A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble We don't even know how to value Bitcoin

A bubble? We don’t even know how to value Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a “speculative mania” according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. But it’s not so easy to say that Bitcoin is a bubble – we don’t know how to value it.

Recent price rises (close to $18,000 in the past three months) may be too great and can’t continue. But the Bitcoin market is only just maturing as an investment and as a currency, and so it may still have room to grow.

A bubble is when the price of an asset diverges from its “fundamentals” – the aspects of an asset that investors use to value it. These could be the income that can be earned from a stock over time, a company’s cash flow, the state of a country’s economy, or even the rent from property.

But Bitcoin does not pay out profits (like shares) or rent (like property) and is not attached a national economy (like fiat currencies). This is part of the reason why it is hard to tell what the underlying value of Bitcoin is or should be.

In the search for fundamentals some have suggested we should look at the supply of Bitcoins in the market (which is regulated by the technology itself), the number of Bitcoin transactions through the market, or even the energy consumed by Bitcoin miners (the computers that validate transactions and are rewarded with Bitcoins).

Diverging from fundamentals

If we take a close look, we can see how the price of Bitcoin may be diverging from these fundamentals. For instance, it is becoming less profitable to be a miner, especially as the energy required increases. At some stage the cost may exceed the price of Bitcoin, making the network less worthwhile to both mine and invest.

Bitcoin may be the best known cryptocurrency but it is also losing marketshare to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Bitcoin currently accounts for 59.4% of the total global cryptocurrency market but at the beginning of 2016 it was 91.3%. Many of these other cryptocurrencies have more functionality than Bitcoin (such as Ethereum’s ability to execute smart contracts), or are more efficient and use less energy (such as Litecoin).

Government policy, such as taxation or the establishment of national digital currencies, may also make it riskier or less worthwhile to mine, transact or hold the cryptocurrency. China’s ban on initial coin offerings earlier this year reduced the value of Bitcoin by 20% in 24 hours.

Without these fundamentals the price of Bitcoin largely reflects speculation. And there is some evidence that people are simply buying and holding Bitcoin in the hope it will keep rising in value (also known as greater fool investing). Certainly, the cap on the total number (21 million) of Bitcoins that can exist makes the currency inherently deflationary – the value of the currency relative to goods and services will keep increasing even without speculation and so there is a disincentive to spend it.

Bitcoin still has room to grow

Many big investors – including banks and hedge funds – have not yet entered into the market. The volatility and lack of regulation around Bitcoin are two reasons stopping these investors from jumping in.

There are new financial products being developed, such as futures contracts, that may reduce the risk of holding Bitcoin and allow these institutional investors to get in.

But Bitcoin futures contracts – where people can place bets on the future price of stocks or markets – may also work against the price of Bitcoin. Just like gamblers place bets on horse races rather than buying a horse, investors may simply buy and sell the futures contracts rather than Bitcoin itself (some contracts are even settled in cash, rather than Bitcoin). All of this could lead to less actual Bitcoin changing hands, leading to less demand.

Although the rush to invest is apparently encouraging some people to take out mortgages to buy Bitcoin, traditional banks won’t lend specifically for that purpose as the market is too volatile.

But it is not just on the finance side that the Bitcoin market is set to expand. More infrastructure to support Bitcoin in the broader economy is rolling out, which should spur demand.

Bitcoin ATMs are being installed in many countries, including Australia. Bitcoin lending is emerging on peer-to-peer platforms, and new and more regulated marketplaces are being created.

Many companies are accepting Bitcoin as payment. That means that even if the speculation dies down, Bitcoin can still be traded for some goods and services.

And finally, although the fundamentals of Bitcoin are still up for debate, when it comes to transaction volume through the network there appears to be a lot of room for growth.

It’s good to remember that people have been calling Bitcoin a bubble for a long time, even when the price was just US$35 in 2013.

In the end, this is uncharted territory. We don’t know how to value Bitcoin, or what will happen. Historical examples may or may not apply.

What we do know is that the technology behind most cryptocurrencies is enabling new models of value transfer through secure global consensus networks and that is causing excitement and nervousness. Investors should beware.

Author: Alicia (Lucy) Cameron and Kelly Trinh for the Conversation

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin Bulls Face ‘Alt’ Competition in Push to $20k

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20k

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20

Bitcoin may still be in the hunt for $20,000, but the bulls need progress soon else a minor pullback could be in the offing.

As per CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), the cryptocurrency is trading at $17,539, having appreciated 4.48 percent in the last 24 hours to a new all-time high.

But while that's a modest, even impressive gain, it's worth noting that alternative currencies like litecoin and ether have strengthened by even more impressive rallies.

On the day's trading, the cryptocurrencies, the second and fourth by market volume, have seen 71.8 percent and 30 percent gains, respectively. Coinbase's GDAX exchange and South Korea's Bithumb have emerged as the primary drivers.

All told, though the stellar performance of litecoin and ether could be indicative of their availability and appeal to new buyers. Hence, a minor correction in bitcoin (BTC) cannot be ruled out as other assets garner attention.

1-hour chart

Bitcoin Bulls Face 'Alt' Competition in Push to $20k

The above chart shows:

  • Bull flag breakout followed by a nice rising lows pattern as represented by the ascending trend line.
  • The relative strength index is above 50.00 (in the bullish territory) and is trending.
  • The 1-hour 50-MA is curled up in favor of the bulls.

View

 

BTC could cut through the resistance at $17,500 and make a move towards the $18,300-$18,500 level over the next 12-24 hours.

Overall, the cryptocurrency looks set to test the major psychological level of $20,000. As noted earlier today, only two end-of-day closes below the $14,000 would abort the bullish view on the charts.

Author: Omkar Godbole

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Newly launched bitcoin futures on Monday suggested that traders expect the cryptocurrency’s blistering price gains to slow in the coming months, even as it blasted above $17,000 to a fresh record high in the spot market.

Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched the futures late on Sunday, marking the first time investors could get exposure to the bitcoin market via a large, regulated exchange.

The one-month bitcoin contract <0#XBT:> opened at 6 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) on Sunday at $15,460. By late afternoon on Monday in New York, it was trading at $18,650, roughly 8 percent above bitcoin’s spot price of $16,900 on the Bitstamp exchange.

Bitcoin earlier hit a record high of $17,270.

Its steep gains and rapid rise have attracted investors around the world as well as intense scrutiny from government regulators, which is the very opposite of what its creators wanted when it first launched bitcoin more than eight years ago.

“The bitcoin founder should be horrified seeing it rise so quickly, as any serious focus on it and its recent explosive move higher will soon end its freedom,” said John Taylor Jr, president and founder of research firm Taylor Global Vision in New York.

Taylor believes that based on his charts, bitcoin has not yet peaked, but as soon as the “upmove ends, it will crash.”

Given bitcoin has almost tripled in value over the past month, and was up more than 15 percent on Monday alone, the futures pricing suggested investors see price increases moderating.

Bitcoin futures were already offered on some unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges outside the United States, but backers said the U.S. market debut would confer greater legitimacy on the volatile cryptocurrency and encourage its wider use.

The CME Group (CME.O) is expected to launch its futures contract on Dec. 17.

VOLATILITY CONCERNS

Although there are hopes that the futures will draw in new investors, most fund managers at larger asset managers and institutional investors said bitcoin remains too volatile and lacks the fundamentals that give other assets value.

“There’s no place for bitcoin in a multi-asset portfolio given the very high volatility,” said Robeco Chief Investment Officer Lukas Daalder.

The two-month contract was trading at $18,750, an 11 percent premium over the spot price, while the three-month contract was changing hands at $18,140, a roughly 12 percent premium.

While modest when compared with bitcoin’s 270 percent increase over the past three months and 230 percent rise in the last two months, those levels still indicated a lack of large “short” positions betting against bitcoin.

“Anyone, especially a professional trading outfit, would be crazy to actually short sell this bull market,” said Nick Spanos, founder of Bitcoin Center NYC. “But just because it doesn’t happen on day one doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.”

Bitcoin was up more than 1,600 percent so far in 2017, having started the year at less than $1,000.

MARCH TOWARDS LEGITIMIZATION’

As of early afternoon trading in New York, 3,951 one-month contracts had changed hands, meaning around $73.1 million had been notionally traded. That compares with daily trading volumes of more than $21.5 billion across all cryptocurrencies, according to trade website Coinmarketcap.

There had been speculation that the futures launch would trigger more gyrations in the market. But while volatile compared with traditional currencies or assets, the rise on Monday was relatively tame for bitcoin.

Bitcoin surged more than 40 percent in 48 hours last week, before tumbling 20 percent in the following 10 hours.

“(Bitcoin futures) will speed up the march towards legitimization of an asset class that only a few years ago many law enforcement agencies would have argued had limited legitimate reasons for people to use,” said Jo Torode, a financial crime lawyer at Ropes & Gray in London.

The futures are cash-settled contracts, allowing investors exposure without having to hold any of the cryptocurrency.

The futures are based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs and brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

 

DRAMATIC GAINS

Bitcoin was set up in 2008 by an individual or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden, making traditional financial regulation difficult if not impossible.

Central bankers and critics of the cryptocurrency have been ringing the alarm bells over its surge in price and other risks such as whether the opaque market can be used for money laundering.

“It looks remarkably like a bubble forming to me,” the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Acting Governor Grant Spencer said on Sunday.

Somebody who invested $1,000 in bitcoin at the start of 2013 would now be sitting on around $1.2 million.

Heightened excitement ahead of the launch of the Cboe futures gave an extra kick to the cryptocurrency’s scorching run this year.

The launch has so far received a mixed reception from big U.S. banks and brokerages.

Several online brokerages, including Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.N) and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.O), did not allow trading of the new futures immediately.

The Financial Times reported on Friday that JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) would not immediately clear bitcoin trades for clients.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said on Thursday it was planning to clear such trades for certain clients.

 

Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak and John McCrank in NEW YORK; Michelle Chen in HONG KONG and Helen Reid in LONDON; Graphics by Ritvik Carvalho in LONDON and Reuters Graphics team; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

 

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

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What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Inside The La Maison du Bitcoin Bank As Cryptocurrency Emerges As Zimbabwe's Crisis Currency

What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Bitcoin entered uncharted territory on Wednesday after breaching $10,000 for the first time, leaving investors to wonder how long the rally will go — and whether it will end in tears.
 

The digital currency climbed as much as 4.4 percent to a record $10,379.53 during Asia trading hours, capping a more than 10-fold increase this year. Its market value has surpassed $176 billion, according to Coinmarketap.com.
 

Here’s what bitcoin watchers are saying about the dizzying rally.

 

Arthur Hayes at BitMEX

“They said it was a bubble at $1,000, they said it was a bubble at $5,000 and they said it was a bubble at $10,000,” said Hayes, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hong Kong-based BitMEX, a cryptocurrency derivatives venue. “Shorting anything is a very dangerous game, especially if you’re shorting into a transformational monetary system. These transformational experiences happen once every few hundred years and are extremely chaotic.”

What Bitcoin Watchers Are Saying After the Surge Past $10,000

Hayes, who was speaking on the phone from New York after attending the Consensus: Invest cryptocurrency conference, said he saw more people wearing suits than jeans and hoodies — a sign of growing interest on Wall Street.

“The fear of missing out is becoming stronger and stronger,” he said. “The traditional asset manager or investor, banker who has probably poo-pooed bitcoin the past few years is now paying upwards of thousands of dollars to hear about how they can get involved in this new industry.”

Hayes said bitcoin may reach $50,000 by the end of 2018.

 

Stephen Innes at Oanda
 

“I’d be a little bit worried on a falling knife scenario,” said Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at Oanda Corp. in Singapore. “Are current investors prepared for this? No, of course not.”

Longer term, cryptocurrencies will gain more credibility as CME Group Inc. starts selling bitcoin futures and other mainstream institutions get involved, Innes said. For now, he sees a short-term pullback of 3 percent to 6 percent as investors take stock of how much they’ve gained.

“When we’re starting to get into these crazy numbers, I’m a little bit fearful that retail traders are jumping in under the false guise of this will run on forever,” he said. “We know things never go in a straight line.”
 

Jehan Chu at Kenetic Capital
 

“If you look at the kind of trajectory not just of the currency and the price, but really of the mind share among influencers, among governments, among central banks, among enterprises — that’s actually where I see the real guideposts of where the price will go,” said Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Kenetic Capital in Hong Kong, who first bought bitcoin at about $1,100 in 2013.

“One of the main factors is the settling down of the civil wars that have been raging on,” Chu said, referring to intense debate within the industry over technology upgrades that resulted in the formation of a rival coin called bitcoin cash. “There’s much less drama at the moment at least. One side has disarmed and that has really provided a clear path ahead to show that the ecosystem can grow in a more predictable manner.”

Chu sees some risk of a correction, but not a major one, and said that high prices will ironically serve to draw more institutional interest.
 

Dave Chapman at Octagon Strategy
 

“Now, you’re getting an enormous amount of legitimacy and credibility in the bitcoin protocol,” said Chapman of cryptocurrency trading firm Octagon Strategy in Hong Kong. “Admittedly, there is an element of FOMO (fear of missing out). That’s not entirely healthy for the current market. There is a sizable amount of people investing in bitcoin purely on speculation.”

Chapman sees a correction coming, but is unsure how large it will be.

“I see possibly a correction but then also an immediate bounce-back just owing to the size of the market. People will double down and see it as a buying opportunity.”
 

Gavin Yeung at Cryptomover

“Owning a whole bitcoin is now a status symbol,” said Yeung, CEO of Hong Kong-based investment company Cryptomover. “We are coming to see that bitcoin itself is a Veblen good. The higher the price, the more desirable the product is to the general public.”
 

Lewis Fellas at Bletchley Park Asset Management
 

“The principal driver has been the proposed CME futures contract, which has really woken up Wall Street,” said Fellas, chief investment officer at Bletchley Park Asset Management, which invests in cryptocurrencies. “The secondary driver is media coverage. It’s fueling a fear-of-missing-out as we set successive new highs, luring people in for a quick profit ahead of the futures contract.”

The risk of a near-term retreat is real as regulators could still block or delay the proposed futures, Fellas said. “A delay or ‘no’ could easily trigger a 30 to 40 percent correction.”

Authors: Eric Lam and Justina Lee 29 November 2017, 04:42 GMT
With assistance by Andrea Tan

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

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Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

Bitcoin nears $10,000 mark as hedge funds plough in

  • Cryptocurrency now worth seven times an ounce of gold, with market cap higher than IBM, McDonald’s or Disney – but analysts warn of ‘a huge bubble’
  • Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than Ireland

Bitcoin has hit a record high after passing $9,000 (£6,700) and is close to reaching five figures as investors in the cryptocurrency shrug off warnings of a bubble.

The cryptocurrency rose to an all-time high of $9,721 on Monday. It is now worth more than seven times an ounce of gold, which is seen as a haven in times of turmoil.

In a remarkable rally, bitcoin started the year at $1,000 and smashed through $5,000 in October.

Analysts said the decision by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to launch bitcoin futures in December had fuelled buying, but also warned of the dangers of a speculative bubble building. The digital currency has gained more than 50% since the CME announced its decision on 31 October.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said: “The legitimacy this gives bitcoin as a tradeable asset is very important. The market cap of bitcoin now exceeds that of IBM, Disney [or] McDonald’s.”

The value of the 16.7m bitcoin units in circulation has exceeded $160bn.

screenshot-www.theguardian.com-2017-11-28-07-56-19-584

Warning of looming pain for bitcoin buyers, Wilson added: “But for traditionalists, it’s hard to fathom. Rather than a commodity or currency, bitcoin is like owning stock in a company that will only ever issue 21m shares and never pay a penny in dividends.

“The only way it has value is if the next guy is willing to pay you more for it – the greater fool. With no intrinsic value to bitcoin, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a giant speculative bubble.”

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that emerged in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment processes to pay for goods and services.

Banks and other financial institutions have been concerned about bitcoin’s early associations with money laundering and online crime, and it has not been adopted by any government.

The price has been volatile. Bitcoin plunged below $3,000 in mid-September after the Chinese authorities announced a crackdown. To help rein in some of that volatility, CME will not allow the trading of bitcoin futures at prices 20% above or below the settlement price from the previous day.

screenshot-www.theguardian.com-2017-11-28-07-58-59-094

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at the online foreign exchange broker FXTM, said bitcoin was showing no signs of slowing.

It is not just retail investors buying the cryptocurrency. Many hedge funds have also decided to include it in their portfolios and, according to CNBC, the financial news service, there are more than 120 funds investment devoted to cryptocurrencies.

Sayed said it was almost impossible to give the cryptocurrency a fair value based on fundamentals, but added that there had been a strong correlation between the price of bitcoin and number of users opening new wallets.

He added: “Given that number of users haven’t exceeded 0.1% of the global population, there’s still more potential for this momentum trade to continue. Whether the price will be justified in the foreseeable future, depends on the adoption and the application of the new currency, but so far it still looks unstoppable.”

The starkest warning has come from the JP Morgan chief executive, Jamie Dimon, who said bitcoin was a fraud that would ultimately blow up.

There has been a boom in initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which new cryptocurrencies are launched into the market – often backed by a celebrity, such as the American socialite Paris Hilton and the boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

ICOs have come under increased scrutiny from regulators, owing to fears that investors are not properly protected. David Futter, a partner in the digital economy at the law firm Ashurst, predicts that scrutiny will intensify.

Source Gaurdian Business UK

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

 

 

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Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

Bitcoin cracks $9,600 just hours after breaking $9,000 level

  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday
  • The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday
  • The digital currency has risen some 869 percent year-to-date
  • Bitcoin surged to yet another new record high on Monday, breaking a record set during the Thanksgiving weekend stateside.

The cryptocurrency jumped to an all-time high of $9,671.84 hours after cracking the $9,400 level on Sunday, according to industry site CoinDesk. It later pared some gains to trade at $9,631.21 at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN, rising some 3.27 percent on the day.

"The move appears to be retail driven," said Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and CEO of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy.

The largest bitcoin exchange in the U.S., Coinbase, added about 100,000 accounts between Wednesday and Friday — just around Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday — to a total of 13.1 million. That's according to public data available on Coinbase's website and historical records compiled by Alistair Milne, co-founder and chief investment officer of Altana Digital Currency Fund. Coinbase had about 4.9 million users last November, Milne's data showed.

The surge in interest also comes on the back of CME's announcement that it will list bitcoin futures in the second week of December. The launch of a derivatives product for the digital currency will mark another step in establishing bitcoin as a legitimate asset class.

Still, with the digital currency having risen by some 869 percent year-to-date, plenty have taken to pointing out the potential pitfalls of what they see as a price bubble.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in October warned that those "stupid" enough to buy bitcoin will ultimately "pay the price for it." He added that he did not comprehend the value of currencies that were not backed by a government and that "[t]he only value of bitcoin is what the other guy'll pay for it."

Still, many others have offered a more moderate assessment for bitcoin and its ascent. Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the head of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company, said people ought to be open-minded when looking at the digital currency.

More recently, a poll among chief financial officers on CNBC's Global CFO Council showed 27.9 percent of 43 respondents thought bitcoin was "real but in a bubble" while 27.9 percent thought the cryptocurrency was a "fraud." Just 14 percent of the executives said bitcoin was "real and going higher."
 

Author: Evelyn Cheng

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

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Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John at Nation Centre on November 22, 2017 for an interview. Mburu paid part of his dowry using Bitcoin

Rise of Bitcoins causes stir but questions linger

Anthony Mburu and his fiancée Elizabeth John who recently attracted curiosity when he paid part of his dowry using Bitcoins, a form of digital currency, in Naivasha Kenya,considers himself a non-conformist.

Having quit university in 2010 after just one semester of his engineering course, 26-year-old Anthony Mburu does not fancy formal education, for instance.

“Formal education is good. It will give you an average life. You’ll eat, have your mortgage, car loan and all that — live an average life; struggle through life to the end,” he opined.

WALUBENGO: Kenya's uneasy dance with Bitcoin

DOWRY

He currently makes a living out of “mining” Bitcoins and he says that is the source of income that has enabled him buy a parcel of land in Naivasha, stay in a rented house and has given him something to buy and maintain his car among other fortunes.

“Everything is Bitcoin. Where I live, Bitcoin; what I drive, Bitcoin; investment, Bitcoin,” he said.

The computer-generated currency, he says, enabled him pay part of his dowry.

On November 11, as he headed to the home of his fiancée Elizabeth Chege in Naivasha, he had already negotiated with his in-laws that the goats portion of his dowry be settled with Bitcoins.

MOBILE APPLICATION

There are some components of the dowry process he paid for in hard cash.

His father-in-law, John Thion’go Chege, a retired KenGen employee, bought the idea.

They helped him download a mobile phone application that works as a Bitcoin wallet.

“We told him, ‘You just receive this and keep it. In a few months, you will have double the dowry. And if you keep [real] goats, they’ll still be the same goats,’” Mr Mburu said.

Ms Chege, the 6th born in a family of nine children, said her parents did not ask many questions despite the fact that Bitcoin is not a well-known concept in Kenya.

“They can’t refuse because they believe in me,” she said.

CBK

Mr Mburu’s unprecedented action has drawn mixed reactions since Bitcoin is a currency the Central Bank of Kenya has told the public to eschew because it is not backed by any regulator.

In a recent interview, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge reiterated his disdain for Bitcoin, saying the way the currency’s value has shot up is proof that it could be a Ponzi scheme.

“Our point is that there is risk and it is important that everybody knows that those risks can come back to haunt us and have financial stability concerns,” Dr Njoroge said.

VALUE

Those who are in Dr Njoroge’s school of thought have been criticising the Bitcoin dowry deal.

“Ikicollapse nayo? Give back the bride…” a commentator on NTV’s YouTube channel joked.

Another viewer wrote: “That family better cash in on those Bitcoins. The Bitcoin bubble will burst… Eventually.”

But the currency is fast gaining prominence in Kenya as many people try their luck with this fortune whose value has been sharply rising, much that by Saturday , one Bitcoin was selling for close to Sh900,000 locally.

The value was barely Sh10,000 a year ago.

On the global scale, one Bitcoin was selling at $8,480 (Sh875,984).

SELLERS

On Saturday afternoon on localBitcoins.com, one of the platforms where Bitcoins are sold by Kenyans to other Kenyans, there were at least 10 active sellers.

One in Nairobi was selling 0.150544 of a Bitcoin for Sh140,000, which they wanted to be sent to him via M-Pesa.

Another one in Nakuru wanted Sh250,000 sent to his bank account before he could load any willing buyer’s Bitcoin account with 0.26153363 of Bitcoin.

There are many ways of making money though Bitcoin, and Mr Mburu’s preferred way is through “mining”.

PURCHASE SHARES

He is a member of Bitclub Network, which helps Kenyans and other people across the globe buy shares in the Bitcoin enterprise.

The Kenyan chapter of the club, which has more than 1,000 members, meets in Nairobi every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Asked what one needs to do to get into mining, Mr Mburu replied:

“Just buy shares. The company dealing with that is Bitclub Network. And one unit is going for $599 (Sh61,876).

"So, you buy Bitcoins worth that much and buy that mining capacity; like you buy a machine. It’s a real machine called Antminer S9.”

He adds: “Once you buy it, it’s stored in our facility in Iceland, and there’s a 30-day period of paying that you’ll not be earning.”

GOATS

Ever since he discovered Bitcoin — which he says brings him at least $5,000 (Sh515,500) per month — he has not looked back and he is planning for a wedding in April 2018. “It will be a Bitcoin wedding,” he said.

Mr Mburu was also dismissive of those who say he might have taken his in-laws for a ride.

“They don’t know what it is. Bitcoin has been there, and it’s going nowhere,” he said.

The Bitcoins he paid were and equivalent of 25 goats. He still has 75 to go “which are yet to be paid in Bitcoins” as he put it.

GROWTH

His fiancée runs a clothes shop in Nairobi and she has also been accepting payment via Bitcoin, though the mode of exchange is yet to gain ground in Kenya.

Mr Michael Kimani, the chairman of the Blockchain Association of Kenya, has been dealing with cryptocurrencies since 2012 and says the field will grow exponentially.

“A lot of opportunities are going to emerge from this and I’m trying to position myself with this industry because I honestly think in the next five years, this is going to be so big that people will forget how we used to live without cryptocurrency,” he said.

 

Author: ELVIS ONDIEKI

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

 

David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Holding Strong – Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Holding Strong – Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

Bitcoin has witnessed decent two-way business in the last 24 hours.

A drop below $8,000 during the Asian day was quickly undone and the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value once again approached record highs, hitting $8,333 this morning.

At press time, bitcoin is changing hands at $8,228, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index.

As per CoinMarketCap, the bitcoin-U.S. dollar (BTC/USD) exchange rate has appreciated by 1.13 percent in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, the total trading volume in the last 24 hours was $5 billion, the highest since Nov. 16.

The price action analysis indicates the failed breakdown below $8,000 may be costly for the bears.

4 hour Chart
Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls
The chart above shows:

Failed breakdown: BTC witnessed a solid rebound from the upward sloping 50-MA and is back in the rising channel.

The relative strength index (RSI) holds above 50.00 (bullish territory).

1-hour chart
Holding Strong - Failed Price Breakdown a Boon for Bitcoin Bulls

The descending trend line seen on the chart above has been breached as well, suggesting there is scope for a rally.

View

The charts suggest a rally to new all-time highs around $8,600 (rising channel ceiling) is possible. The 10-day moving average (MA) is sloping upwards, suggesting dips below the same could be short-lived. Currently, the 10-day MA stands at $7,949 levels.

However, multiple 4-hour closes below $7,900 levels would warrant caution on the part of the bulls. In such a case, a deeper pullback to sub-$7,600 could be seen.

 

 

Author Omkar Godbole Nov 24, 2017 at 12:15 UTC

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur

David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur

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The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum

While Bitcoin currently bears more resemblance to digital gold than digital cash — with its congested pending transactions log rendering it practically useless as a currency since the cancelled fork two weeks ago — the Ethereum network is looking healthier than ever and in a good position to come out of the ongoing currency war successful.

Bitcoin has been dominating both crypto and mainstream news lately, even more so than usual, with mad volatility due to its continuous fork drama and rumours of free money for anyone holding it. Bitcoin breaking new all-time highs almost on a daily basis certainly doesn’t do anything to decrease the attention.

With this one-sided media coverage, it’s no wonder no one outside the small crypto community knows that Ethereum is regularly handling around twice the daily transactions of Bitcoin, and more than most other leading cryptos combined, that Ethereum’s transfers are extremely fast compared to Bitcoin’s, or that its median transaction fees are nearly 59 times cheaper.

Some Bitcoin maximalists are calling the high transaction fees a feature. Some also say that the fact that BTC collects $1.5 million a day in fees, against ETH’s measly $200,000, is a clear indicator of real world value as it shows that people are willing to spend more money to get onto the BTC blockchain.

However, there is a difference in being willing to spend more money and being forced to. Lately, Bitcoin has lived up to its name as a great store of value, although not for the right reasons. Since the cancellation of Segwit2x, people have simply been unable to move their funds in or out. With a ridiculous number of transactions constantly waiting to be mined, you better be prepared to pay up if you want to get your transaction through in reasonable time.

In its current state, Bitcoin isn’t much more than a speculation vehicle, something to be bought and sold on exchanges (whose trades happen off-chain and therefore aren’t affected by the long confirmation times). Few people need to use it. There aren’t many companies building on it. It’s not even useable as payment anymore. But maybe it doesn’t have to be either. Maybe we should be looking at Bitcoin and other coins and tokens as an entirely new asset class, something we don’t fully understand the implications of yet.

While there are many other blockchains claiming to be able to supersede Ethereum on all of the above areas, with EOS being most vocal about it, personally I’m a bit tired of hearing about what all the projects out there could revolutionize some day.

The discussion should no longer just be about which blockchain can handle more transactions faster and cheaper, but also about which one is actually seeing the numbers required to prove its capabilities right now. There’s currently no other project competing with Ethereum when it comes to the sheer number of use cases, and developers and companies building cool stuff on top of it. Some of these teams will be building the new backend of the internet, nothing less.

The current state of Bitcoin and Ethereum
After months of poking Etherium with a stick it’s finally showing signs of life again.

If Metcalfe’s law and the high activity levels on the Ethereum platform can be used as any reference, the Ether price is currently heavily suppressed. Over the past week it has finally started to see some upwards movement though, moving from the safe haven that has been $300 for so long now, and just passed $400 at the time of writing.

Over the last few months, investors speculators have found comfort in the fact that price stability, consolidation, and steady long term gains are usually signs of strong fundamentals, however the past few days have regained confidence in the platform, bringing back the optimism from Ether’s last bull run back in May.

Considering that public Ethereum doesn’t have any major dapps live yet, it’s going to be interesting to see how the network scales with the increase in transactions that will come as more and more applications launch in 2018 — especially if traffic really starts picking up before Casper and other scaling measures get implemented. Right now though, the beloved and hated ICO is still arguably Ethereum’s killer app and ETH’s value is, just like BTC’s, purely a speculative one.

 

Author: TROND VIDAR BJORØY

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
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David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

Crypto bull sees bitcoin at $11 500

The bitcoin bulls are charging. A day after hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz said the cryptocurrency will end the year at US$10 000, Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee doubled his price target to $11 500 by the middle of 2018 — a 40% gain from current levels.

Lee, who heads research at Fundstrat, said a 10% pullback earlier this month triggered by the controversial cancellation of an upgrade to bitcoin’s underlying software has set the stage for the coming surge.

The November slump “cleaned up weak hands”, Lee wrote Wednesday in a note to clients that almost doubled his last forecast. The strategist had warned earlier in the month that bitcoin’s rally to $7 000 from $3 500 raised the likelihood for a short-term pullback. “We no longer feel caution is warranted,” he said.

Bitcoin rose 1.2% to $8 230.12 as of 11.05am in New York, about $100 short of its all-time high set on Tuesday after Novogratz’s comments. The most popular cryptocurrency has surged more than seven-fold since December, surpassing $8 000 for the first time this week.

The ride to records hasn’t been straight up for the virtual asset, with three separate slumps of more than 25% all giving way to subsequent rallies this year.

“We recommend steady buying of bitcoin at these levels,” Lee said in the Wednesday report. Fundstrat also boosted its price target for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, an over-the-counter security that offers investors exposure to bitcoin. Lee predicts it will trade at $1 300 by mid-2018, up from his prior target of $800.

Reported by Lily Katz, (c) 2017 Bloomberg LP

 

Posted by David Ogden Entrepreneur
David Ogden Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur
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David – http://markethive.com/david-ogden