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Price analysis 9/24: BTC, ETH, ADA, BNB, XRP, SOL, DOT, DOGE, AVAX, LUNA
September 24, 2021 8:23 pm

Bitcoin and altcoins made a sharp downside move to their recent lows after news that China banned crypto trading surfaced.

The crypto market’s recovery was rocked on Sept. 24 after news that China's government is adopting a new set of measures that includes stronger inter-departmental coordination to “cut off payment channels, dispose of relevant websites and mobile applications” to crack down on illegal cryptocurrency transactions efficiently.

Although the news has caused a selloff, long-term investors are unlikely to be perturbed because, apart from announcing additional measures to enforce the existing ban effectively, there is nothing else that has changed.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

China first announced a ban on cryptocurrencies back in September 2017 and that news had also resulted in a sharp correction in Bitcoin (BTC) price. However, that dip proved to be a good buying opportunity because the price recovered within a few weeks and went on to hit a new all-time high close to $20,000 in less than three months.

Is the current correction in Bitcoin and most major altcoins a good buying opportunity or could the crypto markets tumble further? Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to find out.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin bounced off the 100-day simple moving average ($40,874) and rose above the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern on Sept. 22. That showed strong demand at lower levels but the recovery could not clear the hurdle at the 20-day exponential moving average ($45,596).

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The downsloping 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) in the negative zone indicate that bears have the upper hand. If bears sink and sustain the price below the 100-day SMA, the BTC/USDT pair could decline to $37,332.70.

This level may act as a strong support but if it cracks, the next stop could be at the pattern target at $32,423.05.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current level or the 100-day SMA, the bulls will again try to drive the pair above the moving averages. A close above the 50-day SMA ($46,816) will suggest that the correction may be over.

ETH/USDT

Ether (ETH) rebounded off the 100-day SMA ($2,734) on Sept. 22 and rose above the breakdown level at $3,000. This shows that bulls bought the dip and tried to trap the aggressive bears.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the recovery stalled at $3,174.50 on Sept. 23 and the bears are attempting to establish their supremacy. The downsloping 20-day EMA ($3,255) and the RSI below 41 indicate that bears are in command.

If the index breaks and closes below the 100-day SMA, the ETH/USDT pair could witness aggressive selling. The pair could then drop towards the pattern target at $1,972.12. This negative view will invalidate if bulls drive and sustain the price above the moving averages.

ADA/USDT

Cardano’s (ADA) strong rebound off the $1.94 level hit a roadblock at the 20-day EMA ($2.36). This suggests that sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on rallies to the 20-day EMA.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears will now try to sink the price below the critical support zone at $1.94 and the 100-day SMA ($1.83). If they succeed, the ADA/USDT pair could plummet to $1.60 and then to $1.40.

Alternatively, if the price rises from the current level or rebounds off $1.94, the bulls will again attempt to clear the overhead hurdle. A break and close above the 20-day EMA will be the first sign that the correction may be over. The pair could then rally to $2.60 and then $2.80.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin’s (BNB) rebound off the strong support at $340 turned down from $385.30 today, indicating strong selling by traders at higher levels.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The downsloping 20-day EMA ($402) and the RSI below 37 indicate that bears are in control. If the $340 support cracks, the selling could intensify and the BNB/USDT pair could extend its decline to $300 and then to $250.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price rebounds off the current level, the bulls will make one more attempt to push the price above the moving averages. A break and close above $433 will signal that the correction may have ended.

XRP/USDT

XRP bounced off the 100-day SMA ($0.87) on Sept. 22 but the bulls could not extend the recovery. The altcoin formed a Doji candlestick pattern on Sept. 23, indicating indecision among the bulls and the bears.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The uncertainty resolved to the downside today as bears have pulled the price down to the 100-day SMA. If this support gives way, the selling could pick up momentum and the XRP/USDT pair could slide to $0. 70.

This level may act as a strong support but if bears sink the price below it, the next stop could be $0.50. This negative view will be negated if the price rebounds off the 100-day SMA and rises above the $1.07 to $1.13 resistance zone.

SOL/USDT

Solana (SOL) bounced and rose above the 20-day EMA ($145) on Sept. 22 but the bulls could not push the price above the downtrend line. This suggests that bears are selling on rallies.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears have pulled the price back below the 20-day EMA today and the SOL/USDT pair could now drop to the 50-day SMA ($108). This level is likely to act as a strong support.

If the price rebounds off it, the bulls will again try to thrust and sustain the price above the downtrend line. If they can pull it off, the pair could rise to $170 and then to $200.

Conversely, if the 50-day SMA cracks, the pair could witness panic selling and the price could then drop to the 78.6% Fibonacci retracement level at $98.26.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot’s (DOT) rebound off $25.50 stalled at $33.60. This suggests that bears are selling at higher levels. The bears are attempting to pull the price below the breakout level at $28.60. If they manage to do that, a retest of $25.50 is likely.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

A break and close below $25.50 will complete a bearish head and shoulders pattern. The DOT/USDT pair could then start its decline to the 100-day SMA ($21.87) and then to the pattern target at $12.23.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price rebounds off the current level or the neckline, the bulls will make one more attempt to resume the up-move. A break and close above $33.60 could open the doors for a retest at $38.77.

Related: Bitcoin hits $45K, TWTR stock price rises 3.8% after BTC tipping comes to Twitter

DOGE/USDT

The bulls pushed Dogecoin (DOGE) above $0.21 on Sept. 22 but the recovery failed to attract buyers at higher levels. After forming an inside-day candlestick pattern on Sept. 23, the price has dropped below $0.21 today.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The downsloping 20-day EMA ($0.23) and the RSI near 36 suggest that sellers have the upper hand. If bears sink the price below the $0.19 support, the DOGE/USDT pair could extend its decline to the critical support at $0.15.

This level has held on three previous occasions, hence the bulls will again try to defend it. On the other hand, if bears sink the price below $0.15, the selling may intensify and the pair could plummet to $0.10.

AVAX/USDT

Avalanche (AVAX) rebounded off the 20-day EMA ($60.15) on Sept. 21 and rose to a new all-time high on Sept. 23. However, the bulls could not thrust the price above the resistance line of the ascending channel, which may have resulted in profit-booking by short-term traders.

AVAX/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The AVAX/USDT pair has turned down today and the first stop could be the support line of the channel. A strong rebound off this support will indicate that the uptrend remains intact and traders are accumulating on dips. The pair could then rise to $94.

On the other hand, a break and close below the channel will be the first sign that the bulls may be losing their grip. If bears pull the price below the 20-day EMA, the pair could plummet to $48 and then to the 50-day SMA ($43.06).

LUNA/USDT

The bulls successfully defended the retest of the breakout level in Terra protocol’s LUNA token on Sept. 21. This suggested that sentiment remained positive and traders viewed the dips as a buying opportunity.

LUNA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers pushed the price above the 20-day EMA ($33.06) on Sept. 22 and followed that up with another up-move on Sept. 23. Although the 20-day EMA has started to turn up, the RSI is showing a negative divergence, indicating that the bullish momentum may be weakening.

If bears pull and sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, the LUNA/USDT pair could again drop to the critical support at $22.40. This is an important level to watch out for because if it cracks, the selling could intensify and the pair may drop to $18.

On the upside, if bulls drive the price above $40, the pair could retest the all-time high at $45.01. A breakout and close above this level could signal the resumption of the uptrend.

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.

Finance Redefined: Layer-two growth and the SEC’s scrutiny, Sept. 19–23
September 24, 2021 6:56 pm

Layer-two's surge to new heights, Bitcoin and DeFi EFT applications and Sushi's mistaken bug — all coming to you this week in Finance Redefined.

Welcome to the latest edition of Cointelegraph’s decentralized finance, or DeFi, newsletter.

In a week where DeFi’s parabolic growth continued elsewhere, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler threatened to tackle stablecoins.

What you’re about to read is the smaller version of this newsletter. For the full breakdown of DeFi’s developments over the last week — released a whole lot quicker than Cardano’s smart contracts — subscribe at the bottom of this page.

Layer two’s defining the future

This week, analytical data revealed that DeFi continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the crypto economy as evidenced by increases in the total value locked, or TVL, on protocols. Some of the biggest gains have been witnessed across cross-chain compatible networks and layer-two protocols that offer a lower fee environment.

Part of the Avalanche network, Trader Joe is a protocol that has experienced significant inflows since the launch of an upgraded cross-chain bridge. It allows Ethereum-based tokens and applications to migrate to its ecosystem, which has resulted in a 53.96% increase in TVL this week.

The recent emergence of layer-two technologies such as Arbitrum, Optimism and a bridge to the Avalanche ecosystem is revolutionizing the way investors, builders and developers interact with various protocols.

Each facilitates fast, low-cost transactions that improve the fundamentals of the DeFi ecosystem while also making it easier for retail-sized investors to capitalize on opportunities.

Reported by Jordan Finneseth

U.S. against the SEC

United States investment firms Invesco and Galaxy Digital Funds teamed up this week to file a registration statement with the SEC in a bid to gain approval for the sale of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF).

If approved by the SEC, the Invesco Galaxy Bitcoin ETF will be registered as a securities offering with the ability to get listed on traditional national exchanges in the United States. According to the filing, the trust will use “robust physical barriers to entry, electronic surveillance and continuously roving patrols” to protect Bitcoin privacy.

Likewise, fellow U.S. firm Amplify ETFs also filed a registration with the SEC; in this case, to add DeFi-centric, open-end ETF funds offering to the Amplify ETF Trust. Approval of the FORM N-1A filing will allow the company to issue unlimited new shares for American investors.

Reported by Arijit Sarkar

SushiSwap denies reports of billion-dollar bug

One of the developers behind the popular decentralized exchange SushiSwap has rejected a purported vulnerability reported by a white-hat hacker snooping through its smart contracts. 

According to media reports, the hacker claimed to have identified a vulnerability that could place more than $1 billion worth of user funds under threat, stating they went public with the information after attempts to reach out to SushiSwap’s developers resulted in inaction.

However, SushiSwap’s pseudonymous developer soon took to Twitter to reject the claims, with the platform’s “Shadowy Super-Coder” Mudit Gupta stressing:

“This is not a vulnerability. No funds at risk. If rewarder runs out of rewards, withdrawing LP will fail but anyone (not just sushi) can top up the rewarder in an emergency. Sushi can also just remove the rewarder.”
Reported by Samuel Haig

Token Performances

DeFi’s TVL has fallen sharply by 16.08% this week to a figure of $105.15 billion — paralleling the decline of the top DeFi tokens.

Data analysis from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView reveals that DeFi’s top 20 tokens by market capitalization suffered heavy losses across the last seven days, with only three tokens printing bullish price action. 

Avalanche (AVAX) took the top spot on the podium for bullish gains this week with a respectable 13.7%. After a final day surge, Ren nudged over the green line, but still in a distant second with 0.64%, while Dai made up the numbers in third with 0.34%. When a stablecoin makes the top three, that’s when you know it’s been a bad week!

Want to further your education? Read these additional stories:

Thanks for reading our conspectus of DeFi’s biggest stories this week. Join us again next Friday for a round of fresh stories, developments and insights from the world of DeFi.

Yemen national uses crypto donations to fight starvation amid civil war
September 24, 2021 6:52 pm

16 million people in Yemen — including 400,000 children under the age of five — already face food supplies at critical levels.

A Redditor living in Yemen’s capital city of Sana'a claims to be using cryptocurrencies to buy food packages for families unable to access supplies during an ongoing civil war.

According to a Thursday Reddit post from user yemenvoice, the Yemen national has raised roughly $12,000 in crypto donations to be used towards fighting starvation in the Middle Eastern nation. They claim to have provided 15 families with flour, rice, oil and beans and hope to reach 30 more in the near future.

“I have tried very hard to help my people by finding any possible way,” said yemenvoice. “I have tried to set up online donation campaigns, but unfortunately, all online donation platforms do not support Yemen. So, I thought of using cryptocurrencies as an alternative method, and indeed it was much easier and more effective.”

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014, followed by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition of forces responding to a request for assistance from ousted President Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The country has been subject to a blockade by air, land and sea since March 2015, leading to millions of Yemenis in need of basic necessities.

According to David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, 16 million people in Yemen "are marching towards starvation" — including 400,000 children under the age of five, according to a separate report — with food supplies already at critical levels. Yemenvoice claims to have been able to “break the siege” and get funds into the country to buy food by using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Nano (NANO).

“[I] received donations, then transferred from my wallet to the wallets of merchants or the exchange company (we have only one company that accepts Bitcoin), then I bought these food packages, as you can see, and distributed them to the elderly, single mothers and orphans, although there is no difference between young or old, everyone is starving.”

According to blockchain records, Yemenvoice’s addresses have received roughly $600 in BTC, $1 in BCH, and $64 in NANO, but the Redditor told Cointelegraph they have received $12,000 in crypto, $3,000 of which has already been used "to pay medical bills, buy medicines, pay rent and buy food." They attempted to trade the other $9,000 on Binance but claimed to have lost almost all of the funds.

"I consider the amount I lost as a debt to people, and I intend to pay it even if I had to sell one of my cars," said the Redditor.

Though the story and use of the funds could not be verified independently, yemenvoice claimed to have selected people in need and "paying them wherever I found them." Many Reddit users expressed their support for the project but questioned how someone could use crypto effectively in an area like Yemen. 

“If I send an amount of Bitcoin, they give me the equivalent in exchange for the dollar, but in the local currency, and so on I buy and distribute these goods,” said yemenvoice. “Soon you will see shop owners in Yemen trading in Bitcoin and not converting it to dollars or even to the local currency. Especially with the deterioration of living conditions here and the collapse of the Yemeni riyal.”

Related: The rise of crypto charities: Elongate and Munch raise millions for various causes

While the efforts of this Redditor seem to be using crypto as a force for good, others based in different countries have bypassed sanctions from the United States or United Nations by relying on cryptocurrency donations. In Venezuela, authorities went so far as to tacitly endorse the use of crypto seemingly as a measure to evade various sanctions imposed on the country.

Cross-chain bridge equipped altcoins rally higher despite China’s crypto ban
September 24, 2021 5:39 pm

REN, CELR and CVC ignore the market’s bearish reaction to China’s new crypto ban by posting double-digit gains.

The bullish momentum that had been growing across the cryptocurrency ecosystem over the past few days came to a screeching halt on Sept. 24 as news that China had banned cryptocurrency transactions made the rounds on social media and initiated an abrupt fall in the price of Bitcoin (BTC) from $45,000 to $42,000. 

After the initial knee-jerk reaction and a brief period of time for the market to digest the news, traders jumped back in to buy the dips on several altcoins, which helped some of the losses seen earlier in the day.

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

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that three of the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were Ren (REN), Celer Network (CELR) and Civic (CVC).

Ren brings DAI and BTC to Arbitrum

Ren is a blockchain protocol that focuses on facilitating interoperability and liquidity transfer between different blockchain networks through a series of darknodes that help to protect user privacy.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for REN have been favorable for some time.

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.

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

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for REN was in the green zone for the majority of the past week and hit a high of 81 on Sept. 21, around two hours before the price increased 58% over the next three days.

The positive momentum for REN has come as the protocol has launched wrapped forms of Bitcoin and DAI on the Ethereum (ETH) layer-two solution Arbitrum.

Celer Network releases cBridge 2.0

The Celer Network is another Ethereum layer-two scaling solution that has been gaining momentum in recent weeks thanks to its ability to lower transaction costs through the use of off-chain transaction handling, which helps to increase the scalability and the transaction throughput of its network.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for CELR on Sept. 20, prior to the recent price rise.

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

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for CELR climbed into the green on Sept. 18 and reached a high of 74 on Sept. 20, around 26 hours before its price began to increase by 99% over the next three days.

The increase in price and demand for CELR has come following the launch of its cBridge 2.0 cross-chain token bridge that facilitates the transfer of assets between multiple blockchain protocols, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Arbitrum.

Related: Diminishing returns: Is Bitcoin underperforming compared to altcoins?

Civic partners with Solrise Finance

Civic is a protocol focused on providing a blockchain-based identity management solution capable of satisfying Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements from regulators while also protecting the data and privacy of users on the network.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for CVC on Sept. 21, prior to the recent price rise.

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

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for CVC began to pick up on Sept. 21 and reached a high of 74 around eight hours before its price increased by 45% over the next two days.

The boost in momentum for Civic comes following the Sept. 23 announcement that the protocol has partnered with Solrise Finance to help launch the first permissioned decentralized exchange (DEX) on Solana.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.879 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42.1%.

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.

Morgan Stanley exec says Bitcoin is the ‘Kenny from South Park’ of money
September 24, 2021 4:30 pm

Morgan Stanley exec claims that Bitcoin continues to rise from the dead like the cartoon character Kenny in South Park.

Morgan Stanley's Dennis Lynch shared a light-hearted analogy during a discussion at Morningstar’s yearly investment conference today, claiming that Bitcoin’s insatiable ability to defy the odds and rise from both technical and fundamental adversity portrays that of the South Park cartoon character Kenny.

The 24-series show has garnered a global audience base for its weird and wacky sense of humour, epitomised by the long-standing gag that Kenny dies in each episode, only to be rebirthed and gleefully unaware of his brutal demise in the following show.

Head of asset management firm Counterpoint, a Morgan Stanley subsidiary — and a keen advocate of the show — Lynch expressed his belief in the resilience of leading cryptocurrency asset Bitcoin since its inception over a decade ago.

After experiencing and surviving numerous bearish cycles, Bitcoin has established itself as a widely recognised and respected modern payment method and store of value in the mainstream market.

Major corporations such as Microstrategy, Tesla, and Galaxy Digital Holdings have all publicly revealed billion-dollar investments in the asset, the latter now reporting an immense $5.3 billion.

In his Kenny-inspired speech, Lynch stated:

"I like to say that bitcoin's kind of like Kenny from South Park — he dies every episode, and is back again.”

Technical data from Cointelegraph Markets reveals that Bitcoin (BTC) has fallen 14.04% across the week in the wake of yet another Chinese crackdown on cryptos.

The People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, this week announced a fresh strategy to combat cryptocurrency adoption in the country. Legal and governmental departments will strive to improve their coordination and communication practices to suppress crypto-related activities effectively.

However, according to Lynch, Bitcoin already possesses some of the same antifragile traits — witnessed in the monopoly of big-tech firms, burgeoning political establishment, capital-hungry Wall Street financial markets and the self-rejuvenating Greek mythological monster Hydra — to counter this.

"I think (bitcoin) demonstrates some 'antifragile' qualities during this period of time.”

The term antifragile was coined by esteemed author Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2012 book, Antifragile, to express the definition for the opposite of fragility, as in something that gains from disorder.

In the book, Taleb wrote:

​​"Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

A well-documented example of this was Bitcoin's previous all-time high of $20,000, a seemingly insurmountable figure during the harsh bear market of 2018–2019 — and especially following the pandemic's financial crash to $4K — but a level that one year on was more than tripled with $65,000.

Diminishing returns: Is Bitcoin underperforming compared to altcoins?
September 24, 2021 4:07 pm

After several hesitant months, altcoins are now outpacing the flagship asset.

The first half of 2021 in the crypto markets brought many comparisons to 2017. Bitcoin (BTC) was on a tear to its all-time high, the new frontier of decentralized finance emerged, and nonfungible tokens were gaining myriad celebrity endorsements. 

But after the initial months of euphoria and a subsequent sell-off, BTC’s performance has been far more lackluster. The recent market sell-off resulting from the Evergrande crisis has compounded fears. However, it can’t be ignored that many altcoins, particularly platform tokens, have undergone impressive runs and, in some cases, even bucked broader market trends. 

With hopes still high that another bull run is likely during this halving cycle, should BTC holders be worried that the flagship asset is underperforming? 

2021 by the numbers

Between January and reaching its all-time high (ATH) of nearly $65,000 in April, BTC posted gains of 113%. Based on current prices, the year-to-date (YTD) gains are around 45%. 

By comparison, Ether (ETH) gained 497% between January and its ATH in May, while its year-to-date rose over 300% despite taking a recent battering

However, even ETH’s impressive gains are nothing compared to rival platform tokens. Cardano (ADA) has posted a staggering YTD increase above 1,000% while barely yet supporting any real activity. Solana’s SOL has even dwarfed that figure by rising over 8,000% since January. This comes after dropping from its all-time high above $200. Honorable mentions go to Polygon (MATIC), Avalanche (AVAX) and Terra (LUNA), all of which have undergone impressive rallies in 2021. 

Stephen Gregory, CEO of Currency.com, told Cointelegraph:

“Generally, there is a lot of enthusiasm for Web 3.0, whether that’s powering the metaverse with ETH, or much faster transaction times with SOL, or whatever the future holds for ADA. People see holding layer-one protocols as strong value picks for the future. Investing in sound tech and following the momentum and progression of the asset class following real-world use cases seems to be prudent.”

Why are altcoins outperforming BTC? 

On the face of it, the numbers do indeed seem to indicate that BTC is underperforming compared to other coins. One factor that could explain this is the law of diminishing returns. BTC is the oldest asset and twice the age of Ether. Although Bitcoin has delivered eye-popping returns during its lifetime — making billionaires out of early adopters — is it possible that the flagship asset can continue to deliver three- or four-figure returns as it ages? Given that Bitcoin’s entire economic model is based around the principle of diminishing returns, with block rewards halving every four years or so, it seems plausible. 

Moreover, as Cointelegraph has previously reported, as more investors and institutions pile in, Bitcoin has begun to mirror other assets. We can note this effect in the dampening of Bitcoin’s volatility over time. 

Arguably, the only reason that markets continue to grow is that investors continually seek out new assets of value. Therefore, while BTC appears to be delivering lower returns, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that investors are interested in more volatile assets to profit from price movements. 

But that leads to other questions: Is there a risk of creating a self-fulfilling negative cycle from BTC? As investors look to other assets to earn large gains, will BTC inevitably become less attractive? 

Or, if we dare to imagine it, does the current appetite for platform tokens indicate that investors’ sentiment toward Bitcoin is gravitating to the “no intrinsic value” argument? After all, stronger fundamentals and potential for adoption is perhaps the one big selling point that platform tokens have over Bitcoin. 

Micha Benoliel, co-founder and CEO of decentralized Internet-of-Things network Nodle, believes that platform tokens have a bright future ahead, but perhaps not at the expense of BTC. He told Cointelegraph:

“I think the market is just beginning to understand the value of blockchain ecosystems and services. That’s why altcoins are performing so well. Bitcoin, which is more a store of value, is on its trajectory and is becoming a crypto asset class with less risk and for people with a long-term investment strategy.”

Is $100,000 Bitcoin still realistic?

From another angle, even if Bitcoin returns are diminishing compared to their historical highs, gains continue to outstrip other assets, such as stocks and gold, by far. At the current rate of diminishment, BTC will continue to deliver superior performance for quite some time to come. As such, it seems unlikely that an exodus is imminent. Daniele Bernardi, CEO of investing firm Diaman Group, told Cointelegraph:

“Of course, Bitcoin appears to be underperforming compared to small- and medium-cap coins in percentage terms. But don’t forget the large difference in capitalization. If BTC prices increase by 10%, it would raise the market cap by $80 billion. If Solana, for example, increases by 100%, the real value in market cap goes up by $40 billion. For this reason, I don’t think there’s any basis for doubting Bitcoin or its position as the market-leading asset.”

As far as the bull trajectory goes, it’s also worth noting that in 2017, Bitcoin gained 1,900% between January and December. However, until now in 2021, it’s only up around 450%. If prices do follow the same pattern, that will put us on track for a year-end BTC price of around $138,000. 

That estimate is eerily close to the $135,000 year-end price predicted by the stock-to-flow (S2F) model, which continues to be the most accurate forecast of Bitcoin prices. Indeed, August’s BTC closing price is, give or take, exactly as predicted by S2F creator PlanB back in June, and September’s could be on track to follow suit. 

Bitcoin stands firm

The numbers illustrate that BTC’s returns are indeed diminishing over time across consecutive bull cycles. But this shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, considering Bitcoin’s economic model. Michaël van de Poppe, Cointelegraph contributor and full-time trader, agrees, telling Cointelegraph: 

“Investors shouldn’t be worried. It’s actually a natural habit of the markets to slow down and have lengthening cycles. This is something we will see more often in the future and will actually open up the gates for more investors. The less Bitcoin will be swinging around with their performance and daily movements, the better as an asset in your portfolio.”

However, gradually decreasing returns should not detract from the fact that Bitcoin is, by any measure, delivering a healthy performance in line with even the most bullish forecasts. According to Igneus Terrenus, head of communications at Bybit, BTC is still by far the go-to coin for newcomers — institutions or individuals — entering the space. He told Cointelegraph:

“Bitcoin remains the best investment-grade crypto asset for institutional investors. And a relatively more stable ranging pattern may actually help Bitcoin’s case as an alternative to gold and add fuel to its long-term rise. When one zooms out to five years or 10 years — horizons familiar to whales and institutional investors — Bitcoin returns beat everything.”

It’s also impossible to say whether any of the recent platform token rallies would have happened if BTC had been languishing in long-term bear territory, as money tends to flow down from BTC. 

What’s more, the models show that there’s still every reason to believe in a year-end BTC price above six figures. Currency.com’s Gregory agreed despite the increasing demand for platform tokens. He told Cointelegraph, “BTC is outperforming the market but is currently being held back by macro market trends and events on Wall Street. However, historically, Q4 has been the strongest for BTC, and it is likely history repeats itself before the end of 2021.”

Nevertheless, while BTC is in no danger of losing its status as crypto’s flagship asset, soaring altcoins undeniably offer bigger opportunities right now for those who believe they can time the markets.

U.S. government goes to court over $11M USDT purportedly stolen by fake Coinbase rep
September 24, 2021 3:45 pm

In April, sharing their Coinbase account credentials with a fraudster had cost a California resident more than $11 million. Now, there might be recourse.

On September 17, a group of officials led by U.S. attorney Tracy Wilkinson have filed a civil complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California claiming that they have identified four digital wallets holding more than 9.8 million Tether (USDT) that was involved in wire fraud, computer fraud and money laundering. According to court documents, the legitimate owner of the funds is a California resident who in April 2021 got swindled out of more than 200 Bitcoin (BTC) by someone impersonating a Coinbase employee.

Customer support goes awry

As described in the claim, the unidentified victim was contacted by what appeared to be Coinbase customer support shortly after purchasing some 200 BTC to their Coinbase Pro account on the exchange.

The alleged representative of the platform claimed that the victim’s account had been frozen due to the size of the purchase and that a transaction limit increase was needed for the funds to go through. The fraudster also suggested that the victim upgrade their account to Coinbase Prime.

Once the victim had granted the fake customer support representative access to their account via a remote desktop tool, the swindler initiated a transaction that saw approximately 206 BTC being transferred to what they purported to be the victim’s new Prime wallet.

Along with several smaller transactions that were executed within the next few hours, the value of digital assets stolen from the victim’s Coinbase account exceeded $11.5 million.

Follow the money

The claim goes on to detail how the digital assets transferred from the compromised account were “broken up and moved through multiple smaller transactions” before being concentrated in the four suspect wallets.

At this point, the government is asking the court to allow it to seize the assets for the time of the civil forfeiture proceeding.

Daniel Davis, a partner at law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, explained to Cointelegraph that the federal government will have to prove that the funds are subject to forfeiture. If the plaintiff prevails, the proceeds will be forfeited to the United States before they can be returned to the legitimate owner. Davis further commented:

This action is one of a growing trend where the federal government is attempting to use its civil forfeiture authority to obtain custody of digital assets. […] One can expect that as interest and trading in digital assets grows, civil forfeiture actions like this one will grow if the government identifies assets it believes were part of illegal activity.

David Silver of law firm Silver Miller, who is involved in the Cryptsy class action that Cointelegraph covered earlier this week, believes that the Department of Justice utilizing a forfeiture action in a civil case should be exciting news for everyone in crypto who wants to see crypto hit the mainstream. Silver noted:

Stolen digital assets is one of the biggest problems in the space, and recovering stolen cryptocurrency is a much-needed solution. I would expect to see more actions like this both from law enforcement and civil litigants.”

As Cointelegraph reported in July, the U.S. Marshals Service, or USMS, tapped digital asset platform Anchorage Digital to custody and service the digital assets subject to civil forfeiture. Some estimates suggested that between 2014 and July 2021 USMS had seized north of 185,000 BTC linked to federal crimes.

$16B charity provider enables Bitcoin donations via The Giving Block
September 24, 2021 1:44 pm

RenPSG to allow charities to accept more than 45 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether and Dogecoin.

The Giving Block, a major organization focused on the cryptocurrency donations industry, continues to expand its crypto charity reach with a new partnership.

The organization will be working with charitable platform provider RenPSG to allow its donors to move cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) into new donor-advised funds to support nonprofits and other charitable organizations, The Giving Block announced Sept. 23.

As part of the partnership, RenPSG will start offering a solution that allows charities to accept more than 45 different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE).

Renaissance Charitable Foundation, a donor-advised fund sponsor, will be the first of RenPSG’s institutional clients to begin accepting crypto donations via the new solution starting this week, The Giving Block said.

Founded back in 1987, RenPSG is a major charity platform operating a custom donor-advised solution by providing a proprietary philanthropic software known as DFX. According to The Giving Block, the RenPSG supported $16.6 billion in donor-advised fund assets for financial firms and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States in 2020.

“With RenPSG’s massive reach, The Giving Block is taking another step towards making crypto philanthropy a worldwide phenomenon,” the organization noted on Twitter.

Kelly Palmer, RenPSG’s executive director vice president of strategic growth operations, pointed out that the platform is embracing crypto donations in response to the growing industry adoption:

“As the number of cryptocurrency users has grown, so has the number of crypto donations. We expect many of our clients to take advantage of this solution to diversify the types of assets they accept into their donor-advised fund offering and create interest to a whole new pool of donors.”

Related: eToro commits $1M to GoodDollar universal basic income project

The Giving Block co-founder Pat Duffy told Cointelegraph that Bitcoin and Ether were the top donated cryptocurrencies throughout the organization’s network in 2021. “Historically Bitcoin has been dominant, but this year ETH seems to be pulling away with the lead,” he noted, adding that DOGE donations have also seen a surge this year.

Founded in 2018, The Giving Block is a major crypto donation solution focused on helping nonprofits raise funds in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. On Monday, the organization announced that it is on pace to process over $100 million in cryptocurrency donations in 2021. The Giving Block also expects to facilitate $1 billion in cryptocurrency donations in 2022 through a number of partnerships that are set to go live in the fourth quarter of 2021 ahead of Giving Season.

Sound familiar? September 2017 China Bitcoin ‘ban’ sparked $20K all-time high in 3 months
September 24, 2021 1:25 pm

The latest debacle over China’s anti-crypto stance has a firm historical echo to it — and old hands are more than aware.

Bitcoin (BTC) dipped deeper to challenge $40,000 support during Sept. 24 as the dust settled on what analysts stressed was a false alarm from China.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

A classic bull run formula?

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed new multi-day lows of $40,690 for BTC/USD on Bitstamp, down 8% on the day.

Hodlers had been frustrated but remained unfazed by the news that China had allegedly upped its cryptocurrency “ban,” this in fact simply being a reiteration of the People’s Bank of China’s existing restrictions in place for four years.

The events have a ring to them — in September 2017, the original “ban” announcement sent Bitcoin tumbling, only to recover to its original levels within weeks and set a new all-time high of $20,000 less than three months later.

The fact was not lost on long-time market participants, including those on social media, where the China news had initially resurfaced and sparked panic.

For trader and analyst Rekt Capital, meanwhile, the sell-off merely highlighted the inexperience of newcomers to the market.

“BTC investors who have been in the market for a while have heard many different iterations of FUD from China. But newer investors, unarmed with this experience, are the ones who are affected most,” he tweeted on the day.

“Their panic selling is what is fuelling this recent downside.”

$38,000 support untouched

The move nonetheless erased several days of BTC price gains, including those resulting from Twitter launching Lightning Network tipping.

Related: Bears aim to pin Bitcoin price below $46K leading into Friday’s $3B BTC options expiry

If to look at spot market composition, however, it was clear that the selling had had little impact on support, this still amassing below $40,000.

BTC/USD buy/ sell levels (Binance) as of Sept. 24. Source: Material Indicators

As Cointelegraph previously reported, “line in the sand” levels for bulls had already been set in the mid-$30,000 range.

A popular minimum monthly close price for September, in the meantime, still stands at $43,000.

Ethereum drops more than Bitcoin as China escalates crypto ban, ETH/BTC at 3-week low
September 24, 2021 1:20 pm

The second-largest cryptocurrency falls 13.30% versus Bitcoin's 9.38% decline as China's move scares investors away.

The price of Ethereum's native token Ether (ETH) crept lower Friday after China extended its crackdown on cryptocurrencies by deeming their transactions to be "illegal."

"Financial institutions and non-bank payment institutions cannot offer services to activities and operations related to virtual currencies," the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website Friday, adding that online crypto services to Chinese residents offered by offshore exchanges are also "illegal financial activities."

Bids for the ETH/USD pair dropped by up to 13.30% to $2,735 in response. At its week-to-date (WTD) high, traders paid as much as $3,346 for a single Ether token but the price fell to as low as $2,651 after a tumult in China's heavily indebted property sector hit crypto markets.

ETH/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView.com

As a result, Bitcoin (BTC), the world's leading cryptocurrency, also fell from its WTD high of $47,358 to as low as $2,651. Meanwhile, its prices fell by 9.38% on Friday—a massive intraday decline but lower than Ether's drop in the same period.

So it appears that traders decided to dump the digital assets that posted better long-term profits than Bitcoin. For instance, even after the latest declines, ETH/USD's year-to-date (YTD) gains came out to be above 280%. In contrast, Bitcoin's YTD profits were a little over 40%.

ETH/BTC falls to multi-week lows

Ether also underperformed directly against Bitcoin, with the ETH/BTC pair falling to 0.066 BTC for the first time in more than three weeks. At its yearly high, the pair traded at 0.079 BTC.

ETH/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView.com

Nonetheless, Ethereum charts suggest that Ether could grow stronger against Bitcoin in the coming sessions. This is due mainly to a Bull Flag formation in ETH/BTC market, a bullish continuation pattern that surfaces when prices consolidate lower/sideways (FLAG) following a strong uptrend (FLAGPOLE).

A Bull Flag typically sets its profit targets at length equal to the Flagpole's size if the price breaks above its channel's upper trendline. That said, ETH/BTC may undergo a bullish breakout to eye its previous local high of 0.0824 BTC.

Bullish fundamentals persist

Meanwhile, the Ethereum token also expects to surge overall because of its growth in the emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) sector. As Cointelegraph reported earlier, the total value locked (TVL) across the decentralized applications (DApp) industry reached $142 billion in August 2021, out of which 68% was concentrated on the Ethereum network.

Related: Ethereum forming a double top? ETH price loses 12.5% amid Evergrande contagion fears

That ensures more demand for Ether tokens for its ability to power smart contracts that back DApps. On the other hand, its active supply across the board anticipates declines as holders continue to lock their ETH holdings into Ethereum's proof-of-stake smart contract.

The total value staked into the Ethereum PoS smart contract has jumped from 11,616 ETH to 7.76 million ETH in nine months. Source: CryptoQuant

More supply is expected to go out of circulation as the Ethereum network continues to burn a portion of its daily 13,000 ETH issuance following its Aug. 5 London hard fork upgrade. According to WatchTheBurn, the network has burned 358,616 ETH worth over $1 billion.

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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