Bitcoin Fork Called Off, Price…Drops??

The bitcoin hard fork knows as Segwit2x was “called off” today causing a sudden price spike then drop.

The strange thing about this is that the fork was a major point of dispute for those in the Bitcoin community and posed some risks. One would think that when you eliminate a risk the price would go higher, but not here.

This says to me that people were piling in ahead of the fork in anticipation of a “dividend” and nothing more. That tells me that greed is driving price, and its a bit concerning.

Ethereum Parity Bug

Ethereum wallet company Parity Technologies found a bug in their code that leaves hundreds of thousands in Etherum (millions in USD) exposed to “being deleted”. Read here if you want more on this.

Or, more succinctly:

Turns out Parity wallets were hacked in July of ’17, too (see here).

This is what happens when untested technologies are used in “production”.

This is not supportive for Ethereum’s price at a time when Bitcoin is exhibiting dominance and ICO’s are coming under intense scrutiny. It shouldn’t take away from the promising future of the technology.

Maybe Bitcoin Futures Isn’t Bullish for Bitcoins Price

CME Launches Bitcoin Futures on November 14th. This is a big deal because it legitimizes Bitcoin as a player on the “institutional” stage. It says there is major demand from large players and that the exchanges and regulators see a future in the asset class.

My sense is that Bitcoin owners view this launch as unbelievably bullish for the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin tends to have younger investors who in general have had nothing but success from owning, trading or holding Bitcoin. They buy and the price goes up. Some well known “old guy” says something bad about Bitcoin, yet the price goes up more. Bitcoin holders thump their chests, mock the “old out of touch” naysayers and go back to talking about their wealth.

By the way, I’m not here to guess what will happen to Bitcoins price. I own Bitcoin and think its an amazing asset. Don’t trade off of what I write here.

Not All Bitcoin Futures Traders are Buyers

Lets say that you are Warren Buffet and you think Bitcoin is a huge bubble (he actually does, see here). If you wanted to express that investment view (i.e. short Bitcoin) its pretty much impossible. He’s not going to open a Coinbase account and start shorting (explanation of why here).  With CME futures though he’d have no problem launching his short orders. Thanks to the exchange he doesn’t have to worry about counterparty risk, regulator risk or operational risk.

For the first time ever these “old out of touch guys” can back up their “bitcoin bubble” views.

Bitcoin, Gold and Futures Trading

Many like to say that Bitcoin is “the new gold” from an investment perspective. Both bitcoin and gold capture the same objectives of getting your money out of the banking system, being an inflation hedge, etc. Bitcoin, however,  is much easier to store and transport. Gold retailers also say Bitcoin is hurting their business.

Gold futures started trading on the COMEX NY exchange in December 1974 and as you can see in the chart below, it didn’t equate to a major increase in price in the months or even years following.

Image result for 1974 gold futures

Who is to say that this has anything to do with CME Bitcoin Futures trading, but its an interesting analog. (Note these chart annotations where on the chart, they’re not mine and irrelevant to this post.)

Between Futures launching on November 14th, and the possible Segwit2x fork  which should happen on roughly the same day its shaping up to be a wild month for Bitcoin.

So Paris Hilton Did Call the Ethereum ICO Top?

Paris Hilton tweeted she was “participating” in the Lydian Coin ICO back on 9/3/17. Ethereums all time high was ~$390 and occurred just a day or two before this ominous tweet.

Paris Hilton “Involved” With ICO

We likely wont see anything like this ever happen again. The SEC has decided to step in and warn other celebrities to stop shilling ICOs.

What Do CME #Bitcoin Futures Mean for Bitcoin

Everyone in crypto is excited about the launch of Bitcoin futures on the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). The CME is one of the largest futures exchanges in the world. A few notes on this as I am reading a lot of nonsense out there:

  • Overall this has to be seen as bullish for Bitcoin and establishes the asset on the “institutional” playing field.
  • Bitcoin futures are CASH SETTLED which means when the contract expires you are charged or credited in USD the difference between the futures price and Bitcoin spot price. If you’re futures contract is $7000 USD and Bitcoin spot is $6000 USD you will lose $1000 USD from your account.
  • Cash settlement means the futures volume doesn’t necessarily translate into actual Bitcoin  volume. That being said I’d wager that Bitcoin volumes would move higher as traders arbitrage the futures versus actual Bitcoin.
  • Yes, some people will hedge with actual Bitcoin but settlement is still a major issue for institutions and will prevent them from trading actual Bitcoin. Essentially Hedge Funds and Banks can’t yet handle the storage and delivery of Bitcoin. (see here) Plus Bitcoin itself hasn’t been explicitly approved by the SEC or other regulatory bodies.
  • LedgerX already launched Bitcoin options which many will use in conjunction with Bitcoin Futures. You can buy or sell the options and use the future as a hedge if you’d like to trade the “volatility” of Bitcoin. You can also express a directional Bitcoin price view using Bitcoin futures and then hedge with options.
  • I find it somewhat ridiculous that this is a grand conspiracy by the banks to take down bitcoin. CME is a for profit exchange and Bitcoin is an asset with rapidly growing demand.

Stock Adds +250% by Adding “Blockchain” to Its Name

File this under: “a fool and his money are soon parted“.

This Company Added the Word ‘Blockchain’ to Its Name and Saw Its Shares Surge 394%

 

A British company that has been investing in internet and information businesses is having its best day on record.

On-line Plc jumped as much as 394 percent on Friday after announcing plans to change its name to On-line Blockchain Plc, following an initial climb of 19 percent on Thursday when it first announced the news. It’s the biggest one-day gain for the small-cap company since its December 1996 listing. The trading volume that reached 2.9 million shares by early afternoon in London is equal to more than 16 times the entire year’s trading before the last two days.

“Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are a new and exciting area we have been working on for some time,” the Essex-based company said in a statement on Thursday. “We feel the time is right to re-name the company to reflect these developments, where we believe the future growth will be in our sector.”

The shares pared gains after the company published a follow-up release on Friday, cautioning investors that the development of its blockchain product is still at an early stage. Still, the 238 percent rise as of 2:36 p.m. in London leaves the company’s market value of 4.4 million pounds ($5.8 million) at its highest since 2005.

This isn’t the first time that investors have gotten excited about a name. Shares in Colorado-based Bioptix Inc. nearly doubled in value in the days leading up to its name change to Riot Blockchain Inc. earlier this month. In what seems to be a case of mistaken identity, a New York-based startup called SNAP Interactive Inc. jumped more than 150 percent in the days after Snap Inc. filed for a $3 billion initial public offering in February. Little-known SNAP Interactive makes mobile dating apps, while Snap Inc. is the parent of the popular Snapchat photo-sharing app.

Catalonia Crypto Isn’t #Bitcoin Bullish

“Catalonia is also considering adopting its own digital token or cryptocurrency” I saw this on zerohedge as an attempt to ascribe a reason to the Bitcoin price spike today.  First, not every single move in an asset must have news attached. Second, Catalonia isn’t even its own legal entity. So you could buy into this crypto and have the EU reject it or call it illegal. Also they are looking at an ICO:

From Coindesk

Blockchain experts in Catalonia have sought help from Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s founder, according to El Pais. Vitalik advised the Catalonians to create an ICO to offer a currency that would work in tandem with the financing of a business project for the virtual residence program. The e-residency ecosystem could create an economic community independent of a central bank.

Estonia recently proposed “Estcoin,” a national cryptocurrency. If the country follows through on this plan, it would be the first national government to launch an ICO.

Kaspar Korjus, managing director for Estonia’s e-residency program, posted a Medium blog in August claiming Estonia could offer Estcoins to residents. The coins could be managed by the Republic of Estonia, but accessed by anyone through the e-residency program. The program would launch an ICO to offer the coins.

Korjus also said the ability to start a location independent company is the main factor driving the growth of the e-residency program.

IF this were all to happen it would be competition for Bitcoin. Second there is no proof it would launch on Ethereum.

Any news like this is crypto-bullish but don’t read that to mean “Bitcoin bullish.”

3 Concerns about #Ethereum

While I own Ethereum and have belief in what the network can do I’ve come across a few recent developments that are casting shadows of concern as an “Investor” in Ether:

  1. Victim of its own success – I believe the ICO market is a huge bubble. This should be a short term problem as the market punishes those who commit fraud and don’t do their due diligence.  This report from Bloomberg shows that only 20 out of 226 ICO’s are actually running a network. The rest are pure speculation. However it also opens the doors to regulated competitors (here). I also think the ICO market is capping the current price of Ethereum as ICO’s cash out (they sell their ICO tokens for ETH, and then sell ETH for fiat). There is little to stop any exchange such as the Nasdaq form launching its own ICO market, just as Overstock has done with tZero.
  2. Competition – Private companies can launch their own private Ethereum network which does not require the use of Ether. Many love to point to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance as proof that large companies are interested in Eth – and it is – but that does not mean this will have an impact on Ethereum price. On the contrary these companies seem to be getting a “free ride” in the public development of crypto/blockchain technology.
  3. Regulation – will governments crush the ICO market and make it impossible for ICO’s to crowdsource?

Because this technology and its progress is in uncharted waters its hard to pin down what happens next. While I’m hopefully we realize the full potential of the Ethereum network (and I make some $!) you have to watch every angle.

 

Edit: I hadn’t see this before Vitalik sees the ICO madness. He is an incredible guy and gives a lot of faith in the future of Ethereum:

The founder of the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world has always been skeptical about initial coin offerings, or when companies issue digital tokens to attract investment. Those digital tokens’ price is based only on the desire of people to have them, Mr. Buterin noted on the ETHWaterloo hackathon, dedicated, as one can guess from the title, to the structure of Ethereum.

As Vitalik Buterin believes, 90% of current ICO projects, even based on trusted ERC20 standard and even those listed on Coinmarketcap, will eventually crash. What we see right now is only the first version or first practical implementation of tokens, and “tokens 2.0” that will emerge somewhere between 2018 and 2019 will be much better. The hype around current token projects is doomed to fall, and after that, Buterin thinks, we all will finally understand which projects are worth investing and which are not. The ICO rating system is, indeed, one of the most serious problems the market is currently facing. But the market will mature, Ethereum founder assures.

Previously, when it became known to Buterin that independent Ethereum upgrade developers had launched an ICO, he immediately told this is not what he wants to see with his currency development and swiftly established a private fund that invests in decent Ethereum development projects.

#ICO launch Boosts Overstock Price #Ethereum

This ICO launch is not Ethereum what you think. It has nothing to do with ETHEREUM and highlights a potential issues with Etherum use in the future.

Shares of cryptocurrency pioneer Overstock.com climbed more than 5% on Tuesday after the company revealed that it will launch an ICO on Nov. 1 using its proprietary tZERO platform, a strategy that will allow Overstock to raise capital without diluting its float.

Overstock to launch ICO

tZero info here – it looks like one giant competitor to Ethereum’s ICO market – only it looks somewhat regulated. I dont see this as bullish for Ethereum.

This tZero has NOTHING to do with Ethereum – and if its successful will pave the way for other companies to go out and grab more cash. It also shows that Ethereum is just a guinea pig showing how much capital can be raised from pointless ICO’s. There is NOTHING to stop any copy from launching its own private Ethereum (or similar) network.

Another example of this is Microsoft launching private Ethereum networks. These networks dont require the use of Ether.

Which begs me to ask an open question: Is the general public that is buying Ethereum just paying for free development for major corporations and government?

Sure small companies can and will still launch using the Ethereum network but as for large companies using the public Ethereum network (and thereby driving up the price of ETH) its looking doubtful (I say this is a holder of Etherum).