Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BCH, EOS, XMR, XTZ

Bitcoin is facing minor resistance near $50,000 but if this psychological barrier is crossed, a major breakout could occur in select altcoins.

Demand and supply metrics determine the price of an asset and data from Glassnode, an on-chain data firm, shows that Bitcoin’s (BTC) liquid supply has been decreasing since June 2020. This signals that traders owning Bitcoin are not selling their holdings.

While the supply is shrinking, demand has been going up in the past few months as an increasing number of institutional investors have been buying Bitcoin.

Bloomberg recently reported that Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s subsidiary Cointerpoint Global “is exploring whether the cryptocurrency would be a suitable option for its investors.”

According to Morgan Stanley’s website, Counterpoint Global chooses to invest in assets “whose market value can increase significantly for underlying fundamental reasons.” This suggests that the bank believes Bitcoin may be undervalued compared to its fundamentals.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

 JPMorgan Chase also hinted that it might eventually introduce Bitcoin services. JPMorgan’s co-president Daniel Pinto believes that if investors and asset managers start using Bitcoin, the bank “will have to be involved.” Pinto however said that the current demand was not strong enough, but conceded it may grow in the future.

Even though Bitcoin has risen sharply in the past few months, its dominance has fallen from about 69.71% on Jan. 4 to 60.9% currently. This shows that altcoins have outperformed Bitcoin in the past few weeks. With an eye on altcoins, let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may trend in the next few days.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin broke above the $41,959.63 resistance on Feb. 8 with a strong up-move, but since then, the momentum has weakened. Although the price has been nudging higher, the leading cryptocurrency is facing profit-booking at intermittent levels.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the current levels and slips below $46,000, the correction could deepen to the strong support at $41,959.63. If the BTC/USD pair rebounds off this support, it will suggest the bulls continue to accumulate on dips, which is a sign that the uptrend is intact.

The bulls will then try to drive the price above the psychological barrier at $50,000 and resume the uptrend with the next target objective at $60,974.43. On the other hand, if the bears sink the price below the 20-day exponential moving average ($41,349), the pair may drop to the 50-day simple moving average ($36,070).

This is an important support to watch out for because the price has not dipped below the 50-day SMA since Oct. 9. Hence, a break below it will indicate a possible change in trend. The next support on the downside is much lower at $28,850.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the pair has formed a rising wedge pattern that will complete on a breakdown and close below the support line. If that happens, the pair may drop to $43,720.85 and then to $41,959.63.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current levels or the 20-EMA and rises above the wedge, it will invalidate the bearish setup. A breakout above $50,000 could attract short-covering from the aggressive bears and may result in a quick up-move to $55,000.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) broke above the $539 resistance on Feb. 12 and this attracted buying from the bulls. The altcoin picked up momentum and soared above the $631.71 resistance on Feb. 13

BCH/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

The long wick on today’s candlestick suggests short-term traders may be booking profits after the recent runup. The BCH/USD pair may now correct to $631.71 and if the bulls can flip this level into support, it will indicate buying on every minor dip.

If the bulls can push the price above $730.02, the uptrend could reach $900. Both moving averages are sloping up and the relative strength index (RSI) is in the overbought zone, suggesting an advantage to the bulls.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price dips and sustains below $631.71, the correction could deepen to $539.

BCH/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bears are defending the $720 resistance and the bulls are buying on dips to $650. If the buyers can propel the price above $730.02, the uptrend could resume.

On the other hand, if the price again turns down from $720, the bears will try to pull the price down to $631.71. If this support cracks, the decline could extend to the 20-EMA and then to the 50-SMA.

EOS/USD

EOS broke out of the long basing formation and started a new uptrend when it soared above the $3.95 overhead resistance on Feb. 9. The altcoin picked up momentum and the bulls pushed the price above the $5.4861 resistance on Feb. 13.

EOS/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

However, the failure to sustain the price above $5.4861 may have attracted profit-booking from the short-term traders. This has started a correction that could extend to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $4.5014.

If the price rebounds off this level, the bulls will again try to push and sustain the price above the $5.4861 to $5.6118 overhead resistance. Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below $4.5014, the EOS/USD pair could drop to $3.95.

Such a deep correction will suggest that the momentum has weakened and the pair could then consolidate in a wide range between $3.95 and $5.6118 for a few days.

EOS/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls have purchased the dip to the 20-EMA. If the pair sustains the rebound, the bulls will again try to push the price above $5.6118. If they succeed, the uptrend could resume.

The next target objective on the upside is $6 and if that level is also scaled, the uptrend could reach $7.50. On the other hand, a break below the 20-EMA could extend the correction to the 50-SMA.

XMR/USD

Monero (XMR) broke above the $190 resistance on Feb. 12 and resumed the uptrend. The 20-day EMA ($174) has turned up and the RSI has moved into overbought territory, which suggests the bulls are in command.

XMR/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bears are currently defending the psychological level at $250. The first support on the downside is the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement at 213.6152. If the price rebounds off this level, it will suggest that traders are viewing the dips as a buying opportunity.

A break above $254.45 will open the doors for a rally to $300 where the bears may again mount a stiff resistance.

Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below $213.6152, the correction may deepen to $190. Such a deep fall may delay the start of the next leg of the uptrend.

XMR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the bears are defending the $240 to $254.45 resistance zone but the positive sign is that the bulls have not given up much ground. If the price rises from the current level or rebounds off the 20-EMA, it will signal strength.

If the bulls can push the price above the overhead resistance, a rally to $268 and then to $300 is likely. This bullish view will invalidate if the XMR/USD pair dips and closes below the 20-EMA.

XTZ/USD

Tezos (XTZ) broke above the previous all-time high at $4.4936 on Feb. 12 and has made a new high at $5.6471 today. Whenever an asset hits a new high, it indicates that bulls are in control.

XTZ/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Another thing that usually happens when a major resistance is broken is that the price turns down and retests the breakout level. In this case, the price could dip to the breakout level at $4.4936.

If the price rebounds off this level, it will suggest that traders are buying on dips and have flipped the previous resistance to support. The bulls will then attempt to resume the uptrend by pushing the price above $5.6471.

If they succeed, the XTZ/USD pair could rally to $7.1407. This bullish view will invalidate if the pair breaks and sustains below $4.4936.

XTZ/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the bulls could not sustain the price above $5.40, which may have attracted profit-booking from short-term traders. The bulls are currently attempting to defend the 20-EMA.

If the price rebounds off this support, it will signal strength. A break above $5.6471 may resume the up-move. On the other hand, if the price dips below the 20-EMA and the $4.4936 support, the correction could deepen to the 50-SMA.

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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Growing list of billion-dollar crypto ‘unicorns’ suggest the best is yet to come

More than 53 blockchain projects have emerged as multi-billion dollar market cap crypto unicorns, a signal that the 2021 bull market is just getting started.

In the traditional investing world ‘unicorn’ is a term used by venture capitalists to describe a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion. 

Typically these startups have strong fundamentals and oftentimes a first-mover advantage that helps them rapidly rise in value to become prized investment opportunities for yield-seeking funds.

Some of the best-known unicorns include Elon Musk’s SpaceX, a private rocket and spacecraft manufacturer with a valuation of $46 billion, and Coinbase, the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange with a current valuation of $8 billion.

While the world’s attention has been focused on the Coronavirus pandemic, the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and the recent r/Wallstreetbets social investing phenomenon, the crypto sector has quietly ascended to a total valuation of over $1.2 trillion.

Adding to this, currently there are more than 55 unicorn status projects that have a market cap over $1 billion.

Top 18 projects by market cap. Source: Messari

Recent Bitcoin (BTC) evangelism from the likes of Michael Saylor, Mark Cuban and Elon Musk are helping shine a spotlight on the nascent crypto industry, and with it comes the discerning eye of institutional investors who will quickly want to look beyond BTC to what other promising opportunities exist in the space.

These projects are no longer just focused on making cryptocurrency a global means of exchange. Some of the top projects include smart contract platforms, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, privacy tokens, oracles providers and even humor-oriented meme coins.

With that in mind, here are some of the top crypto unicorn projects to keep an eye on as institutions begin to make their presence felt in the cryptocurrency markets.

Blue-chip projects

Bitcoin is the ultimate first-mover in the crypto space as it paved the way for the rest to come into existence and holds more than 61% of the total market value with a current market cap of $843 billion.

As the longest-running chain possessing the strongest mining network of all proof-of-work cryptocurrencies, BTC is likely to be the go-to choice for new money coming into the sector which will take a cautious approach to start out with.

Percentage of total market cap. Source: CoinMarketCap

Similar to how many of the current crypto faithful got involved in the space, Bitcoin will be the “gateway coin” that introduces the concept and leads to further exploration.

Ethereum (ETH), with a current market cap of $196 billion, is the obvious second choice as it is the most-utilized smart contract platform and home to a majority of the top DeFi protocols that have surged in popularity in recent months.

Other legacy projects that have survived multiple bull-bear cycles and achieved unicorn status include Litecoin (LTC), which has emerged as a reliable value transfer alternative to the higher fees and longer block times of BTC, and the privacy-focused Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), which paved the way in bringing anonymity to blockchain transactions.

These projects currently have market caps of $10.5 billion, $2.75 billion and $1.07 billion respectively.

Decentralized finance takes center stage

Since early 2020, one of the main driving forces in the growth of the cryptocurrency sector has been the emergence of decentralized finance.

Decentralized exchanges (DEX) like Uniswap have steadily grown from being a simple exchange interface dApp to a sprawling trading platform that now averages a 7-day trading volume of $6.72 billion, a figure that rivals volume of the top centralized exchanges.

Uniswap 7-day trading volume. Source: Uniswap

Uniswap’s UNI governance token was initially airdropped to users of the interface who took a chance on the protocol while it was still in development, but now the token can be found on all major centralized and decentralized exchanges.

The protocol also received venture capital backing to ensure further development. With a current market cap of $5.9 billion and a token price of $19.79, Uniswap is likely to be on the watchlist for the smart money eyeing the space.

SushiSwap, the main competitor to Uniswap, has also achieved unicorn status with a current valuation of $1.8 billion. The platform offers a community-focused system that allows token holders to stake their SUSHI to participate in governance as well as earn passive income from trading fees generated by the protocol.

Total value locked in DeFi. Source: Defi Pulse

While DEXs helped facilitate the growth of DeFi, lending protocols have emerged as the top draw for total value locked (TVL) and higher token values.

Maker (MKR), AAVE and Compound (COMP) are the leading platforms when measured by the total value locked (TVL) in the protocol. Currently there is a combined $15.63 billion in value deposited in smart contracts that interact with the protocols and their market caps range from $2.1 billion to $5.98 billion.

In addition to the high yield opportunities offered by staking protocols, retail investors are also attracted to the governance features that give token holders a say in the future development of the protocol. These DeFi darlings are likely to pique the interest of long term capital.

Ethereum congestion drives smart contract innovation

Ethereum’s dominance in DeFi has proven to be a double-edged sword as increasing network congestion resulted in an untenable surge in gas fees.

Average Ethereum gas price. Source: Etherscan

The recent record-high gas fees have opened the door for other smart contract platforms to fill the need for layer-2 options, as well as highlighting the need for oracle providers that can communicate data securely across platforms.

Promising smart contract platforms that have emerged include Polkadot (DOT) and its sister chain Kusama (KSM), which introduce interoperability with Ethereum and other top blockchains as the solution to the current siloed nature of separate networks.

DOT’s market cap has risen to $18.8 billion as its prominence continues to grow and Kusama is new to the unicorn club as its market cap just surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time on Feb. 6.

Interestingly, Cardano (ADA), one of the 2017 ICO-era projects, has also started gaining momentum in recent weeks following the addition of smart contracts to the protocol and hints of future DeFi related endeavors.

Currently, Cardano’s market cap is $19.8 billion and the integration of DeFi could help propel its value higher as ADA has yet to tap into the liquidity offered on decentralized exchanges.

Theta captured the first-mover advantage when it comes to blockchain-based video streaming and the project has recently added smart contract functionality, the ability to create non-fungible tokens, and they launched the Thetaswap DEX on Feb. 4.

Oracles join the party

As more participants enter the crypto space and new blockchains emerge to fit specific niches, communication between separate networks will become essential to the overall health and continued growth of the sector.

This is where oracle projects come in to offer reliable, secure ways to transfer data.

Top oracle projects. Source: CoinGecko

Chainlink (LINK) is the top oracle project in terms of protocol integrations and its valuation. LINK currently has a $10.37 billion market cap and the project’s recent integration with Kraken exchange is expected to add further value to the project.

Meanwhile, upstarts like UMA and The Graph (GRT) have only recently achieved unicorn status as the 2021 bull market heats up. Both projects have developed novel ways to track, record and transmit data and they have reached valuations of $1.7 billion and $1.1 billion.

GRT has been especially active in the growth department, announcing multiple partnerships and upcoming integrations including bridges to DOT and Binance Coin (BNB).

The ‘unicorn’ herd will expand

Bitcoin burst onto the financial scene more than twelve years ago and has steadily forged a path to prominence that governments and the global financial system can no longer ignore.

Now that institutions are finally beginning to dip their toes into BTC and ETH, it’s time to take an even closer look at what the emerging blockchain ecosystem has to offer.

The herd of unicorns is likely to expand and considering that the decentralized finance sector is still in a very early growth stage, there’s plenty of value to be found in these unicorn projects.

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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While Bitcoin’s Price Dips in Value, Crypto Assets Like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash Shine

While Bitcoin's Price Dips in Value, Crypto Assets Like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash ShineThe price of bitcoin has dropped on Sunday losing more than 6% during the last 24 hours, but a myriad of other coins have seen significant gains in contrast. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, ethereum, and monero have all jumped in value while bitcoin has seen a decent drop. ** This post has been updated to […]
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Darknet Giant White House Market Drops Bitcoin, Supports Monero Payments Only

Darknet Giant White House Market Drops Bitcoin, Supports Monero Payments OnlyThe prominent darknet marketplace, White House Market, has dropped bitcoin payments and now accepts monero only. The darknet marketplace administrators detailed that there was an issue with a payment processor blocking Tor exit nodes, but the full transition to monero was always planned. A number of crypto proponents have reported on the darknet marketplace, White […]

The post Darknet Giant White House Market Drops Bitcoin, Supports Monero Payments Only appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Heavy hitters of crypto call for users to comment on proposed FinCEN wallet rule

Coinbase is the latest company to go public with its concerns regarding the U.S. Treasury proposal on crypto wallets.

A number of players are encouraging individuals to speak out against FinCEN’s new crypto rules before comments close next week.

Crypto exchange Coinbase and the foundation behind Monero are the latest firms to join in calling for crypto users to share their thoughts on the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s new rules. In a blog post today, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the proposal would represent “too big of an intrusion” on users’ privacy, stating that crypto exchanges would need to collect and share names and addresses for anyone sending or receiving more than $3,000 in crypto in a single transaction. The CEO called on users to submit their thoughts to FinCEN before Jan. 4 when comments would be closed.

Source: Twitter

Monero Outreach issued a similar plea on Monday with seemingly more assertive language, specially requesting crypto users “voice their opposition” to the “dangerous new rules.” The group claimed that once FinCEN had the necessary customer information, regulators would be able to track all user transactions without a warrant, data that could be potentially compromised.

“This [rule] not been required before, and it will not only threaten the privacy of every cryptocurrency user today, but it will also impede creative future uses of cryptocurrency,” said Monero Outreach. “This is in an area that can easily go very wrong.”

FinCEN proposed the new rule on Dec. 18, giving individuals 15 days to comment with their thoughts. If implemented, the rule would require registered crypto exchanges to verify the identity of their customers under certain conditions, including using “an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet” and if the transaction exceeds $3,000.

Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal later responded that the deadline to provide feedback was inadequate given the holidays and the ongoing pandemic. He requested the regulator provide a 60-day period for comments on the proposed rules. At the time of publication, the Jan. 4 deadline is still firm.

Meanwhile, non-profit crypto advocacy group Coin Center is encouraging “everyone in the cryptocurrency ecosystem” to file a comment on the FinCEN proposal. More than 920 parties have already submitted their thoughts to FinCEN, including Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith and Compound General Counsel Jake Chervinsky. In a Twitter thread, Chervinsky claimed the rule would not “stop the flow of funds to bad actors or help law enforcement do its job.” 

Smith, on the other hand, sent his comment directly to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. In a blog post last week, the Blockchain.com CEO said he believes the rule needs additional consultation and review before being considered, given the potential impact:

“Crypto is a nascent and growing industry. We have talented teams and entrepreneurs across the United States who are innovating yet would buckle under the weight of this regulation.”

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