A non-fungible token (NFT) created by digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, has sold for a record price of $69,346,250 at Christie’s auction house.
The artwork called “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” is a collage of 5,000 unique images that the artist made – one per day for nearly 14 years. It was minted exclusively for Christie’s on February 16th, and is the first purely digital NFT-based artwork to be offered by a major auction house.
NFTs have unique cryptographic properties, which means that a blockchain can verify the originality and ownership of such digital assets, which include artworks, parcels of virtual lands, and collectibles.
Says Christie’s post-war and contemporary art specialist Noah Davis,
“Christie’s had never offered a new media artwork of this scale or importance before. Acquiring Beeple’s work is a unique opportunity to own an entry in the blockchain itself created by one of the world’s leading digital artists.”
A 10-second video clip from Beeple featuring Donald Trump sold for $6.6 million on the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway last month. Christie’s says the latest record-setting sale positions the South Carolina-based graphic designer as one of the top three most valuable living artists today.
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Bitcoin (BTC) missed hitting a new all-time high on March 11 by just a whisker as Oracle Corporation denied rumors that it had purchased about 72,000 Bitcoin. This suggests that traders could be looking for signs of greater institutional adoption to boost Bitcoin’s price further.
One of the main factors that may have kept several institutional investors at bay is the lack of regulatory clarity but this could be on the verge of changing.
In a recent interview on the Thinking Crypto podcast, Hester Peirce, a commissioner at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, said that Gary Gensler’s nomination to be the President of the SEC could lead to greater regulatory clarity being given to the crypto sector.
If that happens, several institutional investors may jump in and purchase Bitcoin. Another possible instrument that may attract both institutions and retail investors is a Bitcoin ETF. Just this week, New York-based asset manager WisdomTree joined the list of aspirants who are seeking the SEC’s approval to launch a Bitcoin ETF.
Crypto traders are likely to keep a close watch on these developments as they could prove bullish for Bitcoin. Until the next trigger, will Bitcoin and altcoins remain in a range or correct to lower support levels? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.
Bitcoin turned down from just below the all-time high today as the bears tried to pull the price down. However, the long tail on the daily candlestick shows aggressive buying on dips. The upsloping 20-day exponential moving average ($51,414) and the relative strength index (RSI) above 68 suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside.
If the bulls can drive and sustain the price above $58,341.03, the uptrend could resume. The next target objective on the upside is $72,112.
Contrary to this assumption, if the BTC/USD pair once again turns down from $58,341.03, it will suggest the bears are aggressively defending the higher levels.
If the bears can sink the price below the 20-day EMA, the short-term traders may book profits and that could pull the price down to the 50-day simple moving average ($44,934).
A break below this support could result in a drop to the critical support at $41,959.63. This is an important level to watch out for because if it cracks, the advantage will shift in favor of the bears.
The bears are attempting to stall the relief rally at the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $1,879.915. The long tail on March 11 candlestick suggests the bulls bought the dips near the 20-day EMA ($1,692), but they could not build up on the recovery as Ether (ETH) has turned down today.
If the price rebounds off the moving averages, it will suggest that traders continue to buy the dips. The bulls will then again try to push the price above $1,879.91 and retest the all-time high at $2,040.77. A breakout and close above this level could clear the path for a rally to $2,614.
The marginally upsloping moving averages and the RSI just above the midpoint suggest a minor advantage to the buyers. However, if the bears sink the price below the moving averages, it may attract profit-booking from short-term traders. That could result in a fall to $1,455 and then to $1,289.
Binance Coin (BNB) rallied above the $309.49 overhead resistance on March 11 but the bulls could not sustain the higher levels as seen from the long wick on the day’s candlestick. The bears tried to sink the price below the 20-day EMA ($239) today but the long tail on the candlestick suggests aggressive buying at lower levels.
Traders are buying the dips and selling the rallies. This could keep the BNB/USD pair range-bound between $265 and $309.49 for a few days. Both moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive zone, which suggests the bulls have the upper hand.
If buyers can push and sustain the price above $309.49, the pair could rally to the all-time high at $348.69. Above this level, the pair may extend its up-move to $410 and then $500.
Conversely, if the bears sink and sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, the pair may drop to $215 and then $189.
Cardano (ADA) has dropped to the support of the $1.0683 to $1.2303 range. This is an important level to keep an eye on, hence the bulls are likely to defend it aggressively. If the price rebounds off this level, the altcoin may consolidate in the range for a few more days.
A break above or below the range could start the next trending move. The flat 20-day EMA ($1.09) and the RSI near the midpoint suggest equal opportunities to the bulls and the bears.
If the price rises from the current levels and breaks above $1.2303, it will suggest the bulls have the upper hand. That could result in a rally to $1.35 and then $1.4852.
On the other hand, if the bears sink and sustain the price below $1.0683, the ADA/USD pair could drop to the 50-day SMA ($0.831).
Polkadot’s (DOT) breakout of the symmetrical triangle fizzled out at $39.60 on March 10. The bears dragged the price back into the triangle today, but the long tail on the day’s candlestick suggests the bulls are buying on dips to the 20-day EMA ($34.40).
If the price turns up from the current level and rises above $39.60, it will suggest strong demand at lower levels. The pair could then retest the all-time high at $42.28. A break above this resistance may push the price to the pattern target at $52.50.
On the contrary, if the price sustains inside the triangle, the bears will try to sink the DOT/USD pair below the support line. Such a move could intensify the selling and pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($27.65).
XRP turned down from the $0.50 overhead resistance and broke below the 20-day EMA ($0.464) on March 10. This suggests a lack of demand at higher levels. However, the bulls are presently trying to defend the 50-day SMA ($0.445).
If they manage to push the price above the 20-day EMA, the XRP/USD pair may rise to $0.50. A break above this resistance could attract buying that may drive the price to $0.57 and then $0.65.
Alternatively, if the bears sustain the price below the 50-day SMA, the pair could drop to $0.392 and then to $0.359. The 20-day EMA is flat and the RSI is just below the midpoint, indicating a possible range-bound action in the short term.
The long tail on March 11 and today’s candlestick suggests the bulls are buying the dips. Traders may now try to propel Uniswap (UNI) above the $33 to $34.92 overhead resistance zone.
If they succeed, the UNI/USD pair could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $46 and then $50. The rising moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory indicate the bulls are in command.
However, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA ($27.90), short-term traders may book profits. That may drag the pair down to the 50-day SMA ($22.13).
Litecoin’s (LTC) tight consolidation between the $205.18 overhead resistance and the 20-day EMA ($192) resolved to the upside today. This suggests the demand from the bulls has exceeded the will of bearish traders.
The bulls will now try to push the price to $246.96. The 20-day EMA has started to turn up and the RSI has risen above 62, which suggests the bulls have the upper hand.
On the contrary, if the LTC/USD pair fails to sustain above $246.96, it will indicate the bears are selling at higher levels.
That may trap the aggressive bulls, who may cover their positions if the pair breaks below the 20-day EMA. The bears may gain the upper hand if the pair plummets below the uptrend line.
Chainlink (LINK) dipped below the 20-day EMA ($28.99) today, but the bulls are defending the 50-day SMA ($27.53). A strong bounce off this level will suggest the bulls continue to buy the dip. The buyers will then try to propel the price above the $32 overhead resistance.
If they succeed, the LINK/USD pair will complete a bullish ascending triangle pattern that may attract buying from traders. The pattern target of this setup is $43.19, but the rise may face stiff resistance at the current all-time high at $36.93.
This bullish view will be invalidated if the price drops and sustains below the moving averages. The pair could then decline to $24 and then to $20.11. The flat moving averages and the RSI near the midpoint suggest a few days of range-bound action.
The failure of the bulls to push Bitcoin Cash (BCH) above the $560 overhead resistance attracted profit-booking by short-term traders. However, the long tail on the daily candlestick suggests the bulls are continuing to buy the dips.
The flat moving averages and the RSI near the midpoint show a balance between supply and demand.
This equilibrium may shift in favor of the bulls if they can drive the BCH/USD pair above $560. Such a move will suggest that the bulls have absorbed the supply. That could start the next leg of the up-move to $631.71 and then $745.
Conversely, if the pair sustains below the moving averages, it will suggest the bears have overpowered the dip buyers. Such a move could result in a drop to $472.72 and then $432.02.
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.
RushOrderTees, a t-shirt printing and embroidering company, intends to buy $1 million worth of crypto with its cash reserves, according to a recent announcement.
“The company has so far purchased $300k in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the past month and will ramp to $1 million in crypto holdings by the end of April,” a March 12 public statement said. The move from RushOrderTees is another sign of adoption and a normalization of digital asset investing.
RushOrderTees is a custom shirt and apparel manufacturer based in Philadelphia, PA. They accept orders that range from single unit purchases to large-scale apparel runs. The business even touts a partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, according to the company’s website.
Although Bitcoin (BTC) has had its ups and downs over the years, the asset’s price has soared in recent months, breaking its 2017 record price high near $20,000 in December 2020. BTC has continued blazing an upward trail since then, recently flying past $57,000.
“Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology offer an exciting glimpse into the future,” Mike Nemeroff, RushOrderTees’ CEO, said in the statement. “This is our opportunity to be on the cutting edge of something that has the power to change global commerce forever.”
A number of other companies have also converted some of their company’s assets to Bitcoin, with more expected to follow. MicroStrategy has put over $2 billion of capital toward the currency, and Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of BTC in 2021. Square and MassMutual have also bought Bitcoin in recent months.
Nemeroff is no stranger to the crypto space, as the CEO himself has reportedly bought crypto over the years, the statement included.
A Binance executive suggested that NFTs are the new gateway into crypto.
The comment came after Beeple, a renowned digital artist, sold an NFT collection for $69.3 million.
NFTs have been called a lot of things lately, and we can add “gateway to crypto” to that growing list of superlatives, according to a Binance executive.
Teck Chia made the comment during a session on up-and-coming social media platform Clubhouse, suggesting that the mainstream attention being directed towards NFTs right now may lead more people into the wider cryptocurrency market.
“I’m seeing people who don’t know anything about crypto adopt or try to buy an NFT first,” Chia said, adding, “So it’s kind of like a gateway to crypto.”
The term NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” which basically means a unique digital token, most often found on the Ethereum network. These tokens can represent just about anything on the internet, but they’ve become increasingly popular in the art and music world.
The NFT industry has exploded recently, with a variety of artistic collections likeHashmasksselling for millions of dollars. Acclaimed musician 3LAUrecently soldhis album as a collection of NFTs. And earlier this week, renowned digital artist Beeple made history when he sold an NFT collection for almost $70 million.
The collection, titledEVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, is a collection of Beeple’s digital artwork that he has now been doing everyday for 13 years. Selling for $69.3 million, it is the third-most expensive artwork to be sold by a living artist.
Tron Founder Justin Sunjust missed outon taking home the collection during the bidding war. Earlier today, it was revealed that thepseudonymous NFT investors Metakovan, who’s been known todrop extravagant amounts of money on NFT collectiblesin the past, was the winning bidder.
So if NFTs are the gateway drug into crypto, when will we see crypto exchanges like Binance start offering functionality for those kinds of products?
“I won’t comment on Binance specifically, but I think in general, for sure,” Chia said in response to a question about whether the crypto exchange would ever list NFTs, adding, “I totally expect an exchange to get skin in the game.”
Another Binance executive, David Princay, also declined to comment directly about Binance but said the area of NFTs was “of interest.”
Michael Saylor’s business intelligence giant has kept its promise to allocate additional funds in the primary cryptocurrency. MicroStrategy announced on Friday that it had added another chunk of 262 bitcoins to its sizeable stack of over 91,000 tokens.
The company’s founder and CEO, Michael Saylor, took it to Twitter on Friday to inform of the firm’s latest BTC acquisition. After a few consecutive weeks of purchasing chunks worth $10 million each, this time MicroStrategy upped its game and allocated $15 million.
With an average price of 57,146, the latest purchase brought 262 bitcoins. Consequently, the company’s stack has grown to 91,326 tokens. The average price of all entries is $24,214.
In other words, MicroStrategy has allocated $2.2 billion of its own money into bitcoin since its first purchase in August 2020. The growth of BTC’s price since then means that the coins the company holds are now worth north of $5.1 billion.
Apart from using every opportunity to buy more bitcoins, Saylor and his company have found additional ways to promote the primary cryptocurrency.
MicroStrategy became a full node on the Bitcoin network last year and made the cryptocurrency its primary treasury reserve asset shortly after.
Separately, the firm held a “Bitcoin for Corporations” panel in February this year when it hosted thousands of executives to educate them on the potential benefits of investing in BTC.
The company didn’t stop there as it launched a similar initiative aimed at retail investors. Called “Bitcoin for everybody,” the program is available on the Saylor Academy platform and is 100% free of charge.
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One of the industry’s shoo-in trades was the great Grayscale arbitrage trade. Now, it’s dried up.
Markets returned to local highs this week after the House passed the latest $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
Amid the multi-chain narrative, several Layer 2 solutions on Ethereum have been hard at work.
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This week’s edition ofwNewsdigs into the Grayscale arbitrage trade. Understanding how this particular trade works is key to identifying its effects on the greater crypto economy.
In short, institutional investors are making bank on high premiums from retail investors buying up Grayscale “shares.” This week, however, this premium has plummeted.
Today’s dispatch unpacks what this means and why it’s important.
Markets continued their upward trend after hitting a snag last month. Bitcoin is up 17.6%, and Ethereum is up 14.3% at the time of press. For reference, the leading cryptocurrency is 74% of the market cap of Google and 11% of gold’s market cap.
Likely much of the bullish action this week came from the latest$1.9 trillion stimulus packagegetting the green light. Who knows where Americans will put their incoming round of stimmy checks.
But with death knells of the 60/40 portfolio ringing, some are likely toturn to Bitcoin. Last month, JP Morgan even backed a 1% allocation,saying:
“In a multi-asset portfolio, investors can likely add up to 1% of their allocation to cryptocurrencies in order to achieve any efficiency gain in the overall risk-adjusted returns of the portfolio.”
Finally, this week’s crypto to-do list is all things Layer 2 on Ethereum.
All that and more, below.
The Great Grayscale Trade
Before this week, the great Grayscale trade was free money for investors. Here’s how it worked.
Grayscale created an onramp for wealthy investors to lock up their Bitcoin. In exchange for this lock-up, they receive equivalent amounts in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) “shares.” These shares are meant to track the price of Bitcoin.
These shares are then sold on platforms like Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and other brokerages.
Investors on these platforms are typically retail too. Moreover, this demographic likely prefers the GBTC product over actual Bitcoin because it removes self-custody and tax concerns. In exchange, however, they have often had to pay a premium.
GBTC is still subject to supply and demand, which means it often leaves its peg to Bitcoin. There are only so many GBTC shares on the market at any given time.
This has created a massive premium on the asset. The average premium since the birth of GBTC has beennearly 40%. For the altcoin equivalents, the premium has been as high as 5,900%.
Investors in the Bitcoin Cash Trust are paying $37.90 for underlying assets worth $3.19. 1008% Premium to NAV. pic.twitter.com/t8inyn2djT
— Charlie Bilello (@charliebilello) November 25, 2020
For the original investors who helped create the GBTC shares, capturing this premium has been one of crypto’s easiest, most profitable trades.
One strategy revolves around taking out Bitcoin on loan, creating GBTC shares, selling those shares on the open market, repaying the loan, and pocketing the difference. As long as the premium is higher than the interest on that loan, the trade remains profitable.
Despite this constant sell pressure, demand has also been rampant, hence the premium.
This week, however, the premium has finally dropped.
At the time of press, GBTC is sold at a 1.72% discount. On Mar. 4, this discount fell as low as 11.59%. This means it is cheaper to buy GBTC than actual Bitcoin.
There are a handful of conclusions one can draw from this. Based on the above outline, this drop in premium indicates that GBTC supply has finally outpaced demand.
And, as such, Grayscale has also halted inflows from investors looking to join in on the GBTC trade. On the same day, Digital Currency Group (DCG), the owner of Grayscale, announced that it would purchase$250 million in GBTC shares.
It was unstated, but both actions are likely meant to help retrieve the peg.
What This Means for Investors
Due to the structure of Grayscale’s crypto products, the arbitrage opportunity only works in one direction. This is because GBTC cannot be redeemed for Bitcoin.
Investors cannot buy shares on the market and swap them for BTC to capture that difference. It is a one-way revolving door. The only way shares can refind their peg, or enjoy the same premiums, is by renewed buying demand.
It’s not impossible, and many investors can now buy discounted GBTC shares hoping that a soaring premium does eventually return. Unfortunately, revitalizing one of crypto’s most popular,mediatizedtrades will be difficult.
Plus, this isn’t the only force at work here. Before the tumbling premium, several other products haveenteredthe market. The most important entrant was Canada’s redeemable Bitcoin ETF.
Candian firm 3iQ Corp, the creator of The Bitcoin Fund,wroteon Mar. 8:
“The Bitcoin Fund (the ‘Fund’) is pleased to announce an in-kind redemption feature on annual redemptions of Class A Units and Class F Units (the ‘Units’) of the Fund.”
With this move, 3iQ has created a product that allows investors to profit from both premiums and discounts should they arrive. Naturally, these arbitrage opportunities will be far less lucrative compared to the Grayscale trade.
As this particular trade dwindles, it would also appear that Grayscale will soon offer an ETF of sorts. This week, the firmpostednine different positions, all related to such a product.
The success of this application would also mean the end of the Grayscale GBTC trust. But, as many crypto veterans know, getting approval from the SEC for such a product has been far from easy.
And until then, a few industry analysts believe the premium is likely to return.Ben Lilly, a partner at Jarvis Labs, told Crypto Briefing:
“Our team at Jarvis Labs fully expects the premium to return in several months assuming a Grayscale ETF doesn’t change the structure of the Trust.”
As for a timeline, Jarvis said that this summer might offer another sizeable premium. He said:
“With massive sums of capital due to unlock in June, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw agamma squeezein the options market as we saw in December. Only this time it’ll be around the $100K to $120K market by the end of June.”
Crypto To-Do List: Use Layer 2
Ethereum is suffering from overload.Network utilizationhasn’t dropped below 94% since mid-2020, according to Etherscan, and demand for block space is showing no sign of slowing down. DeFi has become its own burgeoning ecosystem, withover $37 billionlocked across protocols likeAaveandUniswaptoday. Meanwhile, theNFT trendhas taken many by surprise, thanks to growing interest among a “mainstream” audience.
While the demand to use the network may be long-term bullish for Ethereum, it’s caused some serious problems. Ethereum currently processes only 15 transactions per second. Gas fees are a source of complaint for almost anyone who uses the network on a regular basis, with prices increasing alongside utility over the last couple of years.
Last month, feesbriefly surpassed1,000 gwei—that’s the equivalent of a few hundred dollars for a Uniswap trade. Ethereum hopes to find a solution in the form of Serenity, which will ultimately bring sharding to the network.
Still, Ethereum 2.0 is potentially a few years away, but the chain needs a more immediate solution to keep processing 1 million transactions daily. The recent growth ofBinance Smart Chainhas shown that users are prepared to flock elsewhere to interact on-chain, regardless of centralization. Other projects likeSolanaare hoping to have similar success in the smart contract wars.
Until Serenity is complete, Ethereum’s best answer to its problems is Layer 2. To understand what Layer 2 means, it’s worth explaining Layer 1 first. Ethereum is a Layer 1 blockchain. It’s the settlement layer for every transaction on Ethereum Virtual Machine. Other Layer 1 chains includeBitcoin, Solana, andMina. Layer 2, meanwhile, is a framework that runs on top of Layer 1.
It can help the blockchain achieve scalability by handling some of the network’s load.
In Ethereum’s case, various Layer 2 solutions are being developed or already available to users. There are different types: channels allow for multiple transactions to be processed off-chain, Plasma leverages Merkle trees to add a new chain, sidechains connect to Ethereum through a bridge, rollups bundle transactions as cryptographic proofs called SNARKs, and Validium uses zero-knowledge proofs while storing data off-chain.
Several projects are in use and already helping Ethereum regulars use the network at a higher speed and lower cost.
Polygon,recently rebrandedfrom Matic, uses Plasma and a proof-of-stake mechanism to achieve up to 65,000 transactions per block. Matic is connected to Ethereum via a bridge, which can send assets like ETH to Matic Mainnet.
By changing your MetaMask wallet to the Matic network, you can then interact with the network at practically zero fees using MATIC tokens. Polygon has attracted several on-chain games, includingAavegotchiand Decentraland. Atarialso announcedit would launch on Polygon, and SushiSwapjust deployedits contracts onto the network.
Another of the most prominent projects isLoopring, a ZK (zero-knowledge) rollup that groups transactions into one transaction. By creating a wallet on Loopring, you can use it to make fast transfers at a fraction of the cost of Ethereum itself. Loopring also has its own decentralized exchange. Gas is required to set up a wallet, but it’s very easy to use without spending a fortune on transactions once you do.
Arguably the most anticipated Layer 2 solution is Optimism. An optimistic rollup solution, it’s slated to launch this month and will provide composability for DeFi by running on a side chain alongside Ethereum.
Synthetix went live on Optimism during the team’ssoft launch, and other prominent projects have announced their plans to move over in the imminent future. Once Optimism launches in earnest, Ethereum could end up surprising its doubters.
Ethereum can be slow and expensive to use, not unlike the Internet was in the Windows 95 era. But with promising solutions here today, there’s an opportunity to improve the experience of using the network without compromising on security. When Ethereum 2.0 comes into play, it’s hard to see the “ETH killers” completely destroying the project. We’re heading for a multi-chain world, and Ethereum’s Layer 2 will be a crucial part of it.
That’s all for this week’s edition ofwNews, readers. Stay tuned for next week’s dispatch.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, some of the authors of this feature had exposure to ETH, AAVE, BTC, UNI, SNX, LRC, MATIC, and POLS.
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Litecoin has had a brutal “bull market” if you can even call it that for the once popular cryptocurrency built on Bitcoin’s code. However, that all might soon turn around, as a massive bounce is brewing on the LTCBTC trading pair.
A reversal on the trading pair could help Litecoin catch up to the rest of the market, which has already set new all-time highs and then some. If and when LTC recovers against BTC, the upside could be swift and violent. Here’s why.
How Long It’s Been Lights Out For This Altcoin’s Bull Market
Comparing Litecoin’s chart next to the likes of Dogecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin, Binance Coin, and several others, shows just how dark the depths of the crypto winter got for the altcoin.
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Litecoin was an incredible performer at the height of the last bull market, rising to beyond $360 per LTC in a flash.
The altcoin also led the charge in the 2019 crypto market recovery, fueled by buzz surrounding the protocol’s block reward halving.
Related Reading | Why Litecoin Is The Next Crypto To “Teleport” Like Dogecoin
Litecoin’s code is very similar to Bitcoin’s, giving it several key similarities that should be benefiting the “digital silver” counterpart currently, such as hard-coded scarcity.
Only 84 million LTC exist, a mere four times the amount of the BTC supply. And if scarcity is driving the demand behind Bitcoin, the fact that Litecoin isn’t at all following is confusing.
But a bounce is due, according to one crypto analyst‘s interpretation of the LTCBTC price chart.
A hidden dull div on the OBV could trigger a breakout of the falling wedge | Source: LTCBTC on TradingView.com
Smart Money Signals That Litecoin Is Ready To Bounce Against Bitcoin
The trader who shared the above chart says that LTCBTC is currently at long-term support of a falling wedge, coinciding with a bullish divergence on the on-balance volume indicator (OBV).
The OBV is often regarded as the “smart money indicator” – named as such for its ability to pick up signals of movements before they begin to take effect in price action.
These signals represent “smart money” taking positions early before markup. Fractals from the last bull market suggest that a breakout is near, but holders of the coin are taking their time.
Related Reading | This LTC Fractal Says Time Is Running Out To Accumulate At Low Prices
Losing support would take LTCBTC to the lowest levels yet, but a full reversal here could take the altcoin back to highs on its ratio against Bitcoin.
Litecoin is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies and one of the few to hang onto the top ten assets by market cap for several years at a time, even despite an inability to reclaim its former price record.
Will Litecoin finally bounce against Bitcoin and make a full recovery?
Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com
One year ago, Bitcoin experienced one of its worst price slumps ever.
The mid-March, COVID-induced crash became known as Black Thursday.
A lot has changed since then. Here’s a recap, and what some analysts expect going forward.
Exactly one year ago, as the world first began to come to grips with an increasingly deadly pandemic and global markets panicked, Bitcoin underwentone of its biggest crashesin its short history. The price of Bitcoin was nearly slashed in half within a matter of hours, falling as low as $4,600, in what became known as theBlack Thursday market crash.
The drop was, at the time, the biggest percentual price loss for Bitcoin since it first launched in 2009, and it led to serious questions about theperceived value of the cryptocurrencyas a “safe haven asset,” purportedly “uncorrelated” to other assets.
What a difference a year makes.
Since the mid-March crash of 2020, Bitcoin has taken off like a rocket,smashing every conceivable recordin its path and currently poised to break a new all-time high as the price approaches $60,000 per coin.
In fact, when we zoom out, that epic Black Thursday crash doesn’t quite seem so epic any more.
“It’s easy to forget that the crash of March 12, 2020, affected all categories—even traditional ‘safe haven’ assets like gold—in a frantic flight to cash that saw Bitcoin being treated the same as any other class,” Jason Deane, a crypto market analyst with Quantum Economics toDecrypt.
“However, the permanent change in the macro financial landscape that followed created a new wave of confidence in crypto assets, especially Bitcoin, which went from being a fringe and experimental concept to being a strong contender for a long term store of value,” he said.
It only took Bitcoin about a month and a half to regain the losses incurred on Black Thursday—but it didn’t get to where it is today on its own, and may have even received some help from competing assets.
Red hot DeFi summer
The DeFi craze during the summer of 2020 arguably helped fuel the crypto market’s recovery. Decentralized finance, or DeFi, is short-hand for a collection of bank-like financial products and services that function without the need for a bank-like intermediary. All the action takes place peer to peer, and the vast majority of it happens with Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
When DeFi began catching fire in mid-2020, it caught the attention of investors and risk-lovers alike—and, as the dominant cryptocurrency in the market, Bitcoin provided a gateway to enter this new territory.
As more and more“degens” rushed to get in on DeFi,and the more Bitcoin swapped hands, the price of BTC slowly recovered.
Institutional investment adds fuel to the fire
But if DeFi lit the match, then institutional investors added the fuel, starting with cloud software company MicroStrategy.
The publicly traded firm wasn’t probably wholly unfamiliar to most crypto market observers at the start of 2020. But by August, the company had become a household name in cryptoland.
MicroStrategy made its first jump into Bitcoinwith a $250 million investment—a modest sum compared to where the company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, would eventually take this ride. Throughout the year, MicroStrategy would go on to make many more splash announcements of big Bitcoin buys. The company now holds more than $5 billion in Bitcoin as part of its reserves.
After MicroStrategy, other companies soon followed—some big,some small.
Jack Dorsey’s Square announced a$50 million investment in Bitcoinin October 2020, which preceded a sizable spike in the price of Bitcoin. A few days later,PayPal announced the launchof a service to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. That helped push the price up even more.
The biggest splash among institutional whales came later: earlier this year, Elon Musk’s Tesla revealed it has invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, which helped BTC eventually reach the completely uncharted territory it finds itself today.
But it was undoubtedly MicroStrategy’s initial play, along with Saylor newfound Bitcoin evangelism on Crypto Twitter, that led the way for the likes of Musk and others to follow.
“Once the first public company [MicroStrategy] made a strong financial statement about the durability of Bitcoin, the way was clear for other institutions and global payment systems to follow, further driving confidence, adoption and interest,” said Deane. “As the network effect of Bitcoin has increased, so has the price.”
And as a result of these moves, Deane argues, your “typical Bitcoin investor today” is much more aware of the financial reasons to invest in Bitcoin, rather than early buyers who jumped in “purely ideological ones of the past.”
What should Bitcoin hodlers expect?
At the moment, Bitcoin appears poised to continue reaching new heights, according to the analyst, though price drops along the way should not be unexpected. After all, Bitcoin recently suffered itsworst dollar-denominated price crashin history just a couple weeks ago.
“We expect the cryptocurrency ecosystem to continue to grow exponentially, pushing boundaries, testing new concepts and creating new services. Some of these will create new challenges and failures, but the upward trajectory of activity is now as inevitable as it is unstoppable,” Deane said.
It all sounds like a lot to be happy about if you’re a Bitcoin hodler. Until the next crash, that is.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
Avid proponents of Dogecoin (DOGE) and Litecoin (LTC) are likely responsible for crashing the website of a Canadian social platform after the company revealed its investment in DOGE and LTC mining. Dogecoin remains the quintessential meme coin amid social media backing by popular figures like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban.
Hello Pal Website Suffers Temporary Outage Following Dogecoin Mining News
According to an official communique released by Hello Pal on Thursday (Mar. 11, 2020), the company’s website was forced to go offline temporarily amid a surge of visitors. The traffic spike followed an announcement by the company of its 15% equity investment in a mining establishment that mines Dogecoin and Litecoin exclusively.
In its press statement, the Canadian social, e-learning, and travel platform revealed that the DOGE/LTC mining farm is the largest in the world dedicated to mining those two cryptocurrencies. The data center reportedly boasts a capacity of about 70 megawatts and is home to over 90,000 rigs. The facility also reportedly accounts for between 3 to 5 percent of the LTC/DOGE hash rate.
Following the announcement, Hello Pal said its website traffic went up by more than 1,000% overwhelming its capacity and causing a temporary outage. However, the company’s streaming platform and app service did not suffer similar outages despite recording massive online activity.
Apart from the equity investment, Hello Pal is also reportedly upscaling its mining inventory and has taken delivery of 51% of the over 12,500 mining rigs dedicated to Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Commenting on the incident, KL Wong, the Hello Pal CEO focused on the positives, stating:
“The sharp increase in activity on our website and the Hello Pal app validates the clear position we have taken on Dogecoin as well as on cryptocurrency in general.”
Hello Pal’s Dogecoin and Litecoin mining investment also constitutes an expansion of its crypto-related enterprise. The Canadian company already offers a proprietary cryptocurrency wallet service to its users.
The Power of the Meme
It is perhaps unsurprising to see a company announcing its involvement in Dogecoin triggering increased online visibility for the firm. Despite being a “meme coin,” Dogecoin continues to enjoy a cult following in the crypto space and even beyond with prominent figures outside the industry like Mark Cuban tweeting about the Shiba-Inu-inspired cryptocurrency.
While Elon Musk is a noted Dogecoin shill, the Tesla CEO has recently expressed concerns over the apparent ownership centralization of the cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, major crypto ATM maker CoinFlip has added support for DOGE across 1,800 of its machines.
It’s hard to argue that the crypto market is not in a bull market right now, but this run does show different characteristics and catalysts than the 2017 bull market.
In 2017, investors were hyped by the allure of high returns from initial coin offerings (ICO) that promised much but delivered very little in the form of an actually working ‘product.’
Fast forward to 2020, and the current altcoin season has been primarily focused on lending, liquidity, and yield farming. Growing interest in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) was triggered by the four-digit APYs being earned from staking assets, besides the decentralized access to legacy assets via synthetic tokens. Moreover, pure speculation of buying and staking nonfungible tokens is driving the total crypto market capitalization to new highs.
Some blockchains offer delegated staking and while staking and node validation provide lucrative rewards to operators, deploying a node isn’t something that average users may find challenging. Even for more experienced users, setting up developer nodes might take time.
Ankr protocol allows easy access to multiple blockchains, including Ethereum, Polkadot, and Binance Smart Chain. By offering a cloud solution, users can deploy staking nodes and developer nodes in minutes instead of purchasing, setup, and then maintaining pricey setups on their own.
In February, ANKR had a $170 million market capitalization and was trading in a relatively flat range. Still, the most recent 137% rally kicked off as the project became a Binance Smart Chain validator.
As the token reached a $0.06 all-time-high on March 12, its market capitalization surpassed $400 million.
Ankr’s one-click solution also offers nodes for Eth2, Avalanche, Bitcoin, Celo, Cosmos, Decred, Matic, Qtum, Tezos, and many other blockchain networks. Moreover, Ankr will handle Eth2 staking with as little as 0.5 Ether, and the project provides instant liquidity by issuing a synthetic asset called aETH.
ANKR is the native governance token of the Ankr Staking platforms, and it also serves as a payment method for services, such as node deployment and app usage.
aETH gains traction
The use cases for aETH have been expanding after several successful collaborations with SushiSwap, Curve Finance, and Yearn Finance. These partnerships add to the token’s liquidity and yield optimization. Anker’s synthetic assets are also used in OnX Finance’s farming and lending offers.
Recent developments include a listing on HitBTC exchange on March 7, and on March 11, the protocol reached the number one position as a Binance Smart Chain validator.
On March 12, Binance Chain’s JulSwap DEX also announced a partnership with Ankr.
The new partnerships and Ankr’s track record of delivering on promised products are very favorable for the project, but the on-chain activity of the ERC-20 token has not picked up much. On average, less than 250 addresses have been active per day.
On the other hand, there has been increased use of ANKR tokens on the Binance Smart Chain network. This shows that the project has gained relevance both as a validator, and the aETH synthetic token is continuing to see increased use within its DEX ecosystem.
VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro also began to detect a bullish outlook for Ankr on March 5, which is before the recent price rise.
The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points, including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements, and Twitter activity.
As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ score began turning green on March 5 and on March 6 reached a high of 75, roughly twelve hours before ANKR price initiated a two-day 20% rally to $0.04.
Competition is ferocious, but Ankr has an edge
Although Ankr has a promising outlook, there are multiple competitors like Stakin, Stake.Fish, Stake Capital, and Staking Facilities that operate in the same sector. Nevertheless, reaching the number one position as a Binance Smart Chain validator gives Ankr some credibility and leverage.
Investors would do well to keep a close eye on how the aETH synthetic asset grows in size and integration in its staking, DEX, and yield farming solutions. Overall, Ankr seems to be in an excellent position to capture this fast-growing market.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of theauthorand 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.