Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, XRP, DOT, XLM, SOL

Bitcoin price remains under pressure but select altcoins like XRP, DOT, XLM and SOL are showing signs of resuming their uptrend.

Bitcoin (BTC) has been struggling to rise above the $50,000 mark, which could have resulted in traders dumping their Bitcoin positions to invest in altcoins. Glassnode data suggests that whale addresses owning more than 1,000 BTC have reduced from about 2,500 in February to 2,100.

If large investors continue to sell, Bitcoin could witness a sharp correction until institutional investors step in and buy at lower levels. While MicroStrategy announced the purchase of 271 Bitcoin on May 13, other existing institutional investors appear to be adopting a wait and watch approach.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

In an interview with Financial NewsSquare, Square chief financial officer Amrita Ahuja said, at this point, the firm does not have any plans to add Bitcoin to its existing haul of roughly 8,027 Bitcoin purchased in October 2020 and February of this year.

If other institutions also stay away from buying at current levels, Bitcoin’s price is likely to slide further. However, Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner Tom Lee believes Bitcoin’s rally still has legs. Lee has increased his year-end Bitcoin target from $100,000 to $125,000.

With action becoming coin specific, let’s look at the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may lead the charge in the next few days.

BTC/USDT

The bulls again purchased the dip to the neckline of the head and shoulders pattern today but the long wick on the candlestick suggests profit-booking at higher levels. Bitcoin’s sentiment seems to have changed from buy on dips to sell on rallies.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the bears sink and sustain the price below the neckline, the H&S pattern will complete. This setup has a target objective at $31,653.73. The downsloping 20-day exponential moving average ($53,297) and the relative strength index (RSI) below 36 indicate the bears are in control.

However, the bulls are unlikely to give up easily. They will try to stall the decline in the $43,000 to $40,000 support zone but if they fail, the decline could be sharp.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current level and rises above $51,550, the BTC/USDT pair may rally to the 20-day EMA. A breakout and close above the $60,000 resistance will suggest the bulls are back in the game.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The rebound from $46,435.02 fizzled out at the 20-EMA. This suggests the sentiment is negative and traders are selling on rallies to the 20-EMA. If the bears sink the price below the neckline, the selling could intensify.

However, if the bulls again defend the neckline, the pair may attempt to rise above the 20-EMA. If that happens, the rally could extend to $51,538.22 where the bulls are likely to encounter stiff resistance.

If the price turns down from this resistance, the pair may consolidate between $46,000 and $51,500 for a few days.

XRP/USDT

XRP is currently trading inside a symmetrical triangle, which usually acts as a continuation pattern. If the bulls can drive the price above the resistance line of the triangle, the altcoin could retest the 52-week high at $1.96.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

A breakout and close above $1.96 could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $2.68. The RSI has risen into the positive territory but the 20-day EMA ($1.43) is yet to turn up, which suggests that bears are likely to defend the resistance line aggressively.

If the price turns down from the resistance line, the XRP/USDT pair could extend its stay inside the range for a few more days. The pair could turn negative if the bears sink and sustain the price below the triangle. Such a move may pull the price down to $0.88.

XRP/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The price has dipped to the moving averages on the 4-hour chart. If the pair rebounds off the current levels with strength, it will suggest buying on dips. The bulls will then try to push the price above the triangle.

Alternatively, if the bears sink and sustain the price below the moving averages, the pair could drop to $1.35 and then to the support line of the triangle. A break below this support could signal advantage to the bears.

DOT/USDT

Polkadot (DOT) broke out and closed above the overhead resistance at $44 on May 14. The bulls continued the momentum and pushed the price to a new all-time high at $49.78 on May 15 but could not sustain the higher levels. Profit-booking has pulled the price back below the breakout level at $44.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the bulls do not give up much ground from the current levels, it will suggest buying on dips. The DOT/USDT pair could then make one more attempt to rise above the psychological level at $50.

If that happens, the pair could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $63.68. The marginally upsloping 20-day EMA ($39.54) and the RSI in the positive territory suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price sustains below $44, the pair could drop to the moving averages. A break below this support could pull the price down to $32.50.

DOT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bears pulled the price below the 20-EMA but the bulls are attempting to reclaim the support. The buyers will have to push the price above $47 to regain the advantage. If they succeed, a retest of $50 is likely.

On the other hand, if the price fails to climb above the 20-EMA, it will suggest a lack of buying support. That could pull the price down to the 50-simple moving average. The flattening 20-EMA and the RSI near 50 suggest a balance between supply and demand.

XLM/USDT

Stellar Lumens (XLM) is attempting to start a new uptrend. The bulls purchased the dip to the 20-day EMA ($0.61) on May 13 and pushed the price to a new 52-week high at $0.79 today. However, the long wick on the day’s candlestick indicates profit-booking at higher levels.

XLM/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If buyers can sustain the price above $0.73, the XLM/USDT pair could rally to $0.85 and then to $1. The upsloping moving averages and the RSI above 63 indicate that bulls have the upper hand.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price sustains below $0.73, the pair could drop to the 20-day EMA. A strong rebound off this support will suggest the sentiment remains positive. The bulls will then make one more attempt to resume the uptrend.

This positive view will invalidate if the price breaks below the 20-day EMA. Such a move will suggest that traders are closing their positions in a hurry and not buying the dips. That could result in a drop to the 50-day SMA ($0.53).

XLM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the formation of an inverse head and shoulders pattern. This bullish setup has a target objective at $0.90. The upsloping 20-EMA and the RSI in the positive territory suggest that bulls are in command.

During strong uptrends, corrections are likely to be shallow. Therefore, the current dip may find support at $0.72. A strong bounce off this level could increase the possibility of the resumption of the uptrend.

This bullish view will invalidate if the price dips and closes below the neckline. Such a move could trap the bulls, resulting in long liquidation. The pair may then decline to $0.55.

SOL/USDT

Solana (SOL) had been range-bound between $40 and $49.99 for the past few days. A tight consolidation near the high is a positive sign as it shows that traders are not booking profits in a hurry.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The 20-day EMA ($42.86) is sloping up and the RSI has risen above 65, indicating the path of least resistance is to the upside.

If the bulls can sustain the price above the psychological level at $50, the SOL/USDT pair may resume its uptrend. The next target objective on the upside is $60 and then $69.

On the contrary, if the price fails to sustain above $50, the pair may re-enter the range and extend its consolidation for a few more days. This positive view will invalidate if the pair breaks below $40.

SOL/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bulls pushed the price to a new all-time high at $52.60 today but the long wick on the candlestick indicates profit-booking at higher levels. The price has dipped back below $50 but it may find strong support at $46.

A strong rebound off this level will suggest that traders are buying on dips. The bulls will then again try to resume the uptrend. The rising 20-EMA and the RSI near the overbought zone suggest advantage to the bulls.

Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below $46, the pair may drop to the 20-EMA. Such a move will suggest aggressive selling above $50 and that could keep the pair range-bound for a few more days.

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.

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Data shows the ‘Bitcoin price drops ahead of CME expiries’ claim is a myth

Many traders believe the narrative that Bitcoin price drops ahead of CME BTC futures expiries, but data shows the trend is all bark and no bite.

Historically, activity surrounding the Bitcoin (BTC) monthly futures and options expiry has been blamed for weakening bullish momentum. A few studies from 2019 found a 2.3% average drop in BTC price 40 hours before the CME futures settlement date. 

However, as Cointelegraph reported in June 2020, the effect faded away. While 2020 seems to have rejected the potential negative impact of CME expiries, so far, the current year appears to validate the theory. Bitcoin’s price has been suppressed ahead of futures and options expiry in the first three months of 2021.

Bitcoin performance before and after CME expiry, USD. Source: TradingView

Some investors and traders have pointed out that Bitcoin’s incredible rally after the recent futures and options expiry dates has become a trend.

BTC has effectively rallied in the days following the expiry, but expanding this analysis uncovers a less-than-satisfactory trend.

Three consecutive events don’t prove a trend

The past 13 months have been nothing short of spectacular for Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency posted 788% gains. August 2020 turned out to be the worst month, as BTC presented a 7.5% negative performance. Thus, choosing random starting points within the month will likely show a similar positive trend.

For example, if one uses the “last quarter” moon phase as a proxy, the odds that a rally takes place after each event are very high.

Bitcoin performance after “Last Quarter” moon, USD. Source: TradingView

As depicted above, indeed, Bitcoin rallied after five out of the last six instances. The only conclusion might be that positive trends are the norm rather than the exception during bull runs.

Although there might be some explanation to the reason behind Bitcoin’s end-of-the-month underperformance, these are only hypotheses.

While market makers and arbitrage desks could benefit from suppressing the price after a rally, other forces, including leverage futures longs and call option holders, would balance that out.

Bitcoin price did not drop in three of the last seven expiries

Therefore, it makes sense to analyze the potential price suppression ahead of the expiry instead of looking for explanations for a rally during a bull market.

Bitcoin performance before and after CME expiry in 2020, USD. Source: TradingView

Both October and December 2020 expiries failed to present any negative pressure ahead of such dates. Meanwhile, the 12% positive performance on the five days that preceded the most recent April 30 expiry also puts a big question mark on how meaningful the CME event really is.

Considering there hasn’t been a price decrease ahead of monthly futures and options expiries in three of the last seven instances, this evidence should put a nail in the coffin of the unfounded myth.

As mentioned earlier, trying to develop theories on why sellers acted more aggressively on specific dates is unlikely to yield results.

As shown above, Bitcoin’s price failed to underperform in three out of the last seven expiries. A 57% success rate should not define a trend when a positive performance after a specific date has been proven common during a bull run.

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.

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Gemini reports ‘degraded performance’ in key systems as ETH falls under $4,000

The crypto exchange added that “all customer accounts and funds remain completely secure.”

Major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has experienced two service disruptions today and is now reporting degraded performance in its mobile app, web interface, and application programming interface.

According to an update on the Gemini status page, the crypto exchange began investigating reports of potential service disruptions at 13:24 EST today. Though the exchange said it had restored all of its services only minutes later, Gemini reported another service disruption a few hours later, saying its systems were “experiencing degraded performance” due to an undetermined cause.

At time of publication, deposits and withdrawals of all tokens Gemini supports were unaffected by the service disruption. However, users of the firm’s mobile app, its interest-earning program Gemini Earn, wire transfers, and others may be experiencing issues. As of 17:06 EST, Gemini reported it had implemented a fix and was monitoring the results. 

Disruptions and outages at crypto exchanges can sometimes be attributed to volatility from certain cryptocurrencies as traders attempt to buy tokens or sell their holdings. Gemini’s first service disruption occurred shortly after Ether (ETH) reached an all-time high price of more than $4,200 today. 

However, major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), ETH, XRP, and others experienced a similar price drop at approximately 4:00 PM EST, with ETH falling more than 14% to reach $3,650, BTC falling under $54,000 for the first time since May 4, and XRP went as low as $1.25. Though the price of Dogecoin (DOGE) — now the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap — did fall at the same time, the token price had already been decreasing for the last 24 hours.

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What are Bitcoin mixers, and why do exchanges ban them?

Bitcoin transactions are easy to trace, except when the sender uses a mixer to muddle the link between their crypto address and real-life identity.

One of the original allures of cryptocurrency is the narrative that using them provides the sender or recipient anonymously, but this is a common misconception within the sector. 

In reality, Bitcoin (BTC) and many other cryptocurrencies are easily traceable.

Proof of this came earlier this week when on April 27, U.S. authorities arrested the mastermind of Bitcoin Fog, a darknet-based BTC mixing service. Authorities were able to capture the operator after analyzing ten years of blockchain data.

One doesn’t need to be a forensic analyst to know that every single transaction is tied up to addresses on the blockchain and that they will stay there forever. While government agencies cannot determine the IP address or personal data from the address, these coins usually end up being used for products or service payments. This is the trail that leads back to the sender and recipient.

In the case of Bitcoin Fog, law enforcement was able to identify server hosting expenses paid using digital currency. Bitcoin mixing services such as Bitcoin Fog allow users to mix their coins with other users, making it almost impossible to detect the destination addresses. This obfuscates the ties between the inputs and output addresses, providing a better level of privacy.

Example of a mixing transaction. Source: TarushTech-Medium

Mixing services are offered in a wide range of methods, including fully centralized solutions where trust is required, to Coinjoin mixers, which depend on a large group of users to self cooperate and act simultaneously. There’s even the possibility of trading on decentralized exchanges (DEX) to virtually eliminate any possible tracing.

Mixers do present a few risks

Centralized mixers offer the obvious single point of failure problem. Even if one trusts that the entity is using multisig addresses, if the service is willing to share its data or has been breached, their users will lose their privacy.

CoinJoin solved this problem by combining the inputs of multiple users into a single transaction. The service will then take those coins, craft them into a transaction, and have each participant sign before broadcasting it to the network. These transactions are then merged into one, and each user gets the original quantity in return. However, no one can see the origin of those coins, not even the entity that merges the transaction.

Even though CoinJoin isn’t exactly untraceable, it provides plausible deniability, as no one can point out which entity owns each output. The larger the number of participants, the higher the degree of deniability.

Wasabi Wallet CoinJoin function screen capture. Source: WasabiWallet

Some cryptocurrency users also require anonymity for sending tokens to their wallets, and Wasabi Wallet has long been used for its embedded CoinJoin functionalities.

While its infrastructure is technically centralized, its design assures that the operators cannot deanonymize users or steal any funds. At the moment, the Wasabi wallet is only available for desktop solutions, so as is the case with anything in cryptocurrency, beware of clones!

A similar service is provided by Samourai wallet, which also offers a Chaumian CoinJoin mixing service, called Whirlpool. To achieve a full-privacy solution, users have to connect the Samourai wallet to their own full Bitcoin node. However, it does offer desktop and mobile versions.

Even though these mixing services aren’t illegal in most jurisdictions, some exchanges and services might refuse users linked to addresses associated with coin mixing activities.

As more people realize the importance of achieving a certain degree of privacy for self-protection, the fewer incentives companies will have to deny their clients to use mixers.

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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Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, VET, SOL, EOS, FTT

The bulls are trying to stabilize Bitcoin price and if they succeed, VET, SOL, EOS and FTT could quickly bounce back to their local highs.

Bitcoin (BTC) price witnessed a sharp dump to $50,900 on April 18, which some analysts attribute to a drop in hash rate and rumors of possible action by United States regulators against unnamed “financial institutions” alleging crypto-related money laundering.

While it is difficult to pinpoint a single reason, the sale of roughly $5 billion worth of COIN stock by Coinbase executives could have also played a major role in the fall. Insider selling, especially just a few days after a high-profile listing is considered a bearish sign.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

After this most recent pullback, investors will be on the fence on whether they should buy the dips or close their positions in anticipation of further decline? Traders should keep a close watch on the strength in the recovery as that will provide an insight about the next possible move.

Let’s study the technicals of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that could attempt to lead the recovery in the next few days.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin’s failure to rebound off the 20-day exponential moving average ($59,053) on April 17 showed the lack of buying on dips. The selling picked up pace today after the price slipped below the 50-day simple moving average ($56,264).

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests that buyers are attempting to stall the decline at $50,460. If the rebound sustains, the bulls will again try to resume the uptrend but they are likely to face stiff resistance between $61,825.84 and $64,849.27. A breakout of this resistance zone will suggest that the current fall was only a pullback to shake out the weak hands.

On the other hand, the failure to sustain the rebound or build upon the bounce in the next few days will indicate that demand dries up at higher levels. That is likely to invigorate the bears who will then try to assert their dominance and break the $50,460 support.

If they manage to do that, selling could intensify as the short-term speculators and traders may also dump their positions. That could pull the price down to $43,006.77. This is an important level to watch out for because a break below it will suggest that the BTC/USDT pair has topped out in the short term.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bulls purchased the drop to $50,460 aggressively but the recovery is facing resistance at $56,500. This suggests that traders stuck at higher levels are closing their positions on rallies.

However, the positive sign is that the bulls have not given up the fight. They are trying to defend $53,000 support. This could result in a tight consolidation between $53,000 and $56,500 for a few days.

If the price breaks above $56,500, the pair could rally to the 20-EMA, which is again likely to act as a resistance. If the price turns down from this level, the pair could retest $53,000 and then $50,460.

The downsloping moving averages and the relative strength index (RSI) near the overbought territory show the bears have the upper hand.

VET/USDT

VeChain’s (VET) sharp rally on April 16 had pushed the RSI above 87, indicating the rally was getting overheated in the short term. The altcoin tried to extend its up-move on April 17 but the long wick on the day’s candlestick showed that traders booked profits at higher levels.

VET/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The selling continued today and the VET/USDT pair slumped to $0.169, just above the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $0.16. However, the long tail on today’s candlestick shows strong buying at lower levels.

If the bulls can sustain the rebound, the pair will once again attempt to rise to the overhead resistance at $0.279. A breakout of this resistance could resume the uptrend. The next target objective on the upside is $0.362.

On the other hand, if the price turns down from $0.279, the pair could remain stuck in a range for a few days. This positive view will invalidate if the bears sell on rallies and sink the price below the $0.16 support.

VET/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bulls purchased the drop to the 50-SMA but the recovery hit a wall at $0.227. The bears tried to resume the correction but the bulls again purchased the dip below the 20-EMA. This shows bears are selling on rallies and bulls are buying on dips.

The bulls are currently attempting to sustain the price above the downtrend line but are facing stiff resistance from the bears. If they can overpower the bears and keep the price above the downtrend line, the pair could rally to $0.253 and then to $0.279.

Conversely, if the bears again sink the price below the 20-EMA, the pair could drop to the 50-SMA. A break below this level will tilt the advantage in favor of the bears.

SOL/USDT

Solana (SOL) had been in a corrective phase since hitting an all-time high at $29.92 on April 12. Although the price plunged below the 20-day EMA ($24.49) today, the bears could not capitalize on the advantage. The altcoin has quickly bounced back above the 20-day EMA, indicating strong demand at lower levels.

SOL/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory suggest that bulls have the upper hand. If they can drive the price above $29.92, the SOL/USDT pair could resume the uptrend and rally to $38.72.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that traders are closing their positions on rallies. The pair could then decline to $21 and later to the 50-day SMA ($18.60).

SOL/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the break below $24.70 attracted sharp selling but the bears could not sustain the lower levels. The pair rebounded strongly and climbed back above the $24.70 level.

If the bulls can propel the price above $28.64, a retest of $29.92 is possible. The 20-EMA is turning up and the RSI has jumped above 55, indicating the bulls have a slight advantage in the short term.

However, if the price turns down from the current level and breaks below $24.70, the next stop could be $21.10. Such a move will suggest that bears have overpowered the bulls, which could result in a deeper correction.

EOS/USDT

EOS turned down from the stiff overhead resistance at $8.69 after the bulls failed to push and sustain the price above it on April 16 and 17. The sharp selling pulled the price down to $5.86, just above the breakout level at $5.60.

EOS/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the bulls can flip $5.60 into support, the EOS/USDT pair could again try to move up to $8.69. A break above $8.69 may start the next leg of the uptrend that could reach $11. Alternatively, if the price turns down from $8.69, the pair could remain range-bound for a few days.

This positive view will be negated if the bears sell on rallies and sink the price below the breakout level at $5.60. Such a move could pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($4.98), signaling that bears are back in the driver’s seat.

EOS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bulls are trying to start a relief rally. If they can sustain the price above $6.93, the pair could rally to the 20-EMA where the bears are likely to offer a stiff resistance.

If the price turns down from the 20-EMA, the pair may again drop to $6.17 and then to $5.60. Such a move will suggest that sentiment has turned negative and the bears are selling on rallies.

Conversely, if the bulls can push the price above the 20-EMA, the momentum could pick up and the pair could rally to $8.69.

FTT/USDT

FTX Token (FTT) has been in a corrective phase since topping out at $59.57 on April 14. The price plummeted below the 20-day EMA ($48) today but the long tail on the candlestick shows strong buying at lower levels.

FTT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the bulls can sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, it will indicate that the uptrend remains intact. The bulls will then try to resume the uptrend by pushing the price above the $59.57 resistance.

If they succeed, the FTT/USDT pair could start its northward march toward the next target objective at $71.89.

Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, the selling could intensify, which could pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($40). A break below this support will suggest that the pair has topped out in the short term.

FTT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bulls are trying to stall the correction between the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $45.62 and the 61.8% retracement level at $42.33. The relief rally is likely to face stiff resistance from the 20-EMA.

If the price turns down from the 20-EMA, it will suggest that traders are selling on rallies. The bears will then try to sink the price below $44. If they succeed, the pair could slump to $40 and then to $37.

On the contrary, if the bulls can push the price above the 20-EMA, the pair may rally to $54.62 and then to $59.57.

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.

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