Cryptocurrency News

Bears scattered as Bitcoin hit $40K, but pro traders remain cautious
July 29, 2021 4:20 am

Bitcoin's rally to $40,000 alleviated some of the bearish sentiment in the market, but data shows derivatives traders still walking on eggshells.

Bitcoin (BTC) traders might be feeling extra euphoric after the recent 35% rally, but data suggests bears are not too worried because a similar breakout took place in mid-July and the price failed to hold the $40,000 support.

To understand how bullish investors are this time around, let's take apart the derivatives data and look at the futures contracts premium and options skew. Typically, these indicators reveal how professional traders are pricing the odds of a potential retrace to $36,000.

Bitcoin price at Coinbase, in USD. Source: TradingView

Even though the pattern isn't exactly similar, Bitcoin crashed to $31,000 on June 8 and bounced to $41,000 six days later. The 32% rally caused $1.4 billion BTC short contracts liquidation that spread over the week. Bears were clearly not expecting this move, but in less than three days, Bitcoin was trading below $38,000 and initiated a downtrend.

Therefore, bulls have reasons to doubt the current rally's sustainability, considering there haven't been any significant changes to justify the $40,000 level. Moreover, the price could be suppressed by the ongoing FUD regarding miners' exodus from China and Binance moving to seek regulatory approval.

The futures premium has not shown a significant recovery

One of the best measures of professional traders' optimism is the futures market's premium because it measures the gap between monthly contracts and the current spot market levels. In healthy markets, a 5% to 15% annualized premium is expected. However, a backwardation scenario occurs during bearish markets, and the indicator fades or turns negative.

Bitcoin 1-month futures premium (basis) at Huobi. Source: Skew

According to the chart above, the one-month futures contract has been unable to recover an annualized premium above 5%. Some periods of backwardation happened over the last month, although the current level is deemed neutral.

To exclude externalities specific to the futures' instrument, one should also analyze options markets.

Related: $60K is now more likely for Bitcoin than $20K, Bloomberg's senior strategist asserts

Whenever market makers and professional traders lean bullish, they will demand a higher premium on call options. Such a trend will cause a negative 25% delta skew indicator.

On the other hand, whenever the downside protection is more costly, the skew indicator will become positive.

Deribit Bitcoin options 25% delta skew. Source: laevitas.ch

"Fear" is out of the picture, but neutrality defines the current market

When the figure oscillates between negative 10% and positive 10%, the indicator is deemed neutral. The 25% delta skew indicator had been signaling 'fear' between May 14 and July 24.

However, even the recent rally to $40,000 wasn't enough to flip the sentiment towards 'greed,' as the indicator remains neutral at negative 4%.

According to both derivatives metrics, there is absolutely no sign of bullishness from professional traders. The 35% price hike might have eliminated a recent pattern of fear, but it was not enough to flip the sentiment.

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

Genesis Digital Assets raises $125M as mining sector pivots to the west
July 29, 2021 3:32 am

Genesis plans to more than triple its hashing capacity from 2.6 EH/s to 8.1 EH/s.

Genesis Digital Assets has become the latest Bitcoin mining firm to raise millions towards plans for aggressive expansion amid the exodus of miners from China due to its crackdown on the sector.

On July 28, Genesis announced it had closed a $125 million equity funding round led by U.K.-based Kingsway Capital. The capital will be mobilized to purchase mining hardware and launch new data centers in the United States and Nordic region.

The terms of the deal will also see Kingsway Capital CEO, Manuel Stotz, join Genesis’ board of directors. Stotz highlighted Genesis’ extensive experience in mining. “The GDA team has been building highly profitable large-scale Bitcoin mining farms for nearly eight years and the industry has only been around for twelve,” he said, adding:

“Bitcoin is going to be the most important technology for financial inclusion of the global poor and unbanked and mining provides security to make this possible.”

Genesis currently represents a total hashrate of 2.6 exahashes per second (EH/s), equal to more than 2.6% of global hashrate. The firm expects to increase its capacity by a further 5.5 exahashes by the end of 2023, targeting a data center capacity of more than one gigawatt.

Since launching in 2013, Genesis estimates it has mined more than $1 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Genesis is not alone in looking to raise to expand its operations amid China’s mining crackdown, with U.S. miner Stronghold filing for a $100 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) on July 27 to expand its operational hashrate by at roughly 75% from 3,000 petahashes per second (PH/s) to 5,300.

Related: Law professor calls for crypto mining regulation during US Senate hearing

On July 28, Chinese-based BIT Mining announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire 2,500 new mining machines worth $6.6 million for deployment in Kazakhstan, anticipating a hashrate increase of 165 PH/s.

Despite the aggressive moves from industrial-scale mining firms to scale their operations outside of China, Cointelegraph reported that hashrate has become increasingly decentralized over the past 12 months, with smaller firms increasing their share of global hashing power.

Cointelegraph also reported that Chinese hashrate had been steadily declining for more than one year leading up to the crackdown, with China’s hash power shrinking from 75.5% of the global total in September 2019 to 46% as of April 2021.

Massive government spending accelerating crypto adoption: Sen. Cynthia Lummis
July 29, 2021 3:26 am

Senator Cynthia Lummis said that inflation and massive government spending is accelerating the adoption of digital assets.

Republican Senator and Bitcoin proponent Cynthia Lummis said that massive government spending is accelerating crypto adoption.

Lummis made the comments while sharing an interview she did with “Varney & Co” on the Fox Business cable network on July 29, in which she called for a crypto regulatory sandbox and support to attract Bitcoin miners to set up in US states.

On Twitter she stated that “big gov’t spenders are (accidentally) doing far more to accelerate the adoption of digital assets than I am,” and asserted that the debasement of the U.S. dollar is driving citizens to store value in digital assets such as Bitcoin. Not that this was necessarily a good thing:

“BUT spending America deeper into a hole is a stupid, inflationary & altogether undesirable way to drive ppl to digital assets.”

“I want USD to continue as the world's reserve currency. We need to reign in spending & support financial innovation on US soil,” she added.

During the cable TV interview, Lummis gave her thoughts on the July 27 hearing held by the Senate Banking Committee regarding the risks of crypto and offered views on the regulatory landscape moving forward.

The Senator emphasized that the first step should be “good solid definitions” that are agreed upon in legislation and called for  “a regulatory sandbox where everyone understands the rules, but innovation can still occur unrestricted.”

Lummis stated that “we wanna make sure that Bitcoin can continue to serve as a good store of value,” and she appears view the asset primarily in that way. However, she did also note that if the U.S. were to follow El Salvador’s route and make BTC legal tender, it would need to be regulated under the bank secrecy act, anti-money laws and in a way that it can be “ferreted out” if it’s used illegitimately.

The Bitcoin proponent also said she wants to see the U.S. welcome and support crypto miners that are flocking to the country following the Chinese mining ban:

“We wanna make sure that these miners [...] can come to places like Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming and elsewhere. Where they can get the energy to mine it and then once it's produced that it can be on the blockchain in a way that enhances the non-fiat currency advantages that cryptocurrency has.”

Related: Law professor calls for crypto mining regulation during US Senate hearing

Lummis is a Bitcoin hodler who previously stated that she was excited to buy the dip in June, and has advocated for holding BTC as part of a retirement diversification strategy. However, her pro-crypto sentiments were not shared by Democrat senator Sherrod Brown and others during the Senate Banking Committee’s recent hearing.

“After a decade of experience with these technologies, it seems safe to say that the vast majority haven’t been good for anyone but their creators,” Brown said in his opening statement.

“They claim to enable ‘transparency.’ Their backers talk about the ‘democratization of banking.’ There’s nothing ‘democratic’ or ‘transparent’ about a shady, diffuse network of online funny money.”
Price analysis 7/28: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, DOGE, DOT, UNI, BCH, LTC
July 29, 2021 3:20 am

Bitcoin's defense of the $38,000 level and renewed interest from institutional investors could be a sign that the bull trend is resuming.

Bitcoin (BTC) and most major altcoins are attempting to break above their respective overhead resistance levels, indicating the return of the bulls.

Data from Bybt shows that the Grayscale premium has been climbing and reached -5.88% on July 27, its closest level to zero since May 25. This suggests that institutional investors may have again started building positions via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Another institutional investment product showing a possible return of buyers is Canada’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF whose assets under management rose to 1.1 billion Canadian dollars on July 27, its highest level since May 13.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Swiss private bank Vontobel said in its half-year financial report that its Bitcoin tracker certificate investment product had generated significant interest from clients. Vontobel CEO Zeno Staub said to Bloomberg that its wealthy clients have allocated a part of their wealth to cryptocurrencies.

Horizon Kinetics co-founder Peter Doyle also told the Financial Times that the world economy is at an inflection point because of the pandemic and mounting debt. This “means either default or currency debasement.” Therefore, Doyle said people should have exposure to cryptocurrencies.

With institutional interest returning to Bitcoin, could the rally continue or will bears again stall the recovery near overhead resistance levels? Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin’s long wick on the July 26 candlestick shows that bears aggressively sold near $40,550 but the positive sign is that bulls flipped the $36,670 level into support on July 27. This indicates a possible change in sentiment from sell on rallies to buy on dips.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls pushed the price above $40,550 today but the wick on today’s candlestick suggests that bears have not yet surrendered. They will again try to stall the recovery in the overhead resistance zone at $41,330 to $42,451.67.

If the price turns down from the current level or the overhead zone, the BTC/USDT pair could again drop to $36,670. A strong bounce off this level will suggest that bulls are not waiting for a sharper dip to get in.

The pair could then consolidate between $36,670 and $42,451.67 for the next few days, improving the prospects of a break above the range. The moving averages have completed a bullish crossover and the relative strength index (RSI) has risen into the overbought zone, indicating that bulls are back in the game.

This positive view will invalidate if the price breaks below the moving averages. That will bring the large range between $42,451.67 and $28,805 into play.

ETH/USDT

Ether (ETH) turned down from the downtrend line on July 26 but the bears could not sink and sustain the price below the moving averages. This suggests that bulls are buying on minor dips.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The moving averages are close to completing a bullish crossover and the RSI has risen into the positive zone, indicating that bulls have the upper hand. If bulls drive the price above the downtrend line, the momentum may pick up. That could open the doors for a possible rally to $3,000.

Alternatively, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and dips below the moving averages, the ETH/USDT pair could gradually drop to the critical support at $1,728.74.

BNB/USDT

The long wick on the July 26 candlestick suggests that bears sold at higher levels. They attempted to trap the aggressive bulls by pulling Binance Coin (BNB) back below the downtrend line but the buyers did not relent.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls defended the 20-day exponential moving average ($304) on July 27 and are attempting to push the price above the 50-day simple moving average ($312) today. If they succeed, the BNB/USDT pair could rise to the overhead resistance at $340.

A breakout and close above $340 will clear the path for a possible rally to $400 and then to $433. This positive view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA. Such a move could result in a fall to $254.52.

ADA/USDT

The long wick on Cardano’s (ADA) July 26 candlestick suggests that traders are selling on rallies. The bears tried to pull and sustain the price below the 20-day EMA ($1.25) on July 27 but failed, indicating buying at lower levels.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

This may have reinvigorated the buyers who are again trying to push the price above the 50-day SMA ($1.33). If that happens, the ADA/USDT pair could gradually rise to $1.50. This level may pose a stiff challenge for buyers but if they can overcome it, the pair could start its northward journey toward $1.94.

Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and slides below $1.20, it will indicate that bears continue to sell at every higher level. That may result in a retest of the critical support at $1.

XRP/USDT

Although bears successfully defended the 50-day SMA ($0.67) on July 26, they could not pull XRP back below the 20-day EMA ($0.62). This suggests that bulls are accumulating on dips.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Sustained buying from the bulls today has pushed the XRP/USDT pair above the 50-day SMA for the first time since May 19. If buyers can clear the hurdle at $0.75, the pair will complete a double bottom pattern. This setup has a target objective at $1.

The 20-day EMA is attempting to turn up and the RSI has risen above 62, indicating that the path of least resistance is to the upside.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from $0.75, the bears will again try to sink the price below the 20-day EMA. If they succeed, the pair may extend its consolidation between $0.50 and $0.75 for a few more days.

DOGE/USDT

The long wick on Dogecoin’s (DOGE) July 26 candlestick suggests that bears are defending the 50-day SMA ($0.23) aggressively. The sellers attempted to sustain the price below the 20-day EMA ($0.20) on July 27 but failed.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

This suggests that buyers have not given up and will make one more attempt to push the price above the 50-day SMA. If they manage to do that, the DOGE/USDT pair could start a relief rally that may reach $0.28 and then $0.33.

On the contrary, if the price again turns down from the 50-day SMA, several short-term traders may close their position. That could result in a break below the 20-day EMA, which may clear the path for a decline to $0.15.

DOT/USDT

The bears attempted to sink Polkadot (DOT) below the $13 support on July 27 but failed, which suggests that bulls are accumulating at lower levels.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers will now try to push the price toward the overhead resistance at $16.93. This level may again act as stiff resistance but the flat 20-day EMA ($13.95) and the RSI near the midpoint suggest that sellers may be losing their grip.

If bulls do not allow the price to dip below the 20-day EMA during the next correction, the prospects of a break above $16.93 will improve. That could signal the start of a sustained relief rally to $20 and later to $26.50.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $13. That could result in a retest of $10.37.

UNI/USDT

Uniswap (UNI) turned down from the downtrend line on July 26, indicating that bears are aggressively defending this resistance. Although the price broke below the 20-day EMA ($18.25) on July 27, the bulls bought this dip.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers will now again attempt to push the price above the downtrend line. If they succeed, it will invalidate the developing bearish descending triangle pattern. The failure of a bearish setup is a bullish sign as aggressive bears are forced to cover their short positions.

That could open the doors for a possible rally to $24 and then to the critical overhead resistance at $30. Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down and plummets below $17.24, the UNI/USDT pair could start its downward journey toward $13.

Related: Ethereum pares gains, Bitcoin pushed under $40K as Fed set to reveal tapering plans

BCH/USDT

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) turned down from the 50-day SMA ($504) on July 26 but the bulls defended the 20-day EMA ($471) on July 27. This suggests a tough tussle between the bulls and the bears.

BCH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA has flattened out and the RSI has risen into the positive territory, indicating that bulls are attempting to make a comeback. A breakout and close above $546.83 will signal the start of a sustained relief rally as the BCH/USDT pair will complete a double bottom pattern.

This up-move could face stiff resistance at $650.35 but if crossed, the rally could reach the pattern target at $710.13. Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the pair could extend its range-bound action for a few more days.

LTC/USDT

Litecoin (LTC) turned down from the 50-day SMA ($138) on July 26 but the positive sign is that bulls did not allow the price to dip below the 20-day EMA ($128).

LTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears are likely to mount a stiff resistance in the overhead zone between the 50-day SMA and $146.54. If the price turns down from this zone and slips below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the range-bound action may continue for a few more days.

On the other hand, if bulls drive the price above $146.54, the LTC/USDT pair will complete a double bottom pattern. This bullish setup has a target objective of $189.25. The RSI above 57 and the flat 20-day EMA points to a marginal advantage to buyers.

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.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

Ghana's vice president declares Africa should embrace digital currencies
July 29, 2021 1:01 am

Digital currencies are primed to reinvent trade between African countries.

Ghana's vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia believes that African governments need to embrace digital currencies to facilitate trade throughout the continent.

As reported by Ghanaweb Bawumia outlined his argument during the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, which boasted the theme of “Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector.” He argued that trade between African countries demands a “single central payment” system. Currently, moving goods over African borders is costly and time-consuming. A digital payments system, Dr. Bawumia believes, would rectify these issues.

Related: Can blockchain make a difference? Africa sees vast monetary potential

“Digitization has also become one of the most consequential policies of the Nana Akufo-Addo government,” said Dr. Bawumia.

“When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced many economies into partial and total lockdowns, it reinforced the need to pursue digitization.”

The Vice President also discussed Ghana’s recent payment initiatives, such as Mobile Money Interoperability. Dr. Bawumia notes these services have “shown that more people can be financially included, and this needs to be rolled out across Africa to ensure the growth of the AfCFTA vision.”

Related: Tanzanian president urges central bank to prepare for crypto

Earlier this year, The Bank of Ghana (BoG) revealed it has a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in development. Dr. Bawumia noted the bank’s intent and believes it will bring the country credibility in the digital space.

African countries have long been exploring crypto and other forms of digital currency. Nigeria is planning its own CBDC called GIANT, set to launch this October, even after its central bank banned financial institutions from working with crypto exchanges. Tanzania, which banned cryptocurrencies back in 2019, has plans to reverse its course and implement crypto-positive regulation after its President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, spoke favorably of Bitcoin.

PayPal's crypto 'super app' set to roll out soon
July 29, 2021 12:55 am

Dan Schulman said the project was already "code complete" and planned to be fully ramped in the United States in the next several months.

Payment provider company PayPal said its users may not have much longer to wait to have greater crypto functionality through the platform. 

During PayPal’s Q2 2021 investor update call today, CEO Dan Schulman said the initial version of the company’s super app wallet was “code complete.” The PayPal president said the company planned for the wallet to be fully ramped in the United States in the next several months.

The super app wallet will feature high yield savings, early access to direct deposit funds, messaging capability, “additional crypto capabilities,” and more. Schulman said each wallet would be “unique, driven by advanced AI and machine learning capabilities.”

PayPal reported that it had more than 400 million active user accounts as of June 30, with $311 billion in total payment volume for the second quarter of 2021. Venmo, the PayPal-owned payments firm which launched crypto trading in April, had roughly $58 billion in total payment volume for the second quarter of 2021, with 76 million active accounts.

“We’re one of a few payments companies to allow consumers to use cryptocurrency as a funding source,” said the PayPal CEO. “We’re also seeing strong adoption and trading of crypto on Venmo.”

Related: PayPal users will be able to withdraw crypto to external wallets

Earlier this month, PayPal announced it would be increasing the limit on crypto purchases for certain users based in the United States from $20,000 to $100,000. The payments firm initially said it would be entering the crypto space in October 2020, later allowing eligible customers to use crypto for trading and payments.

Anchorage Digital will custody crypto seized by US Marshals
July 29, 2021 12:29 am

Co-founders Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley cited the Anchorage's "stringent processes and procedures" as likely factors in the decision from the federal agency.

Crypto custody bank Anchorage Digital will be providing digital asset services for the United States Marshals Service for seized funds related to federal crimes.

In a Wednesday announcement from Anchorage, the digital asset platform said the U.S. Marshals Service, or USMS, “seized some amount of digital assets in recent years” which required a partner in the space to provide certain financial services. Anchorage will be responsible for custodying, liquidating, and other actions as part of the forfeiture process.

Anchorage co-founders Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley cited the platform's "stringent processes and procedures" as likely factors in the USMS decision. 

According to a 2019 proposal, the U.S. Marshals’ office had been seeking a digital asset platform capable of accounting, customer management, audit compliance, managing blockchain forks, wallet creation, and the transformation of token assets into coin assets. The federal agency has seized thousands of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other cryptocurrencies, regularly auctioning off the confiscated funds to the public.

Some estimates put the amount of Bitcoin the USMS has seized since 2014 at more than 185,000 BTC — roughly $7.5 billion at the time of publication — which includes funds from the now defunct marketplace Silk Road. However, other government officials may still be responsible for crypto seized from DarkSide hackers following a ransom paid for the attack on the Colonial Pipeline system earlier this year.

Related: A legal asset after all? Governments are cashing in on seized crypto

As the first crypto firm to receive a charter from the U.S. national bank regulator in January, Anchorage has steadily expanded into the crypto market. The company raised $80 million in February and later partnered with Prometheum to launch an alternative crypto trading system.

Multiverse secures $15M investment from Samsung Next, leading blockchain VCs
July 28, 2021 10:30 pm

“Ideas have value,” said Cliff Szu, co-founder of Multiverse Labs. “[O]ur overriding goal is to help people with great ideas to discover the true value of their innovations and inventions.”

Multiverse, a decentralized artificial intelligence ecosystem that funds early-stage tech companies, has secured $15 million in investments from some of blockchain’s biggest venture funds. 

Samsung Next, an investment group focused on AI, blockchain and fintech, was among the investors, along with Arrington XRP Capital, Huobi Ventures and Fenbushi, Multiverse announced Wednesday. With the raise, Multiverse now has an implied valuation of $250 million, making it one of the largest ecosystem developer funds at the intersection of blockchain and AI.

The investment will go towards expanding Multiverse's capacity across engineering, research and marketing. The organization is eyeing a bigger presence in Europe and Southeast Asia. 

Related: New Samsung service Paperless adds document disposal to enterprise blockchain

Multiverse allows early-stage project developers to experiment with ideas and solicit feedback as they test their concepts. Platform users themselves can earn rewards for their contributions through the AI token, which is native to the Multiverse platform.

Cliff Szu, co-founder of Multiverse Labs, said his platform provides a safe space for developers to evaluate their ideas and receive feedback from a knowledgeable community.

“Many potential founders decide the risks outweigh the rewards, or simply have no access to external capital, particularly in emerging economies,” he said. “So we are creating a safe space for them to thoroughly evaluate the potential of their ideas, and to learn from a supportive and knowledgeable community that can contribute towards their success at the earliest possible stage.”

Blockchain development studios have been gaining traction recently, as more companies look to foster innovation in the nascent industry. As Cointelegraph reported, crypto unicorn Amber Group has launched a new platform for creators of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. Subject matter experts within crypto have also made their services available for a mentorship program centered around Solana’s high-performance blockchain.

On the venture capital front, investors have poured billions into blockchain startups this year alone — a feat that was unaffected by the multi-month downtrend in cryptocurrency prices.

Related: CoinFund debuts $83M crypto startup fund

VORTECS™ Spotlight: Here’s why Telcoin’s (TEL) rebound eclipsed most altcoins
July 28, 2021 9:45 pm

As Bitcoin price reversed course, a key trading indicator flashed bullish hours before TEL embarked on a sharp 82% rally.

Last week, as Bitcoin resurged after briefly falling below $30,000, a good number of altcoins embarked on their own relief rallies. Telcoin (TEL) was among this large group of digital assets whose prices shot up on July 21. 

Unlike most of its peers, however, TEL’s upward trend remained alive for the entire week, leading to a respectable 82% gain against the dollar and a 43% gain against Bitcoin (BTC) over a seven-day period. 

Given the market dynamics of the time, many traders may simply attribute this performance to a marketwide oversold bounce — but was there a way for traders to spot the potential for this tremendous run early?

TEL’s second wave

TEL is the utility token of Telcoin, a blockchain protocol designed to facilitate affordable mobile-based remittances globally. Telcoin is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and the token trades across a range of centralized and decentralized exchanges.

At the height of this week’s excellent performance, TEL reached the value of $0.022. This is still way below the coin’s all-time high registered in May, when a layer-two migration to QuickSwap and a protocol upgrade saw the asset multiply its value tenfold in just over a week, hitting the ceiling at $0.060.

This time around, the fuel for TEL’s moonshot likely came from a combination of favorable developments. Earlier in the month, the firm closed a $10-million fundraising round and simultaneously introduced a new Telcoin platform stack and two new user-owned decentralized finance (DeFi) products. Additionally, some observers noted that the protocol saw a spike in user attention resulting from the launch of the AI-driven tool “DeFI Agents” on the Fetch protocol.

The price increase chart was not the only ranking that Telcoin topped this week. Ahead of its spectacular rally, the coin also recorded the highest VORTECS™ Score of the week at 92. This value indicated the algorithm’s ultra-high confidence that the outlook for TEL had become bullish. Traders who took heed had a chance of joining the ensuing gainsfest early.

Detecting when history rhymes

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusively available to the subscribers of Cointelegraph’s data intelligence platform Markets Pro, is a quantitative-style indicator that offers a real-time comparison of several key market metrics around each coin based on years of historical data. 

Ultimately, the metric assesses whether the current outlook for this asset is bullish, bearish or neutral given the historical record of price action.

TEL price vs VORTECS™ chart. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

The price of TEL rose sharply on July 21, jumping from $0.009 to $0.015 in just 15 hours. Inevitably, after such a blistering rally, a correction was bound to occur. However, this was followed by TEL’s VORTECS™ Score shooting above 80 (the red circle in the graph) and eventually reaching 92.

By convention, scores above 80 correspond to the model’s high confidence that in the past, patterns of market and social activity similar to those currenctly observed were consistently followed by significant price increases within 12 to 72 hours.

In the case of TEL’s score of 92, the algorithm detected that throughout the asset’s history, such rallies have tended to resume after brief periods of recoil. Indeed, some 24 hours after the VORTECS™ line went dark green, a second leg of TEL’s hike unfolded, taking the coin from $0.014 to $0.021 (the first and second red boxes).

In the cryptocurrency market, much like anywhere else, history doesn’t exactly repeat itself — but it often rhymes. When history manifests in quantifiable metrics, an industry-grade artificial intelligence tool like the VORTECS™ Score can aid traders’ decision-making by alerting them to the conditions under which a rhyme is most likely to emerge.

As for TEL, a continuing stretch of extremely high VORTECS™ Scores suggests that — the overall crypto market’s health permitting — the asset could be in for a further price hike. Judging from historical precedent, it seems that the coin has not yet exhausted its bullish momentum.

Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions.

Full terms and conditions.

BIT Mining steps up Bitcoin mining operations in Kazakhstan
July 28, 2021 9:15 pm

The mining firm's expansion into Kazakhstan follows plans to introduce new energy fees for crypto miners starting in 2022.

Crypto mining firm BIT Mining, which recently announced it would be expanding out of the Chinese market, plans to purchase 2,500 Bitcoin miners for deployment in Kazakhstan.

In a Wednesday announcement, BIT Mining said it had entered a $6.6 million agreement to buy 2,500 Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs. The firm has already put 3,819 BTC miners into operation at data centers in Kazakhstan, with another 4,033 machines on the way. Once all are deployed, the addition of the recent mining purchase is expected to increase BIT Mining’s hash rate capacity to roughly 458 petahashes per second.

Though based in the city of Shenzhen, BIT Mining has said it plans to expand its operations outside of China in response to the recent government crackdown on mining. Many Chinese firms have reportedly faced shutdowns following the State Council’s Financial Stability and Development Committee announcement, curtailing BTC mining amid financial risk concerns.

Related: Crypto miner claims all major Yunnan operations shut down in advance of CCP anniversary

Some mining firms including BIT Mining have been eyeing other countries to conduct operations as the regulatory environment in China becomes seemingly less favorable. BTC maximalist and Ballet CEO Bobby Lee recently told Cointelegraph the crackdown could be an indication that the government is testing the waters for a larger crypto ban. Crypto firms may be picking up on this regulatory backlash as well — OKEx and Huobi both plan to dissolve Chinese-based business entities.

While some of the miners driven out of China may be turning to Texas for solutions, lawmakers in Kazakhstan seem to be making themselves more attractive to crypto firms by allowing local banks to open accounts for cryptocurrency transactions. Major mining firm Canaan announced last month that it had begun mining BTC in Kazakhstan. Despite this, or perhaps because of the scramble to establish new operations, the country has said it plans to impose higher taxes on miners starting in January.

Blockfolio rides off into the sunset, but it's a new dawn for FTX App
July 28, 2021 8:42 pm

FTX indicated that although the Blockfolio brand is being retired, this would not affect the services offered to users.

The Blockfolio brand is no more: One of the first genuine product brands in the cryptocurrency space, the mobile app that started as a portfolio tracker — and later morphed into a trading app under the stewardship of FTX — will now take its new owner's name.

Blockfolio, which boasted a user base in excess of six million crypto enthusiasts, was acquired by Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX Trading company in August 2020 in a deal worth $150 million. 

Related: Billionaire SBF says FTX may one day buy Goldman Sachs and CME

“The rebrand of FTX: Blockfolio to FTX puts the final cap on our acquisition of Blockfolio, doubling down on our commitment to being the number one crypto trading platform for both retail and institutional users,” said FTX CEO and crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. “Rebranding Blockfolio shows our commitment to mobile trading, and is just another step in growing our brand on a global scale and will allow us to bring new features to market and better the user experience."

In the United States, traders will experience a “simplified” version of the FTX.US website via the application, which requires compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer policies. Elsewhere, the app will redirect users to the FTX international trading platform.

Related: FTX set to secure naming rights to Miami NBA stadium until 2040

"It's the end of an era," said Blockfolio co-founder and former CEO Ed Moncada. "It's really a part of crypto history — the brand had an amazing run, and I'm very proud of the sheer number of people we managed to onboard into the crypto space through Blockfolio. But as they always do, Sam and his team are really taking this to a new level and I think the time had come for the app to come under the FTX umbrella."

FTX continues to push into the mainstream with sponsorships in areas where there is significant demographic overlap between crypto traders and potential retail audiences. Recently, FTX became an official sponsor of Major League Baseball, after securing the naming rights to the Miami Heat basketball stadium.

FTX also recently raised $900 million in a Series B funding round, with investors including Coinbase Ventures and Sequoia Capital. It currently has an $18 billion valuation.

Small-cap altcoins push higher as Bitcoin bulls fight to hold $40,000
July 28, 2021 8:20 pm

LINA, WRX and STORJ led altcoins higher even as Bitcoin bulls encounter resistance at the $40,000 level.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent surge above $40,000 injected a healthy dose of bullish optimism into the crypto market and further proof of this comes from the Crypto Fear and Greed index which has decreased from 'extreme' to 'neutral'. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the top movers over the past 24 hours are Linear (LINA), WazirX (WRX) and Storj (STORJ).

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

The overall market conditions continue to improve following the now denied rumors that Amazon would begin accepting cryptocurrencies as payment at some point in 2021 which helped spark an increase of more than $155 billion in the total cryptocurrency market capitalization over the past three days.

LINA/USD

The top performer over the past 24-hours has been Linear, a decentralized delta-one asset protocol that is cross-chain compatible and capable of creating, trading and managing liquid synthetic assets.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for LINA on July 25, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. LINA price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for LINA began to turn green on July 24 and reached a high of 84 on July 25, just one hour before its price began to increase by 48% over the next three days.

The latest round of momentum for LINA came after the protocol announced that it would be listing PancakeSwap on the Linear exchange and this move appears to have helped the price recover above its 50-day moving average.

WRX/USDT

The second-biggest gainer in the past 24-hours was WazirX, an India-based exchange that claims to be the fastest-growing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. WRX price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for WRX began to register green on July 22 as it reached a high of 74 and again climbed to 71 on July 25, around seven hours before its price began to increase by 38% over the next three days.

Related: XRP price skyrockets by 17% as double bottom chart pattern takes shape

Activity on the platform has been on the rise over the past couple of days as a result of an “India Wants Crypto” campaign that the exchange is running to help engage its community.

STORJ/USD

 Storj, an open-source cloud storage platform that utilizes a decentralized network of nodes to host user data and offers rewards to users who donate their computing resources to the network, also saw a strong breakout in the last 24-hours.

STORJ/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $0.85 on July 27, the price of STORJ rallied 33% to an intraday high at $1.13 on July 28 after its 24-hour trading volume surged from an average of $25 million per day to $186 million.

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

Coca-Cola officially gets into NFTs for charity
July 28, 2021 6:45 pm

“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand, reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said Selman Careaga.

One of the most recognizable brand names in the world is planning to release a collection of nonfungible tokens to raise money for Special Olympics International.

The OpenSea marketplace will be holding a three-day auction for Coca-Cola branded nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, starting on July 30. The NFT collections, created in partnership with digital designer Tafi, were “inspired by video-game loot boxes” and contain “hidden surprises” available only to those who purchase the artwork.

The “Friendship Boxes” feature a classic Coca-Cola cooler, a wearable bubble jacket which can be used in the Ethereum-based virtual reality world Decentraland, a friendship card, and a sound visualizer which plays audio of a bottle opening, a beverage being poured over ice, and the fizz sound common to carbonated beverages. Soft drink enthusiasts can place their bids in Ether (ETH) through OpenSea until Aug. 2.

“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand, reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said Global Coca-Cola Trademark president Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse.”

The soft drink manufacturer said it would donate the proceeds from the auction to Special Olympics International, a sports organization aimed at ending discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. The opening bid for the auction was not available at the time of publication.

Related: Coca-Cola Amatil invests in Centrapay’s seed funding round

Though the popular beverage producer has rarely if ever been directly involved in the crypto and blockchain space, some of Coca-Cola’s bottling partners use decentralized ledger technology for supply chain management. Cointelegraph reported in August that New Zealanders and Australians had the choice of purchasing the famous carbonated drink and others using crypto through a partnership between digital asset platform Centrapay and Coca-Cola Amatil.

Waiting for Alonzo: Cardano smart contracts creep toward full launch
July 28, 2021 6:24 pm

Smart contract deployment picks up the pace on Cardano’s testnets for the Alonzo, as project leadership says progress is still on track despite delays.

The Cardano network is in the watershed phase of its network development and upgrades. The ongoing phase of the protocol’s roadmap is the Goguen phase, bringing smart contracts to the network. This is the third phase of the roadmap after Byron and Shelley. The Goguen phase was split into three stages, Allegra, Mary and Alonzo.

The Allegra update went live on December 16 last year, and the Mary update was deployed on the mainnet on March 1 earlier this year. This leaves the Alonzo upgrade, which was further split into three different phases, named Blue, White and Purple. While the final deployment of the Alonzo upgrade on the mainnet was planned to be in August 2021, there seems to be a delay in the phase’s release, as Alonzo is still in the testnet part of its progress.

Since Alonzo brings the much-awaited smart contract functionality to the network, the community has been eager to see them in action, as it entails the enabling of decentralized applications (DApps) on the blockchain.

On July 15, Input Output HK (IOHK) announced on Twitter that their Alonzo testnet has hard forked from the Alonzo Blue to the Alonzo White node, allowing for the expansion of their smart contract functionality on the platform. Although Alonzo Blue offered smart contracts, its availability was only limited to a set of insiders. Alonzo White now allows operators of stake pools, and network developers and 500 validators will be able to test this functionality going forward. The Alonzo White testnet is scheduled to run for a period of two to four weeks before transitioning to the final stage of the Alonzo update, Alonzo Purple.

Cardano’s network is in the third phase of its development, known as the Goguen Update, named after American scientist Joseph Amadee Goguen. This update integrates smart contracts into the network, allowing for the creation of DApps. In phases one and two, the network has gone through the Byron and Shelley upgrades which focused on the establishment of the network and its decentralization, respectively.

After completing the Goguen phase, which was initially supposed to be finalized in August 2021, the blockchain will go through phases four and five of the project’s roadmap, named Basho and Voltaire. Basho will improve the scalability and interoperability of the network, while Voltaire promises to make the network “truly decentralized” with the transfer of the entire governance mechanism to network participants, and will no longer be under IOHK’s management.

Optimistic prediction fails

Despite a well-structured roadmap and phase updates that the network promised, some questions are being raised on its current utility. Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, had predicted on July 27, 2020, that in a year’s time there would be hundreds of assets running on Cardano, along with thousands of DApps and “tons of interesting projects.”

In the following year, the crowd has called out this optimistic prediction, pointing out the network is nowhere close to the levels of utility that Hoskinson predicted a year ago. Meanwhile, many members of the Cardano community defended the network, saying that the statement made by Hoskinson was just a prediction and not a promise. Hoskinson himself responded to the critics, saying that “There are thousands of assets on Cardano.”

He also released a YouTube video on July 8, claiming that the project is progressing in line with the framework of the defined roadmap and that more than $10 million of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been sold throughout the network. He added that once Alonzo White is deployed on the mainnet, developers will have the ability to launch DApps and NFTs on the network. Ben Armstrong, youtuber and creator of BitBoyCrypto.com, told Cointelegraph:

“The Cardano team hasn't backed away from their smart contract launch period starting in September. Considering how well the Alonzo White hard fork has gone, I don't expect any further delays. That said, Cardano's methodical approach means they'll push a deadline before the possibility of taking a step back on a bad launch.”

Marie Tatibouet, chief marketing officer of Gate.io, a cryptocurrency exchange, told Cointelegraph that the roadmap is still intact. About the questions raised on the utility aspect of the Cardano network, Tatibouet opined that since the Alonzo upgrades’ main proposition in the Goguen phase consists of the implementation of smart contracts on the network, it can’t be judged on its lack of utility until smart contracts have been completely integrated.

Armstrong spoke further on the dilemma of smart contracts holding up the network’s growth, saying, “It's a chicken and egg situation. You need smart contracts to really get DApp development going, but you also need killer DApps to draw more development to the space. There are a lot of DApps that are on Ethereum and waiting in the wings for Cardano.”

He even mentioned that since blockchain developers are in very high demand at the moment, poaching has become a huge problem. “When ICP hit Coinbase this year, Charles was open about how DFinity poached several of his top engineers. I imagine that has caused some delays in Cardano-specific development across the industry.”

Nearly 72% of all ADA is staked

At its current state, the low utility of the Cardano network might be impacting one important aspect: The staking of its native token, ADA. According to data, nearly 72% of all ADA tokens are staked on the network, amounting to around $30 billion out of a roughly $42 billion market capitalization. This includes 2,745 active pools and a total of nearly 716,000 staked addresses.

Tatibouet spoke about the current utility of ADA tokens themselves, saying: “As of now, the two main functions of the ADA tokens are staking and governance. In that regard, it is a very good sign that so many holders have faith in the network and have staked their tokens in the ecosystem.”

She also added that it’s important to remember that staking ADA is way more flexible than the usual staking mechanisms of other protocols. It allows stakers to access their tokens at any time that they choose since the tokens aren’t completely locked away from the staker, thus adding to the convenience of staking on the network. Armstrong opined further on the integration of smart contracts that will impact the high proportion of staking in the network, explaining why the tokens are being staked:

“They are hodling onto their stack of ADA, not just to use it for gains down the road but also to have a say in the eventual governance coming in Voltaire. Even with the current state of smart contracts, there are already NFTs you can buy and games to play. But once ADA asserts itself in smart contracts, you're going to see that staking figure drop significantly.”

Regarding the potential launch of DApps on Cardano after the implementation of smart contracts, Cardano also attempts to propose real-life utility through its network. Earlier in April, IOHK partnered with the Ethiopian government in a bid to revamp the country’s education system by leveraging Cardano’s blockchain technology.

Related: If the peer review system is broken, what the hell is the point of Cardano's reliance on it?

In July, Grayscale added ADA to its Digital Large Cap (GDLC), making it the third-largest component of the fund’s basket after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Grayscale is seen as a benchmark of institutional interest in the cryptocurrency markets. Duc Luu, executive chairman at Spores Network, an NFT and decentralized finance marketplace based on Cardano, told Cointelegraph:

“Cardano promises the possibility of greener blockchain footprint, lower gas fees and higher throughput which we believe makes it a prominent venue for NFTs, as well as DeFi mainstream adoption, which are the two areas that institutional investors are very much interested in.”

While discussing the timing of real-time utility coming into the network, Luu further mentioned that he believes it will happen soon, adding: “Cool functions like ERC-20 converter would allow projects to deploy quickly from ETH to ADA. There are many projects like us eagerly waiting in the background for the Cardano smart contract launch.” He also anticipates that in six months from the launch of smart contracts on the network, the Cardano ecosystem will see a drastic change.

However, it is important for the Alonzo network upgrade to be on schedule on the mainnet, as it’s highly anticipated in the community. Other upcoming blockchains like Binance Smart Chain (BSC) are growing at a rapid pace, which could lead to some of the protocols to build on it instead.

Ethereum pares gains, Bitcoin pushed under $40K as the Fed is set to reveal tapering plans
July 28, 2021 6:20 pm

The two cryptocurrencies appear directionless after correcting in sync lower from their monthly highs.

Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) pulled back on Wednesday as investors awaited fresh guidance from the United States Federal Reserve (Fed).

ETH price slipped by 0.57% to $2,857, while the BTC/USD prices were up 0.68%, changing hands at $39,739 at around 10:30 am EST. Nevertheless, both the pairs reached their current levels following a downside correction from their respective intraday highs of $2,391 and $40,925, respectively.

Ethereum and Bitcoin trends in recent history. Source: TradingView.com

Traders raised their exposure in the cryptocurrency market after Tesla's Elon Musk, Ark Invest's Cathie Wood and Twitter's Jack Dorsey spoke in favor of Bitcoin during "The B Word" Conference last week. More tailwinds came amid speculations about Amazon's plans to accept BTC as payments, a rumor that the retail giant later denied.

Ether, whose 30-day correlation with Bitcoin stands at 88% positive, moved in tandem with Bitcoin. Their synchronized price trends continued into the New York trading session Wednesday, just as markets waited for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reveal its tapering plans.

Talk about talking about tapering

The U.S. central bank officials will conclude their two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with a statement scheduled to come out at 2:00 pm EST. Investors' focus will be on signals from chairman Jerome Powell about how and when the Fed would start unwinding its asset purchase program and any potential shift in their view on inflation.

In detail, the U.S. consumer price index has boomed, hitting 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a result, as many as 54% of Americans think that the U.S. economy is in poor shape, according to a poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

But the Fed has rubbished the higher consumer prices by calling them "transitory" in nature. As a result, Powell said in his congressional testimony earlier this month that the central bank would continue its $120 billion a month bond-purchasing program, raising worries that it would cause further inflationary spikes, especially in the housing sector.

Brian O’Reilly, head of market strategy for Mediolanum International Funds, noted that there are no signs of inflation cooling down in the sessions ahead, so the Fed might just start looking into the rising consumer prices, if not putting a pause on their bond-buying program. He added:

"There will be no change, but they are at the stage where they are starting to talk about talking about tapering.”

What happens to Bitcoin and Ethereum next?

The Ethereum and Bitcoin markets' biggest vulnerability is that their valuations may not be sustained without expanding liquidity from the Fed.

Related: Bitcoin bull outlines 7 steps to more fiscal stimulus and higher BTC prices

Meanwhile, the strong underpinning is that there is substantial capital sitting on the sidelines to enter the market, with a DataTrek Research report noting that retail investors on Robinhood alone hold $400 billion to enter markets on the next big dip. FRED's Retail Money Fund also notes that retail investors hold over $1 trillion versus $643 billion in 2015.

Retail Fund Money readings show investors in hold of more than a trillion dollars. Source: FRED

"We live in an unprecedented time of fiscal and monetary stimulus," noted Anthony Pompliano, a prominent crypto advocate and the partner at Pomp Investments, in one of his recent notes to clients. He added that investors would do so much better while putting money in financial instruments than holding cash or negative-yielding assets. He said:

"If our government and economic organizations continue to outlaw bear markets and ban market corrections through their intervention actions, then the market will only be allowed to go higher and higher over time."

Tim Frost, CEO of DeFi wealth management platform Yield App, weighed concerns over analysts' renewed upside outlook for Ether and Bitcoin.

He told Cointelegraph that the markets could resume their downtrend following "a brief rally," wherein Bitcoin falls to as low as $20,000, taking Ethereum lower alongside, adding that:

"An altcoin revival is a very long way off. The crypto fear and greed index is also still very much skewed towards fear — indeed for the longest period it has ever been skewed in that direction. This isn't the beginning of a new bull run as much as the bear being caught off guard taking a nap."

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

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