Month: June 2022

Lightning Labs Introduces Taproot, Musig2 in Beta Version of Lightning Network Daemon

Lightning Labs has announced the release of the beta version of the Lightning Network Daemon (lnd). The firm has revealed incorporating several improvements in the new – v0.15-beta. The main idea is to offer developers and users access to the “latest and greatest” Bitcoin protocol upgrades that include Taproot and Musig2.

Taproot and Experimental Musig2

According to the official blog post, Lightning Labs’ product growth lead Michael Levin announced that more than 50 contributors participated in launching the firm’s first release in 2022.

“Since 0.14, we’ve made immense progress to better meet the needs of our developer community. We’re excited to deliver this technology to our builder community around the world to see what amazing use cases they can bring to users.”

Its latest release will give complete Taproot support for the internal lnd wallet, which will be able to generate P2TR addresses for receiving and sending via bech32m. Support for an experimental Musig2 API compliant with the latest BIP draft has also been added in v0.15-beta.

Taproot was activated in November 2021 after receiving 90% consensus. Prior to the upgrade, Bitcoin used the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) to generate keys and verify transactions. The Taproot soft fork aimed to make Bitcoin more private, secure, and scalable.

It brought Schnorr Signatures to reduce network burdens and made it possible to conduct multi-signature multi-input transactions (UTXI) a lot easier, faster, and cheaper.

Other Key Improvements

Meanwhile, the new release comes with a 95% reduction in the database size by removing redundant data from the revocation log bucket. In contrast to its previous versions, the v0.15-beta is also expected to improve node performance.

Furthermore, Lightning Labs has also incorporated greater control for its users over pathfinding preferences. This addition will essentially give users choice with regard to different payments, meaning – they can select different options based on their needs over time and cost tradeoffs. The company has come up with advanced developer tooling for liquidity service providers.

Decline In Ethereum Futures On CME Suggests Institutional Investors Are Still Bearish

Institutional investors have been bearish toward Ethereum for a while now. There have been outflows rocking the digital asset until it ended its 11-week streak with inflows for last week. However, this does not mean that positive sentiment had returned entirely to the cryptocurrency once more. The numbers on the CME show that institutional investors remain wary and even bearish toward the second-largest cryptocurrency in the market. 

Ethereum Falls Into The Negative

The Ether futures on the CME have been trading on a negative basis lately, which basically means they are trading below spot. This has caused the Ether Futures on the come to decline to the lowest they have ever been since inception. 

The Ether-denominated open interest on the CME had previously claimed a new all-time high back in April. But since then, has continued to decline, with more drops recorded over the last weekend. This has spelled a bad streak for the month of June.

Related Reading | Outflows Rock Bitcoin As Institutional Investors Pull The Plug, More Downside Coming?

As the month draws to a close, the three-month Ether basis has now decoupled from bitcoin and has been trading below spot, which had been recorded on June 23rd. Hence marking the first time that the Ether basis would ever decline so low.

ETH futures on CME in decline | Source: Arcane Research

Asset managers have now moved to a predominantly bearish stand following this. It has been recorded that they have been net short on Ethereum since mid-June when it stood at $37 million. This number has since dropped but only slightly to be resting at the $32 million that was recorded last week. The Ether futures basis is now sitting at a -2.33% while bitcoin remains at 0.63%.

ETH Struggles To Hold $1,000

The bearish sentiment towards Ethereum has not been relegated to just institutional investors alone. The spot markets are also feeling the heat as sell-offs have resumed. In light of this, the digital asset has had a hard time holding the $1,000 level.

ETH struggles to hold above $1,000 | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

This level is significant for Ethereum due to the fact that there is support mounting here. However, it is a very critical technical level given that if the price were to decline below this point, resistance would quickly build up around it. Any support below $1,000 is incredibly weak, so a dip from here would likely see the price touch $800 before there is any recovery.

Related Reading | Ethereum Plugs 11-Week Bleed, why $1,500 May Be On The Horizon

Ethereum is now trading firmly below its 20-day moving average which has wiped out all hopes for a bullish recovery in the short term. Additionally, as the 3AC liquidation comes into focus, the implications for digital assets such as ETH remain very negative.

Featured image from Admiral Markets, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com

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Retail Investors Buying the Bitcoin Dip: Analysis

The past months have been long and bumpy for Bitcoin, which took yet another plunge below the psychological level of $20k. But that isn’t stopping the retail investors from buying the dip.

Investors, both big and small, have lost significant money on their Bitcoin bets. But latest data from IntoTheBlock suggest that retail is stacking again.
The crypto-analytic platform revealed that the balance held by traders has increased to the highest levels since January of this year.
This cohort of entities ramped up their holdings by 28.81% in 30 days, climbing to 2.13 million BTC on June 24th.
Checkmate, a lead on-chain analyst at data firm Glassnode, also revealed a similar trend.
It was observed that not only the smallest retail investors with 10 BTC or less in their wallets but the whales were also stacking. The latter group is moving coins from exchanges to private wallets suggesting an imminent price bottoming.
JP Morgan strategists had recently speculated that the deleveraging in the crypto market might soon end, and a bottom may be near.
Bitcoin miners, on the other hand, have resorted to selling their tokens amidst high energy costs as the market tanked over the past few months.
Among the high-profile hoarders is the cloud software company MicroStrategy which announced another Bitcoin purchase worth $10 million despite the falling market.

Why Rich Dad, Poor Dad Author Will Wait For Bitcoin To Drop To $1,100 Before Buying More

Best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki offered his followers a “Rich dad lesson” on Bitcoin. Via his official Twitter account, the writer made a distinction between “winners” and “losers” in the crypto market.

Related Reading | Reports: FTX Targeting BlockFi Purchase At $25M

At the time of writing, Bitcoin has lost major support as it broke below $20,000 and it’s currently trading at $18,900 with a 6% loss in the last 24 hours. The cryptocurrency has lost over 75% of its value since reaching an all-time high at $69,000.

BTC’s price trends to the downside on the 4-hour chart. Source: BTCUSD Tradingview

At those levels, the Rich Dad Poor Dad author was a buyer and seemed more enthusiastic about BTC’s price future appreciation. Now, he has made a 180 degrees shift in his speech publicly bashing those investors which he classified as “losers”.

Kiyosaki’s full message is rather grim, and might be aiming for an impossible level, for Bitcoin to crash all the way down to $1,100:

RICH Dad lesson. “LOSERS quit when they lose.”  Bitcoin losers are quitting some committing suicide.’WINNERs learn from their losses. I am waiting for Bitcoin to “test” $1100. If it recovers I will buy more. If it does not I will wait for losers to “capitulate” quit then buy more.

In the past, Kiyosaki highlighted $20,000 as the “buy the dip” level. The author called the cryptocurrency a hedge against inflation and called the BTC’s price crashing “good news” and predicted a “time to get richer” by increasing his holdings.

The author was bullish on BTC and precious metals, but it’s unclear what has caused him to shift his views. On a different occasion, Kiyosaki foresaw the start of a depression, preceded by a “giant crash” across global markets.

The main trigger for this scenario is the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) and its attempts to slow down inflation, which is currently at a 40-year high. At that time, Kiyosaki said:

BIDEEN & FED need inflation to prevent New Depression. Inflation rips off the poor. Inflation makes rich richer. Biden and Fed corrupt. Prepare: Giant crash then new depression. Be smart Buy, gold, silver Bitcoin.

Should You Listen To Robert Kiyosaki?

Kiyosaki was almost right when he predicted Bitcoin would reach an all-time high near $75,000. However, as crypto users pointed out, he has been mostly wrong about his BTC’s price prediction.

As seen below, Kiyosaki has been talking about this doomsday scenario for over a decade. In 2017, he tweeted about a potential crash in the real estate market, this prediction proceeded a major bull run in the sector.

Kiyosaki’s market predictions across the past decade compared to the S&P 500. Source: Fintwit via Twitter

Related Reading | TA: Bitcoin is Plunging, But It’s Too Early to Say Bulls Have Given Up

Therefore, it seems wise to take his words with a grain of salt. The crypto market seems soft and susceptible to macro-conditions, but for BTC to return to the $1,000 levels seems unlikely.

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VeChain At Risk Of Further Losses? VET Price Drops 30% In Downtrend

The crypto market continues on its downtrend, and VeChain (VET) follows after expiring some relief over the last weekend. The cryptocurrency recently breached a major level of support and seems poised to expand its downside price action.

Related Reading | Fed Announces Inflation Warnings As Bitcoin Whales Remain In Wait Mode

At the time of writing, VET’s price trades at $0.022 with a 3% and 32% loss over the last 24 hours and the past month respectively.

VET’s price trends to the downside on the 4-hour chart. Source: VETUSDT Tradingview

According to crypto analyst Justin Bennett, VeChain lost a major area of support when it broke below $0.024. As seen below, this area was the last line of resistance for a “neckline” or a trendline that saw VET’s price after an increase in previous selling pressure.

Not everything is lost for the bulls, the analyst believes, as long as VeChain is capable of holding above $0.021. This area is a “much more significant support for the market”.

In case of further downside action, VET’s price could drop into this support line before seeing some relief. If the price manages to get back above the neckline, it could support a bullish continuation.

However, traders should wait for confirmation if VET’s price can return to $0.024 and then to $0.026. Beyond that point, $0.028 seems like a very important area of resistance.

Bennett believes it seems more possible that VeChain will continue on its downtrend:

Resistance for VET is around $0.0237, which is the neckline it broke below yesterday. All in all, the market looks relatively weak. So even if we do see some additional relief, I think a move to at least $0.016 makes the most sense right now.

Traders should watch out for a daily close below current levels or $0.022. This could hint at potential losses targeting the levels mentioned by the analyst.

VET’s price breaks below the neckline of support on the 4-hour chart. Source: Justin Bennett
What Could Save VeChain In The Long Run?

As NewsBTC reported, VeChain is currently in the process of deploying a major consensus update. This could facilitate the corporate adoption of the blockchain VeChainThor and inject fresh capital into the ecosystem. However, this will positively impact VET’s price over the long run.

In the short term, Bennett claims the current macro conditions don’t support bullish momentum in the crypto market. The analyst recently pointed out a “Head and Shoulders” pattern formed on the crypto market total capitalization 4-hour chart.

Related Reading | Ethereum Rising Gas Fees are Still Concerning But Presents Opportunity For Decentralized Exchanges

This pattern often precedes further losses by a certain asset. The total crypto market cap currently stands above $800 billion and could crash into the $700 billion if the pattern plays out. Any long positions, at current levels, seem at risk, as Bennett explained:

$TOTAL is a perfect example of how to use a failed head and shoulders to your advantage. That failure offered a short opportunity. I never thought to long this because of the established downtrend. I was always expecting it to fail.

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MoonXBT adds new USD spot markets in DAI, ADA, AVAX,  LTC, FTT, LINK, and FTM

MoonXBT, a crypto derivatives & social trading platform, has now announced it has successfully launched new spot trading pairs in the following markets:

DAI/USDT, ADA/USDT, AVAX/USDT, LTC/USDT, FTT/USDT, LINK/USDT, and FTM/USDT.

The crypto margin trading platform offers up to 150x leverage and recently integrated fiat-gateway XanPool, to allow for easy deposits.

The post MoonXBT adds new USD spot markets in DAI, ADA, AVAX,  LTC, FTT, LINK, and FTM appeared first on CryptoNinjas.

Bitcoin Short ETF is Now Second Largest Bitcoin ETF in US

As Bitcoin’s price tanks below 2017’s highs, the latest Bitcoin ETF to hit the US market has been thriving. ProShares short Bitcoin ETF (BITI) is already the second-largest Bitcoin ETF in the country.

Bullish on the Bear Market

Since BITI launched on June 21st, its accumulated net short exposure equivalent to 939 BTC within a week. Though the ETF didn’t have an explosive start, it saw substantial inflows beginning on June 23rd.

By comparison, Valkyrie’s BTF ETF currently holds an 840 BTC equivalent, and VanEck an 830 BTC equivalent. The former has been live since last month, while the latter has been live since October.

BITI is designed to deliver inverse performance from the S&P CME Bitcoin Futures Index. It allows investors to short BTC and profit off of its downside volatility. However, as Arcane explained, long-term short exposure to BITI is inefficient.

“The fund seeks a return that is -1x the benchmark (BTC) for a single day, and compound effects will lead to underperformance vs the index during upside volatility,” it states.

Nevertheless, the ETF has proven relatively popular in the short term, leaving ProShares in charge of the two largest Bitcoin ETFs in the country. BITI is only outstripped by BITO, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF that holds exposure equivalent to 32,715 BTC as of Monday.

Part of its popularity may stem from the bearish market that it emerged in. As CEO Michael L. Sapir explained at launch, the latest downturns are proof of the benefit that short ETFs can provide investors.

Spot ETF Denied

BITI’s successful launch did not sit well with a substantial portion of the industry, which has grown impatient with the SEC’s refusal to approve a Bitcoin Spot ETF in the country. Blockware’s lead insights analyst claimed on Monday that the commission’s actions suggest that it has an “agenda against Bitcoin.”

Grayscale – the world’s largest Bitcoin fund – feels the same way. It has now filed a lawsuit against the SEC for failing to fairly treat similar investment vehicles in a similar way.

However, the commission emphasized in its filing that its decision did not relate to any prejudice against Bitcoin as an investment asset. Rather, it claimed that Grayscale failed to demonstrate that “its proposal is consistent with the requirements of [the] Exchange Act.”

Bitcoin Could Climb to $28K by 2022’s End, Deutsche Bank Analysts Suggest

Analysts at Deutsche Bank – Marion Laboure and Galina Pozdnyakova – argued that the cryptocurrency market is “highly fragmented,” and its decline could continue in the near future. However, they believe bitcoin might tap $28,000 by the year’s end, assuming it keeps its close correlation to US stocks.

BTC at $28K by Christmas

The past several weeks have not been pleasant for the digital asset market as the majority of assets lost a significant chunk of their value. Bitcoin, for one, dropped from over $30,000 to below $20,000 in less than half a month.

The latest people to address the industry’s drawback were Deutsche Bank’s analysts – Marion Laboure and Galina Pozdnyakova. The duo opined that stabilizing prices of a certain digital asset takes time because “there are no common valuation models like those within the public equity system.” They further described the crypto market as a “highly fragmented” niche that could crash even more in the months to come:

“The crypto freefall could continue because of the system’s complexity.”

Nonetheless, Deutsche Bank’s experts outlined that bitcoin’s price charts have been moving quite closely with US stocks. Laboure and Pozdnyakova expect the S&P 500 to reach its January levels by the end of 2022, and they suggested that the primary cryptocurrency could follow suit. If that comes true, BTC could surge to and even beyond $28,000.

Last week, the American billionaire Mark Mobius classified the digital asset as a “measure of investor sentiment,” claiming that bitcoin’s price is a leading indicator that could reveal the upcoming movements of the Dow Jones index:

“Bitcoin goes down, the next day the Dow Jones goes down. That’s the pattern you get. That shows that bitcoin is a leading indicator.”

The Deutsche Bank analysts also gave their two cents on the popular comparison between bitcoin and gold. Unlike many others, they maintained that the crypto asset is not similar to the precious metal but to diamonds:

“By marketing an idea rather than a product, they built a solid foundation for the $72 billion-a-year diamond industry, which they have dominated for the last eighty years. What’s true for diamonds is true for many goods and services, including Bitcoin.”

Any Other Suggestions?

Unlike the aforementioned forecast, Gareth Soloway – President of InTheMoneyStocks – stated that bitcoin could further crash to $10,000 in the following months. His prediction should be taken seriously since he was among the few individuals who outlined a bearish scenario for the asset when it was trading at $50-60,000 last year.

On the other hand, the British cryptographer Adam Back reiterated his position that bitcoin could hit the $100,000 milestone before the end of 2022. Contrary to the analysts from Deutsche Bank, he expects the asset to decorrelate from stocks and traditional finance markets.

Stratis (STRAX) Soars 200% From June Low On Sky Dream Mall Launch

After the news of the launch of the Sky Dream Mall metaverse and Stratis GBP stablecoin, the price of STRAX increased by 200% from its low of $0.365 on June 15 to its high of $1.20 on June 29, according to data from coinmarketcap. The price dropped the next day and is currently trading at $1.09, although it is still up from its low.

The record high for STRAX was $22.77 on January 8, 2018, more than four years ago. However, the coin’s record low was $0.011 on August 12, 2016, approximately six years ago.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Slides Under $20K – Another Collapse In The Offing?

In spite of the overall market downturn, per the CoinGecko information, Stratis, a blockchain-as-a-service platform, witnessed a notable gain in volume. And among STRAX, Numeraire (NMR) is another coin that shows a notable gain of 201.1% in the seven-day chart. NMR is an Ethereum token that fuels Numerai (a San Francisco-based hedge fund). 

Since Stratis has a comparatively strong growth momentum and increased by more than 140.9% over seven days, it is defying expectations in the current bear market. The term “bear market” so refers to a market where commodities or securities’ values are consistently decreasing.

Reasons Behind STRAX Price Spike This Week

Currently, two of the factors are driving the increase in STRAX’s price this week. The first is the Stratis GBP stablecoin announcement, and the second is the Sky Dream Mall metaverse launch.

STRAX is currently trading at $1.05 on the daily chart | Source: STRAX /USD chart from Tradingview.com

In a blog post published three days ago, Stratis said that it is making progress in its attempts to introduce the Stratis GBP stablecoin:

Plans to launch a Great British Pound Token (GBPT) stable coin using Stratis technology are progressing with ‘Stratis Investment Group Limited,’ a new entity created that will be used for the Stratis GBP stablecoin.

However, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), according to the company, is assisting it in obtaining the necessary licenses from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The post also stated that blockchain technology offers a significant chance to streamline cross-border and wholesale payments as organizations like Visa are becoming more open to accepting stable coin payments.

Polycarbon Games announced on Twitter on June 25:

Sky Dream Mall, a metaverse powered by Stratis Blockchain Coming soon! 

The idea of Stratis launching the metaverse front could also be a major motivator behind widespread acceptance in the cryptocurrency industry.

Related Reading | Mining Operators Fret As Bitcoin Looses Ground, What Lies Ahead For The Mining Community

While a few individuals concentrate on the benefit this metaverse will offer, a far more significant number is intrigued by the possibility of financial gain from a metaverse investment.

Investors cannot ignore the fact that Stratis is establishing itself with Sky Dream Mall as a major player who will be important in the developing Web3.0 world.

 

Featured image from Pixabay, chart from Tradingview.com
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Reports: FTX Targeting BlockFi Purchase At $25M

BlockFi, Celsius, Nexo, and more: tough times can lead to difficult measures, and this year’s bear market is showing no exception to some of these players. Look no further than the current state of affairs for centralized finance (CeFi) platforms, who have been facing substantial headwinds with no end in sight.

Now, after days of rumors and reported exploratory deals, reports have emerged that powerhouse crypto exchange FTX is putting together the final ties around an acquisition deal of BlockFi at just a $25M valuation. The news comes after reports emerged that FTX passed on an acquisition deal for Celsius after seeing the CeFi firm’s balance sheet.

BlockFi On The Block

Should the purchase come to fruition at the reported valuation, it’ll be a major hit for BlockFi equity holders, following a nearly $5B valuation last year in the midst of bull market movement. However, that $25M number could move drastically between today’s reports and closing time – and a successful acquisition will of course take months to close. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince described the number as “market rumors” and outright denied the number, stating in a tweet that “we aren’t being sold for $25M.”

FTX is on the shortlist of exchanges that have sought out opportunity in the midst of crypto market downturn, exploring buyouts or equity share purchases for both Celsius and BlockFi in recent weeks, according to a variety of reports. However, based on the hard facts available to the public, the viability and likelihood of a buyout for BlockFi is still difficult to measure.

Celsius (CEL) has faced an uphill battle as the platform has still paused withdrawals for customers. | Source: CEL-USD on TradingView.com

Related Reading | Ethereum Loses Steam As Exchange Supply Spikes

State Of CeFi: Pulse Check

How did we get here? Bear market downturn over the past month or two has caused major pain for CeFi platforms, in a flurry of madness that started with Celsius freezing withdrawals earlier this month amid worries of a bank run and lack of immediate liquidity within the platform’s holdings. BlockFi has undoubtedly faced the heat, too, as FTX provided the firm with a $250M emergency line of credit just last week. While reports across the market suggest that BlockFi has several options on the table, it seems that few will lead down a path that spares equity shareholders of value at present time. Nexo has largely stayed quiet during the chaos, but there’s various internet sleuths who have targeted Nexo with content campaigns around the company’s practices as well.

Regardless of how you feel about CeFi, the decline of infrastructure in this bear market shouldn’t be celebrated – we’ll see how it all shakes out when the tides recover.

Related Reading | USDC Exchange Reserves Rise As Investors Escape From Bitcoin

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com
The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.
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