Join Cointelegraph host and analyst Benton Yaun alongside resident market experts Jordan Finneseth and Marcel Pechman as they break down the latest news in the markets this week. Here’s what to expect in this week’s markets news breakdown:
Then, special guest Big Cheds shares some technical analysis on trending charts, the factors he looks at when making trades and altcoins to keep an eye on.
Using insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market, the Cointelegraph experts identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Elrond eGold (EGLD) and Ampleforth’s AMPL token.
Next up, Pechman explains what the Bitcoin futures ETF actually means and how it functions. Using easy-to-understand examples, he explains how futures contracts allow investors to leverage their bets.
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For instance, Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) posted better intraday profits Wednesday, closing 7.32% higher around $4,170. Today, the second-largest cryptocurrency rallied further to $4,374, just $10 shy of its record high at $4,384 on Coinbase.
Conversely, Bitcoin corrected by more than 3.5% to below $65,000. As a result, the ETH/BTC exchange surged by more than 5% to reach an intraday high of 0.06289 BTC.
Similarly, SOL’s performance against the U.S. dollar in the last two days came out better than Bitcoin. That prompted SOL/BTC to climb by more than 8% Thursday to hit 0.0026772 BTC, showing that traders rotated capital out of the Bitcoin market to enter the Solana market.
Bullish pennant triggered
Solana’s latest price rally also appeared as a bullish breakout out of its multi-month consolidation channel.
SOL started consolidating sideways inside a Triangle-like trading range after rallying by more than 200% in the August-September period. As a result, the formation of more than two higher lows and lower highs, coupled with a declining trade volume, raised the prospect of the channel being a Pennant.
Since Pennant is typically a trend continuation indicator, their formation on the Solana chart after a massive price rally raised its prospects of sending SOL prices higher. Thus, the breakout from Wednesday now eyes an extended run-up, with its target sitting at length equal to the size of the previous uptrend.
In other words, the price target for Solana could be as high as $250 before the end of the month. However, a retest of the Pennant’s upper trendline as support would risk invalidating the bullish setup.
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.
Cryptocurrency adoption has been growing for a number of reasons. In emerging markets, research suggests crypto remittances are a factor, although some argue that the idea of using cryptocurrencies for these transactions is nothing more than a purist’s dream.
The CEO of cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform BitMEX, Alexander Höptner, predicted earlier this month that by the end of next year, at least five countries will have accepted Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender, as crypto assets can be faster and cheaper for remittances.
He believes that all five will be developing countries and that they would adopt cryptocurrencies because of the growing need for cheaper and faster cross-border transactions, increasing inflation and growing political issues.
Various other commentators have suggested that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a solution to the high costs associated with remittance payments, as a cryptocurrency transaction can be much cheaper than a remittance payment while settling in a shorter amount of time.
El Salvador was the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender with the country’sBitcoin Law officially coming into effect on September 7. The government launched a cryptocurrency wallet called Chivo that uses the Lightning Network, a layer-two scaling solution, to transact. The country has also purchased 700 BTC over time.
Global remittances reached over $689 billion in 2018, and commissions were so high a $49 billion industry grew around them. To crypto proponents, El Salvador is a perfect example of how cryptocurrencies can positively change the world, but to others, volatility and a general lack of trust in the market make cryptocurrency adoption impractical and unadvisable.
Are cryptocurrencies banking the unbanked?
With the Chivo wallet, Bitcoin could effectively help offer financial services to El Salvador’s un- and underbanked population. The country’s president Nayib Bukele revealed in September 2021 that 2.1 million Salvadorans are actively using the wallet, despite the pushback against the new law that saw protests even burn a Bitcoin ATM machine.
2.1 million Salvadorans are ACTIVELY USING @chivowallet (not downloads).
Chivo is not a bank, but in less than 3 weeks, it now has more users than any bank in El Salvador and is moving fast to have more users that ALL BANKS IN EL SALVADOR combined.
Per his words, Chivo isn’t a bank, but in three weeks gained more users than any bank in the country. That adoption may, however, be related to a $30 in BTC airdrop El Salvador sent to every adult citizen with the government’s wallet app.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Eric Berman, senior legal editor of U.S. finance at Thomson Reuters Practical Law, said remittances using cryptocurrencies are a “purist’s pipe dream.” While Höptner pointed out that remittances made up 23% of El Salvador’s gross domestic product in 2020, Berman countered that only a fraction of the nation’s businesses has taken a Bitcoin payment and that the government’s cryptocurrency app has been plagued by technical issues.
Berman further added that “most of El Salvador’s $6 billion in annual remittances still comes via money transfers,” as many are wary of the cryptocurrency’s volatility. Because of the volatility’s impracticality, he said, Bitcoin hasn’t been widely adopted as a payment method among merchants, adding:
“This impracticability is magnified exponentially for the disenfranchised and unbanked. No one wants to send mom $100 only to have it be worth $80 by the time it gets to her.”
Berman added that “rather than the populist uprising that BTC purists have been touting for years,” Bitcoin’s adoption has instead been growing thanks to “some perhaps long overdue happy noises from U.S. and global regulators.”
Bitcoin’s growing adoption and price, Berman suggested, are the result of “institutional enthusiasm that is quite the antithesis of the grassroots movement for the disenfranchised and unbanked that spawned BTC over a decade ago.”
Oleksandr Lutskevych, the founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO, seemingly disagrees with Berman’s assessment, saying El Salvador’s adoption highlights Bitcoin as “replacing the traditional, centralized rails used for remittances.”
To Lutskevych, Bitcoin’s infrastructure is being adopted to also promote the transfer of stablecoins on top of its network, ensuring the cryptocurrency’s volatility won’t affect remittances. El Salvador’s move, he said, promotes financial inclusion by helping cut down remittance costs.
Adoption out of “pure necessity”
In emerging markets, crypto proponents suggest adoption may be a result of “pure necessity,” as the transaction fees paid on most blockchain networks dwarf the fees paid to some remittance vendors.
According to Lutskevych, it’s “abundantly clear in the rationale behind Bukele’s campaign that made BTC legal tender” that the nature of the move was to drive BTC adoption forward through remittances. Lutskevych went on to add further:
“One of the primary reasons why the country passed such legislation was to lower remittance costs, promote financial inclusion and boost GDP by leveraging BTC and its transfer infrastructure to promote financial inclusion.”
Per his words, the adoption of new technology is often the result of “pure necessity,” and that may be the case with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in developing nations whose populations are heavily affected by remittance costs, which according to Markus Franke, a partner at cross-border crypto payments firm Celo Labs, averages 6.38% and can often go over 10% of the amount being sent.
Driving his point forward, Lutskevych added that the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2021 shows that out of the top 20 countries by cryptocurrency adoption, two-thirds are “developing countries with a high percentage of GDP coming from remittances.”
He added that developing countries are now recognizing the value of “BTC’s scalable transfer infrastructure, combined with Bitcoin’s sound money properties and decentralization.”
Lutskevych also noted that Bitcoin’s Lightning Network capacity is up over 25% since El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law came into effect, while the number of payment channels routing payments on the network also moved up significantly and began a “parabolic trend right around the time of the law becoming effective.”
To him, growing peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes in countries like Nigeria suggest cryptocurrencies like BTC are playing a role in “getting foreign money into the country.”
Franke added to the line of thought, saying cryptocurrencies can be programmed, allowing for more complex financial operations without third parties. These features, Franke said, have seen remittance giants take an interest in cryptocurrencies.
As an example, he pointed to MoneyGram launching USDC settlement using the Stellar blockchain, and added that the Asian Development Bank has revealed services like Ripple, Mobile Money and bKash helped “deliver faster settlement, greater operational efficiencies and more competitive foreign exchange rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Amr Shady, CEO of business-to-business payment and financing platform Tribal Credit, told Cointelegraph that Mexico could be another example of a country adopting cryptocurrencies for remittances, as estimates have shown they could reduce costs by 50% to 90%.
It all comes down to numbers
If, indeed, five countries do adopt Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as legal tender, adoption seems likely going to keep on growing. Emerging markets rely on remittances and the use of stablecoins appears to be a viable solution to the volatility of crypto assets like BTC.
Projects like Facebook’s Novi are already using stablecoins to facilitate cross-border transactions, with the project’s marketing efforts having a heavy focus on remittances. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) may offer similar cheap transactions that will help users move money across borders at a low cost.
The problem with these two solutions is the central entities behind them who can easily start discriminating, and for example, geoblock users. Decentralized blockchains are working on scaling to accommodate thousands of transactions per second, bringing down remittance costs. Add in stablecoins, and the only thing blocking mass crypto adoption could very well be the specific knowledge needed to navigate different blockchains and understand how addresses work.
User-experience improvements have for long been moving addresses and blockchain navigation to the back while helping users focus on payments. Once the use of blockchain technology happens behind the scenes at a low cost, remittances will inevitably turn to crypto. Yet, those transactions may be years away.
Bitcoin (BTC) crashed to just $8,100 on Oct. 21 — but only if you were trading on Binance’s dedicated United States exchange, Binance U.S.
On Thursday, Binance U.S. suddenly printed a one-minute candle which took BTC/USD from $65,815 to $8,200 — a drop of 87%.
“Shouldn’t be happening”
In what traders call a “scam wick,” the one-minute BTC/USD differed dramatically from other major exchanges, which logged a one-minute candle with a floor around $64,200.
The phenomenon has occurred more frequently in recent days, with Bitstamp also seeing freak order book events.
The scope of the Binance U.S. error, however, was in a league of its own, and did not go unnoticed by market participants.
“Well done Binance U.S.,” popular Twitter trader Crypto Chase summarized.
“Good thing Americans are forced on to these dogshit exchanges where they can get completely scammed on unreasonably thin books. This type of shit just shouldn’t be happening. It’s not fair that some get stopped out and some stay in, some get fills and some don’t.”
Crypto Chase referred to the implications sudden erratic price movements on exchanges, these serving to liquidate traders who should have retained their positions.
The debacle was tinged with irony, coming just as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, known as CZ, warned about incoming volatility.
“Expect very high volatility in crypto over the next few months,” he tweeted on the day.
Leverage builds in overly long market
Meanwhile, concerns were also mounting Thursday that leveraged traders had taken on more risk than they could chew.
The monthly candle for October, analysts noted, is already larger than the entire Bitcoin all-time high from December 2017.
“BTC is testing its old ATH for support,” Dutch crypto consultancy and education platform Eight wrote in its latest update on the day.
“If we bounce from here some levels to keep an eye on are around 75k, 87k, and 96k, derived from recent price action using the Fibonacci retracement tool.”
As Cointelegraph reported, Fibonacci is responsible for long-term BTC price findings, which currently put the peak of this cycle’s bull run at as much as $300,000. The trough, by contrast, could be anywhere from $47,000 to $60,000 — still an order of magnitude higher than last cycle’s $3,100 floor.
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has once again called on the Russian government to stop ignoring Bitcoin (BTC) after the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his homes in Washington and New York.
In an Oct. 21 Telegram post, Deripaska argued that the Bank of Russia has been “infantile in ignoring the growing cryptocurrency market,” while the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been “investing particularly in this direction.”
The billionaire emphasized that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have massive potential to not only help Russia avoid U.S. sanctions but also weaken the U.S. dollar, stating:
“The U.S. had realized long ago that uncontrolled digital payments are capable of not only nullifying the effectiveness of the entire mechanism of economic sanctions but also taking down the dollar as a whole.”
Deripaska specifically referred to a U.S. sanctions review published by the U.S. Treasury in October 2021. According to the oligarch, the U.S. authority “effectively admitted” that the growing fintech tools like cryptocurrencies pose a serious threat to the U.S. dollar.
“This means that the development of the cryptocurrency market uncontrolled by the state can put the U.S. Treasury in front of a potential default due to its $30 trillion debt,” Deripaska argued.
“It’s time to open your eyes and take cryptocurrency seriously. In the aging American establishment, there are still a lot of people willing to fight,” he stated.
Last Friday, the U.S. Treasury published a brochure providing guidance for cryptocurrency companies to make sure that they are complying with U.S. sanctions. In the document, the authority said that sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) “apply equally to transactions involving virtual currencies and those involving traditional fiat currencies,” adding:
“Members of the virtual currency industry are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage, directly or indirectly, in transactions prohibited by OFAC sanctions, such as dealings with blocked persons or property, or engaging in prohibited trade- or investment-related transactions.”
Deripaska’s latest remarks come after FBI agents raided homes linked to the oligarch in Washington and New York City on Tuesday. A Deripaska representative reportedly said the searches were carried out on the basis of two court warrants related to U.S. sanctions. With reported close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deripaska was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2018.
The Russian oligarch has slammed the Russian central bank for rejecting Bitcoin before. In June, the billionaire argued that Russia needed to move into crypto to provide a “real financial instrument enabling independence in foreign trade settlements.”
Bitcoin (BTC) broke its all-time high price level following the launch of ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded fund (ETF), BITO, on Tuesday, but JPMorgan Chase strategists believe the key driver behind the price jump is investor concern over inflation.
Instead, JPMorgan believes that as gold failed to respond to concerns over rising cost pressures in the last couple of weeks, Bitcoin’s renewed role as a better hedge against inflation in the eyes of investors is the main reason for the current bull run. The team highlighted that the shift away from gold ETFs into Bitcoin funds has bee gathering speed since September and “supports a bullish outlook for Bitcoin into year-end.”
The JPMorgan strategists exemplified the waning interest after the first week following the launch of the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) in Canada, claiming that the initial hype surrounding BITO could also fade after a week.
As the first Bitcoin futures-linked ETF in the United States, ProShares’ Bitcoin Strategy ETF started trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday at an opening price of $40 per share. It enables investors to have direct exposure to cryptocurrency futures in a regulated market.
Bill Winters, CEO of British bank Standard Chartered, recently noted the passing of a long period of low inflation, adding that “it’s perfectly reasonable for people to want an alternative to fiat currency.”
Thiel spoke of cryptocurrencies, central banks and artificial intelligence (AI) during an interview in Miami hosted by policy think tank Lincoln Network, Bloomberg reported Oct. 20.
“You’re supposed to just buy Bitcoin,” Thiel said, adding: “I feel like I’ve been underinvested in it.”
The tech investor noted that his only concern about buying Bitcoin was that the investment “secret was already known by everybody.” “I think the answers are still to go long. Maybe it still is enough of a secret,” he added.
According to Thiel, the latest Bitcoin rally is definitely a big concern for global central banks. The cryptocurrency’s surge to its new historical highs “surely tells us that we are at a complete bankruptcy moment for the central banks,” Thiel stated.
In the interview, Thiel also criticized AI as an opponent to crypto’s force for decentralization. “AI, especially the sort of low-tech, surveillance form, is essentially communist,” he said, adding that AI is technology that is “going to destroy the world.”
PayPal, which Thiel co-founded back in 1998, has been moving into crypto over the past year. The company officially announced its plans to introduce the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin last October. PayPal has since rolled out crypto services in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Chinese online retail giant JD.com is diving into the nonfungible token, or NFT, industry by introducing a special NFT series for its annual JD Discovery conference.
Using its proprietary blockchain platform, JD.com will be distributing commemorative NFT certificates to attendees of the JDD 2021 event in Beijing, the Chinese news agency Sina Finance reported on Wednesday.
Specifically, JD.com will issue one NFT for free to anyone who signs up for the JDD 2021 conference between Monday and Nov. 22 through the WeChat mini program on the event’s official website.
According to the report, the NFT series features a set of seven NFT models, each containing an image used to represent a different forum in the JDD event.
Users who sign up to participate will be also able to get more NFTs by inviting friends to sign up. “Each time one person is successfully invited to sign up, one NFT voucher will be added until all seven NFT models are collected,” the report reads.
The JDD 2021 conference will kick off at the China International Exhibition Center on Nov. 22 and will feature panels on artificial intelligence and tech innovation. Launched in 2017, the JDD conference has emerged as a major technology event in China, covering topics like smart cities, the digital financial industry, supply chain innovation and others.
PleasrDAO has revealed itself to be the new owners of Wu-Tang Clan’s one-of-a-kind, unreleased album ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’.
The 74 members of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) now share collective ownership of the album. The group purchased the sole copy of the album from the US federal government for $4 million at the end of July this year, collected it in September and moved it to a vault at an undisclosed location in New York. The DAO has minted the ownership deed as an NFT with the help of crypto savvy attorney Peter Scoolidge.
The government came to possess the album in 2018 after seizing the assets of former owner ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli on fraud charges. Shkreli, who was widely reviled for jacking up the prices of life-saving drugs by up to 5000%, had anonymously purchased the album in 2015 for $2 million, making it the most expensive piece of music ever sold at the time.
The lead of the Wu-Tang Clan RZA and album producer Cilvaringz originally created the album in response to their concerns that piracy and digital streaming cheapens the value of music.
Cilvaringz says they hoped that the album would “return music to the value of fine art— a mission finally possible in today’s environment, nearly a decade later with NFT technology and the ability to mint this album as a unique 1:1 original.”
For this reason, PleasrDAO’s interest in the album is self-explanatory, wrote ‘Chief Pleasing Officer’ Jamis Johnson in a blog post.
“Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in many ways is the OG NFT before NFT technology had made its way into the zeitgeist”.
As for the future of the album, Johnson says PleasrDAO believes the “next chapter of the incredible story of this album should be Web 3.0 native”.
Should have been an NFT. Ownership and uniqueness would still be preserved even if everyone listened to the album. Instead, the value lies in this being a treasure hidden from the world. This is why NFTs are so powerful. https://t.co/QSvpBAH5ic
The DAO is still bound by a legal agreement underpinning the album which prevents it from being commercially released until 2103, although listening parties are allowed. Despite this, the group insists they “firmly believe there are ways to share this musical masterpiece with the world.”