US Bitcoin Miner Aims to Repatriate 30% of Hash Rate Citing National Security

Bitcoin mining startup Layer1 Technologies has begun operations at its West Texas facility, with an ambitious roadmap to secure 30% of the hash rate.

Layer1, which raised $50 million in November from Thiel, Shasta Ventures and Digital Currency Group, said it has now brought multiple 2.5-megawatt liquid-cooled mining containers online.

Its short term goal is to scale up to 100 megawatts and 2% of the hash rate over the coming months.

But it’s the long term goal that’s raising eyebrows: the company roadmap lays out a vision of repatriating 30% of the hash rate to the United States by the end of 2021, citing national security considerations. On current figures, that would make Layer1 the largest mining outfit in the world.

More than 60% of Bitcoin mining operations are currently located in China but less than 5% of the hash rate and none of the hardware for Bitcoin mining come from the U.S.

In a statement, Layer1 claimed that bringing almost a third of the hash rate back to America will enable the U.S. “to offset China’s dominance in Bitcoin mining and improve the country’s national security efforts for an asset class with the potential to be a reserve currency”.

Layer1 is building sustainable Bitcoin mining

Layer1 is designing and producing its entire mining infrastructure, using proprietary ASIC chips and liquid-cooled mining containers that the company claims enables it to “unlock warmer climates” where low-cost, sustainable energy is available. However much of its custom mining equipment won’t be ready until mid-2020 and it is using third-party machines in the interim.

Co-founder and CEO Alexander Liegl said the company was already profitable in the short term and would thrive when others faltered as a result of the Bitcoin block reward halving in May.

“From hardware to energy, we’ve redesigned Bitcoin mining from first principles to control every profit and cost lever across our technology stack. Far too many mining operations still work from a playbook stuck in 2017; the halving will be a death knell for many of them.”

Cointelegraph News

Ethereum Price Aims for $300 But M-Top Could Reverse the Trend

The recent Bitcoin (BTC) price correction inflicted double-digit losses on many altcoins and while Ether (ETH) also took a knock, it recovered quickly compared to the price action of other top-ten altcoins. Since dropping 17.67% to $237.62 on Feb. 16,  Ether has rallied 20.78% to $285.99, less than $5 away from its 2020 high at $289.26. 

Currently, two of the three price targets discussed in previous analysis have been hit and now that the altcoin prepares to overtake it’s 2020 high, traders have likely set their sights on targets above $300. 

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

To date, Ether is up more than 120% since the start of 2020 and the current market sentiment suggests the digital asset could continue to rise. Similar to Bitcoin, the recent convergence of the 50-day and 200-day moving average formed a golden cross and with the exception of last weekend’s sharp correction, trading volume has been noticeably increasing in the past 9 weeks. 

ETH USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

As traders push the price towards $300, $305 could provide slight resistance but above this, a move to $312, $323, and $337 are the next targets for investors. Above $337, the 2019 high at $367 comes into sight and after this $408, a lofty price not seen since August 7, 2018. 

In the event that Ether loses its current momentum or experiences a sharp rejection at $305, there is support at $272. Below this, there is also support at $225 near the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement level. The daily and 6-hour timeframe shows $285 working as resistance and the price has been unable to sustain above this level on the previous 9 attempts since Feb. 14. 

Some traders will also notice what could possibly be the formation of an M-top. If this were the case, then Ether would need to descend to $237.15 to break the neckline and confirm the pattern. 

ETH USD 6-hour chart. Source: TradingView

If the M-top narrative were to play out, traders would look for a bounce at the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement level ($225) which would retest the neckline at $237.15. 

If bulls failed to buy into the dip with strong volume, one would expect this level of support to collapse, leading Ether price lower to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement at $187.82. Currently, this scenario seems unlikely but it’s good to consider all outcomes when trading cryptocurrencies. 

For the time being, the support at $272 and purchasing volume on the shorter time frames should be observed. Traders should and also watch to see if the asset continues to make lower highs and lower lows on the 4-hour chart.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Cointelegraph News

Bitcoin Gold Is Held Captive by Whale With Almost Half the Supply

Bitcoin Gold (BTG)’s price is being manipulated by a whale controlling close to half of the circulating supply. These are the findings of an analysis conducted by an independent trader and analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous.

He published his findings in a blog post, where he explained why he believes a single group of people accumulated their way into a huge Bitcoin Gold position, and are now using that supply to control the market.

Accumulation through Bitfinex

The events started in August 2018, when Bitfinex margin long positions began its sharp ascent to include almost two million BTG. The exchange makes its margin data publicly available, which can help gauge the general trader sentiment in a particular coin — for example by comparing the ratio of short and long positions.

BTG/USD Longs on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD Longs on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

In Bitcoin Gold’s case, the strong increase in margin positions was accompanied by lackluster price action. While the coin generally followed the broader crypto market, the price eventually spiraled downward.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex. Source: TradingView.

The analyst estimated that the 1.9 million BTG held at some point in Bitfinex represents between 38% and 48% of its total circulating supply.

Bitcoin Gold was born in 2017 after a network fork from Bitcoin (BTC), thus maintaining its original history up until that point. This means that Bitcoin Gold contains at least as many inactive coins as its parent, including Satoshi’s cache.

He further elaborated how he reached that figure:

“Over 11 million Bitcoins (BTC) haven’t moved in the last year. Considering big wallets’ unwillingness to claim their coins due to fear of private key leak for a minimal return, it can be argued that a number even larger than 11 million BTGs are inactive or lost forever.”

He then estimated a figure of 4 to 5 million active BTG. When asked by Cointelegraph why he is so certain that this is the work of one whale, he explained:

“The accumulation was very consistent and systematic over the course of almost a year, it would be almost impossible for it to be a coincidence that multiple entities were using the exact same system to accumulate.”

The analyst also conducted a manual analysis of the average entry price for the whale. By comparing the number of coins bought each day with their price, he arrived at a figure of $22.86 as the break-even price.

Raking in profits

Following the extensive accumulation, the whale began using its position to influence markets. In early January, Bitcoin Gold’s price rose in consecutive moves by up to 200%, from $5 to $15. Margin positions dropped precipitously just as the upward move was complete.

BTG/USD Longs with price superimposed. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD Longs with price superimposed. Source: TradingView.

No major announcements were posted at the time on Bitcoin Gold’s Twitter account, which highlights the potential for fabricated price action. The analyst further noticed that Bitfinex’s wallets were subsequently drained of a significant chunk of BTG.

He conducted a test on Binance, which showed that it was not the destination wallet. A volume comparison points to Korean exchange Bithumb as the likely receiver of these funds. The analyst argues that this is part of the whale’s “distribution” strategy, which would have external retail traders join in a fabricated pump to let the whale offload the coins.

Comparison of exchange activity. Source: and TradingView.

Comparison of exchange activity. Source: and TradingView.

The price was, however, held back from rising due to a powerful “sell wall” on Bitfinex, around $15. The increased activity on Bithumb led the analyst to conclude that the whale could be Korean, as the exchange requires a national Social Security Number to create an account.

Chances of a coincidence

The sudden decrease in Bitfinex margin could also be explained by the whale divesting from BTG. The analyst argues that the trading group simply “claimed” its position:

“I think the whale was planning on selling on Bitfinex originally, and then realized there wasn’t enough liquidity to exit there, so now they’re forced to send their coins to another exchange (by first ‘claiming’ their margin position, and then withdrawing).”

“Claiming” is the act of settling a margin position by compensating the amount loaned in full.

These market manipulation tactics have since been observed on Binance. As the analyst explained:

“Bitfinex acts as a suppression mechanism; every time the price tries to increase on Binance, Bitfinex holds it back. People (and bots) see the difference, and try to pounce on the arbitrage opportunity. However, by the time people transfer their BTGs from Bitfinex to Binance, the gap has already closed and the prices equalize.”

This can be clearly seen in Feb. 10 trading. As shown in the picture below, candles on Bitfinex have a “clean cut” around $13.8, while the price on Binance clearly moved past the barrier.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex and Binance (orange line), H1 candles on Feb. 10. Source: TradingView.

BTG/USD on Bitfinex and Binance (orange line), H1 candles on Feb. 10. Source: TradingView.

The Endgame

Given the scale and amount of time invested into BTG accumulation, the analyst argued that the traders will seek a substantial profit:

“It is expected that the price of BTG will multiply in value from the current value of ~$12 (as of this post) and increase a substantial amount from the $22.86 projected breakeven price.”

He conjectured that a potential target could be $100, which could result in a maximum profit of $150 million. The current attempts at price suppression are necessary to not let interest burn out too quickly, as the analyst explained:

“If the price rises too fast, it’s destined to downtrend for an extended period as people gradually take profits and there is no-one to buy up the increasing supply hitting the market.”

There are currently no signs that point to the Bitcoin Gold team having anything to do with this market manipulation. The developers did not respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Cointelegraph News

Institutions Eye Bitcoin as Hedge Against Global Economic Volatility

The world has arguably been teetering on the brink of a recession for months now. But recent events could be pushing the global economy even closer to the precipice. The coronavirus outbreak has choked China’s output, leading to predictions that it will trigger a global slowdown. Europe is facing its own challenges amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty, economic contraction in Germany, and the continuing strikes in France.

So, it’s unsurprising that investor attention is turning to the asset classes that do not correlate with the stock markets. The price of gold saw an uptick in the first week of February, as did the price of Bitcoin (BTC), which rose above $10,000 for the first time this year.

Although Bitcoin’s price hike could be due to a whole variety of factors, one possible cause is the increasing use of digital currencies as a hedging instrument. Anthony Pompliano certainly thinks so, having told Cointelegraph recently that he believes there is increasing evidence to support this view.

Pompliano is right in that diversifying an investment portfolio is one of the most basic hedging techniques. It means an investor reduces their risk exposure should any one asset decrease in value. In this case, holding Bitcoin as an asset uncorrelated to the stock market could offset against losses in a share portfolio.

More sophisticated hedging tactics involve taking multiple positions against the same asset using instruments such as options. Let’s say an investor buys 1 BTC for $10,000. The same investor could then purchase options with a strike price of $9,000 for a premium of $200 each. In doing so, they’re hedging against losses above 10% for a fee of only 2%.

Really, Bitcoin as a tool against volatility?

At first glance, the argument that traditional investors would turn to Bitcoin to hedge against volatility in the stock markets appears to be an odd one. It’s fair to say that Bitcoin’s volatility has dampened over recent years compared to what was observed before. But compare and contrast Bitcoin’s single-day drops with those on the stock market. During the last recession, the stock market underwent several single-day drops of around 5% to 7% between 2008 and 2011, but even in 2019, Bitcoin saw price drops nearly twice as steep in a matter of hours.

Furthermore, the price of cryptocurrencies is vulnerable to market forces that are less predictable than the traditional markets. For example, the most recent price pump from the start of February could be pinned down to nothing more than whales placing spoof orders, the kind of event that no amount of technical analysis could predict.

On the other hand, an increasingly diverse range of crypto derivatives provides ample opportunities to hedge on the price of BTC and other digital assets. When the Chicago Mercantile Exchange launched its first regulated options product in January, which became an immediate hit, illustrating that there is a clear appetite among institutions for new types of hedging instruments.

The crypto-derivatives trend isn’t just limited to institutions either. The retail markets for cryptocurrency derivatives have been booming. Last year, crypto exchange Binance opened up its derivatives markets, and others such as OKEx expanded their offerings. Furthermore, BitMEX posted a record trading day in June as the price of BTC hit its 2019 high, further reinforcing the argument that traders are eager for more ways to hedge.

Overall, despite the volatility inherent in cryptocurrencies, the arguments for it being used as a hedging instrument appear to stack up. The Financial Times even cites crypto as one factor threatening the gold markets.

However, not everyone agrees that using crypto as a hedging tool is a good idea, given its unpredictable behavior. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Alon Rajic, managing director of Money Transfer Comparison, said he does not believe crypto should be used to hedge risks:

“There hasn’t been enough time to test Bitcoin in different scenarios. Before 2017, most people haven’t even heard about it. So far, we’ve seen it rise and fall in times of succession and growth for the global economy, but have yet to see how it behaves in recession.”

Hedging opportunities in DeFi and beyond

The fast-growing DeFi and broader retail crypto finance sector now offers many hedging opportunities. At the most basic level, Ethereum users can hedge against price drops by locking their ETH into one of Maker’s collateralized debt positions to generate DAI. However, lending out the DAI on one of the many platforms that are now available also generates interest of up to 10%, further protecting against losses and offering the opportunity for passive income.

Related: DeFi Begins to Move From a Niche Market to Mainstream Finance

There’s a kind of poetic irony involved in the mechanisms behind using DeFi to hedge in this way. The interest levels on apps like Compound or Aave are far higher than one could typically earn on a traditional bank account. However, the reason for that — and the fact that users can leverage these tools to hedge against high volatility — is precisely because the underlying cryptocurrencies are themselves volatile. Andre Cronje, the chief architect at DeFi yield aggregator service, provided Cointelegraph with some pragmatic advice for those looking for DeFi hedging:

“Focus on stable coin positions that aren’t directly correlated to the volatility of the market, but simply compound upside thanks to the volatility of crypto assets. As long as ETH and BTC are volatile, people keep borrowing stable coins. Pooled liquidity is the best option [for hedging], 50/50 ETH/stablecoin.”

Of course, DeFi comes with other risks. The protocols are entirely software-driven, and although there hasn’t yet been any major incident to date aside from the bZx hacks that are yet to be fully explained, critics have pointed out potential vulnerabilities where single entities hold admin keys to decentralized finance applications. This perhaps explains why centralized counterparts to DeFi DApps are also currently doing so well.

Cred is one example of a platform that’s currently undergoing rapid growth, spurred on by the current bull market and a partnership with the Litecoin Foundation. Dan Schatt, founder and CEO, shared with Cointelegraph:

“It’s clear to us that customers have a tremendous appetite in passive earning on their crypto. We expect over the next two years, most custodial exchanges and wallets will offer passive earning opportunities, similar to the way banks operate today.”

S. Daniel Leon, founder and chief operating officer of Celsius Network, believes in a similar notion, and shared some numbers with Cointelegraph:

“Since the last bull run started, we have seen a dramatic increase in stablecoin loans followed by more deposits of different cryptos — a strong indication that our borrowers are using our product as a means of diversification and hedging. This trend has increased since the start of 2020, with a rise of 41.9% in new depositors. Once users join there is very high retention, and on average depositors add to their existing balance 1.5x a month.”

Hedging exposure with DeFi margin and derivatives

Although lending is by far the most popular form of hedging in the retail markets and DeFi segment, there are plenty of other innovative ways to hedge. Decentralized exchange dYdX enables hedging through short-selling and options trading of Ethereum-based tokens. While the derivatives platform Synthetix allows users to stake native SNX tokens to trade a variety of synthetic assets, called Synths, that track the value of their real-world equivalents. There are also inverse Synths, so users can hedge their exposure to any given asset.

Insurance is perhaps the oldest form of hedging and is also now becoming more available in the DeFi sector. Nexus Mutual is a decentralized fund where users pool their ETH to provide risk insurance. For example, one type of cover protects against financial loss caused by a malicious actor misusing a smart contract. Although the current pool wouldn’t quite cover the full losses incurred by the 2016 DAO hack, for example, the underlying principle seems solid.

The increasing prevalence of hedging is yet another indicator that the cryptocurrency markets are maturing. Within DeFi and retail crypto finance, the introduction of hedging tools is a signal of recognition that the segment needs some of the same tools used by the traditional financial market if it’s to sustain itself in the longer term. However, the adoption of crypto as a means of hedging against the risk of a recession is perhaps one of the clearest signs yet that Bitcoin is now gaining a firm foothold in the financial sector.

Cointelegraph News

Irish Court Seizes $56 Million in Bitcoin From Alleged Drug Dealer

An alleged drug dealer lost 52 million euro (over $56 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) after the Irish High Court ruled that they were criminal proceeds and should be confiscated.

Local news outlet reported on Feb. 19 that the court accepted that Clifton Collins was involved in drug trafficking. Collins did not contest the Criminal Assets Bureau’s (CAB) application for the seizure of his assets.

Authorities began investigating Collins when police found a quantity of cannabis in his vehicle during a traffic stop. This led police to search an address in a village in Galway and discover a large number of cannabis plants, allegedly linked to Collins.

Collins was an early investor

Collins is believed to have invested in Bitcoin at an early stage and received great returns on his investment. The CAB imposed a freeze on his cryptocurrency in an attempt to ensure that it could not be moved without the court’s approval.

The court decided to consider the investment as criminal proceeds, presumably implying that the initial investment was money obtained through drug sales.

The seizure of Collins’ Bitcoin was largely responsible for 2019’s record value of assets seized by the CAB, amounting to €62 million (nearly $67 million) in total. 

Cryptocurrencies and drug dealers

The correlation between cryptocurrencies and crime is largely caused by their permissionless nature and the ability to hold a crypto address that is not linked to one’s identity.

As such, authorities are increasingly finding cryptocurrencies in their investigations of drug dealers and online markets for illicit substances. In October 2018, Christopher Bania was ordered by a Wisconsin court to give up almost 17 Bitcoin (worth $150,000 at the time) after pleading guilty to drug distribution.

At the end of August, Neil Wals, chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program, warned that cryptocurrencies have made combating money laundering significantly harder.

Cointelegraph News

Bitcoin $727B Annual Investment Flow Can Beat Visa Next Halving — Data

Bitcoin (BTC) is already processing 1% of the world’s GDP and the number is growing by “an order of magnitude” every halving cycle.

According to statistician Willy Woo, who analyzed data from monitoring resource Coin Metrics, Bitcoin’s investment flow is $727 billion annually.

BTC processes $727B per year

The number is almost 10% of payment processor Visa’s transaction volumes each year — Visa processes $8.8 trillion in transactions.

“Bitcoin’s investment flow (aka annual investment velocity) is presently growing an order of magnitude (10x) every 4 years,” Woo summarized. 

Per the statistics, Bitcoin should “catch up” with Visa at some point after its next halving cycle, which begins in May. As Cointelegraph reported, smaller fiat operators such as PayPal are already falling by the wayside — in 2018, PayPal processed a total of $578 billion.

Bitcoin 1-year adjusted transaction volume

Bitcoin 1-year adjusted transaction volume. Source: Coin Metrics

Woo acknowledged the data for Bitcoin was only an estimate and may include movements between cold wallets held by exchanges, which would not constitute true transactions. Circular payments between wallets, as well as multi-hop transactions with multiple steps, were excluded.

Small wallets hit record highs

The impressive statistics come as fresh highs in the number of low-balance Bitcoin wallets suggest that more and more private investors are experimenting with the cryptocurrency. 

According to Glassnode, there are now more wallets than ever with a balance greater than or equal to both 0.01 BTC ($101) and 0.1 BTC ($1,080).

Bitcoin wallet growth, 2009-present

Bitcoin wallet growth, 2009-present. Source: Glassnode

Nonetheless, both private and institutional investors have been found to reward convenience over security when it comes to crypto fund storage. A recent survey revealed that more than 9 in 10 institutional investors, for example, used trusted third parties such as exchanges to store their coins. 

An industry effort, dubbed “Proof of Keys,” aims to raise awareness of the importance of self-ownership of wallet private keys, but its success so far is difficult to estimate.

Cointelegraph News

How Cryptocurrency Trading Has Evolved in Recent Years

In the early days of blockchain, cryptocurrency trading was seen by many as merely exchanging a few dollars for Bitcoins (BTC). The birth of other tokens and the high volatility in cryptocurrencies have led many traders to speculate by buying a few coins through exchanges in hoping the value will increase for the sake of profit. 

The decision to switch to floating exchange rates was made in the second half of the last century, when it became clear to financial institutions that they could not provide the right amount of United States currency secured by a gold reserve. Thus, financial regulators abandoned the gold standard by adopting a system of floating exchange rates. This stage is perceived by many as the beginning of the emergence of the forex market.

Related: How to Trade Big Crypto Volumes, Explained

Comparison between forex trading and crypto trading market

Cryptocurrency trading is the exact opposite of forex and its options for owning an asset. On crypto exchanges, traders buy the desired token and place an order to sell it, exchanging for another coin or fiat. That is, cryptocurrency trading is a real exchange of one cryptocurrency for another.

At the same time, forex exchange rates reflect the state of the economy of countries. Being very stable assets — especially compared to cryptocurrencies — the value of fiat currencies mainly change within three to five decimal places. Cryptocurrencies change much more noticeably, and can gain as much as 100% against the U.S. dollars within 24 hours.

Cryptocurrency trading, due to its high margin, can generate good income even without leverage, which very often leads to a loss of deposit. Investing in coins at their early stages has proven to be a highly effective trading tool for increasing capital.

Why is the impact of the forex market still felt by cryptocurrency traders? 

Due to the high volatility in the crypto market, many traders begin to seek or return to the traditional trading market. The price stability of many trading pairs puts the market in a state of hibernation, which is why many traders lose money.

Related: Why Is the Cryptocurrency Market So Volatile: Expert Take

In search of a solution, some part of the community pays attention to other types of trading: futures, options, stocks, or the most popular — forex. Forex turnover reaches nearly $6.6 trillion per day. At the same time, futures trading volumes are $440 billion and the U.S. stock market shows a value of $257 billion, while the cryptocurrency market volatility is only $4.8 billion a day.

Despite the advantages of trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, the long history of the forex market stands as one of its strong points. For a long time, traders have received several popular platforms, such as MetaTrader 4 and 5, thousands of indicators, and tools for forecasts and technical analysis. Recently, brokers have begun to add an imitation of a cryptocurrency trader to their platforms. But the essence of the market remains the same.

How crypto trading companies can reduce the impact of the forex market

The impact of the forex market can be removed if cryptocurrency companies can improve on their security levels. One of the main reasons why traders have a hard time trusting cryptocurrency exchanges is because user funds can often go missing. A recent example is Binance being hacked in 2019, wherein an estimated $40 million was withdrawn from the exchange’s hot wallets.

Related: Most Significant Hacks of 2019 — New Record of Twelve in One Year

One of the solutions for reducing the impact of the forex market in crypto is a project based on the Stellar blockchain. Bridge token enables its users to convert from forex to crypto with outstanding trading conditions and transparency.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Oluwatobi Joel is a U.S.-based freelance copywriter, community manager, blockchain expert and serial entrepreneur. He has worked with various blockchain startups as a marketing strategist.

Cointelegraph News

Is Bloomberg Looking to Take Yang’s Spot as the Crypto-Friendly Candidate?

Former New York mayor and present-day Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg seems to be snuggling up to the crypto community.

In a proposal for financial reform released Feb. 18, the Democratic candidate not only wrote about cryptocurrency as an asset class, but also offered a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the U.S. That framework remains vague, running some 100 words in total, but it does represent a solid chunk of attention aimed at the blockchain world.

With Andrew Yang recently dropping out of the race, crypto enthusiasts lost their choice candidate. Yang was an outspoken proponent of new technologies during his campaign, openly hailing everything from artificial intelligence to blockchain databases as important developments that will help carry humanity forward.

With that technophile voice gone from the race, it seems the billionaire Bloomberg is trying to win some of his own crypto attention. Here’s the proposed crypto regulation framework from his Financial Reform Policy:

“Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, yet regulatory oversight remains fragmented and undeveloped. For all the promise of the blockchain, Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, there’s also plenty of hype, fraud and criminal activity. Mike will work with regulators to provide clearer rules of the game by:

  • Clarifying responsibility for overseeing cryptocurrencies.
  • Providing a framework for initial coin offerings, by defining when tokens are and are not 
  • securities.
  • Protecting consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud.
  • Clarifying how investments in cryptocurrencies will be taxed.
  • Defining capital and other requirements for financial institutions holding cryptocurrencies.”

Cointelegraph News

Bitcoin Price Reclaims $10K Reversing Weekend Losses, XTZ Soars 13%

After a bearish weekend which saw Bitcoin (BTC) price drop 8.76% to $9,444, the price has again reclaimed the $10K mark. Prior to the breakout, the price was steadily moving upward, reclaiming the $9,800 support on increasing trading volume. 

Over the weekend many traders expressed fear that a drop below $9,450 would solidify a bearish trend reversal but previous analysis by Cointelegraph suggested that a sharp retrace that could pull the price to the $9,500 to $8,800 zone was needed after Bitcoin’s recent strong performance.

Crypto market daily price chart

Crypto market daily price chart. Source: Coin360

Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe also explained that above $9,450 Bitcoin remained bullish as many traders would be looking to close the CME gap at $10,460. 

Despite the weekend correction, a golden cross between the 50 and the 200-day moving average was unaffected and the relative strength index (RSI) on the daily timeframe remained near 50. 

BTC USD daily chart

BTC USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

Today’s price action brought the price back above the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $9,500 and also above the 20-MA of the Bollinger Band indicator. If the price can manage a close above $10,000 then it seems likely that traders will look to follow the CME narrative that Bitcoin price should close the recently created gap at $10,460. 

Before filling the gap, Bitcoin price will need to overcome the $10,168 to $10,330 zone, which the volume profile visible range (VPVR) suggests could be a challenge. 

Flipping this zone to support would open the door for the price to extend to the upper Bollinger Band arm at $10,500 and as discussed in a previous analysis, the VPVR shows that above $10,500, Bitcoin price could rapidly ascend to $11,000 to $11,500. 

Altcoins also showed significant strength as Bitcoin’s price rallied back above $10,000. Tezoz (XTZ) rallied 12.63%, Ether (ETH) 8%, XRP 4.34% and Chainlink (LINK) 5.38%. 

Bitcoin daily price chart

Bitcoin daily price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $290.9 billion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 62.2%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Cointelegraph News

Celsius Joins Major Cryptocurrency Firms Using Simplex’s Fiat Onramp

Cryptocurrency businesses worldwide are continuing to integrate fiat onramps into their operations in an effort to make it easier for customers to jump into crypto.

United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency lending startup Celsius Network has launched in-app crypto purchases via a new partnership with Simplex, according to a Feb. 18 announcement. 

Simplex, a popular fiat-to-crypto payments provider servicing major crypto exchanges like Binance, will now unlock direct crypto purchases for Celsius app users.

Celsius clients will now be able to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) via credit or debit cards. Similar to other Simplex-powered fiat onramps, the new feature supports major credit card issuers including Visa and Mastercard.

The U.S. dollar is the only fiat currency accepted at launch

Apart from providing Celsius users with in-app crypto purchases, the new partnership will significantly cut the cost of unloading Bitcoin on the platform. According to Celsius, the addition of Simplex cuts transaction fees by at least 50%, providing crypto purchases through credit cards at a 3.5% fee.

At launch, Celsius will only accept the United States dollar for the new payment option, a company spokesperson said in an email to Cointelegraph. Additionally, the amount of monthly crypto purchases will be limited at $20,000.

Founded in 2014, Simplex has emerged as a major crypto-enabled payment processor. On Feb. 14, Simplex unlocked 15 new fiat currency payment options for Visa and Mastercard purchases on major cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Previously, Simplex provided its services to major fiat-crypto trading platform OKCoin as well as Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin.

Total crypt loan origination on the Celsius Network reached $4.25 billion in late 2019.

Cointelegraph News