Range-bound Bitcoin price opens the door for altcoins to move higher

Bitcoin remains pinned below $58,000 while Ethereum price soars to new highs and the number of ETH held on centralized exchanges falls.

Ether (ETH) took charge as a new month begins and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization rallied to a new all-time high at $3,338. This has many analysts shouting out that a new ‘altcoin season’ has commenced. Meanwhile, Bitcoin  (BTC) price is continuing to meet resistance around the $56,000 to $58,000 level. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that since dropping to a low of $2,160 on April 25, the price of Ether has rallied 54% to a new record high at $3,324 on May 3 as Monday’s 12% spike lifted the top altcoin above the $3,300 level for the first time in history.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

While a majority of crypto traders are celebrating Ether’s price breakout, which has helped elevate project co-founder Vitalik Buterin to the crypto billionaire club, bearish traders are en route to heavy losses as nearly every one of the 76,000 put option contracts that are set to expire on April 7 will become worthless if Ether price manages to stay above $3,100.

And it’s not just Ether that has been performing well as of late. In the past 2 months, the altcoin market as a whole has seen its value increase 119% and flipped the 2017 peak into a new support level.

Ether HODL rates rise

According to Glassnode, an on-chain analytics firm,  the amount of Ether being held long term has been on the rise since late 2020 and this could be a contributing factor propelling the multi-month rally.

Ethereum HODL waves. Source: Glassnode

The chart above showing “Ethereum HODL waves” indicates that “coins appear to be maturing from 1-week to over 6-months old since late 2020 (blue arrows),” with the “proportion of coins aged 1-month to 6-months progressively increasing in thickness suggesting HODLing coins accumulated in the early bull market remains a favored strategy.”

Glassnode also pointed out that a large volume of Ether has been removed from exchange wallets in 2021, with 10 instances of withdrawals in excess of 200k Ether per day taking place in just 4 months as institutional demand and decentralized finance (DeFi) use grows.

Ethereum supply in smart contracts vs. balance on exchanges. Source: Glassnode

As seen on the chart above, the amount of Ether held on exchanges has been on the decline since September 2020 which coincided with a noticeable increase in the amount of Ether held in decentralized finance smart contracts.

Currently, the amount of Ether locked in smart contracts is outpacing the amount held in centralized exchange reserves.

Altcoins outpace Bitcoin for now

With Bitcoin still struggling to secure a daily close above $58,000, altcoins continue to make the case for an emerging altseason.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Waves (WAVES) was the breakout star of the day with its token price surging 41% to a record high at $36.41. Ethereum Classic (ETC) also rallied 15% to a new all-time high at $50.90.

After rallying 17.84% to $5,777 in the past 24-hrs, Maker (MKR) is now the top-ranked decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol with a total value locked of $10.92 trillion.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.29 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 46.6%.

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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Stablecoin Supply Doubles in 3 Months as Combined Market Cap Surpasses $20B

Stablecoin Supply Doubles in 3 Months as Combined Market Cap Surpasses $20B2020 has been the year of stablecoins, as the token supply has doubled in the last three months. The aggregate market capitalization of 28 stablecoins captures over $20 billion on October 4, 2020. While tether still dominates the stablecoin ranks, USDC has been moving closer toward the top ten crypto coins. USDC is also the […]

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Crypto hedge funds and mining regulations: Bad crypto news of the week

Check out this week’s Bad Crypto podcast.

It’s been a difficult week for Bitcoin this week. The price has fallen about 5 percent over the last seven days to drop beneath $10,400. It could bounce but if it continues downwards, it might drop below $10,000 and get dangerously close to the CME gap.

One sign that the price might fall further has been a decline in the number of Bitcoin addresses holding a single Bitcoin. They’ve reached a four-month low. But Tyler Winklevoss still thinks that Bitcoin is better than gold, and  Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor has moved from bear to bull. His company recently bought almost 16,800 Bitcoins over 74 hours, spending about $175 million. Paypal is bearish too. The payments firm is working on a way to allow merchants to accept cryptocurrencies.

In Brazil, fund manager Hashdex has made an agreement with Nasdaq to launch the world’s first crypto asset exchange-traded fund. The fund will trade on the Bermuda Stock Exchange. And while Hashdex is deepening crypto trading, meat processing firm JBS is using the blockchain to monitor its supply chain and ensure that none of its suppliers are raising cattle on illegally deforested land.

Australia also sees an opportunity to secure food supplies with the blockchain. The government-backed agricultural supply chain platform, Entrust, will use Hedera Hashgraph to ensure that wine from the Clare Valley region isn’t counterfeit.

In Russia, the government has said that it will prioritize the development of blockchain technologies, while in Venezuela, the Maduro government has issued a decree to regulate crypto mining. Miners in the country now need a license.

If you want to buy a country, or at least parts of one, a new partnership between Upland and Tilia, the makers of Second Life, lets players sell their virtual property and turn digital cash into fiat. Alternatively, you can hang around in Bakersfield. A Bitcoin Cash fan has been leaving stickers around the city with QR codes, enabling people to download gifts of up to $500 worth of the cryptocurrency. The “Bitcoin Man of Bakersfield” is trying to encourage the take-up of cryptocurrencies.

The Bitcoin Man has already given away $1,100 and plans to give away another $2,000 but the airdrop of 28,000 MEME tokens has helped to push the price of the token up to $1,175. The giveaways were made up of batches of 250 tokens each.

Craig Wright could have done with some of that luck this week. The Satoshi-pretender lost a plea for summary judgment and will go to trial in January in a billion-dollar Bitcoin lawsuit. And finally, Brock Pierce is hoping to do better. The former Mighty Ducks child star and Bitcoin billionaire has managed to get onto 15 states in his run for the presidency. He believes that cryptocurrency is the 21st-century cure for America’s 21st-century problems.

Check out the audio version here:

Joel Comm is an internet pioneer, New York Times best-selling author, futurist speaker and co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast. That’s a fancy way of saying he writes words, says things and loves to play with cryptos.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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Makerdao Vote to Not Compensate Black Thursday Victims Receives Harsh Criticism

Large Makerdao holders decided not to compensate the victims that were liquidated during the unexpected flash crash that took place on March 12, otherwise known as ‘Black Thursday.’ An aggregate total of 38 votes was cast and more than 65% of the governance portal participants voted for zero compensation. The day after March 12, otherwise […]

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DeFi Token Rally Pushes Aave (LEND), (SNX) Market Cap Above Maker (MKR)

Aave and Synthetix Network both overtook MakerDAO’s Maker by market capitalization as the DeFi sector continues to surge.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) tokens continue to make drastic moves on the price charts, compensating for Bitcoin’s low volatility which has recently hit a three year high. Earlier today, Aave (LEND) and Synthetix Network (SNX) token briefly surpassed MakerDAO’s (MKR) token as each rallied to $0.375 and $4.09 respectively. 

The ‘flippening’ was short-lived and MKR has now reclaimed its position above LEND, SNX and Compound (COMP) and currently sits at number 28 on Coinmarketcap with a market capitalization of $453 million. 

The switch up likely occurred as LEND price corrected sharply today, dropping 16.5% to $0.313.

LEND, SNX, MKR Market Capitalization

LEND, SNX, MKR Market Capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

LEND has been outperforming MKR recently by notching new all-time highs daily. As the hype around the growing DeFi sector continues to grow, governance tokens have been some of the best performing tokens of 2020. 

The tokens do not bring a direct monetary benefit to the holder, apart from speculative gains, but they allow them to have a vote in the protocol decision-making process. For some investors, they view this as an incentive or a long-term bet on the success of the DeFi sector.

Investors bet on long-term DeFi growth

The concept behind LEND is somewhat similar to MKR but they differ in the way they generate lending and credit opportunities as their respective tokens give users a vote in protocol changes. This is especially important in the case of MakerDAO which requires its community to keep an eye on the price of Ether (ETH) to ensure DAI’s peg with the U.S. dollar.

SNX is the underlying token for the Synthetix decentralized exchange where users can trade on-chain assets pegged to the value of assets like gold and stocks. Basically SNX holders are incentivized to pledge their tokens to create these tradable assets with staking rewards. 

Recently, Synthetix announced a new decentralized asset management platform called dHedge. Aave is also introducing new features to its protocol and in a conversation with Cointelegraph, Aave CEO Stani Kulechov said:

“Aave will also be making credit delegation possible, where party A can delegate their credit line to party B, who can borrow against it. This will all be made possible by a legal agreement via OpenLaw. For example, a credit delegator could be a party that wants to build up more credit, and a borrower could be a business, NGO, government, institution, etc.”

As the DeFi space continues to boom and produce gains remescient of the initial coin offering (ICO) craze in 2017, signs of a similar bubble scenario are beginning to appear as a variety of obscure projects are posting triple-digit gains each week. Despite these signs, institutional investors seem to be setting their focus on this new world of finance.

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