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31. 23/03/2019 08:21
Bitcoin Price Drops Back Below $4K But Bull Outlook Still Intact

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  • Bitcoin failed to capitalize on a bull breakout above $4,040 yesterday, but the short-term outlook remains bullish as the higher-lows pattern is still intact.
  • A convincing break above the three-day chart resistance of $4,040 still looks likely and could be followed by a rally toward the recent high of $4,190.
  • The immediate outlook would turn bearish if prices find acceptance below $3,920 (previous day’s low). A bearish close, if confirmed, could yield a drop to $3,700–$3,658 (Feb. 27 low).

Bitcoin (BTC) has dropped back from levels over $4,000, but the short-term outlook will remain bullish as long as prices are holding above key support at $3,920.

The crypto market leader jumped to a 25-day high of $4,055 yesterday, having secured a bullish UTC close above the psychological hurdle of $4,000 on Wednesday, going by Bitstamp data. The breakout above the crucial three-day chart resistance of $4,040, however, was short-lived with prices falling back to a five-day low of $3,920 before closing the day at $3,974.

Notably, the negative price action engulfed the trading range seen in the previous four days, which is widely considered an early sign of bull exhaustion.

That said, the path of least resistance is still to the higher side, as the bounce from lows near $3,920 has left the bullish higher lows pattern intact along the trendline connecting the Feb. 8 and Mar.4 lows.

For the immediate outlook to turn bearish, the engulfing price action seen yesterday needs a strong follow through in the form of a convincing break below $3,920.

As of writing, BTC is trading at $3,980, representing a 1.28 percent drop on a 24-hour basis.

Daily chart

On the daily chart, BTC created a bearish outside reversal candle yesterday as trading began on an optimistic note but ended with pessimism.

A bullish-to-bearish trend change, however, would be confirmed only if prices close below $3,920 (low of the bearish candle) today. A move below $3,920 would confirm a downside break of the ascending trendline and shift risk in favor of a deeper drop toward the Feb. 27 low of $3,658.

On the higher side, a break above $4,055 would reinforce the short-term bullish setup and could fuel a rally toward the recent high of $4,190.

3-day chart

The odds of a rally toward $4,235 (inverse head-and-shoulders neckline) would strengthen if the current three-day candle closes (today) above $4,040, validating the bullish engulfing candle created in three days to March 16.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

32. 22/03/2019 09:36
AOA/IDR naik tertinggi yaitu 13,4% disusul dengan ETC/IDR 5,0%.
Selamat pagi. Jumat pagi ini AOA/IDR naik tertinggi yaitu 13,4% disusul dengan ETC/IDR 5,0%.
33. 21/03/2019 23:56
Bitmain Set to Deploy $80 Million Worth of Bitcoin Miners, Sources Say

The Takeaway

  • Bitmain is planning to deploy 200,000 units of its own mining equipment in China to take advantage of cheap hydroelectric power this summer.
  • The equipment is conservatively estimated to cost $80 million, but it may be more profitable right now for Bitmain to mine crypto itself than try to sell all this inventory.
  • The move signals a broader shift in the market, with miners preparing to invest again following last year’s contraction in capacity.

Bitmain, the largest manufacturer of cryptocurrency mining equipment by market share, is scaling up its capacity to mine ahead of an expected drop in electricity costs in China this summer.

According to mining farm operators in China’s southwestern provinces familiar with Bitmain’s plan, the Beijing-based company will be deploying about 200,000 units of its own mining equipment in the area to take advantage of the low electricity costs during the summer resulting from excess hydropower.

Though the rainy season in southwestern China, including Sichuan and Yunnan, will not arrive until May, Bitmain has already started discussions and making deals with farms to host its equipment so that it can be fully prepared, the sources said.

The firm will mostly use its new products such as the AntMiner S11 and S15, the sources added, with some older models like the AntMiner S9i/j. (The latest models S11, S15 and T15 are all marked as sold out on Bitmain’s own online shop.) It’s unclear which proof-of-work cryptocurrencies the company will mine using the machines. 

Still, that’s a non-negligible opportunity cost, for a firm whose revenue comes predominantly from equipment sales rather than self-mining.

The S9j and S11 retail for $400 and $500 on its website, respectively, so 200,000 units of those models would be worth around $80 million to $100 million if Bitmain could sell all the inventory. And that doesn’t include the S15, which is priced at around $1,000.

But under current conditions, self-mining with S9j, S11 and S15 might still be a somewhat safer bet than trying to sell all those machines in a bear market, according to the miner profit index tracked by the world’s third-largest mining pool f2pool.

The index shows that a single S9j, S11, and S15 can generate a daily profit of $0.87, $1.8 and $2.88, respectively, based on bitcoin’s current price and a benchmark electricity cost of $0.05 per kilowatt hour.

While it’s unclear what electricity deal Bitmain can get eventually, mining farm operators said the cost in the summer on average is around $0.037 per kilowatt hour. Taking that into f2pool’s index equation, each S9j, S11 and S15 could return a daily profit of $1.29, $2.24, or $3.38, respectively.

Even assuming the 200,000 machines will all be the lower-end S9j, the capacity could potentially bring home a monthly profit of about $7.7 million for Bitmain.

When reached by CoinDesk, a spokesperson for the company declined to comment.

Market shift

The imminent scaling up of Bitmain’s operations signals a notable market shift.

Last year, amid an overall cryptocurrency market slump, more than 600,000 bitcoin miners were estimated to have shut down at one point. This led to an increasing supply of second-hand mining equipment that was sold at a discount, such as the AntMiner S9.

The decline of mining activity last year had also been reflected in changes at Bitmain’s existing proprietary mining operations.

According to the archive page of Bitmain’s hash rate disclosure blog, on Oct. 9, 2018, all Bitmain-owned hardware that was mining the SHA265 algorithm-based bitcoin generated a hash rate of about 2,339 quadrillion hashes per second (PH/s).

Assuming Bitmain’s self-mining hash rate all came from the AntMiner S9 –  each having a hash rate of about 14 trillion hashes per second (TH/s) – that suggests the company had about 170,000 machines running at the time. (1PH/s equals 1,000 TH/s.)

But as of March 5, the hash rate of Bitmain’s operations had decreased to 1,692 PH/s, implying, under the same assumptions, that the company unplugged about 50,000 miners over the past several months and had around 120,000 sets of equipment running in early March.

The hash rate of the bitcoin and bitcoin cash networks on that date was about 44,973 PH/s and 1,500 PH/s, respectively, meaning Bitmain’s proprietary mining contributed around 3.6 percent of the SHA265 algorithm-based networks’ combined computation early this month.

Now, it looks as though things are about to change. With excess electricity generated by hydropower stations in China’s mountainous southwest that could be as low as $0.037 per kilowatt hour, the opportunity to mine profitably again has attracted an influx of miners to the region.

Assuming Bitmain’s new capacity will all be using its new AntMiner S11 with a 19.5 TH/s hash rate, the 200,000 units of planned new capacity means the company could be adding another 3,800 PH/s of computing power.

Currently, the bitcoin network hash rate is around 48,000 PH/s, according to data from Blockchain.info, so all else equal, Bitmain’s investment could increase the amount of computing power devoted to securing the network by 7.9 percent.

To be sure, it’s unclear at this stage how much the hash rate of the whole bitcoin network will be in the coming wet season. But some have estimated it could climb up to 70 quintillion hashes per second (EH/s), above the network’s all-time-high around 60 EH/s, because of the new investments being made by Bitmain and other miners.

Drop in the bucket

That said, it’s important to note that proprietary mining, which once accounted for a significant slice to Bitmain’s revenues, has shrunk in percentage terms to a sliver of the total.

According to financial results disclosed by Bitmain when it filed for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last September, self-mining revenue dropped from 20.3 percent of the total in 2015 to 7.9 percent in 2017 and was just 3.3 percent for the first half of 2018.

Meanwhile, the company’s top line has increasingly relied on the sales of mining hardware, which increased from 78.6 percent of total revenues in 2015 to 80.5 percent in 2017, and reached 94.3 percent for the six months ending June 30, 2018.

However, the bear market for crypto has taken its toll, especially in the second half of last year.

According to unreleased financial data previously reported by CoinDesk, Bitmain suffered a net loss of around $500 million during the third quarter of 2018.

As of June 30, 2018, Bitmain had opened 11 mining farms located in Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia with an aggregated capacity to store about 200,000 sets of mining hardware.

These farms are used for self-mining and hosting others’ miners, and are separate from the ones where the company is now deploying its machines.

The company disclosed that its self-mining hash rate in July 2018 was about 1692 PH/s, meaning Bitmain had about 120,000 machines running at the time.

34. 19/03/2019 22:14
Citi Has Scrapped Its Plan for a JPM Coin-Like Bank-Backed Cryptocurrency

In light of the splash JPMorgan made recently with its plan for a bank-backed cryptocurrency, it’s worth remembering another big institution first tested a token to connect global payments – back in 2015.

Codenamed “Citicoin,” the project out of Citigroup’s innovation lab in Dublin was never formally announced by the bank, even as a proof of concept. The idea was to streamline global payment processes. As such, there are obvious parallels with the much-vaunted JPM Coin.

However, having taken stock of the experiment (not to mention the scorn of the bitcoin community at that time) Citi concluded that, while the technology has the potential to live up to its promises, there were other more effective and efficient ways of making improvements in payments.

That’s according to Citi’s current innovation lab chief, Gulru Atak, global head of innovation for treasury and trade solutions (TTS). Regarding the crypto experiments of her predecessors, she told CoinDesk:

Taking a measured step back, Atak said when it comes to improving cross-border payments, the bank is looking at effective methods but with a shorter-term impact. “We are trying to make those changes today, rather than just putting all our efforts into future technology,” she said. 

After all, to completely change a cross-border payment network with blockchain-enabled technology, one would have to on-board all the world’s banks, Atak said, adding: 

As such, Citi’s blockchain strategy in recent years has been about finding ways to integrate legacy systems, said Atak, citing the bank’s 2017 partnership with Nasdaq, CitiConnect, designed to streamline payments around private securities. That project, she said, also has parallels with JPM Coin.

“[CitiConnect] didn’t issue stablecoins but the infrastructure that was used was similar to issuing coins on a blockchain platform,” Atak said. “But it was purely to integrate into a blockchain-enabled system on our client’s end and make it connect to our legacy payment processes real-time.”

From trade finance to FX

While Atak was happy to reflect on previous blockchain initiatives, she also pointed out that Citi certainly continues to explore blockchain, especially in areas like trade finance. 

This niche is a more realistic use case, she said, because building an ecosystem for trade finance doesn’t require as many banks as a full-blown cross-border payments system. “Our focus is currently more in the trade space and trade finance and trade letters of credit. We are experimenting with this technology but probably we are a little bit, like, reserved when it comes to making bold public announcements.”

Rival global bank HSBC is not so shy about beating its chest. In January, HSBC announced it had settled $250 billion of foreign exchange (FX) trades using a blockchain over the past year.  

Regarding FX, Opeyemi Olomo, blockchain lead from Citi’s Innovation Lab, said there are clear pain points in that market, which has issues around credit transparency. As with global payments, the question of whether to apply blockchain comes down to building an ecosystem and how onerous that process would be in relation to the benefit.

Olomo agreed there is an opportunity.  

“There is a niche ecosystem and if you look at liquidity providers in the FX space, the major liquidity providers are not that many. So that’s an ecosystem where you could maybe think of it and have like five or six together and you can start actually creating a difference,” he said.

Broadly speaking, Atak said many industries are pushing hard to move existing instruments to a blockchain-enabled platform without necessarily thinking why that instrument exists from the very beginning. 

Instead, a close examination of the very nature of financial instruments might be required, she said. “For example, how did a human being come up with a banking instrument called a letter of credit? What were the issues that led to its creation?”

This philosophical approach will guide Citi’s thinking, Atak added, concluding:

35. 19/03/2019 06:14
CoinMarketCap Crypto Assets Now Feature Flipside Letter Grades

Blockchain analytics startup Flipside Crypto is bringing crypto asset letter grades to a slew of online publishers.

The Fundamental Crypto Asset Score (FCAS) metric – which evaluates factors such as developer activity and a broad set of transaction data – was recently added to CoinMarketCap, along with publishers such as MarketWatch, TheStreet and Stocktwits. The move comes ahead of the launch of CoinMarketCap’s first Android app, scheduled for April.

Carylyne Chan, head of global marketing at CoinMarketCap, told CoinDesk these easy-to-use metrics will give users a more transparent view of how these assets are evolving. According to Chan, the site attracted 125 million repeat visitors in 2018 alone.

She added:

“If I’m a new user coming in with more tools and fundamental analysis like FCAS, the focus will be more holistic as opposed to only looking at the front page with the price.”

Plus, she added this partnership is part of a broader push to add educational content to CoinMarketCap, such as explainers about blockchain technology and how different groups like developers impact the ecosystem.

“It will be a good addition to the price and market data that we already have there,” Chan said. “There is a wider scope of collaboration that we’ll be working on with [Flipside Crypto].”

Flipside raised a $4.5 million seed round last November and has since launched several products with different types of analysis. These include a portfolio tracker for crypto hedge funds and professional investors, the Hubble Monitor for companies and projects seeking to understand how users interact with their blockchain network, and the Coin Health Library for retail consumers looking for a deeper look at how the FCAS score is calculated and how more than 450 assets grow over time.

According to Chan, the most popular asset pages from 2018 include XRP, bitcoin, Tron and ether, all of which have relatively high FCAS ratings.

Flipside Crypto CEO Dave Balter told CoinDesk that, while dynamic FCAS ratings change according to live input from external exchanges and websites like GitHub, he estimates that only around 18 projects have high ratings like “Superb” or “Attractive.” (The “S” grade is actually higher than the “A” grade, differing from, say, your high-school report card.)

Roughly 350 projects have the lowest rating, “F” for “Fragile.”

The six highest-ranking tokens under the FCAS system. (Screenshot)

Balter said he hopes FCAS will someday become comparable to the price-to-earnings ratio used to analyze traditional stocks.

“Let’s look at crypto projects as if they were sophisticated businesses,” Balter added. “2019 is all about helping the market understand how to evaluate these assets beyond price.”

Indeed, MarketWatch general manager Dan Shar told CoinDesk that compared to traditional asset classes, readers often find cryptocurrency has “the least holistic view in terms of being able to compare these assets to each other.”

Now by listing the top 10 assets, as ranked by FCAS, in addition to the FCAS score on articles and pages related to a specific cryptocurrency, Shar said publishers like MarketWatch can strive to offer “as many tools and actionable insights as possible” for more sophisticated investment choices.

 

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