Massive Bitcoin Price Rally Awaits Shorts Trigger Beyond Fresh 2019 High

While the Bitfinex-Tether scandal, in which the Office of the New York Attorney General alleged Bitfinex of misusing $900 million of Tether’s cash …

By CCN: In the past month, the bitcoin price has climbed 23 percent against the U.S. dollar in major markets, recording nearly a 70 percent year-to-date (YTD) gain.

The bitcoin price is up by more than 23 percent in the past month (source: coinmarketcap.com)

The bitcoin price has almost fully recovered to November 2018 levels as it surged past $6,300 with strong volume and momentum.

Since March, the real volume of bitcoin calculated using the methodology of Bitwise Asset Management has surged by three-fold from $270 million to over $700 million, indicating an increase in interest towards the dominant cryptocurrency.

What Will Trigger a Bitcoin Bull Run?

Last week, global markets analyst Alex Krüger noted that if bitcoin surpasses $6,400, the most traded price of 2018, it would confirm the start to a new bull market.

$BTC now at $5750, the 2018 low prior to the November crash.

– The 2018 bear trend ended once above $4200.

– Above $6400, 2018’s most traded price, it’s a bull market. pic.twitter.com/rIQI8RIPgs

— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) May 3, 2019

The bitcoin price has surged by nearly 10 percent in the past week and despite various optimistic technical indicators, for the asset to climb above key levels it would need solid catalysts that could act as stimuli for near-term growth.

Some analysts like David Puell, the head of research at Adaptive Capital, have said that shorts of bitcoin are far from being liquidated and squeezed.

A short squeeze could serve as a potential stimulus for the bitcoin price, especially if the volume of shorts increase in upcoming days out of caution from traders that the $6,400 resistance level may be too big for the asset to overcome.

“Price is not only parabolic but vertical now. Shorts are still far from getting fully squeezed. $6.4k may activate longs from late trend traders, setting up the perfect blow-off top. Blue: pullback targets after this potential climactic top from who knows where,” Puell said.

While the Bitfinex-Tether scandal, in which the Office of the New York Attorney General alleged Bitfinex of misusing $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves, led to a substantial increase in the premium of BTC on Bitfinex that may have led the price to climb, the premium of BTC on the exchange has declined in the past few days.

Had the disproportional premium of BTC on Bitfinex continued to exist, it could have largely affected the stability of the crypto market and raised serious concerns on the sustainability of the market’s short-term movement.

Will BTC Continue to Outperform Alternative Crypto Assets?

As explained by Yassine Elmandjra, a crypto asset analyst at ARK Invest, bitcoin has outperformed every top 10 crypto asset in the past month.

“On a day where everything is bleeding red except Bitcoin, let us be reminded that Bitcoin has continued to outperform every coin in the top 10 over the last month. On average, the top 10 coins by market cap are down more than 30% against Bitcoin,” Elmandjra said.

Previously, investors like Multicoin Capital general partner Vinny Lingham said that crypto assets would have to show independent price movements to sustain the momentum of the market.

“Many people believe that the crypto winter is over. Here are some of my unfiltered thoughts on this topic. Charts & technicals aside, I don’t believe this rally is sustainable for one reason: The market has not yet decoupled the various crypto assets from Bitcoin,” Lingham said in April.

The decoupling of crypto assets since last month suggests that the market as a whole is no longer engaging in a downside movement, possibly as the confidence of investors rekindles in the near-term.

It remains to be seen whether BTC could hold its price at important resistance levels even with the ongoing Bitfinex-Tether controversy, a scandal which some have argued has the potential to become the biggest intervention of the crypto market in history.

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Bitfinex welcomes another coin with a 1:1 peg to Bitcoin

Let’s forget the controversy surrounding Bitfinex and look on the bright side. A Bitcoin sidechain, Liquid, developed by Blockstream has launched its …

Let’sforget the controversy surrounding Bitfinex and look on the brightside. A Bitcoin sidechain, Liquid, developed by Blockstream haslaunched its coin on Bitfinex.

DubbedLiquid Bitcoin (LBTC), the coin can now be deposited or withdrawn onBitfinex. The coin has a ratio of 1:1 with Bitcoin. The Liquidnetwork is controlled by institutions which include cryptocurrencyexchanges. The current members of the network include Tilde, Huobi,BTCTrader, DMM Bitcoin, among others.

According to Paolo Ardoino, CTO, Bitfinex:

“IssuingBitcoin, stablecoins, and various other digital assets under oneblockchain platform makes a lot of sense. It reduces the integrationburden for an exchange like ourselves, and traders can manage alltheir assets from a single wallet application.”

LBTCis Bitcoin on the Liquid network. As stated by Blockstream, Liquid is an inter-exchangesettlement platform that connects virtual currency exchanges andother institutions across the globe. This, in turn, facilitatesfaster BTC transactions plus the issuance of digital assets. Thespeed of Liquid proves beneficial for traders engaged in arbitrage.

Althoughthe chain was initially closed to a select few, it is slowly lettingthe general public to have a feel of the network using the Liquidclient.

Asnoted by Blockstream’s Mario Gibney, apart from allowing Liquidusers to send funds to other users without an intermediary,Blockstream is considering supporting “an easy-to-use-mobilewallet.”

Gibney added:

“Andas more exchanges integrate (as Bitfinex and the Rock Trading alreadyhave), then users will be able to deposit and withdraw from thoseexchanges within 2 minutes.”

TheLiquid network is a permissioned platform with 15 entities selectedto validate and commit transactions. While this may not be the bestapproach, once those using the platform build trust with thevalidators, it “would make transfers pretty much instant, and thuswould make arbitrage a lot faster.”

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Bitfinex Exchange Claims It Is Very Lucrative To Operate a Cryptocurrency Exchange

The controversial and popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex claims that running a crypto exchange platform is very lucrative. According to the …
Bitfinex-Exchange-Claims-It-Is-Very-Lucrative-To-Operate-a-Cryptocurrency-ExchangeBitfinex-Exchange-Claims-It-Is-Very-Lucrative-To-Operate-a-Cryptocurrency-Exchange

The controversial and popular cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex claims that running a crypto exchange platform is very lucrative. According to the company, iFinex Inc. the company behind the exchange and the stablecoin Tether (USDT), they registered a profit of $404 million last year.

Bitfinex Claims Exchanges Are Very Profitable

In a recently released white paper, iFinex reported a $404 million profit in 2018 on $418.2 million in gross profit. At the same time, Bitfinex disclosed that it seeks to raise up to $1 billion through an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). The intention is to be able to claim for $850 million that are frozen in bank accounts in Poland, Portugal, and the United States.

As reported by Bloomberg, New York’s attorney general has accused Bitfinex and Tether to cover-up $850 million in losses. This generated controversies in the market about the stability of the Tether stablecoin, the largest in the market.

Bitfinex has also announced that it is launching LEO, a digital currency that would allow users of the exchange to pay lower fees when they trade virtual currencies. Bitfinex will be using 95% of the recovered funds from government seizures to repurchase and also burn the tokens in one and a half year after the day of recovery.

The white paper explains that the firm has between 60 and 90 employees and that they registered expenses of $14 million just in 2018.

Bitfinex will have to work hard in order to recover the trust from clients, traders and the crypto market in general. Thus, this is expected to be a very difficult task for the company.

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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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Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You’ll Be Blocked

“Why are we not talking about Adam Back and Samson Mow, two of the most visible employees of Blockstream publicly siding with Bitfinex given that …

Crypto Twitter (CT) is a grueling battleground between digital currency enthusiasts, company executives, maximalists, journalists, lawyers, and so-called thought leaders and luminaries. For instance, on May 8, reporter Larry Cermak posted data concerning Blockstream and its sidechain project Liquid’s performance over the last seven months. After Cermak shared unbiased figures and queried an alleged conflict of interest, the Blockstream account instantly blocked the journalist.

Also read: Bitcoin’s Software Has Been Rolled Back Before

Liquid’s Lack of Traction Sparks Intense Crypto Twitter Debate

CT is a wonderful place so long as you toe the maximalist party line, sing kumbaya, and tell everyone how great BTC is on a daily basis. Because if you don’t repeat these values, you just might be designated persona non grata. This week on CT, the founding partner at Adamant Capital, Tuur Demeester, tweeted about Blockstream’s latest Liquid announcement and said the sidechain “could become a DTCC for Bitcoin.” In response, The Block analyst Larry Cermak shared data concerning Liquid’s overall performance in the last seven months.

“So far, in its 7-month history, Blockstream is barely gaining any traction,” Cermak replied. “Liquid has had 61,700 total transactions and is currently capitalized with $313,000 from the net value of less than 400 peg transactions.”

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked

Demeester responded: “Let’s wait until tx fees on the main chain spike again.” The following day, after Cermak posted his tidbit of publicly available data, he found out he was blocked by the official Blockstream Twitter account. “This is pretty pathetic — Yesterday, I posted data that showed that Blockstream’s Liquid isn’t doing well (so far) after being live for 7 months,” Cermak tweeted. “Literally I just posted publicly available data and I got blocked by Blockstream’s official account.” Blockstream’s chief strategy officer, Samson Mow, claimed he was the one who blocked Cermak “because he’s a moron.”

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked

Questioning a Conflict of Interest Apparently Makes a Reporter a Moron

So did Blockstream decide to block an analyst for posting data? Well according to Blockstream employees it was really because Cermak publicly asked if there was a conflict of interest between Blockstream, Adam Back, and Samson Mow sticking up for Bitfinex.

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked

“Why are we not talking about Adam Back and Samson Mow, two of the most visible employees of Blockstream publicly siding with Bitfinex given that Bitfinex is an early investor in Blockstream?” asked Cermak. “The conflicts of interest in this space are something else” The Block analyst continued, adding:

What’s the issue with this, some are asking? — And at this point, it seems that the only people siding with Bitfinex and Tether are shareholders or somewhat involved.

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked
Crypto Twitter rules are as follows: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”

The Block’s Frank Chaparro asked why simply asking a question brought out all the pitchforks. Blockstream’s Adam Back replied that “It happens to be untrue, however, which I confirmed for another journalist who asked privately about the claim.” Back continued by stating: “Simply the quote ‘It’s because Bitfinex invested in Blockstream’ is untrue, and did not fact check. You don’t have to fact check, but stating as fact untrue allegations is not that cool.” Back seems to think Cermak should have asked people FUDing Bitfinex, and that his defending of Tether was simply him just refuting “publicly known FUD as a public service.”

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked

The story continued as maximalists decided to harass The Block for accepting $25K in funding and allegedly not reporting on Coinbase objectively in an attempt to flip the story back on the publication. However, after defending the news outlet, The Block CEO Mike Dudas disclosed that the company would return the funds to Coinbase. Quite a few crypto supporters thought that Blockstream was wrong for getting upset with Cermak’s objective data and his valid question. After all, a good number of people on CT have already been questioning Blockstream’s seeming conflict of interest.

Crypto Heresy: Question Blockstream on Twitter and You'll Be Blocked

Moreover, the anonymous owner of Bitcoin.org, Cobra, detailed that he was also blocked by Blockstream for questioning them. He remarked that when Coinbase and Bitmain were catching flak from the community they never blocked people and he insisted that members of “Blockstream are delicate snowflakes.” Cobra is also known for questioning Blockstream when Back showed support for Halong Miners, a startup accused of simply buying Innosilicon miners and applying Halong stickers on them for resale.

The thought police on CT are starting to look no different than the pigs in the famous Orwell novel Animal Farm. The social media platform is filled with teenage angst, confirmation bias, and groupthink, and is no different to the archetypal high school groups that thrive on immaturity and bullying.

What do you think of the events on Twitter between The Block’s Larry Cermak and Blockstream? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Animal Farm, Twitter, and charts shared by The Block.


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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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