All posts by flippener

What Cryptocurrencies Can You Still Mine in 2021?

Cryptocurrency mining is a fundamental element for many popular coins.

For most cryptocurrencies, miners provide a distributed way to validate transactions, secure the network and infuse the market with newly minted coins as a reward. For other cryptocurrencies mining as we know it is slowly becoming a thing of the past or was never even included in the initial design.

“Can you still turn a profit?”
Some cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are beginning the shift away from proof-of-work (traditional mining) to proof-of-stake (staking). This doesn’t mean that mining will completely disappear, but there will be less dependency on huge warehouses of power hungry mining hardware owned by just a handful of individuals. Newer cryptocurrencies, like Algorand, were built from the beginning as pure proof-of-work designs and eschew mining altogether.

In Ethereum, moving to this new way of achieving consensus means that new “validators” would need to provide a significant financial stake in order to serve the network. The idea behind this is that people are less likely to perform malicious actions (like validating a phony transaction) if they risk losing a significant portion of their stake.

Ethereum will soon implement EIP-1559 and fundamentally change the way the blockchain operates. You can read more about proof-of-stake on Coindesk in the article published here.

So if some cryptocurrencies are moving away from proof-of-work, can you still become a miner today and turn a profit? Yes, you can. It’s just not nearly as easy or as simple as it once was. In the early days of mining you could pickup a few GPUs, or order an ASIC miner (which would actually arrive) and start mining with relative ease. Difficulty was lower and although the price of most cryptocurrencies was lower, as we’ve seen recently they were set to skyrocket a short while later.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most popular cryptocurrencies you can still mine today and just how difficult it is to get started with each one. We’ll also look at some of the barriers to entry occurring right now and a few basic examples of potential profit and achievable hashrates on common hardware.

Bitcoin Litecoin Keychains (Image: Flickr/BTC Keychain)
Bitcoin Litecoin Keychains (Image: Flickr/BTC Keychain)

The Great Hardware Shortage
Before we dive into each cryptocurrency, we’ll need to cover a significant issue taking place right now in the mining community.

There is a massive hardware shortage.
Take a look on Newegg, Amazon or other popular retailers and you’ll find that almost every mid to high-end graphics card is superbly sold out. Retailers are overextended due to the incredible demand and the extreme lack of hardware due to chip shortages, COVID-19 delays and cryptocurrency popularity spikes.

There’s a Computer Chip Shortage, by Ella Alderson, explains in detail just how we got ourselves into such a tight spot with global chip manufacturing and how its a contributing factor to the current situation. The other major element of this shortage is the recent meteoric rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices. The skyrocketing value has caused a wave of fresh miners flocking to the digital gold rush and buying up more hardware than ever before.

This lack of hardware is not limited to GPUs either. The shortages extend into a wide array of electronic components. Processors and other microcontrollers for automobiles and household electronics have all been impacted. So purchasing something like an ASIC miner doesn’t mean you’re completely out of the woods.

The bottom line is that this shortage will impact your search for hardware. Significantly. You’ll have to spend a lot more time on wait lists, watching for stock updates or sifting through the absolutely outrageous second-hand market. You may even find yourself paying premium prices for graphics cards that came out over 3 years ago.

My advice is to keep checking retailers, put your name on notify lists and if you can try to visit a few smaller local shops. There are also several Discord groups and live YouTube streams dedicated to providing real-time GPU stock updates across various retailers.

Now that you’re caught up on the madness, let’s look at some popular coins where your mining efforts can be directed.
Please keep in mind that prices and hardware availability are extremely volatile, so be sure to do your own research before making any purchasing or investment decisions. The cost for hardware items has deliberately been left off due to market volatility.

But I thought you said Ethereum was switching to proof-of-stake!? Well, it is, but not for a little while. As of April 2021, Ethereum is still heavily supported by a large network of mining machines that validate transactions, execute Smart Contracts, etc.

The big shift to proof-of-stake likely won’t take place until 2022, so if you want to get started mining Ethereum you absolutely can. Just be aware that significant changes are coming in the long term. You should be prepared to re-purpose any hardware investment to mine another coin or sell on the open market when Ethereum mining begins to taper off. Also remember to stay on top of news and announcements from the Ethereum team for any planned network changes.

You can mine Ethereum primarily on GPUs, but there are a few ASIC miners that have come out recently which are highly competitive (remember to consider power and cooling for these). Below are sample ETH hashrates for popular GPUs and the latest and greatest ASIC miners:
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (~85 MH/s)
NVIDIA GeForce 1080 Ti (~45 MH/s)
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (~59 MH/s)
Innosilicon A10 Pro (~500 MH/s)
Innosilicon A11 Pro (~2000 MH/s)

Ethereum Classic (ETC)
This is the same as Ethereum if they hadn’t rolled back the DAO hack in the summer of 2016. Ethereum Classic is a forked version of Ethereum at the point where the DAO hack occurred. Instead of changing the rules, Ethereum Classic continued on without altering history like Ethereum did. This version aims to keep the blockchain brutally fair and honest and focused on sticking to the original principles of decentralized currency.

Ethereum Classic can be mined with GPUs and some ASICs just like Ethereum, but with one key difference. ETC is never switching to proof-of-stake. That’s right. You’ll be able to mine good old fashioned proof-of-work on Ethereum Classic forever.

Read more: Data Driven Investor

Why Satoshis Are Now More Important Than Bitcoin

Look after the Satoshi and (the) Bitcoin takes care of itself

Recently, I was running one of my lighthearted “Introduction to Bitcoin” events designed, as the name suggests, to introduce the concept of Bitcoin to people who hadn’t seen or understood it before.

Having now runs hundreds of these events over the last few years and directly reached many thousands of people all over the world, certain re-occurring questions and objections have consistently come up, exactly as you would expect.

Interestingly, however, those questions and objections have actually changed as the industry has evolved.

Yes, there are still (and probably always will be) questions about security, switching back between fiat currency and bitcoin, what backs it, how exactly it works and so on and they are, in fact, the exact same questions we all have when we first discover bitcoin.

They’re designed to find reassurance and credibility in what otherwise appears to be some weird made up internet money that a random person on the internet is telling you is actually a real thing. Honestly.

Over the last few months, a new objection/comment/question (call it what you will) has come to the forefront and is usually expressed in some form along the lines of:
One bitcoin is $58,000? That’s waaaaay too expensive for me!

Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)

Often this includes an expletive as well, but the point is just as valid without.

In reality, of course, the same objection was made at $1,000, $10,000, $30,000 and so on, but as the dollar equivalent has risen, so has the relative disbelief of individuals that they now ever have an opportunity to protect their own wealth, let alone generate any.

In short, we’re back to the “that ship has sailed” mantra which, of course, we know to be a cruel illusion of our own creation.

So, at a time when I now genuinely believe it is irresponsible for anyone not to have even the smallest exposure to Bitcoin, how do we solve this problem?
The answer is actually pretty simple.

Don’t buy (a) bitcoin
It’s not unreasonable for someone to look at a $58,000 investment into some magic internet money thing that they’ve just had explained to them and think it might be a risk too far.

It takes a long time to “get” Bitcoin — it’s a big step change from anything we’ve ever had before. Some trepidation is not only healthy, it’s essential.

But what if that investment level could be any dollar amount? Perhaps even just that $20 you were going to spend on a McDonalds this afternoon? Is that possible? Is it worth it?

Just like we have dollars and cents or pounds and pence, a bitcoin can be broken down into fractions, called “Satoshis” in honor of it’s pseudo anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. They’re affectionately known as “Sats” for short. (The jury is still out on whether the plural remains “Satoshi” or becomes “Satoshis”)

However, there’s not 100 of these in a single bitcoin as we might expect, there are in fact 100,000,000. In other words, you could, theoretically, hold as little as 0.

00000001 bitcoin which, at the time of writing this, would cost you $0.00060. (In reality, numbers this small aren’t practically possible, these are shown simply as a point of demonstration)

Since we know that there will only be 21 million bitcoin available, we also know exactly how many Satoshi will be ever be available for the entire population of the world to use, and that number is expressed thus:
2,100,000,000,000,000

Before the Bitcoin purists correct me in the commentary below, the “real” number of Satoshi is actually slightly smaller at 2,099,999,997,690,000, but I’d argue the quoted number above (pronounced “two quadrillion one hundred trillion”) is close enough to work with.

Suddenly, we have a number that is actually bigger than the population of the world, as apposed to the topline number of 21,000,000 which is less than the population of many single countries.

Suddenly, we have an asset that seems more abundant and seems affordable. And yet it is the same asset, simply presented in a different way.

In fact, that $20 we were going to spend on a McDonald’s earlier would buy you 35,221 Sats at time of writing according to the free online calculator at awebanalysis.com

In other words, when framed in this context, this is an infinitely affordable amount for anyone. But does it really mean anything?
Bitcoin Past
In the past, “bitcoin” — the headline measure — was entirely appropriate because its value was so low that using Satoshi would have been ridiculous.

Read more: OriginalCryptoGuy

How Bitcoin And Ethereum Have Crossed The Rubicon Of Legitimazation

Bitcoin and Ethereum are at an inflection point. Beyond their prices, Senior Commodity Strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, Mike McGlone, believes digitalization of money and finance is accelerating.

Still in its early days, the top 2 cryptocurrencies by market cap seem to have already won the adoption battle, one as the main hub for decentralized finances (DeFi) and the other as a digital version of gold. McGlone writes:The mantra appears to be: “Adopt and embrace the advancing technology, or become the next Kodak, Sears or Blockbuster.”

With a similar price as a month ago, BTC has retaken the higher area around $50,000. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency trades at $57,049 with a 4.9% rally in the daily chart. McGlone records a “rising tide of accumulation below the market” after BTC crashed from its all-time high at $65,000.

Bitcoin’s price action is on a consolidation or pause phase at current levels. The strategist claims this could be beneficial in the long term:

We see this as a pause to refresh the paradigm-shifting process of Bitcoin becoming the world’s benchmark digital-reserve asset.

On the other hand, Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI) has been led by Ethereum. With a 740% profit since 2020, the BGCI has entered a heated territory, but DeFi could drive further gains with its “potential to be revolutionary”.

Ethereum’s Price Could Follow Bitcoin 2017 Trajectory
McGlone estimates that Bitcoin’s current levels around $50,000 could be its new critical support zone, similar to $10,000 in 2020 and previous years, post-2017 bull-run. As shown in the chart below, BTC’s 10-week Bollinger’s Bands, an indicator from price fluctuations above and below its price simple moving average (SMA), suggest $48,000 is a “firm price foundation”. The strategists added:

A risk-off period in the stock market is top a potential threat for the crypto’s advancing price, but like the April dip to below $50,000, it might be a good test for the Bitcoin bull market.

Bitcoin’s limited supply will continue to be a bullish factor. McGlone compared the cryptocurrency’s 2013, 2017, and its current rally and concluded that the price could appreciate further, but with only a fraction of the profits. This could still send BTC’s price towards the $100,000.

Ethereum’s price could follow Bitcoin’s 2017 trajectory, during that bull market BTC went from around $1,000 to $20,000. McGlone believes ETH has a “price advantage” when compared to BTC. He added the following:

Ethereum may reach $19,000 in 2021; to May 4, the No. 2 crytpo at about $3,400 is more than double Bitcoin on the same day four years ago. ETH at about 4x its 50-week moving average indicates a stretched market. The last time this level was exceeded was around Ethereum’s peak in 2018.

Read more: BITCOINIST

Bitcoin’s Most Ambitious Upgrade in Years, Taproot, is Now Being Voted On For Implementation

Bitcoin is 1787 blocks away from being more private and scalable, if miners accept to implement Taproot before the next difficulty adjustment.

The Bitcoin network is making history today… Or at least it’s trying to.

After several years of development, the long-awaited Taproot update is ready to run, and now it’s up to the community to decide whether or not they agree with its implementation.

What is Taproot and Why Does It Matter?
Taproot is a Bitcoin soft fork that integrates Schnorr cryptographic signatures, an alternative signature method to the ECDSA currently implemented on the network. This upgrade, in very simple terms, allows the creation of a kind of master key to summarize a set of signatures into a single one.

In this way, performing multi-signature multi-input transactions (UTXI) on Bitcoin becomes more efficient, cheaper, and easier.

This implementation opens the door for various methods of identity obfuscation by hiding the number of participants involved in a Bitcoin transaction.

Another benefit of Taproot is that it lightens the load on the network, reducing the transaction space by at least 20% (much more if the transactions are multi-signed), which would increase the transaction processing capacity per second and considerably reduce the fees for each transaction.

Image by VIN JD from Pixabay
Image by VIN JD from Pixabay

In addition, many expect the implementation of Taproot to enable the eventual development of smart contracts, which would lead to even greater adoption of the network.

In simple terms, it is a major step towards a more scalable, private Bitcoin.

The Future of Bitcoin Is In The Hands of The Community
To implement the network, the proposal must pass a major test: the “Speedy Trial.” Miners must update their nodes with this compatibility and signal their approval for Taproot if they agree.

The voting period started with the latest network difficulty adjustment and will last 2016 blocks until the next update occurs. If at that time more than 90% of the mining blocks signal their approval to Taproot, the soft fork will be implemented in November this year.

The first block signaled for Taproot was block 681458, mined by SlushPool on 2021-05-02 03:24:05 UTC.

Currently, 10.36% of the mined blocks agree with the soft fork, with 1792 blocks left to see what happens. If the goal is not achieved, we will have to wait for the next adjustment.

If you visit Taproot.watch, you will be able to follow the evolution of this event. Currently, out of the top 10 mining pools, only 3 have given signs of approval.

The Taproot signaling event has already sparked buzz in the community, especially considering that the second most powerful pool on the Bitcoin network, F2Pool, was the one that mined the first block signaling its readiness for Taproot.

Excited bitcoiners include Twitter creator Jack Dorsey who shared a link to the block tracking website in favor of the soft fork, evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos who said he was going to update his nodes ASAP and Charlie Shrem who thanked developers for the hard work.

Read more: CryptoPotato

Yes, Now It’s Too Late to Buy Bitcoin

When your Uber driver, your hairdresser and your brother in law start pitching some idea, it’s usually time to get out.

Buy the rumor, sell the news as the old adage goes. When the weak hands (you and me) notice a trend, the strong hands are already selling and we end up funding their big pockets.
This has been the case for the stock market, real estate and most forms of speculative investments. Yet, every time a new opportunity arises, we fall for it as if it’s never happened before.
But is this the case for cryptocurrency?
Let’s see.

1. Timing
We all wish we could go back to 2009 and buy a million Bitcoins for a few dollars. Looking back, it seems surreal it has gone from nothing to $60,000 in a matter of a few years.
The market cap for Bitcoin is $1 Trillion now, making it the 10th most valuable asset in the world. Just for reference, Google is worth 1.2T, Apple 2.2 T, and Gold is 10T but it took those a lot longer to get there compared to BTC.
Obviously, we’ve missed the boat…right?
Well, it depends.
Nobody knows the future, but institutional investors are pouring in, retail investors are waking up and with an ever-shrinking supply, it could definitely go much higher.
It could also go to zero, everything is possible. Unlikely, but possible.

2. Supply and demand
Bitcoin supply is capped at 21 million by design, that is the maximum that will ever exist. 18 million are already in circulation, leaving 3 million left to be mined. What happens when there is a limited supply and an infinite demand?
The price will shoot through the roof.
So far only a handful of institutional investors have made a move — Tesla, PayPal, Square, MicroStrategy — but many others are watching closely and getting ready to jump in. When Google, Apple, Amazon, and countless others join the party there won’t be enough coins for everyone.
And that’s only the beginning.
Governments, International conglomerates, hedge funds, pension funds and national estates, they all want in. The squeeze is going to be like nothing we’ve ever witnessed before.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

3. Scarcity
Why is a Van Gogh painting so expensive? Two reasons.
1.It’s a masterpiece
2.It’s scarce.
If there was only one diamond in the world, what would its price be? A lot.
One of the strengths of bitcoin compared to other assets is limited supply.
The reason gold has been so valuable and managed to rise for millennia is mainly scarcity. It’s very hard to find, mine, melt, transport and store it. That difficulty limits the supply while the demand grows overtime.
Bitcoin is the same, only better. Scarce, expensive to mine, slow to produce, and impossible to fake. The guy who invented it — Satoshi Nakamoto — was (is) a true genius. Why would you make an inflationary currency like $US when you could make a deflationary one? Beats me.

4. The Blockchain
Limited supply is just one part of the equation. The other part is immutability.
Bitcoin is based on the blockchain protocol by which every transaction is registered in a public ledger that can’t be altered… ever. Not the FBI, not the CIA, not Russia, not China, and not North Korea. Whatever data there is in the blockchain, stays there forever.
A hacker could go into the federal reserve and play havoc (it’s happened) but no one can hack the blockchain. It’s that good. The most reliable way to record transactions ever.
And it’s not used just for finance. Smart contracts, and Decentralized apps (Dapps) are going to revolutionize many industries like notary, property, health, identity proof, supply chain, etc.
When this happens Bitcoin, Ethereum and some Alt-coins will be pushed even higher due to network effects.

5. Network effect
We live in the era of the winner takes it all.
What search engine do you use? Google
What social media platform owns the market? Facebook
Who is the winner in online shopping? Amazon
Think of an electric vehicle. Tesla
In every category there is one clear winner and the rest have to make do with the leftovers.
Now, what category is Bitcoin in?
According to the experts, bitcoin is not a currency but mainly a store of value as in digital gold.
In this category Bitcoin has already overtaken silver and may one day do the same with gold. If it does, the price of bitcoin could reach $1 Million.
There are many other cryptocurrencies but those are in a different category. Ethereum is more like a gigantic computer that facilitates the development of smart contracts and Dapps. Other Alt-coins allow faster and cheaper transactions, with different use cases like betting, gaming, interoperability, banking etc. They are all fighting for a niche. Some will succeed, and many will disappear but none is even trying to compete with Bitcoin at this point, they just can’t.
There are many reasons for this but the main one is the network effect — the first mover always has an unfair advantage, that’s why Apple couldn’t compete with Microsoft in the 80s and why Microsoft can’t compete with Android now. The number 1 spot was already taken.

Read more: Geek Culture

What’s going on with bitcoin? Cryptocurrency is following price prediction model ‘with astonishing precision’

Bitcoin’s recent price crash, which saw it lose a quarter of its value after hitting an all-time high, could be just the “midway dip” in a new record-breaking rally if market patterns from 2013 and 2017 are repeated.

This is the view of a number of prominent cryptocurrency analysts, who adhere to a “stock-to-flow” model dictated by bitcoin’s inbuilt scarcity.

The model is based on the relationship between the existing stockpiles of bitcoin and the yearly production rate of new bitcoins through digital mining. Roughly every four years, a “halving” event occurs that reduces the rewards for mining the cryptocurrency by 50 per cent. After the first halving in 2012, bitcoin’s price rose from around $11 to $1,100 before falling back down. The second halving in 2016 saw bitcoin’s price rise from $500 to $20,000 before dipping again.

The most recent halving event took place in May 2020, right at the beginning of the latest price rally. It has since risen from below $10,000 to the new all-time high of $64,863 that it hit this month. After briefly falling below $48,000, it has since recovered slightly to $55,000 at the time of writing.

This latest dip appears to be similar in scale and timing to other dips experienced following the 2012 and 2016 halvings.

Read more: msn

Bitcoin’s Market Structure Broken, But This Metric Points To Salvation

Bears wreak havoc in the crypto market and major coins bleed out in the lower and higher timeframes. Bitcoin (BTC) is on a downtrend with a 9% correction over the past day and 20.9% in the 7-day chart. With a market cap below $1 trillion for the first since February, the price action seems to favor the pessimists.

However, analyst William Clemente has pointed towards the current funding rate for BTC futures across all exchanges. At the time of writing, this metrics stands at 0.03%. As the chart below shows, every time BTC’s futures funding rate reached these levels, the price was able to gain momentum and run hot towards new highs. The analyst said:

Some Silver Lining: Greed has been flushed out of the bitcoin market. These resets in funding rates have been a good gauge of market sentiment. Usually when the market is the most hesitant to go long is the best time to go long in bull markets. We are very close to a bottom.

A high number of leverage positions and its subsequent liquidation during last week is one of the reasons for BTC’s price action. However, in the past months, Bitcoin has been forming a pattern. As Clemente also pointed out, the cryptocurrency trends downwards towards the end of the month only to resume its rally.

Two other metrics indicate possible appreciation in BTC’s price. First, the Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR), metric used to measure Bitcoin holders’ profits and losses. Now, as Clemente said and shows in the chart below, the SPOR is approaching its reset mark close to 1.

Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)
Bitcoin Electronic Money (Image: MaxPixel)

As the bull market extends and retail investors take action, it becomes more likely for BTC’s SOPR to drop below 1 and offer “great buy opportunities”. Clemente said:

Currently, SOPR is approaching the full reset mark, meaning price has either reached, or is very closing to reaching, the bottom of the current correction.

But perhaps, the most bullish metric is Bitcoin miner’s Net Position Change, a metric used to measure the amount of buying and selling pressure for this sector. Since the start of April, miners have stopped selling their supply and have begun on an accumulation trend. Much different than the 2016 and 2017 bull market, as the analyst said:

Throughout the 2016/2017 bull market, miners consistently sold. This is a key differentiating factor between that cycle and the current one, possibly made possible by newly matured Bitcoin borrowing/lending platforms.

Bitcoin Bears Could Continue Their Assault
On the other hand, trader Bob Loukas claims yesterday’s crypto crash has been the first since March 2020, when the “Black Thursday” took BTC below $4,000. Therefore, he believes something has been broken in the market’s structure ending the rally that took Bitcoin to the current levels.

In the short and medium-term, investors should take gains and rotate their position for maximum profit, according to Loukas. The next phase could be comprised of consolidation and lower levels in May. However, the trader highlighted that everything remains as a possibility and not a prediction, he added the following:

For those worried about an end to the bull market already, I say, VERY MUCH doubt that. This bull market has been coming light a freight train and I’ve yet to see anything close to resembling the type of high (top) you expect before a crash.

Read more: NEWSBTC

Stock-To-Flow Creator “Relieved” After Bitcoin Price Plummets Below Trajectory

Bitcoin fell below $50,000 on Friday. The pioneer cryptocurrency is currently trading at around $49,405 at 11:10 GMT. Within the last 24 hours, the coin lost 8.9%, a massive loss to traders and investors.

However, stock-to-flow models creator, PlanB, has said that he’s relieved that the coin has lost over 22% in just a week. Saying that Bitcoin is still acting “like clockwork” with regards to their price predictions.

“I Am Sort Of Relieved,” Says PlanB
In a tweet on Friday, analyst PlanB noted that the price dip to under $48,000 has sent BTC below it’s target laid out by his stock-to-flow model. Due to this, Bitcoin is no longer “front-running” stock-to-flow.

After the benchmark cryptocurrency traded above its required level, the quant analyst had suggested that the price movement of the coin was becoming inorganic.

Image by VIN JD from Pixabay
Image by VIN JD from Pixabay

“I am sort of relieved btc price is now under s2f model value again,” he wrote in a conversation with “The Bitcoin Standard” author Saifedean Ammous, who called PlanB’s predictions “astonishing.”

“For a moment I thought that people were front running the model and that the supercycle had started. Now we are back to normal .. like clockwork,” PlanB added.

The stock-to-flow and stock-to-flow (S2F) cross-asset (S2FX), variously call for an average BTC/USD price of $100,000 or $288,000 between now and 2024. This is the supercycle being expected.

PlanB said he believed Bitcoin would not stop at $100,000, which it should hit this year.

“Bitcoiners are often too bullish in the bull market, and too bearish in the bear market! I don’t think we supercycle this time either,” podcast host Stephan Livera, responded to Ammous.

Sentiment And Market Indications
Immediately the market dipped below $50k, notorious gold bug and crypto-skeptic, Peter Schiiff, was also quick to comment on the market action, poking fun at Bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano. He tweeted:

“Now that Bitcoin is back below $50k I think it’s time for @APompliano to tweet out $1k milestones on the way down the way he did on the way up.”

Read more: NEWSBTC

After The Crash: Why Bitcoin Could Have More Upside Potential

Bitcoin is holding well above the critical support at $47,000. Trading at $50.067 with 1.6% in the 1-hour chart and sideways movement in the 24-hour chart, BTC seems to be on a path to recovery on the lower timeframes. As many in the crypto space have said, this bull-run will be defined by its quick bounce backs and consolidations periods.

Trader Josh Rager compared BTC’s past price action with the current price performance. For Rager is a normal part of a bull-run for BTC to trend below its 100 days Exponential Moving Average (EMA). During 2017, the cryptocurrency saw at least 3 drops below this metric.

The trader believes investors should be “concerned” if the price breaks below its 200D EMA. In contrast, BTC never trends below this metric while on bullish price action.

During the weekend, the trader expects a bounce if BTC drops to the mid-$40,000. Currently, the 10W EMA is converging with the weekly support level, as Rager explained. This could serve as a good entry point for a long position in both BTC and altcoins, as the trader said:

The bottom could be in, but if Bitcoin bounces and then goes down to lower $40ks. Would love to buy in that area both $BTC and alts. As long as price holds there we could see some major rallies over the next few months as BTC slowly uptrends.

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay
Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

In the meantime, some side movement could be Bitcoin’s new normal for the short term. Lex Moskovski, CIO at Moskovski Capital, believes the recent crash “cooled off” BTC’s major overheating indicators.

As seen below, Moskovski compares 2017 bull run metrics with the current market and determined that Bitcoin is around 44% from potentially reaching a peak on its upside trend. On the contrary, there could be even more upside momentum after this week’s crash. Moskovski said:

Bitcoin has cooled off a bit and according to the major overheating indicators has even more upside now.

What Could Break Bitcoin’s Market Structure?
Economist and trader Alex Krüger provided further arguments for a long-term BTC bullish case. As Krüger said, this cryptocurrency has seen massive adoption with macro-economic conditions that benefit it. Since 2020, the thesis of Bitcoin as a store of value has gained a lot of strength among institutional investors.

Krüger laid out two possible scenarios. In one, “major catalysts” re-heat the market, and BTC’s price pushes into a new discovery period. The economist said:

The first half of this dump was expected, not so the second, which was news-driven. Shit happens. But nothing major has changed aside of a healthy cleansing. When expecting a range good to avoid getting bullish on breakouts, or risk getting head chopped off.

In the second scenario, the U.S. Government and its Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen launch new regulations for crypto and digital assets. Krüger expects any “draconian” rules to negatively impact the market.

Read more: NEWSBTC

Bitcoin: UK banks are getting tough on crypto, but money-laundering rules are the real problem

NatWest, the UK retail bank, has announced it will not engage with business customers who accept payment in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. It follows recent announcements from HSBC that it won’t allow transfers from digital wallets and won’t enable customers to buy shares in companies associated with cryptocurrencies, such as Coinbase or MicroStrategy.

The feeling from both banks is that cryptocurrencies are high risk and therefore justify a cautious approach, though they note that their stance could change if and when regulation evolves.

Interestingly, this is not a view shared by institutions across the Atlantic. Both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are now offering their wealth management clients the opportunity to invest in bitcoin. Indeed, the initial uptake has been strong, with Morgan Stanley alone drawing in nearly US$30 million (£22 million) of investment in two weeks.

Why the caution?
The cautious approach of NatWest and HSBC stems from the 2012 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, a G7 initiative geared towards defeating money laundering. These recommendations mandate each member state to implement measures requiring their banks to scrutinise customers’ transactions for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Under recommendation one, the anti-money laundering framework is to be applied on the basis of perceived risk. In other words, if a transaction or business activity is perceived to be more risky than usual, it needs closer scrutiny by the bank to ensure compliance with the framework.

This increases the strain on bank resources to verify that a transaction or business activity is safe to continue, but they also face large fines for non-compliance where there are deficiencies in their implementation of the framework or if things go wrong.

NatWest and HSBC are no strangers to being under the spotlight for compliance issues. HSBC was fined US$1.9 billion by US authorities in 2012, while NatWest faces charges over significant compliance breaches in the UK. While these charges relate to traditional money-laundering compliance breaches, perhaps it goes some way to explaining the caution of the two banks.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Banks view digital currencies as risky because they have the potential to be used for money laundering, they are targets for fraud and scams, and their value can be extremely unstable in the short-term. Indeed, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned that those investing and dealing with cryptocurrency are at risk of losing all their funds. Rather than face the enhanced burden of investigating businesses and individuals dealing with these assets, it is easier for banks to avoid the risk and not engage with them.

This situation is not unique to cryptocurrencies. For instance, it has long been a byproduct of the anti-money laundering requirements that banks have refused to offer financial services to charities operating in high-risk jurisdictions. The banking sector accepts this reality, particularly given that charities tend to be relatively low-value customers.

The wrong approach?
On the face of it, banks are perfectly entitled not top offer financial services to businesses transacting in digital currencies. As well as anti-money laundering, banks are bound by anti-fraud measures and consumer protection. Fradulent crypto transactions are both difficult to spot and impossible to reverse, so the risks of engaging are high, at least until the market establishes itself and the business case to engage is stronger.

Of course, this is not to say that they have necessarily made the right call. The fact that the leading US banks have taken a different approach suggests that they think the potential rewards are worthy of the compliance burden. In defence of cryptocurrencies, they are both more traceable than cash, and used less for money laundering.

And while it is true that there is a risk of significant losses with cryptocurrency investments, there is also clear potential for big gains. Banks are profit-making businesses: the returns from crypto investments in recent months – notwithstanding the big sell-off in the past couple of days – plus the very bullish forecasts, ought to prompt them to at least speculate in the area, regulatory burden aside.

We could simplistically blame the UK banks for either being too cautious or not doing enough to help these businesses, but it overlooks the bigger design flaw in the anti-money laundering framework. Compliance measures are a significant drain on a bank’s resources where a transaction or business is considered high-risk. Banks and their workers also face criminal sanctions, including large fines, where they fail to properly implement the rules, which is particularly troublesome when it is almost impossible for a bank to identify what a suspicious crypto transaction looks like.

Without a guaranteed high return for the bank, it is easier to de-risk and not engage with these businesses. This represents a missed opportunity for banks, and a potentially unnecessary stifling of legitimate business growth for companies wishing to deal with cryptocurrencies.

Banks are portrayed as the public villain, but the bigger problem is at a much higher level. It is a political and legal issue which requires the attention and intervention of lawmakers to address the fact it is much easier for banks to de-risk than to comply with the rules and help these businesses grow.

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