CRYPTOWEEKICE SKATING ON A FROZEN LAKE

  • Rebound off 2019 lows

  • Market indicators improving

  • BTC trading volume in Venezuela hit all-time high

  • Renewed ETH Constantinople upgrade attempt

Crypto markets traded on a friendlier tone this week and rebounded off the 2019 lows. While the recovery comes as a relief for crypto enthusiasts, markets are certainly not out of the woods yet. Some signs though may indicate that the market is about to define a bottom. For instance the patterns observed in Bitfinex’ reported Bitcoin positions, where the longs have gained overhang over shorts for about a month now, are only one such to be noted. Other may be the steadily increasing number of transactions, the rising Bitcoin hash rate or the time until the next Bitcoin halving. Current liquidity is certainly not where it should be in a healthy market. While spot market volumes are decreasing since the beginning of the year, CME and CBOE have also reported the lowest Bitcoin futures volumes since they launched the products in December 2017. Lower volumes and depressed prices in the first month of the year is nothing unusual when looking at Bitcoins history, much of this however, used to be attributed to the Chinese lunar new-year and less active Chinese traders in the past. As Chinese volumes lost market weight after the ban imposed by the government, things could be different this year and a pick up in volumes might depend much less on Chinese traders getting back to work. While global volumes are down, Bitcoin experiences a boom in Venezuela where local trading volumes have reached a new all-time high amidst massive hyperinflation and an ongoing presidential crisis. Volatility apparently is a minor issue where people desperately seek a quick and convenient save haven.

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CRYPTOWEEKBACK TO BASE

January 31 2019. After crypto prices have followed a narrow range over the past week consolidating sideways we saw another damper beginning of the week with markets feeling increased pressure from the bears. Bitcoin hit its lowest level in more than a month as we struggled to overcome some key resistance levels that would have brought a certain relief to the market. Most Altcoins consequently were dragged along, some of them showing up deeply in red. The ongoing crypto winter over the past month has also led to a trend reversal compared to 2017 in terms of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a store of value with investors prioritizing traditional safe haven assets such as Gold as the world continues to face geopolitical issues. Despite the correlation of traditional equities and cryptocurrencies still showing up near zero, the bear-market has left some scars in the traditional world. Chip maker Nvidia had to take a hard hit this week after cutting Q4 sales guidance by $500mln. While the decline in demand for crypto miners was cited as being negative for the company, the real reason of the plunge, however, is attributed to a cooling customer base in the gaming industry. At a time where some of the early movers face increased headwinds, we see others grasp the opportunity and enter the space. Kudelski Security founded a Blockchain Security Centre (BSC) with the aim to make the companies cryptography experience available to the ever-increasing number of Blockchain developers around the globe. Also Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets, seems to move forward with its plans to launch trade execution and custody services for digital assets for institutional investors as soon as March.

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CRYPTOWEEKSHIFTING GEARS

  • Price consolidation ongoing

  • Crypto found its way to Davos

  • More Banks going Crypto

  • ETH Constantinople fork postponed to end of Feb

January 24 2019. Another week which brought interesting developments in many areas of the blockchain industry, underlines a solid start into a promising 2019. After the first larger price swings last week, the market seems to have found some equilibrium in the short term and is consolidating at levels around a total market-cap of $120 bln. The risk however remains on the downside. Volumes have not improved yet and the market is required to pick up substantially, ideally above the $4'300 handle in Bitcoin terms. Last year made history for being one of the worst years in terms of crypto price development, however a report published by NY based SCR shows that Bitcoin transactional volume in 2018 has actually reached a stunning $3 trillion out-pacing most emerging economy currencies. This is certainly a development we like to see. Blockchain was featured as a disrupting technology in the Tech Trends 2019 report published by Deloitte a few days ago and it looks like a trend is about to emerge within the financial sector as more banks expand their offering for digital assets. After Vontobel announced crypto custody for institutional investors last week, Swiss private bank Falcon did not wait too long to drop the bomb and announce that it has launched direct transfers, custody and crypto fiat withdrawals of four major cryptocurrencies, namely BTC, ETH, BCH and LTC, for private banking clients. Yesterday Wednesday, Dutch bank ABN AMRO also unveiled cryptocurrency storage facilities where customers will be able to store Bitcoin and co. in the same online banking environment they use for their day-to-day activities. The number one Swiss central banker Thomas Jordan expressed a supportive view in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, where he acknowledged blockchain as a very powerful technology and denied the fact that it could be a threat to monetary policy.

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CRYPTOWEEKTEST THE WATERS

  • First setback in 2019

  • DX.Exchange claims security vulnerability has been patched

  • Swiss Bank Vontobel goes crypto custody

  • ETH hard fork postponed due to security flaw

January 17 2019. After a pleasant start into the new year crypto hodlers witnessed the first intense moment in 2019 as the short-term overbought cryptomarket sold-off heavily on January 10. While there was no obvious fundamental reason behind the sudden drop, it showed that the low volume market remains vulnerable to short-term corrections and that there is still more time required for a ground-breaking change in sentiment. The short-term trend break put an end to the corrective rally the market had been enjoying since mid-December. Consequently, cryptocurrencies that demonstrated solid gains throughout the past weeks such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin suffered the most. Ethereum’s drop sub $120 enabled XRP to retake the second spot in terms of market cap. With a difference of only about $100 million these two could remain in a battle for number two for a while. Bitcoin market share remains stable while the number of listed cryptoassets grows nearly on a daily base... Read the full article.

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CRYPTOWEEKNEW YEAR'S GREETINGS!

  • A happy and prosperous 2019!

  • Solid holiday momentum persists

  • DX.Exchange launched trading for tokenized stocks with difficulties

  • ETH Constantinople Hard Fork upcoming

With a bit more than one week into the new year we would like to welcome you back to what we expect to be another exciting and dynamic year in the crypto and blockchain industry. Mostly overshadowed by severe price deterioration of crypto assets in 2018 people often neglect that it was the most active year behind the curtain with rising investments in blockchain technology and services. But let us leave 2018 behind us now and focus on what’s going to happen next. Fueled by light optimism amid somewhat stabilizing prices, the market left the old year on a friendly note trading away from its 2018 lows. Weare positive that this year will bringsome of the glamour back as first fruits are about to grow on the back of more sophisticated infrastructure and a deeper general knowhow. A number of novel but solid projects have held back with their ICOs and token listings due to the disadvantageous market conditions. When crypto-waters calm somewhat, we expect materialization of projects and use cases to ultimately lead to the awaited sentiment change which should help bring the bear market to an end.

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CRYPTOWEEKTHURSDAY IS THE NEW FRIDAY

  • $20k Bitcoin level anniversary rally

  • Santa doing a good job in keeping up the festive mood

  • Switzerland developing pro-crypto legal framework

  • Amazon starts offering Blockchain services to big enterprises

It has been a long time since we saw such a pleasant wave of green on screens. The latest bounce right at Bitcoin’s $20’000 anniversary comes as welcome relief as we moved a good bit away from the psychologically crucial $3’000 level. Alongside Bitcoin the whole space gained momentum in a solid move up from its yearly lows right when total market capitalization was about to fall into double digit $ billion territory. Despite showing some signs of life, we would still give the move a bit more time to call it a fundamental change in sentiment. Bitcoin longs, reported by Bitfinex, have decreased already substantially over the past two days, funding rates have “normalized” and volumes are not where we would like them to be,given the magnitude of the move. Nevertheless price levels away from the 2018 lows certainly help to set a base for a constructive start of the year if buyers manage to keep overhang in the coming days. A bit less active traders as we approach the holiday season is probably only normal.

To wrap up the year we can say that 2018 was not at all a good year for crypto prices, with most of the assets down more than 80% year on year. Yet, we deem it a very strong sign, that unimpressed by the market’s performance, large amounts of capital continue to flow into the space and firms are moving forward with their blockchain related projects. Regulators start to come up with constructive ideas on how to tackle the legal framework and the big boys of finance recognized the potential of the space and are getting in shape to catch a piece of the blockchain cake.

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CRYPTOWEEKSEEKING FOR BOTTOM 

  • Global market cap close to going 2 digit billion

  • Volumes increasing

  • Year-end fortune telling peaks

  • Opera browser launches update with crypto wallet integration

The global crypto price meltdown continued last Friday as a more constructive sentiment remains absent. Ripple replaced Ethereum as number two in rank and total market cap is down close to $100bln. The $3’000 support in Bitcoin, kind of a worst-case scenario some months ago, is in close reach now and will likely be tested soon. The level has been a tough nut to crack mid 2017 and is widely expected to serve as a solid support and potentially an attractive entry level for long term investors. Value adjusted volumes have actually picked up substantially the last couple weeks and we see technical indicators continue to show oversold conditions with for instance the 14-week RSI dropping below 30 this week for the first time since 2015. Back then the market had corrected about 85% over the course of 14 months and ultimately set the base for a solid recovery and ultimately the 2017 bull-run.

A bit less relevant for the most of us, as the year-end approaches crypto fortune telling prospers and Bitcoin price predictions for next year range between zero and $1mln.

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CRYPTOWEEKTHE DIVERGENCE

  • What’s up or what’s down?

  • Volumes on the rise

  • Whale accounts preparing for Casper?

  • Crypto Start-ups start to face reality

Crypto prices continue to consolidate at Bitcoin levels around $4’000. The fact that the first test of the $3’600 support this week was very short-lived and that moves commence to become less intense, could indicate that we start to see some shy signs of exhausted bears. In order for the market to shift into a more positive environment which also would help cheering up the upcoming X-mas holiday mood, we would however need to see Bitcoin break this week’s downtrend initially and then last week’s highs of $4’500.  Volumes continue to be on the rise. The bearish momentum we experienced throughout November drove up monthly trade volumes significantly across exchanges and currencies. While the number one currency Bitcoin saw an increase in monthly trade activity of above 40%, the second most-traded cryptocurrency, Tether (USDT), also saw a dramatic increase with more than $100 billion worth of the Stablecoin changing hands last month. Also interesting to note is that so-called whale accounts, wallets which hold large positions in crypto assets, have accumulated substantial amounts of Ethereum during 2018 — more than in any other period in Ethereum’s history, according to a recent report from Diar. Meanwhile the race for the lead in institutional offerings continues. U.S. crypto exchange Polionex announced this week that it has launched a dedicated offering for professional investors setting the minimum trade notional to $250’000.

Read the full article here...

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CRYPTOWEEKSEASON'S GREETINGS WITH A CHILL FACTOR

  • Arctic temperatures favoured by polar bears

  • Commodity traders and banks invest in platforms

  • U.S. Treasury adds digital currency identifiers to flag targets on its sanctions blacklist

  • Blockchain helps save the planet

November 30 2018. Immediate downside pressure eased a bit this week with a shy rebound attempt as some brave bulls stepped back into the game. Funding rates picked up somewhat but in its current state the market continues to be vulnerable to the downside as long as weak hands dominate price moves. While we likely have not seen the bottom yet and the market certainly requires considerable time to recover from the constant beating it has been enduring in 2018, current levels may start to look attractive for long term oriented investors to slowly start accumulate exposure again. The space has experienced significant development and has grown from being a niche for computer geeks to a multi-billion dollar business. Institutional investment powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity or ICE with Bakkt seriously engage in crypto and blockchain projects. Also highly interested in the subject are players in the logistics and commodity trade where traders such as BP, Shell, Mercuria and a number of trade finance banks invest in next generation platforms using blockchain. Hence, the next fundamental market turnaround will evolve on a much more solid base than we have seen in the past. Additionally, new concepts and trends are about to arise and regulation is becoming more concrete. The value of digital coins pegged to fiat currencies, also known as Stablecoins, is increasingly being recognized. One of the more ambitious projects in this area, Forctis, is also based in the Zurich blockchain hub, Trustsquare. Binance exchange has spotted the potential in this space as welland announced the creation of a Stablecoin market on its exchange. Also Bitfinex most recently announced Tether neutrality and launched new Stablecoin pairs such as USDT/USD and EURT/EUR.

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CRYPTOWEEKBLACK FRIDAY DISCOUNTS

  • Markets are on wholesale

  • Only hard-boiled hodlers stay

  • Tech top shots go crypto

  • Science sees great future in blockchain

November 23 2018. After last week’s sell-off one could have thought it cannot get worse…the market taught us another lesson. Still driven by the Bitcoin Cash hard fork hash war, global crypto markets witnessed another washout to levels not seen in more than a year. After the prolonged low volatility period where even blue-chip stocks showed larger intraday moves, many investors were not used to such dynamics anymore. Frankly, that is exactly what we somewhat missed over the past month…dynamics, volumes, chats going wild and media covering crypto markets… But the past two weeks certainly do not reflect hodlers’ visions of a useful price action. Much in the sense - what goes up can come down - every correction also brings along opportunities. From a technical perspective, the market looks heavily oversold after the steep decline. If Bitcoin can maintain strength in the range of $4,000 to $4,500 in the coming days, it would help the market to regain some positive momentum and form a temporary bottom. However, if pressure remains and BTC falls below the $4,000 mark, a turn-around into year-end will become increasingly challenging. What comes without saying is that there is no reason to write off Bitcoin or other crypto assets based on such temporary market moves. They have seen such scenarios before. The revolutionary technology is very disruptive and definitely here to stay. The adoption and the infrastructure which is currently built may only bring positive momentum with a lag.

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CRYPTOWEEKWRATH OF THE BITCOIN TITANS

  • Low vol was yesterday

  • Freefall out of the blue

  • Hash power war around the bitcoin cash hard fork

  • Bosch reaffirms IOTA commitment

November 16, 2018. A sudden free fall like price drop across assets on Wednesday sent Bitcoin and many other assets to their lowest levels in a year and brought an end to the prolonged low volatility trading regime we have seen since August. Within 24hours, the crypto market suffered one of the most severe washouts of 2018 as more than $25 billion worth of market cap evaporated. Bitcoin, which demonstrated a nice level of stability as of late, recorded a drop of more than 11% and also dragged other cryptoassets down. The drop finds its roots with the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. In the run-up of this chain split, a veritable war broke out between the parties supporting the concluding Bitcoin Cash SV (Satoshi’s Version) and Bitcoin Cash ABC, an upgrade to the software which is ought to help scale the network and provide for smart contracts. This fork is somewhat unique in the sense that the community was forced to choose either or, and not as usual find a consensus to split into two chains. As a consequence Bitcoin Cash (BCH) recorded the worst drop, falling by more than 20% at one point. In a seven-day span, BCH dropped by over 50% vs. the US dollar and by nearly 40% against Bitcoin (BTC). The sell-off also caused volumes to spike as we saw BTC volumes more than doubling in no time. The fight for dominance is all about hash power i.e. allocating resources to mine a particular cryptocurrency in order to have say in the fork. And the allocating of Bitcoin resources to the new Bitcoin Cash forks made the market tumble. Unfortunately, this depicts that the market in its currently susceptible state is still somewhat directed by some large players and their interests. Ultimately, we expect this to be a temporary move and the market to be bought up as soon as the situation normalizes and resources move back into the serious business. Furthermore, some good part of the correction can be accredited to liquidation trades and stop orders triggered. Such a washout could also be indicative for capitulation of short term bets and set ground for long term positioning…

Read the full article here…

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CRYPTOWEEKSPRING GREEN IN AUTUMN

November 9, 2018. After a few weeks of sideways trading and a consequent dip, cryptoassets recouped the end-September levels and are aiming at closing the week in the green. The positive sentiment led to a substantial volume increase over the past days, particularly in Bitcoin. Interestingly, the fresh demand seemed to be driven by exchanges from South Korea where the government agreed to triple its blockchain projects budget next year. Some part of the latest up-move also can be attributed to the upcoming Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork. It is a common pattern that assets which are about to be forked appreciate in value ahead of the event as scalpers try to make a quick buck. For instance, mining giant Bitmain deployed 90’000 antminers ahead of the BCH fork. As a consequence Bitcoin Cash outperformed tremendously with a stunning 50% performance since the end of October...

Read the full article here.

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CRYPTOWEEKTRICK OR TREAT

November 2, 2018. Halloween seems to have scared away buyers this Monday. Bitcoin broke the recently narrow sideway trend a level down where the market is currently pondering whether to continue the sideways trend on a lower base or regain the $6400 level first. The leg lower also made the yearly candle turn red which nearly coincided with Bitcoin’s 10th birthday this week. Given the groundbreaking idea behind Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency in its kind would have deserved a better birthday present.

Apparently, much of the birthday premium was anticipated already last year. It might actually be a good moment to reflect where we come from and where we stand. Once emerged out of the idea to be a decentralized digital currency without a central counterparty, Bitcoin has come a long way from being a geek gadget worth only a few cents to hit the $20’000 mark end of last year and to make it into global mainstream media. Yet, crypto enthusiasts had to handle quite some pain this year as prices consolidated and demand slumped...

Read the full article here.

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CRYPTOWEEKBACK TO NORMALITY

October 26, 2018. With Tether slowly finding its way back to the $1 peg, markets have «normalized» and volatility settled somewhat. Bitcoin continues to comfortably consolidate at levels around the $6’500 handle while crypto market cap hovers just above $200bln. The daily trading ranges seem to tighten further every day. Question is what chart color we will encounter at the end of that narrowing trading channel.

Tension rises and markets are thus not boring after all, particularly considering the developments and improvements the industry is currently undergoing. Fun fact of the recently low volatility environment is, that Bitcoin’s 20-day historical volatility of around 30% is now actually less than the vols observed with tech giants such as Amazon (35%), Netflix (52%) or Nvidia (40%) and only a notch higher than Apple (29%).

As the space continues to trade on depressed volatility while infrastructure makes big steps, we would not be surprised to see increasing interest from institutional investors as soon as general sentiment translates the positive news again. Coinbase, a big player in the crypto world, obtained a license under New York State Banking Law to operate as an independent Qualified Custodian. Coinbase Custody is described as an institutional-grade service optimized for storing large amounts of crypto assets on very high technological security standards...

Read the full article here.

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CRYPTOWEEKDROP OUT OF RANGEBOUND

October 12, 2018. After the market continued to trade in an extremely narrow range on subdued volumes and historically low volatility it was, unfortunately, another sudden drop that put an end to this prolonged period of consolidation. As the total market cap dropped by almost $20 billion yesterday Thursday, we saw a number of coins losing double digits once again. While it is not entirely clear what the exact reason for the sudden drop was, questions were raised to whether there is a connection between the decline and concerns over Bitfinex temporarily suspending fiat deposits after some reports of Bitfinex’ somewhat shady banking relationships. Or, did the large sell-off in the stock market have an influence on crypto and is there some sort of correlation to traditional markets after all? Rumors made rounds that Japanese day traders sold crypto to cover unexpectedly big margin calls in stocks…well, as always it was likely a combination of many factors but it could be taken as a sign that correlation is an area to put increased focus on if things hit the fan…

Read the full article here.

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Jan Roth

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Jan is a co-founder and Head Trading & Sales at vision&. vision& is a Swiss-based blockchain investment and research house. Jan is a convinced crypto "hodler" and sticks to a sound long term fundamental view. He proclaims a distinct core-satellite approach including key assets with a solid community and side pockets with fundamentally promising newcomers. Jan looks back on a career in various client facing finance roles where he attained and demonstrated particularly strong client centric and solution driven values. In his latest position at a large global bank he provided HNWIs and institutional clients with sales, trading and advisory services on cross asset derivatives. Jan holds an MAS ZFH in Banking & Finance and a CAIA charter.

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