Why is bitcoin surging? — Here are 4 possible explanations

“The fact the Binance news was shrugged off was telling. Add in the Bitfinex debacle and you can see that the sentiment really is rising,” Greenspan …

If you haven’t heard, bitcoin is back. The digital currency on Thursday booked its eighth winning session in the past 10 and is on track to log four successive winning months — this after recording six losing months in a row, an unflattering record it had never previously achieved.

The bitcoin BTCUSD, +4.87% rally is nearing 100% off its December 2018 low at $3,200, and year-to-date the cryptocurrency has added 70%.

So what’s behind the rally bitcoin? Here are four potential answers:

Technically driven

One thing the bitcoin rally has done is bust through some closely watched technical levels. Whether it’s the resistance at $4,000, the psychological $5,000 mark or some key momentum indicators, the technical outlook has flipped from lower highs to higher lows.

“Bitcoin’s long-term technical profiles continue to point to a new up cycle,” wrote chart watcher Rob Sluymer of Fundstrat Global Advisors.

“With bitcoin now back to a resistance band near $6,000, similar to where it was in Q2 2015, a pullback would not be surprising. However, rather than sell or attempt to micromanage bitcoin exposure, we would strongly encourage investors to remain focused on the longer-term bottoming profile developing,” he said.

Bitcoin, per Fundstrat Global Advisors

Moreover, bitcoin broke above closely observed 200-day moving average, and on April 23, the digital asset scored a golden cross, where the 50-day moving average crosses above the 200-day moving average — underlining its upside momentum.

Read:Bitcoin rises from the ashes

The adoption argument

Arguably, bitcoin’s biggest battle is getting people to use it. Whether as a store of value or a medium of exchange, digital assets have struggled to garner attention, especially from institutional investors.

But, according to a recent Fidelity survey, this is slowly changing. The Boston-based asset manager said nearly half of institutional investors believe digital assets can play a role in their portfolio, while 22% already own some form of digital currency.

“We’ve been seeing steady growth and adoption in the industry, and prices are starting to get in line with the usage of bitcoin,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro.

Read:More than 20% of institutional investors already own digital assets, Fidelity survey finds

Is sentiment shifting?

Bitcoin, for the first time in a while, is shrugging off bad news. The industry, which is prone to negative headlines, including exchange heists and malfunctions, or the use of cryptos for illicit activity, has been back in the headlines.

“The fact the Binance news was shrugged off was telling. Add in the Bitfinex debacle and you can see that the sentiment really is rising,” Greenspan added.

Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges said on Tuesday that hackers stole more than $40 million worth of bitcoin. And on April 26, the New York Attorney General accused crypto exchange Bitfinex and Tether of an $850 million coverup.

But the digital currency barely flinched. After a momentary selloff, bitcoin resumed its march higher.

Read:More than $40 million in bitcoin stolen in hack of world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange

Are people actually dropping gold?

Or maybe people are trading in a popular haven asset for a slice of digital currency.

On May 1, Grayscale Investments, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, kicked off a provocative ad campaign to promote bitcoin as a better alternative to gold. The campaign, which employed the social-media hashtag #DropGold, promoted bitcoin as a better store of value, arguing it’s more secure and borderless.

Read:Bitcoin tycoon Silbert kicks off ad campaign against ‘overpriced metal’ gold

And, it turns out the gold bugs were watching. A day after the campaign launched, the World Gold Council rolled out another explanation as to why cryptocurrencies are no substitute to gold. “Cryptocurrencies extreme daily and intraday volatility disrupts its use as a medium of exchange and discourages strategic investments,” wrote Adam Perlaky, manager of investment research at the World Gold Council.

But, maybe the ad got some investors reassessing their gold investments. On May 7, six days after the ad kicked off, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC, +5.41% topped the list of the most actively traded stock on OTC Market Group.

As always, there’s myriad theories behind each and every bitcoin move, but after a torrid 18 months for bitcoin bulls, it doesn’t really matter why it’s up. And on Friday it was up again, rising 2.6% to $6,290.

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Monero’s (XMR) lead developer, Riccardo Spagni, helps Jameson Loop discredit Craig Wright

On 9th May 2019, Jameson Loop had published an op-ed on Bitcoin Magazine where he discredited Craig Wright’s claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto.

On 9th May 2019, Jameson Loop had published an op-ed on Bitcoin Magazine where he discredited Craig Wright’s claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. Under the legal counsel of Craig Wright, Jameson Loop’s article has been geo-blocked in the UK and Australia.

Following the Geoblocking of the article, a number of people joined together and copy pasted the article on other websites to ensure people in the UK and Australia can read the article. Riccardo Spagni, the lead developer of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency, too created several copies of the article, so people can read it.

If you’re in the UK or Australia and want to read up on how Craig Wright is a massive fraud, I’ve got you covered fam.https://t.co/sw72iVc9qghttps://t.co/hiqrxdOCK0

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— Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) May 9, 2019

Jameson Loop’s Op Ed

Jameson Loop, the lead developer at CASA, wrote an op-ed in which he points out flaws in Craig Wright’s claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. He uses past actions of Satoshi Nakamoto and compares them with statements Craig Wright has said publicly.

Some of the points raised by Jameson Loop are,

  1. Satoshi Nakamoto always mentioned Bitcoin as “Bitcoin” while Craig Wright in his early writings from 2011 mentioned Bitcoin as “Bit Coin”.
  2. Wright said that he never called Bitcoin as “cryptocurrency” while Satoshi Nakamoto did on many occasions.
  3. Craig Wright publicly said “I am a lawyer and this [financial law] is my area of specialty,” while the real Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010 said “I am not a lawyer and I can’t possibly answer that”

The entire article can be read here.

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Bitcoin’s Liquid Sidechain Makes a Splash on Bitfinex

Embattled Bitfinex has announced the integration of Blockstream’s Bitcoin sidechain, the Liquid Network. The upgrade is already seeing users …
bitcoin liquid sidechainBitcoin Technology

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Georgi Georgiev| May 10, 2019 | 11:00


Embattled Bitfinex has announced the integration of Blockstream’s Bitcoin sidechain, the Liquid Network. The upgrade is already seeing users impressed with faster and more private transactions.


Bitcoin Liquid Integrated At Bitfinex

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Bitfinex, has announced the integration of Blockstream’s Liquid Network.

The Liquid Network is an inter-exchange settlement network which links together cryptocurrency exchanges and institutions in order to enable quicker Bitcoin transactions, as well as the issuance of digital assets.

According to the official announcement, the integration will allow for tighter exchange spreads, faster trading, as well as improved confidentiality.

Speaking on the matter was Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex, who outlined:

Issuing Bitcoin, stablecoins, and various other digital assets under one blockchain platform makes a lot of sense. […] It reduces the integration burden for an exchange like ourselves, and traders can manage all their assets from a single wallet application. We’re excited to be active on the Liquid Network, and we’re looking forward to watching it develop.

Results Are Already Showing

The integration of Liquid is already proving to be worthwhile, according to derivatives trader Federico (@Federico_Xmas), who noted:

Just tried transferring BTC from TheRockTrading to Bitfinex using Blockstream Liquid, the transaction was executed and confirmed in less than 5 minutes, and best of all the amount is confidential to outside observers. Congrats to both exchanges and all other people involved.

Just tried transferring BTC from @TheRockTrading to @bitfinex using @Blockstream Liquid, the transaction was executed and confirmed in less than 5 minutes, and best of all the amount is confidential to outside observers. Congrats to both exchanges and all other people involved 👏

— Federico 🎅 (@Federico_Xmas) May 9, 2019

Unlike Bitcoin’s public blockchain, transactions carried out on liquid are private by default. This means that the amounts, as well as the types of assets transacted, are hidden from third parties.

Liquid Network Gaining Traction

Launched in October 2018, the Liquid Network is quickly gaining traction all throughout the space. According to a recent blog post, the network has added 14 new members, including Bluefire Capital, Huobi, OpenNode, Gate.io, and others.

liquid bitcoin

Moreover, the company has revealed that further integrations are also going to go live in the coming weeks. Perhaps one of the more interesting upcoming developments is the fact that BitMEX is also working with Blockstream to support L-BTC deposits and withdrawals.

Additionally, Tether (USDT), and Stably (USDS) have also revealed plans to launch on Liquid.

Back in March, Blockstream also released a user-geared wallet for its Liquid sidechain asset called Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC).

Bitfinex meanwhile was recently served with a court order by the New York Attorney General, alleging a cover-up of $850 million in losses. While no charges are being sought at the time, the exchange says it’ll fight the ‘false assertions.’

What do you think of Bitfinex integrating Liquid? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Ethereum’s Joseph Lubin: Bitfinex, Tether Situation ‘Probably Won’t Get Better’

As covered, Bitfinex was accused by New York’s Attorney General of participating in a cover-up to hide $850 million in losses. The allegations revived …

Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, who’s also the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency-related software company ConsenSys, has recently stated he believes the Bitfinex, Tether situation seems to be a “really big mess” that “probably won’t get better.”

Speaking to Bloomberg at the sidelines of the Fluidity Summit conference in New York, Lubin revealed he thinks some good may come out of it, as other stablecoins may gain traction. He was quoted as saying:

Tether is somewhat important to our ecosystem because it’s used by different institutions to effect more fluid trading. There are other price-stable tokens out there — many others — and I think they’re going to gain traction because of this. I think that will be a really good thing.

As covered, Bitfinex was accused by New York’s Attorney General of participating in a cover-up to hide $850 million in losses. The allegations revived concerns over Tether’s backing, as it was supposed to have 1 USD in reserve for every USDT token in circulation.

Earlier this year the company quietly diluted its reserve claims, and soon after it was revealed that USDT is backed by cash and short-term securities equal to 74% of USDT tokens in circulation. Worryingly, Tether accounted for over 80% of bitcoins’ trading volume as of March of this year.

Bitfinex reportedly lost the $850 million as a third-party payment processor claims the funds were seized by governments throughout the world. To fix the situation it’s set to hold a $1 billion initial exchange offering (IEO) that’s said to already have lined up the $1 billion in commitments.

Regarding concerns Tether’s USDT tokens have been used to manipulate the price of bitcoin – something the US Department of Justice is investigating – Lubin noted that “all prices on the planet are being manipulated.” He added:

Any time that well-resourced actors can get in there and do something, you have to expect them to do that. So we need to build better system.

Lubin added that the “status of things is great,” as last year’s price correction aw the system grow “enormously” as those who were “pulled in by excitement riven by price growth” stayed in the crypto space and have been helping build it.

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How does public blockchain technology work?

The blockchain was initially introduced with Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or group of people who remains anonymous. Although there is no …

Blockchain technology, the base layer that works as the database where crypto transactions live, exists in the realm of DLTs, or distributed ledger technology. Although a blockchain is always a DLT, a DLT may not be a blockchain.

The difference between DLTs and blockchain is based on permissions and roles. While in the first system there can be multiple roles assigned to different users, such as administrator, operator and so on, in a blockchain all users have equal permissions and rights.

Explaining blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is a cryptographically secured distributed ledger run by crypto incentives that allows network nodes to transact in a peer to peer (P2P) decentralised fashion, and to reach consensus on the state of every transaction of the global network chain. Implementing disintermediation can reduce failures inherent to centralised platforms, such as lack of transparency, corruption, coercion, censorship, excessive market power and transaction costs.

The blockchain was initially introduced with Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, a person or group of people who remains anonymous. Although there is no reference to its name on the original Bitcoin whitepaper, the blockchain represents the database where original Bitcoin transactions live.

When practitioners and scholars refer to blockchain in general, they refer to an open governance where everyone can participate in the P2P network and validate transitions, and to the data infrastructure, which is composed of a chain of blocks in a distributed ledger nature (distributed database). In terms of infrastructure, all cryptos present a blockchain infrastructure, like the original Nakamoto idealisation. However in terms of governance openness, post-Bitcoin blockchain cryptos tend to present other degrees of openness. These no longer represent the initial conception of Nakamoto’s Blockchain.

Public blockchain components

A public blockchain is composed of five main technologies:

  1. A public distributed ledger, or database, where information is written through posting transactions. Any user can write to this database by sending or receiving a transaction. Addresses are pseudo-anonymous and all recorded information is linked in multiple blocks, all time-stamped by the creator.
  2. PGP encryption, or pretty-good-privacy, that creates private-public addresses. This technology allows any user to prove they are the owner of a piece of data, without showing their master key (or password). In essence we can show another user we are the owners of an address (an account) without showing our credentials. It gives users much needed privacy to transact independently digitally.
  3. A cryptocurrency, or token, that is associated to all transactions that occur on any given blockchain. Tokens can grant its owners different properties, such as the right to write on that blockchain, voting-rights, income-rights and so on. A token can be a representation of a good, a currency, a collectible, or a digital representation of any asset. Cryptocurrencies are essential as they give an incentive for users to keep the network secure.
  4. Distributed consensus, usually associated to proof-of-work (PoW), or the technology that requires any user who wishes to validate transactions and to keep the network secure, to waste energy by resolving complex computational problems. The incentive is the cryptocurrency reward validators (or miners) receive for keeping the blockchain secure. The idea is that by requesting blockchain validators to keep wasting energy in order to find the solution to the computational problem at hand, usually called hash, we maintain the security of the network by making it hardly impossible for anyone to have more than 51% of the voting power. Thus, consensus remains decentralised.
  5. A permissionless P2P network, in order for users to own their cryptocurrency and not depend on third-parties (like banking infrastructure of traditional payment channels). It allows them to transact freely with one another. P2P is based on the idea users can be the owners of their data, as it gets stored publicly but can only be accessed by the owner who possesses the right key-pair.
DLT Blockchain
Permissionless P2P No Yes
Distributed database Yes Yes
PGP Encryption Yes Yes
Cryptocurrency No Yes
Distributed consensus Yes Yes

Conclusion

Blockchain technology can help build a better web 4.0, however, cryptocurrency enthusiasts should focus on permissionless and public technology, rather than private-blockchain use-cases, simply because the future is being built on top of a permissionless technology.

If we do not make an effort to start promoting increased value-sharing between companies and users, we might be unable to find solutions to many of the data and money ownership issues we have to deal with nowadays.

The post How does public blockchain technology work? appeared first on Coin Rivet.

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