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1. 15/10/2019 22:05
Next Bitcoin Halving Could Squeeze out Retail Miners, But Jury’s Split on Price

Is the next halving going to send bitcoin to the moon?

Well, maybe not that fast. As the programmed reduction of the miners’ reward is approaching (expected to happen in May next year), people are disagreeing about its probable effects.

Bitcoin has gone through the halving two times before, in November 2012 and July 2016, and both times the events marked the beginning of the next bull market. But, it’s an open question if the halving brings an uptrend and if so, how strong that uptrend will be.

Miners took the stage to debate the issue last week at the recent World Digital Mining Summit in Frankfurt organized by Bitmain, the Chinese equipment manufacturer and pool owner.

Price effects

Jihan Wu, co-founder and ex-CEO of Bitmain, is “pessimistic” about the prospect of a price surge after the halving. He suggested that the first two uptrends might have been “catching up with the bubble-and-bust cycle” phases at the time.

Further, he pointed to halving of litecoin in August, which sent the price not surging but plunging. The token’s value shot from $31 to $135 in the first half of the year, but then started falling in July, right before the halving. It’s now trading around $57.

Wu said:

“Maybe people speculate too much before the halving, and then you can’t sell the good news anymore. Maybe, this time a bullish cycle is not coming yet.”

Offstage, Wu told CoinDesk that the bump projected from the halving might be baked in because people have “started to bet on the price growth in advance”:

“During the first and second halving, people didn’t know what to expect, and during the second halving, the scaling debate complicated the situation. Now people are expecting it.”

But Matthew Roszak, chairman of the blockchain software company Bloq, saw things differently. He said that the maturity of the financial ecosystem around bitcoin spoke to it maintaining a higher price over time:

“There is a better footing for the Fidelitys, Bakkts and other household names entering the space,” Roszak said, adding that the buzz around Facebook’s Libra is also attracting new interest and new participants into the industry:

“All the demand from institutional investors is still crescendoing forward. Custody platforms, insurance, compliance, regulatory is all getting written and this is positive for bitcoin.”

Roszak expects the price to reach “somewhere between $15,000 and $100,000” and for the halving to kick off “a decade-plus of rising.”

The purge and the consolidation

Whoever is right about the halving’s impact, the event is important for miners worldwide. With the reward being reduced, profitability will also be cut, at least in the short term, so old versions of specialized mining machines, known as ASICs, will stop bringing their owners any profit.

The Antminer S9, the most popular ASIC model manufactured by Bitmain, has exhausted its productivity limit and “a lot of miners are running on a margin of profit,” Marco Streng, CEO of Genesis Mining, said on stage. The S9 and Canaan Creative’s Avalon A851 series, with a similar level of hashing power, are some of the most widely used mining equipment right now. Based on the mining pool f2pool’s index, these older models have a profit margin of 50 percent at bitcoin’s current price.

Replacing them with the new machines will help, the panel agreed, but Wu cautioned against miners buying as many machines as possible:

“If I were a mining rig investor, I would be more conservative, but I would keep investing.”

Bitmain released the new Antminer S17 in September and, starting on Friday, will also be selling the more dynamic S17+ version.

Keeping it profitable

Streng, of Genesis Mining, says less hardware in circulation will serve the industry well in the long run. “We are going towards a really heavy industry with much longer life-cycles of the machines.”

“It’s a very brutal event. Most inefficient miners will be wiped out. But it’s driving the innovation,” Streng told CoinDesk, adding:

“It’s a psychological event, and there is a tendency for the price to increase. From my experience, a lot of miners are expecting the price to go up, so they reduce selling and weaken the selling pressure of the market.”

According to Streng, the main effect of the halving will be wiping out of individual small miners, which now account for less than 20 percent of the market.

Alexander Gavrik, a co-founder of the mining software company Uminers, said the market is getting less volatile as the main players are becoming larger and larger:

“The market is moving towards the industrial mining, and there won’t be hype like it used to be anymore. There are significantly less crypto enthusiasts on the market now.”

2. 14/10/2019 21:30
Bitcoin Faces Drop Below $8,000 Despite Beating Price Resistance
  • Bitcoin has crossed the 20-day moving average (MA) hurdle but remains in bearish territory below the long-term resistance of the 200-day MA.
  • Daily and weekly charts indicate scope for a drop to $7,750.
  • A UTC close above the 200-day MA at $8,718 is needed to weaken the bearish case.

Bitcoin appears likely to drop below $8,000, despite having scaled a widely tracked technical resistance level.

The top cryptocurrency by market value is trading above the 20-day moving average for the first time since mid-September. The MA line was crossed multiple times over the weekend, but on each occasion the breakout was brief.

At time of writing, BTC seems to have found more solid acceptance above the 20-day MA, having defended the level at $8,252 during the Asian trading hours on Monday.

The move above the 20-day MA is good news, according to popular analyst Josh Rager.

Rager is also expecting bitcoin’s price volatility to rise soon, as the Bollinger bands have converged sharply over the last few days. A low-volatility period, as seen in the last two weeks, often ends with a big move on either side.

While some traders may anticipate a big move to the higher side, given the price has scaled the 20-day MA, the technical charts remain bearish. Further, prices are still holding well below the key 200-day MA, which has acted as strong resistance over the last 2.5 weeks.

Daily and 4-hour charts

BTC carved out a large bearish outside bar reversal candle on Friday (above left), signaling an end of the recovery rally and shifting risk in favor of a drop below $8,000. That candle is still valid with prices holding well below the high of $8,820 hit on Friday.

As mentioned, the cryptocurrency is trading well below the 200-day MA at $8,718 (above left). BTC has failed to close above the long-term average multiple times since Sept. 27, dampening prospects of a stronger recovery rally and making it the level to beat for the bulls.

Above right, the 4-hour chart is reporting a failed double bottom breakout and a rising channel breakdown – a bearish setup.

Weekly chart

BTC ended last week on a positive note, but faced rejection at the 5-week MA, reinforcing the downward sloping average’s bearish bias.

The 5- and 10-week MAs continue to trend south this week, while the relative strength index (RSI) is holding bearish below 50.

All-in-all, BTC risks falling below $8,000 and extending losses, possibly to the 100-week MA support at $7,760,  in the short term.

The bearish case would weaken if prices find acceptance above the 200-day MA at $8,718, but that looks unlikely at press time.

3. 12/10/2019 11:08
Facebook’s Calibra Sued by Mobile Banking App Over Similar Logos

Facebook’s Calibra is being sued for trademark infringement by mobile banking app Current, adding a potential legal showdown to the beleaguered Libra digital currency project’s growing list of woes.

The complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the Calibra logo is too similar to Current’s own, which the fintech firm has been using since August 2016. Calibra is developing the Libra project’s digital wallet.

Current is seeking a preliminary injunction and monetary damages. It alleges:

“The infringing mark adopted and used by the Calibra Defendants is not only confusingly similar to, but virtually identical to the Current Marks.”

4. 11/10/2019 21:11
Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven Like Gold? These Four Charts Say Not Yet

Galen Moore is a member of the CoinDesk Research team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a weekly newsletter focused on institutional investment in crypto assets. Sign up for free here.


Investors are beginning to have a clear sense why bitcoin exists: it’s digital gold, a narrative that has emerged clearly as other assets flounder, gasping for air in the muddy water of shallow memes.

Ethereum has hopped from story to disjointed story; now it’s “money” (OK). Nobody knows what Ripple, er, XRP is.

If bitcoin is digital gold, then it must be a haven in times of crisis – a “risk-off” asset. Any thoughts of bitcoin being a safe haven have been put to bed in the past 10 days and can be found there thrashing in their own clammy sweat, racked by fever-nightmares of 2018.

The question is, can bitcoin become a safe haven? We may be about to find out. Born during the last global financial crisis, bitcoin has yet to see one. In the CoinDesk Research white paper, “Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven?” we look at some of the theories around how bitcoin might perform during a macroeconomic crisis and present a few metrics that might be used to measure bitcoin’s response. You can download the paper here. This article will present an up-to-date look at a few of those metrics.

Bitcoin vs. gold

Some people you run into may show you a bitcoin chart next to a gold chart and point out similarities in their shape. Ignore it.

Bitcoin’s price has never shown a correlation with gold, positive or negative, for any length of time, since early 2015. Over the long term, it’s moved toward less correlation, not more.

bitcoin vs gold

Bitcoin vs. the yuan

A haven is in the eye of the beholder. Bitcoin may be a risk-on asset for venture investors in Silicon Valley, and a risk-off asset for people caught in a currency crisis. Bitcoin adoption in Venezuela is often cited to indicate the latter.

Bitcoin adoption in China may be another measure. China also has authoritarian currency controls and a wobbling economy; its population and total wealth are orders of magnitude greater than Venezuela’s. Thus, its potential impact on the bitcoin price is greater.

The past five years have seen several significant periods of strong correlation between USD-CNY and bitcoin. That is, when the yuan wavers in dollar terms, bitcoin’s dollar price often tends to rise. This may be a positive indicator for those who hope that a yuan currency crisis could ignite safe-haven demand for bitcoin.

bitcoin vs yuan

Bitcoin vs. ETH & Bitcoin vs. XRP

Bitcoin is the only crypto asset about which rational people could even discuss a haven narrative. Other crypto assets may be compelling, but they clearly represent risk-on bets against a vision of future adoption that may take years to prove. If bitcoin is becoming a “risk-off” asset, bitcoin returns ought to start decoupling from other crypto assets.

BTC vs ETH

 

BTC vs XRP

Hmmm, nope.

With both ethereum’s ETH and Ripple’s XRP, bitcoin returns are clearly establishing a stronger positive correlation over time. There is no decoupling here.

Conclusion and a note on the data

None of this is to say that bitcoin doesn’t have a credible story as a safe haven asset. It’s clear that it isn’t one today, but that doesn’t mean it might not become a risk-off asset during the next downturn, or the one after that. Even Jerome Powell understands this: bitcoin is a “speculative store of value,” he has said. Its investors are speculating that it will become a store of value.

It’s difficult to pinpoint whether bitcoin is moving toward realizing that narrative, or not. Bitcoin’s volatility and 24/7 trading frustrate any attempt to correlate its daily returns with those of other assets. For this blog post, we took a 30-day moving average of daily returns and measured the 90-day correlation over time. The results are mostly similar to the 30-day returns we used in the white paper, “Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven?” They also match the results we obtained using weekly returns. The data run from four years old or the earliest available, through the last market close on the morning of Monday, Sept. 30.

In the white paper, we also look at data from fiat onramps to bitcoin in emerging markets, as well as the behavior of long-term holders, tracked via time stamps of ownership records on the bitcoin blockchain. You can download the paper here, along with papers on custody, derivatives and crypto fundamentals.

Disclosure: The author owns small quantities of BTC and ETH.

5. 10/10/2019 17:43
WATCH: What Drove Bitcoin’s Price Gains Today? We Explore the Pop

The price of bitcoin (BTC) jumped 5.1 percent on Wednesday – its highest point in two weeks.

The price rise comes after the Federal Reserve (Fed) said it would print money to expand the size of bank reserves – seen as a move by the U.S. central bank that could spark inflation.

Traders said optimism also was buoyed by speculation that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might approve a new bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (it didn’t) and an announcement by UNICEF that it would accept donations of cryptocurrencies.

Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the cryptocurrency hedge-fund firm BitBull Capital in San Francisco, discusses the day’s price jump and gives his views on the market outlook.

 

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Latest News

15/10/2019 22:05
Next Bitcoin Halving Could Squeeze out Retail Miners, But Jury’s Split on Price
Is the next halving going to send bitcoin to the moon? Well, maybe not that fast. As the programmed reduction of the miners’ reward is approaching (expected to happen in May next year), people are disagreeing about its probable effects. Bitcoin has gone through the halving two times before, in November 2012 and July 2016, and both times the events marked the beginning of the next bull market. But, it’s an open question if the halving brings an uptrend and if so, how strong that uptrend will be. Miners took the stage to debate the issue last week at the recent World ... 
14/10/2019 21:30
Bitcoin Faces Drop Below $8,000 Despite Beating Price Resistance
Bitcoin has crossed the 20-day moving average (MA) hurdle but remains in bearish territory below the long-term resistance of the 200-day MA. Daily and weekly charts indicate scope for a drop to $7,750. A UTC close above the 200-day MA at $8,718 is needed to weaken the bearish case. Bitcoin appears likely to drop below $8,000, despite having scaled a widely tracked technical resistance level. The top cryptocurrency by market value is trading above the 20-day moving average for the first time since mid-September. The MA line was crossed multiple times over the weekend, but on each o... 
12/10/2019 11:08
Facebook’s Calibra Sued by Mobile Banking App Over Similar Logos
Facebook’s Calibra is being sued for trademark infringement by mobile banking app Current, adding a potential legal showdown to the beleaguered Libra digital currency project’s growing list of woes. The complaint, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the Calibra logo is too similar to Current’s own, which the fintech firm has been using since August 2016. Calibra is developing the Libra project’s digital wallet. Current is seeking a preliminary injunction and monetary damages. It alleges: “The infrin... 
11/10/2019 21:11
Is Bitcoin a Safe Haven Like Gold? These Four Charts Say Not Yet
Galen Moore is a member of the CoinDesk Research team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a weekly newsletter focused on institutional investment in crypto assets. Sign up for free here. Investors are beginning to have a clear sense why bitcoin exists: it’s digital gold, a narrative that has emerged clearly as other assets flounder, gasping for air in the muddy water of shallow memes. Ethereum has hopped from story to disjointed story; now it’s “money” (OK). Nobody knows what Ripple, er, XRP is. If bitcoin is... 
10/10/2019 17:43
WATCH: What Drove Bitcoin’s Price Gains Today? We Explore the Pop
The price of bitcoin (BTC) jumped 5.1 percent on Wednesday – its highest point in two weeks. The price rise comes after the Federal Reserve (Fed) said it would print money to expand the size of bank reserves – seen as a move by the U.S. central bank that could spark inflation. Traders said optimism also was buoyed by speculation that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might approve a new bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (it didn’t) and an announcement by UNICEF that it would accept donations of cryptocurrencies. Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the cryptocurrency...