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ICO Misconduct Takes Center Stage in SEC Enforcement Report


Despite the fact that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet to craft a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, the agency placed a great deal of emphasis on the space this year, particularly on initial coin offerings (ICOs). The SEC’s Division of Enforcement published its fiscal year 2018 annual report, the second one of its kind in which it spotlights its ability to crack down on fraud in the financial system and protect Main Street investors.

ICOs Front and Center in SEC Enforcement Report

This year, ICOs were a key theme throughout the document, as evidenced by nearly 30 mentions and an entire section dedicated to the agency’s activity in identifying misconduct tied to “digital assets and initial coin offerings,” as per the report.

Given what the SEC described as an “explosion” of ICOs this year, they were selective in the deals that they pursued in an attempt to send the most effective message to issuers both in the US and internationally where they market to US investors. Fundraising, meanwhile, is on the decline, with the tally for September failing to surpass $300 million versus $3 billion in January 2018.

Perhaps it was the regulatory crackdown on ICOs in the US surrounding the registration of security tokens that has spooked issuers and influenced investors, as “registration violations” were a key focus of the SEC’s report. The SEC’s influence over the ICO market this year despite a lack of regulation is apparent in the reversal of the trend in celebrity endorsements of token offerings, which the agency “urged caution around” and “brought almost an immediate end to such promotions.”

High-Risk Investments

gambling rolling dice ico

The SEC says it’s looking to strike a balance between protecting Main Street investors from fraud and scams “without stifling innovation and legitimate capital formation.” Taking a page out of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan‘s book, the report also suggests “exuberance around these markets can sometimes obscure the fact that these offerings are often high-risk investments.”

One of the key risks is something that has been well documented, and it surrounds investing in a project with no history of performance or a viable product let alone revenue or adequate cybersecurity. Meanwhile, there is a pattern of issuers claiming to use blockchain technology but that are “simply outright frauds cloaked in the veneer of emerging technology,” the report says.

Over the past year, the SEC has issued more than 12 “stand-alone enforcement actions involving digital assets and ICOs,” including deals that raised tens of millions of dollars from investors. Titanium Blockchain was one of them, which after raising $21 million in an ICO was charged with allegedly falsifying information about key relationships with the likes of the Fed, PayPal, and others. Another unnamed ICO allegedly “promised a 13-fold profit in less than a month.” In addition to ICO startups, the enforcement agency also pursued TokenLot, which allegedly billed itself as an “ICO superstore” but operated as an unregistered broker-dealer.

There are several more similar cases, the severity of which ranged from instances of outright fraud to failing to register a token as a security properly. Meanwhile, dozens of investigations into ICOs and digital assets have been launched, a large number of which are still unfolding.

The annual report’s section on “ICOs and Digital Assets” is featured before “Public Company Disclosures of Cybersecurity Risks and Incidents” under the larger subhead of “Policing Cyber-Related Misconduct.” The agency identifies the scams that it uncovered over the past year, all of which are listed at the end of the report.

Images from Shutterstock

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Beliebter Fehler:Schadet dem Akku:Darum sollten Sie Ihr Smartphone nie über Nacht laden


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Schadet dem Akku: Darum sollten Sie Ihr Smartphone nie über Nacht laden

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Der Akku vom Smartphone geht schneller kaputt, wenn man das Handy über Nacht an die Steckdose anschließt. Wenn das Handy geladen ist, sollte es möglichst schnell vom Strom getrennt werden.

Aus unserem Netzwerk von CHIP: Edel-Schraubenzieher für 40 Euro – warum Sie ihn dennoch brauchen


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Pay Bitcoin or Else: Thugs Threaten Amsterdam Businesses with Explosives

Business owners in Amsterdam are living in fear of criminals who are threatening to cause acts of terror unless they are paid an extortion fee in bitcoin.

According to a Netherlands publication NLTimes, emails have been sent to multiple businesses in Amsterdam demanding bitcoins worth 50,000 euros. Failure to pay, the emails warn, hand grenades will be planted at the business premises or the businesses will come under a hail of bullets forcing closure. In the Dutch capital, businesses are required to shut down for a period of time in case of a shooting or after an explosive device has been found.

“You probably noticed how many entrepreneurs have had to close their doors recently by order of the municipality. To prevent you from being the next one, you must immediately take action,” reads a section of the emailed threat.

Leading Cryptocurrency Exchanges

To pay the extortion fee, victims of the extortion scheme are instructed to open an account on either of two specific cryptocurrency exchanges – Coinbase and Coinmama. They are then required to buy bitcoins on either exchange and transfer them to a specified address.

Since mid this year, a nightclub and at least three coffee shops have received the threats. The criminals have also made it clear that the extortion fee will be doubled to 100,000 euros if the payment is not made within five days.

The emails also demand confidentiality and warn recipients against informing the police or anyone else. Failure to maintain confidentiality, the emails warn, will result in the extortion fee being quadrupled to bitcoins worth 200,000 euros. Immediate action to ensure the business shuts down for a minimum of three months will also be taken, the emails add. So far no business has confessed to paying the extortion fee.

No Ransomware Please, Just Grenades

While this is not the first time that criminals are extorting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from businesses, the use of threats of violence or terror is rare. Instead, criminals have largely chosen to deploy ransomware and this has proved to be a lucrative business. Cybersecurity firm Sophos estimates that creators of the SamSam ransomware have generated bitcoin worth more than US$6 million since 2015.

So rare are threats of terror for extortion purposes in the cryptocurrency space that in one of those isolated incidents where this tactic was employed, the target was a bitcoin startup. As CCN reported around three months ago, this was in the case of a Norwegian bitcoin mining farm Kryptovault which received bomb threats after noise-related conflicts with the residents neighboring the facility.

“This is sabotage. If you are expanding crypto mining and filling the country with noise, then you will be sabotaging the peace. I am threatening to send you some explosives,” read the bomb threat which was sent to Kryptovault.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Crypto Startup Ledger Expands to Asia Pacific in Hong Kong


Paris-based crypto security giant Ledger, has announced its expansion into Asia with the establishment of a Hong Kong office and the appointment of Benjamin Soong as Head of Asia Pacific (APAC).

The launch into the new terrain will see Soong overseeing the entire Ledger’s APAC operations as the company extends into fulfilling the growing demand for both Ledger Vault and the Ledger Nano S.

Ledger’s Continued Growth

Launched in 2014 by 8 experts in complementary fields of embedded security, cryptocurrencies and entrepreneurship, Ledger has in a short span gained considerable global influence in security and infrastructure solutions for cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications for individual and corporate entities.

They accomplish this by integrating a distinctive operating system called BOLOS to a secure chip for the crypto wallet line, being the only provider of this technology in the crypto market.

Since its establishment, Ledger has proved pivotal in developing first rate products for the cryptocurrency and blockchain market. Ledger Vault, the multi-authorization cryptocurrency self-custody management solution, was released in May, last year to address “the need to safeguard very large amount of multiple cryptocurrencies while mitigating both IT and physical assault threats.” The Ledger Nano S is a  largely popular multicurrency hardware crypto wallet which provides optimal security and easy accessibility for its users.

According to Ledger President Pascal Gauthier, Soong’s appointment represents a pivotal step in the company’s strategy for growing across the Asia Pacific region.

He said:

“APAC is a key market that has seen increased demand. With Benjamin at the helm, we are confident we can deliver top security for both consumers and financial institutions to protect their crypto assets.”

Soong on his part brings nearly twenty years of experience across a variety of roles including sales, operations and business development. Before joining Ledger, he had notable stints at KPMG, Deloitte and S&P Global Market Intelligence where he rose to become Managing Director, Asia Pacific Sales.

Speaking about his new appointment as Ledger’s new head of APAC, Soong said:

“It is a very exciting time to join Ledger, as the company continues to rapidly expand across the globe. I have seen first hand how mobile, digital and crypto have taken off across Asia, and the opening of this office will help meet the increased demand for our products and services. We expect to grow quickly, and have already targeted future office expansion, including Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore. I look forward to building a world-class team that will help us accelerate our growth across Asia Pacific.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Bear Biased Trend of Bitcoin: Weak Momentum Could Send BTC to $5,750

bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange

Over the past 24 hours, the valuation of the crypto market has remained at $205 billion, mostly due to the stability of Bitcoin at $6,350.

The gap between BTC/USDT (Tether) and BTC/USD has declined to around $50, with the Bitcoin-to-Tether pair being traded with a $50 premium. The announcement of Tether LLC’s new partner bank Deltec has led to a minor recovery of USDT.

“We hereby confirm that, at the close of business on October 31, 2018, the portfolio cash value of your account with our bank was US$1,831,322,828,” Deltec Bank and Trust Limited said.

With the price of USDT nearly back to $1, the cryptocurrency market is expected to see an increase in stability.

Bitcoin to $5,750

According to Eric Thies, managing partner at UTR and a cryptocurrency technical analyst, the last time 3-day moving average convergence/divergence (MACD) demonstrated a downside movement, the price of Bitcoin dropped by around 12 to 20 percent.

“3D MACD crossing to downside, price has ranged -12% to -20% in this bear market when that happens, the former being the most recent. At a current drop of 12%, $BTC touches its current low at $5,750 – $5,800 range.”

The weak momentum of Bitcoin portrayed by its MACD and other momentum oscillators could lead to the decline in the price of the dominant cryptocurrency in the short-term, despite many of the positive developments the cryptocurrency market have seen over the past several months.

Investors expect the launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin futures market in December to trigger a short-term rally for BTC, along with renewed enthusiasm towards the BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing of VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE.

But, until a major catalyst like Bakkt leads a strong rally for BTC, the weak volume, momentum, and low trading volume of the cryptocurrency market are likely to result in a drop in the price of BTC.

Whether the low momentum of BTC leads to a drop below the $6,000 support level, which BTC has defended quite well since August, remains uncertain. The past price movement of BTC could be used as an indicator for future movements but they do not guarantee an identical movement.

Hence, while a dip in momentum caused the price of BTC to drop by more than 12 percent earlier this year, the 12 percent drop occurred in a higher price range. BTC has remained in the tight range of $6,300 to $6,800 for more than three months to break that range on the downside will require significant sell volume in a short period of time.

Where Does the Market go Next?

On October 1, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum recorded decent gains in the 2 to 3 percent range, as BTC demonstrated a slight recovery of around 1 percent.

Over a dozen tokens surged by more than 10 percent against both BTC and the USD, for the first time since mid-September.

As long as the volume of BTC remains at the current level, a major movement on either the upside or the downside is less likely in the upcoming days.

Featured Image from Shutterstock. Charts from TradingView.

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Hong Kong Exchange Prepares for Blockchain Trading Platform

Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has joined forces with Digital Asset to develop a blockchain platform for post-trade allocation and processing of trades.

This alliance was created under the Stock Connect programme with China, based on a FinExtra report. HKEX had been working on a prototype system for Stock Connect using Digital Asset’s platform and smart contract modeling, as it attempts to speed up the post-trade process and reduce settlement risks among traders.

This plan was made known by HKEX CEO Charles Li at a tech event in Hong Kong, where he argued that the distributed ledger technology could be used to limit the “post-trade operational challenges” faced by HKEX’s market participants and global investors who “trade China-listed A-shares via Stock Connect due to “tight settlement cycle for Mainland China trades.”

“This could be the beginning of a long journey of innovation and revolution, and we’re very excited to share this important milestone,” Li had remarked.

HKEX has been quite busy experimenting with meaningful use cases for the blockchain technology.

Early last year, it announced plans to launch a private market where startups can acquire a blockchain based share registration, conduct pre-IPO financing and get all the regulations needed from the financial regulatory.

Also, Hong Kong-based blockchain startup developed OneConnect, a blockchain based international trade finance platform for businesses to “access real-time, secured and comprehensive trade information to conduct their risk assessment on loans, boosting efficiency and potentially reducing costs.”

Stock Connect is a collaboration between the Hong Kong stock exchange and its Shanghai and Shenzhen counterparts. The collaboration aims to provide investors from member nations trade in each other’s market using their country’s stock exchange platform.

A statement from the report reads:

“The project explored how DLT could enable HKEX market participants to specify settlement workflows in advance – helping to bridge time zones – while enabling real-time synchronization of post-trade status between asset managers, brokers, custodians, and HKEX’s clearing house.”

The stock exchange leaders from the member countries have rolled out the service and have called on market participants in Hong Kong and China to “sign up for the post-trade allocation and settlement initiation platform for the northbound Stock Connect programme.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Crypto Remains in Recession with Only 25% of Bitcoin Moved in 2018

bitcoin price

Throughout this year, during a 69 percent correction, only 25 percent of Bitcoin were moved between addresses, suggesting that 75 percent of Bitcoin had not changed hands.

That is nearly a 58 percent decline in Bitcoin user activity since 2017, during a period in which BTC  surged to a new all-time high at $20,000 and the cryptocurrency market reached a valuation of $800 billion.

Analysts expected a higher percentage of Bitcoin in circulation to change hands throughout the past 11 months despite the bear market, given that many new investors have entered the market through alternative platforms such as the CBOE and CME Bitcoin futures markets.

The launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin futures market in December and the release of the Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley cryptocurrency derivative products are also expected to increase the user activity of crypto, growing the liquidity of the stagnant cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin is Still in Recession

Speaking to Bloomberg, Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter stated that the noticeable decline in the user activity of Bitcoin demonstrates the market is still in recession. Less new investors have entered the market since late 2017.

“It tells me we are still in a Bitcoin recession,” Carter said, adding that a dip in user activity enables the evaluation of the actual liquidity of the asset. “I think it helps us assess ‘true liquidity’ in the idealized, global order book sense. To some degree, I think it lets you roughly calibrate the effect of future inflows.”

In bear markets, Carter emphasized that less than 30 percent of BTC in circulation are available to the public through cryptocurrency exchanges, as the vast majority of investors tend to hold onto their long-term investments.

Still, according to cryptocurrency market data providers, the daily trading volume of BTC is estimated to be around $4 billion. At its peak in January, the volume of BTC neared $10 billion, led by leading markets such as Japan and South Korea.

As such, DA Davidson & Co. institutional equity director Gil Luria noted that BTC does not have a liquidity issue, as the $4 billion daily trading volume allows any investor to liquidate an entire position in one trading day.

Cryptocurrency exchanges operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week, without closing and opening periods dissimilar to stock markets and traditional exchanges. Hence, the $4 billion daily trading volume is more meaningful if the fact that the cryptocurrency exchange market operates without downtime is considered.

“That does not mean there is a liquidity issue. Four billion of volume a day means almost any investor in Bitcoin can liquidate their entire position within one trading day,” Luria said.

One Positive Takeaway

This year, Bitcoin suffered one of its worst correction in recent years, the fourth-worst crash in the past nine years.

The decision of many investors in the market to hold onto their Bitcoin investments regardless of a 69 percent drop in price demonstrates confidence towards the long-term price trend of the dominant cryptocurrency, and more importantly, that investors are considering crypto as a long-term investment rather than a short-term position.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Decentralized[?] Ethereum Exchange IDEX to Force New IP Blocks, KYC

kyc idex ethereum dex

IDEX, formerly known as a “decentralized” Ethereum exchange (DEX), has announced that its service will soon feature expanded regional restrictions and KYC policies comparable to those enforced on most centralized cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Ethereum Exchange IDEX Moves to Comply with Crypto Regulations

The operator of IDEX, the Panama-registered Aurora Labs S.A., announced the new changes on Nov. 1, stating that increased regulatory enforcement and recent statements from a CFTC commissioner had led the company to believe that it could not continue to operate without a robust KYC/AML framework but would attempt to introduce the new measures with “as little friction as possible for users.”

Last week, as CCN reported, the exchange — which apparently already restricted users from North Korea and Iran — announced that it would begin blocking users with New York IP addresses. Now, Aurora says that it will expand the regional block even further, widening its net to include Cuba, Syria, Crimea, and Washington state.

Other things equal, the IP ban would likely have proven to be more of an inconvenience than a true prohibition, as IP restrictions could easily be circumvented with a VPN. However, confirming fears of many IDEX users, the “decentralized” exchange, which heretofore allowed users to trade on the platform without registering accounts, will require users to undergo the same sort of identity verification and other KYC/AML measures they would expect to encounter when trading on a conventional exchange, such as Coinbase, Binance, or Upbit.

Over the past 24 hours, IDEX ranked just inside the top 100 exchanges as measured by trading volume, which amounted to about $2.1 million across 450 different mostly-illiquid ETH/ERC-20 token trading pairs.

However, while just a drop in the bucket relative to the $11 billion in global daily trading volume, DappRadar indicates that IDEX is nevertheless the most popular decentralized application (dApp) with approximately 1,600 daily active users — more than four times the active user base of CryptoKitties, whose creator just raised $15 million.

Taking the ‘D’ out of IDEX

idex ethereum exchange dex crypto
Source: Dapp Radar

In a lengthy post explaining the new policies, Aurora Labs CEO Alex Wearn argued that the question of centralization is not a binary choice. Rather, he said that there is a spectrum that exists between the two poles “centralized” and “decentralized,” and that it’s functionally impossible to offer a user-friendly service that also features complete decentralization.

IDEX seeks to improve upon conventional exchanges by affording users the ability to retain control of their funds while they trade on the platform, using an off-chain order-book to facilitate transactions while settling trades through an on-chain smart contract. Nevertheless, Aurora Labs oversees that order-book and signs the transactions that execute on-chain settlement.

This, Wearn, wrote, enhances the user experience but renders Aurora Labs liable for the activities that occur on the platform, and he conceded that it’s time to “call a spade a spade” and acknowledged that IDEX — despite its name — is not truly a DEX in the sense in which that term is most often used.

He said:

“Not every project can be successfully launched in the shadows by Satoshi Nakamoto. So, we’ll call a spade a spade and address the semantics that seem to be driving this confusion. IDEX is not a ‘DEX’ in its current state. At this point the best way to describe IDEX is as a ‘non-custodial’ or ‘hybrid-decentralized’ exchange.”

Wearn further alleged that this “hybrid-decentralized” characterization is not unique to IDEX, even if other platforms have eschewed the user experience to increase decentralization, e.g., through the use of clunky on-chain order-books. He said, “But this semantics issue is by no means unique to IDEX. We believe that no DEX is decentralized. As long as a project has a website, off-chain orderbook, or known team, they are not ‘fully decentralized.’”

Taking the argument further, he said that, particularly considering CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz’s belief that smart contract developers should be liable for how these services are used (Quintenz stressed that this is not official agency policy), no DEX could conceivably implement the top-to-bottom censorship resistance necessary to flout regulations governing cryptocurrency trading.

He concluded:

“The operations of a truly censorship resistant DEX would be unstoppable even in the face of pressure from nation states. None of the existing DEXs are censorship resistant — with DNS records that can be hijacked, and GitHub repositories to take down (certain elements of the stack are resistant, such as 0x & EtherDelta smart contracts, but there are non-resistant components that bring liquidity together). This means that at the end of the day, smart contract or not, every project may be subject to pressure from regulators.”

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Buterin Denies Report, Not Stepping Back From Ethereum Development

Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum, has denied reports that he is stepping back from Ethereum development.

On November 1, MIT Technology Review released an article entitled “Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin says his creation can’t succeed unless he takes a step back,” which claimed that Ethereum cannot succeed and achieve true decentralization if it depends on Buterin to lead its development.

The report led several critics to falsely suggest that Buterin will refrain from contributing to the development of the Ethereum blockchain.

In a statement, Buterin emphasized that he is not leaving Ethereum and is not reducing his focus on blockchain research. Rather, he explained that he will encourage the addition of the work of other developers in the open-source developer community.

Buterin said:

“No, I’m saying I’m continuing to focus on research but am less ‘in charge’ than ever. It’s about addition of other people’s work, not subtraction of my own.”

What Led Buterin to Release the Statement?

Recently, Péter Szilágyi, a blockchain developer, shared the report of Octoverse which revealed that Ethereum Go is the fifth fastest growing open-source project in the world alongside Microsoft Azure, Wix, Spyder, and Tensorflow.

With increasing efforts to strengthen the base layer of the protocol and deploy various second-layer scaling solutions such as Sharding and Plasma, the developer activity in the ecosystem surged significantly throughout the past year.

To increase decentralization in development and grow Ethereum as an open-source project, Buterin said that it is of utmost importance for a vibrant community of developers to lead the project rather than a small group of figures.

“Actually, the subheadline [of the MIT article] is fine. At Ethereum’s annual developer conference, its founder tells us why his technology can only be truly decentralized if it stops depending on him. ‘Ethereum stops depending on me’ is the correct emphasis. But very far away from me leaving.”

To promote Ethereum development amongst individual developers and independent projects, on October 15, the Ethereum Foundation granted millions of dollars to a variety of open-source projects working on products and solutions that can drastically improve the base layer of the blockchain.

“While the program continues to grow, we will increasingly continue to involve more community members in the decision making process. The Grants Program today is vastly improved from just earlier this year, thanks to all the helpful feedback from the community, allowing us to provide better public tools and infrastructure,” the foundation said.

Projects working on security, scalability, usability, and client diversity received grants in the range of $10,000 to $420,000, with the development team of the Non-Custodial Payment Channel Hub securing the largest grant to work on a second-layer transaction settlement system.

Decentralize All Aspects

Last week, Parity Technologies developer Afri Schoedon encouraged decentralized applications (dApps) to run indepedent nodes or a network of light clients instead of relying on Infura, a third party node infrastructure provider, to process information on the mainnet to reduce centralization.

In development, data settlement, and nodes, the Ethereum community is demonstrating increasing efforts to promote decentralization to ensure the blockchain can operate in a purely peer-to-peer manner.

Featured image from Flickr/Duncan Rawlinson.

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Bitcoin Price: BitMEX CEO Affirms Bear Call, Says BTC May Fall to $2,000

bitcoin bears bitmex ceo arthur hayes

What a difference a few months can make. It seems like a lifetime ago that Arthur Hayes, CEO of cryptocurrency derivatives platform BitMEX, predicted that the bitcoin price could reach $50,000 in 2018. In fact, it has been less than six months, though the events that have occurred during that interlude have been sufficient for Hayes to slash his short-term crypto forecast by more than 95 percent.

CCN reported earlier this week that Hayes, a former Citigroup trader, is now predicting that the bitcoin downtrend could last another 18 months, mirroring the “nuclear bear market” the crypto industry experienced in 2014 and 2015. Writing in Friday’s edition of the BitMEX Crypto Trader Digest, Hayes doubled down on that portentous outlook.

While chart-watchers often treat bear markets as beginning as soon as an asset dips below its cyclical peak, Hayes said that a better strategy may be to mark the beginning of the bear market as the date at which the bitcoin price falls below its 200-day moving average (DMA). By this metric, bitcoin entered bearish territory on March 12 when it was priced at $9,152 and has only seen a 37 percent decline since dropping below the 200 DMA.

bitcoin price bear markets
Source: BitMEX

Given that past bear markets have seen bitcoin break much further below its 200 DMA, he argued that it’s likely we still have a long way to go before the bears finish twisting the knife, potentially dropping BTC as low as $2,000 before the bulls regain their footing.

“How low can we go?” he asked. “A 75% fall from $9,152 takes us close to $2,000. $2,000 to $3,000 is my new sweet spot but don’t tell Michelle Lee just yet.” [Note: Hayes is likely referring to CNBC host Melissa Lee]

Hayes also cited the decline in bitcoin volatility as justification for his bearish outlook, taking a different tack from Fundstrat founder Tom Lee, who said that he was “pleasantly surprised” to see the decline in volatility given conditions in the broader equities markets.

bitmex bitcoin volatility chart
Source: BitMEX

He wrote:

“Contrary to popular belief, Bitcoin requires volatility if it is ever to gain mainstream adoption. The price of Bitcoin is the best and most transparent way to communicate the health of the ecosystem. It advertises to the world that something is happening–whether that is positive or negative is irrelevant.”

“The Bitcoin price volatility is the gateway drug into the ecosystem,” he continued. “If volatility stays at these depressed levels, the price will slowly leak lower. For those of us who lived through the 2014-2015 bear market, we all await that nasty ass candle that breaks the soul of the bulls. Then, and only then, will volatility and the price ratchet higher.”

In the meantime, Hayes said that the best traders could do is attempt to call the bottom, though they probably won’t have the fortitude to act when their instincts tell them that the floor is in.

“The key consideration to ‘calling the bottom’ is the price action around the last gasp of the bears. You will know it when you see it,” he concluded. “And the best part is, you probably will be too chicken to click that oh so scary Buy button.”

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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