40% over the span of 4 days. On Friday afternoon we are seeing Bitcoin rally above important resistance near $8400-$8500 as the stock market continues to come under heavy selling pressure:

Even if Bitcoin has entered a bear market cycle (which many analysts believe is the case), it would not be unreasonable to expect a 75%-100% rally from its recent low before the $6,000 level gets retested.

Ethereum has also broken out above an area of resistance near $850:

The next area of resistance for Ethereum comes in between $950 and $1,000. $800 is now minor support with $700 representing much more robust support.

Litecoin put in a double-bottom at $107 which happens to closely coincide with its rising 200-day moving average:

For Litecoin the downtrend drawn from the December top comes in near major horizontal support/resistance near $175. A breakout above $175 would project a further advance up to the $225 area. $150 is minor support followed by $125 and the double-bottom at $107.

Turning to the chart of total cryptocurrency market cap, after plunging below the US$300 billion at the lows earlier in the week we have seen a rally back to US$424 billion (at the time of writing). Things look to be shaping up for a test of the US$500 billion area (the neckline of the H&S top pattern):

A rally back to US$500 billion in total crypto market cap would also probably close correspond to a rally back near $10,000 in Bitcoin and $1,000 in Ethereum. Both key areas of potential overhead supply.

The following table of coins with US$1 billion+ market caps helps to illustrate the extent of the correction in the cryptocurrency sector in the last month:

The Bitcoin $10,000 level will be a key test, however, for the first time in two years the cryptocurrency sector is facing a situation in which there is considerable price memory (overhead supply) above current levels. The bulls will need to prove themselves over the coming weeks.

Funny things we saw this week

I’ve exhausted my memes for the week in the intro — scroll way up ^^

But here’s a beauty going viral amongst anti-BCash people: Roger Ver gets rekt on Alex Jones’ Info Wars:



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