In the past 3 weeks, the valuation of the crypto market has increased by more than $22 billion from $111 billion to $123 billion.
There is no shortage of technical charts, indicators, analysts and observers trying to predict where crypto markets and Bitcoin will go next. They are far more volatile than traditional stock or forex markets so many of these indicators may not be applicable in the same way. A lot is just guesswork so a combination of fundamentals and technicals may give us a better idea of what is going on.
A Fundamentally Strong Environment for Crypto
While most analysts agree that from a technical standpoint the bear market is not over yet, fundamentally things could not be better for Bitcoin and crypto. Late 2018 and so far this year the news has all been pretty good for Bitcoin and its brethren despite the opposite happening to prices.
Now that the US government has been switched back on, progress can be made at the SEC and CFTC on regulatory approval for a number of highly anticipated crypto investment products. Huge names including the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and Fidelity are in the holding pattern alongside others such as ErisX waiting to launch Ethereum futures. It is expected that one of these will be approved within the next month or two which could be a big driving factor for market momentum.
I believe, a #Bitcoin #ETF serves the public interest via:
+ Increased liquidity using the ETF ecosystem
+ Lower counter-party risk
+ Better valuation & execution practices
+ Separation of duties: trading, custody, valuation
+ Transparent fees
+ Established compliance framework pic.twitter.com/OB0XUZeJ1O
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) February 3, 2019
Digital asset regulation is progressing in many nations in the Middle East and across Asia as doors slowly open to crypto. Two years ago the space was a daunting quagmire for many governments and only China seems to have slammed the door on it completely. Today more countries have welcomed the nascent industry than ever before.
Big banks getting involved are unlikely to drive momentum for individual cryptos but things like the JPMCoin serve to increase overall awareness and acceptance of them. Digital currencies are here to stay and the fintech and internet giants need to be a part of it. Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S10, will have crypto wallet functionality built in. Google and Facebook are actively recruiting blockchain teams and Rakuten, Japan’s equivalent of Amazon, is reportedly considering crypto payments.
JPM coin isn’t supposed to compete with Bitcoin or SWIFT.
Although it does nail the early use cases ripple pushed for (e.g. internal netting, pooling for corporates)
Remember JPMC is a dominant global player in transaction banking. They can give huge value to existing clients
— Simon Taylor (@sytaylor) February 18, 2019
Lightning Network Growth
On the technical side Bitcoin’s Lightning Network continues to grow in terms of unique channels which are now numbered at over 25,000. Ethereum is due for a network upgrade at the end of the month when Constantinople finally gets deployed and progress is being made with a lot of the major blockchain dApp platforms such as EOS, TRON, and NEO.
Some crypto assets have already turned around and have started up trending since their lowest points of last year. Cryptos that have made over 100% since mid-December include Litecoin, EOS (on today’s rally), TRX, Binance Coin, and Ethereum is close with a recovery of 80%.
Fundamentally things are looking good for the industry so if this current rally doesn’t last, don’t worry, the next one probably will.
Image from Shutterstock
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