Bitcoin slid to $8,841 staring late Thursday and accelerating into Friday just as a recovery above $9,300 seemed to be taking in hold and comes despite major wallet news from Huawei. The leading cryptocurrency is 5.5% lower but it is the altcoins that are taking a real hammering, which is not too surprising as they have generally outperformed bitcoin in the recent rally. For example, Cardano is down 13%, Ripple the same and IOTA 15% lower, at the time of writing, according to cryptocompare.
UpBit, South Korea’s biggest crypto exchange, has been raided by authorities on suspicion of fraud, which may have been the trigger for today’s bleeding.
The comments by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates may also still be weighing on markets but the technicals point to bullish exhaustion as repeated charges towards $10,000 failed.
However, there is no major negative in play that would conspire to push prices lower from here other than downward selling momentum, which gets us into the realm of circular thinking where prices going down makes prices fall further.
Phone giant Huawei goes crypto friendly
Encouraging news for the sector this morning comes from Chinese mobile giant Huawei. It is launching an App Gallery that will be preinstalled on all its phones and will include BTC.com’s crypto wallet.
Although exchanges and initial coin offerings were banned in China last year, it is not illegal to own and use crypto. Huawei is the biggest phone seller in China and also owns the Honor handset brand.
BTC.com is owned by China’s Bitmain, the largest crypto mining group in the world. According to Bloomberg Huawei is considering building a phone that is able to run and interact directly with blockchain applications.
Jaime Gonzalo, vice president of Huawei Technologies’ mobile services, said of the company’s plans: “From our leadership position in China, the tip of the spear of mobile payments, we expect to see massive growth in global cryptocurrency adoption habits in the near future.”
Robinhood v Coinbase?
Elsewhere, Robinhood, the commission-free trading app raised $363 million in a funding round completed this week, with plans to expand its crypto offering. Robinhood hopes to overtake US exchange Coinbase by the end of the year.
Chief executive Baiju Bhatt said: “We expect by the end of the year to be either the largest or one of the largest crypto platforms out there. But we also really feel we’ll have the absolute best experience for investing in crypto as well—from having a large variety of coins available to a more favourable cost structure—mainly no commissions—to just quality of product.”
Robinhood has four million accounts compared to Coinbase’s 20 million, which makes it the top US crypto exchange. Robinhood only has markets in Bitcoin and Ethereum while Coinbase offers trading in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Both exchanges accept fiat deposits and as such differ from crypto exchanges such as Bitfinex, Bitrex and Binance that don’t.
Robinhood started offering crypto trading in February and is backed by venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Alphabet’s venture arm Capital G.
Other news saw a price target of $64,000 slapped on bitcoin by a FundStrat analyst extrapolating from hashing power on the network. “We believe the current path of hash power growth supports a BTC price of about $36,000 by 2019 year end, with a $20,000-$64,000 range,” said head of data science research Sam Doctor in a report from the research company set up by Tom Lee.
Roger Ver, the Bitcoin Cash booster otherwise known as Bitcoin Jesus because of his early support for the cryptocurrency, reckons Ethereum will eclipse bitcoin this year. Cynics might say Ver will do or say anything to undermine bitcoin. “Ethereum could overtake bitcoin by the end of the year and bitcoin cash could do the same before 2020,” he opined. Bitcoin Cash is a fork from bitcoin with a block size of 8MB compared to bitcoin’s 1MB and as such theoretically more scaleable, although critics might say it still comes nowhere need the transactions per second (tps) of legacy payment systems such as the Visa and Mastercard networks which can handle from 8,000 to 38,000 tps.
If anyone was in any doubt about Ver’s attachment to the success of BCH, he did a little pump for the coin, hinting that big buyers would be moving in soon: “Bitcoin Cash has more than doubled in value in the last month and big investors coming in soon could see it double again by next week. People love to chase a rising star.”
BCH is currently down 13% at $1,434.
Following its listing on Binance, Augur is up nearly 20%. Augur is a prediction market platform.